Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My thoughts on starting an exercise or weight loss program

It seems everywhere you look these days there are weight loss programs. Everyone it seems wants to lose weight. Or just start an exercise program. Considering the dietary habits of this country it's no wonder this is such a huge market. So where do you start? There are SO many options. Some may work for some and not for others. There's exercise plans, menu planning, supplements. It's enough to make one a bit crazy and just give up. But that right there is why this country is so unhealthy...well that and the mounds of fast food consumed. In my opinion the absolute FIRST thing you should is look at your diet. DO NOT eat fast food. Did you get that? Just DON'T! Start with more home cooked meals. You'll save tons of calories. Granted, you need to be smart about the choices in meals you prepare. Yes, making fettuccine alfredo from scratch with whole wheat and organic ingredients is MUCH better for you than restaurant made. But that doesn't make it "good" for you. Occasional treat? Sure. Put it on your menu once a month. It'll give you something to look forward to. Start your meal planning with well rounded meals. Even in a rush you can throw together some leaf lettuce and dressing as a side dish. My kids are used to atleast one meal a day is going to have a salad. Sometimes it's just lettuce. Sometimes I might have some chopped veggies in the fridge already and I'll throw those on. A couple times a week I'll actually throw together a nicer salad. I would say most people need more veggies in their diet. Start writing down what you eat, maybe you'll notice you should add more veggies too. Also, please limit the amount of meat at any meal to 8oz. You really would do well limiting yourself to 8oz of meat total in a day. Your colon doesn't like meat. If your colon gets backed up it causes about a million different problems. Okay, maybe not a million, but a lot.
Next, start an exercise program. How much time do you spend watching tv in the evening? Well if you answered any at all then you could spend that time exercising. I am well aware that most folks would like to relax in the evening. I have four kids, believe me, I'm with you on that. Say you watch an hour or two of tv, you could spend 30 minutes of that exercising. Whether you do calisthenics or sit ups or push ups, doesn't matter, just start doing something rather than nothing. If you have an exercise bike or treadmill, if possible, move it into the living room. For the first 30 minutes you watch tv spend it on those. THEN sit your butt on the couch and relax. Still plenty of time to relax and watch tv. And you'll notice that if you watch tv while exercising it goes much faster!!! Once you get yourself moving you'll notice it gets easier. It always does. It seems everyone has a Kindle or Nook these days. Grab it, hit a stationary bike and spend 30 minutes burning calories while you get some good reading in.  Here are some resources for some great exercise programs.
First is Dr. Mercola's Peak Fitness. 20 minutes 3 times a week will greatly increase your health:
http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2010/12/24/a-fountain-of-youth-in-your-muscles.aspx
The Couch 2 5K program is great. 9 weeks and you'll be running three miles:
http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

Bottom line: Start a diet log...are you consuming good quality calories? 1000 calories of lean protein and organic veggies will do a lot more for your health than 1000 calories of french fries and donuts. The amount of calories isn't as important as the quality. And start moving, doesn't matter where you start, the point is you start. 


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