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If You’re Already Overweight, Here’s How To Start Exercising

If You’re Already Overweight, Here’s How To Start Exercising

When you are overweight it can be more difficult to get started on an exercise program. Being overweight lends itself to certain issues that need to be addressed prior to starting a new workout regimen.

Here are 9 steps to do in order to correctly begin, healthily sustain, and help your chances at being more successful in your exercise program.

1. Always start with contacting your doctor to see if there are particular exercises that you should avoid.

For example, if someone has diabetes, doing exercises barefoot would not be advised. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the feet which may prevent a person from knowing if their foot is injured.  Plus, an injury to the foot may develop into an ulcer or a serious infection.

2. Find a certified personal trainer who works with weight loss clients.

It has been my experience as a personal trainer that it is generally in the beginning where most people get hurt.

People who have never worked out or have been sedentary for a while may easily get hurt when trying to do exercises they are not used to or have never done before.

Getting injured in the first few weeks of exercising can be a debilitating blow to morale and will be another obstacle to overcome on the road to better health. Therefore, find a personal trainer who understands your needs and can help you navigate an exercise program that will prevent injury and help you get to your fitness goals.

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There are many options for personal training to meet most budgets, from one-on-one, small group, to online coaching.

3. One way to start exercising is to begin a walking program.

Walking is one of the best exercises for the body. In general, it is a gentle activity that can be done by most people. Walking burns calories, helps prevent osteoporosis, and is free.

A walking program is a concerted effort to walk for a set amount of time each day and throughout the week.

Walking can be done every day; an example program can be Mon–Fri walk 30 minutes a day, and Sat–Sun walk for 1 hour each day.

Make walking fun by inviting a friend or adopting a dog. You can also join walking clubs which you can find on sites like Craigslist.

4. Find an activity you enjoy and do it consistently.

Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean having to go to the gym. Gardening, dancing, or even dart throwing are all physical activities that burn calories. But in order for such activities to help you lose weight, they must be done regularly.

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For example plan to garden for 2 hours each weekend or for however long you are able, and do it consistently. Add this activity to your walking program and be active daily.

5. Effective weight loss programs are where results are measured so that one is aware of their progress.

There are many ways to measure results. The usual measurements are weight, circumference, body composition, and Body Mass Index (BMI).

For a new exerciser, unless you are working with a personal trainer, in which the techniques mentioned above are the best, I advise using a more readily available tool such as your clothes and cell phone camera.

A tight pair of jeans are the perfect piece of clothing to measure yourself with to see if you are making headway in your exercise program. Take note how snug your jeans are, then every two weeks, check to see if those same pair of jeans are getting looser! Take a whole body picture in your undergarments and do so every few weeks to see if you are looking slimmer.

If you are not seeing and feeling the changes you want, go back to your program and see what you can do to create improvement. With my clients, I always advise a holistic approach which translates to: are you moving enough, are you eating correctly, and is your mindset optimal?

Mindset is key to achieving any goal. One’s mental and emotional state can either drive one to success or impede their efforts.

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6. Prepare your mind.

Get it clear in your head why you want and need to implement this exercise program. Dig deep to find the reasons that will motivate you to succeed. The more compelling the reasons, the better your chances.

Write down these reasons so that if a moment of weakness arises, you can remind yourself why you must keep pushing forward.

7. Develop a success-promoting tier of goals.

This means creating short-term goals that are easily attainable that help support your long-term aspirations.

It is crucial to feel good in the beginning stages of an exercise program because this builds momentum. One way to increase your chances of success is to see yourself accomplishing some of your goals early on.

For example, an immediate goal could be to make a doctor or personal training appointment and go to it. Next, you may give yourself a goal of walking 30 minutes, 3 times within your first week. Let these small accomplishments motivate you to pursue your larger fitness goal.

8. Choose a holistic approach.

A holistic approach means to view the problem in its entirety; from its immediate effects, to its underlying cause.

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We know that weight gain is not caused by one thing. It is usually triggered by a combination of factors some of which are: not moving enough, an emotional reason, a health condition, eating too much, and / or eating the wrong things. Therefore, to be successful at solving the situation, a multiple of approaches must be considered.

In previous steps I mentioned, movement and mindset are aids to weight loss, but even more important is eating healthily.

One cannot lose weight by exercise alone because you cannot out-run a bad diet. You simply cannot burn enough calories within a day to combat a destructive eating habit.

Add a nutrition component to your exercise program and find long-lasting weight loss success.

9. Recruit people to help you stay on track.

When a person tells other people about their plans, it creates a “silent” contract of accountability. Most people want others to believe that they keep their promises and are the kind of people who “do what they say.”

There are many ways to have this type of accountability. One is to enlist a good friend or relative. Tell your friend that you plan to start an exercise program. Ask him or her to periodically check in on you to see how you’re doing and to be supportive when you’re together by helping you make healthy choices.

Personally, I have used Instagram for just this type of accountability measure. Instagram has a very supportive and engaging community of exercisers. I use this inspiring community to support my efforts in becoming a better yogi and my aspiration of a free-standing handstand!

Follow these 9 steps and I am certain you will see change and find success in your efforts to be healthier. Good luck!

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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