Weight Loss and some not-too-hard exercise
Do you need to exercise to lose weight?
No, you don’t need to exercise to lose weight, and yes, you do need to exercise to be healthy. As we all know weight loss is all about energy-in (food) and energy-out (cells burning up fuel).
When we exercise we burn up more fuel, so all exercise makes a contribution towards weight loss. But don’t forget. About 70% of the fuel which our body burns actually occurs when we are at rest, even asleep. So, you don’t need to exercise to burn up fuel. You don’t need to exercise to lose weight.
However, you do need to exercise to be healthy. Your lungs, your heart, your muscles, your organs, your nervous system, your brain…….they all love exercise. They love blood to flow freely, they love more oxygen, they love efficient exchange through cell walls, they love to work efficiently. So you do need to exercise to be healthy.
What is the best exercise to get started?
There are two simple words to remember when it comes to exercise…… puff and sweat. If you are puffing and sweating, your exercise is being effective. I think one of the best exercises to get started with is a walk-run. Get a good pair of running shoes. They don’t need to be expensive, but they do need to have proper cushioning (don’t use your old Dunlop volleys!).
Start off with a brisk walk and after about 5 minutes break into a trot. It doesn’t need to be graceful; I call my version of running plodding…..I’m really slow. When it starts to get a bit hard, go back to walking and recover your breath. It doesn’t matter if you only do 3 steps jogging. Once you’ve got your breath back try trotting again, but don’t push yourself. When you stop enjoying it stop, and go back to a walk. The objective of a walk-run is to make yourself puff and sweat. If you push yourself too hard, you’ll hate it and won’t do it again.
Start with trying to do 20 minutes in total, if that’s too much do 15. Just don’t push it. But try not to give up in the first 10 minutes. Everybody feels awful for the first 10 minutes, not just you. It takes 10 minute for your heart and lungs to warm up so your body doesn’t like the first ten minutes.
If you can do 3 days a week, that’s a great start.
Now, go home and tell everybody that you prefer running to walking. It’s so much more fun! Ok, so you might like to hold off on the bragging for a few weeks yet!
I used to hate feeling sweaty, but I have trained myself to love feeling sweaty when I exercise. It reminds me that I’m getting healthy and losing weight. Same goes for puffing. I know it’s good for me.
The biggest thing with exercise is not to go too hard to begin with. After about 6 weeks endorphins (chemicals that make you feel happy) kick in but I think for the first 6 weeks exercise is just hard plain work. The key in the first 6 weeks is not to go too hard.
And be sensible. If you get a sore back, hips, knees, ankles, just stop. Don’t push through pain. And no pain in the chest is good. See your doctor asap.
So yes, do some very gentle exercise. If you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it, if you try too hard initially you’ll hate it and stop.