Thanksgiving is a few days away. Christmas is a few weeks away. It’s getting darker earlier. It’s getting colder outside.
These are all things that are potential excuses as to why you aren’t watching what you eat and exercising on a regular basis.
This time of year people start thinking about their New Year’s resolution. They may have the mindset of “I’ll start working out and dieting next year,” and the gym is packed on January 2nd with everyone else who made the same resolution. Did you know that 80% of all people who join a gym in January give up in the first five months? Perhaps it’s because the gym is packed with people who are also committed to the idea of exercising, but will also drop out in the coming weeks months.
However, you don’t have to join a gym to get in shape. You can:
- Walk or run around your neighborhood.
- Get a good treadmill or other workout equipment. In the long run, these are less expensive than a gym membership (if you use them).
- Use your stairs as a stair climber.
- Do sit-ups and push-ups, they are easy to do just about anywhere.
- Do lunges down the hallway.
- Do squats while watching TV.
- Get a set of free weights. Even 10, 20, or 30 pound weights will help maintain muscle tone.
If you get a minimum of twenty to thirty minutes a day, or about a hour of exercise three times per week, you can improve both your physical and mental health. Hard to stay motivated? Find a friend who will help keep you accountable or who will work out with you. Check out YouTube for online videos showing you workouts that you can do around the house. You can also join a virtual gym which turns your living room into an aerobic studio!
Exercising and eating healthy should be a way of life, not a diet. So many diseases and health issues (including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke to name a few) are preventable. All it takes is a commitment to taking care of yourself. It can save you thousands of dollars in doctor visits, medications, and time off of work. While it can be a good plan to work with a doctor to develop a weight loss plan that’s right for you, it’s important to know there is no magic pill and it may time some time to see the results. How do you know how much to lose, you ask?
Working with your doctor to determine your body mass index (BMI) is a good way to start. This is measured by calculating your height and weight. For example, if you are 5’10” tall and weigh 225 pounds, your BMI is 32.3 which is considered obese. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend a very specific diet such as high protein and low carb. Whatever the plan is, it’s important to set up reasonable expectations so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Crash diets should be avoided. When you limit your eating, your metabolism actually slows down. Then once you’ve lost the 10 pounds you wanted to lose, your body burns calories slower and you end up gaining more weight.
Ready to get started? Talk to your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise and discuss your various options for dieting to find a combination of both that is right for you.
It’s never too late to start, but you don’t need to wait until January!