Starting an exercise regime

Aside from the food you eat, the amount of physical activity you do is one of the greatest influences on whether you gain, maintain, or lose weight.

You may have never set foot in a gym in your life, and have never lifted a weight heavier than a candy bar – but in order to get and maintain a fit and healthy body, you are going to have to start somewhere!

At Home
There are countless ways you can exercise in your own home. From walking up and down the stairs, to performing reps holding a can of beans, your home can become your exercise center. Many people have a strong aversion to going to the gym – especially if they have never been before, and especially if they think their body type won’t “fit in” with everyone else, so breaking yourself in gently at home is an ideal way to start.

Working in your yard or going for a walk also counts as exercise, but there is no need to overdo it. All you need to do to begin with is to get your body moving, and get used to the feeling.

The Gym
Even if you are averse to going to the gym, just remember not everyone there looks like a model – gyms were invented to get people in shape, and there are lots of different shapes and sizes. Don’t just jump in and go on every machine though – you will need to know what to do and what the best exercises for you are.

Consulting someone at the gym is the best way to begin, as they will often give you hints and tips about things you never even considered.

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is the kind of exercise that gets you out of breath and your heart beating – so pretty much anything that requires some effort! Aerobic exercise is one of the keys to losing weight – by making your body work hard, not only will you make it stronger, but you will also start to burn off some of that excess weight you are carrying around. Do not overdo it though – too much exercise can cause injuries. Take your time and listen to your body – when your body has had enough, it will let you know.

Weight Training
Weight training is not just to build big muscles. Done correctly, it can help you get your whole body in shape. Lifting makes you breathe harder, and makes your heart pump faster – it’s almost like aerobic exercise without moving around so much! However, just like aerobic exercise, pay attention to your body. If you try and lift too heavy a weight, your body might not have time to warn you and you may suffer a serious injury. Start off light, and build up – you are not He-Man! At least, not yet…

Desk Exercise
Still sat at home or in your office? No problem – there are exercises you can do even while you are working. Stretching, squeezing (crunching) your abdominal muscles, raising your feet of the floor and lowering them again, lifting yourself off your chair with you hands – anything to work the muscles and get a little motion in to your life.

Final Reminder
Before starting any major change in your lifestyle, such as exercising, you should consult a doctor. You may have underlying health problems that might cause you issues if you try and do too much too soon.

But if you get the all clear, then the only way is up – any exercise you do is better than none, and it will surely help you on your way to weight loss.

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