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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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