(The following is a blog post written by Dr. Deb Doubek, Ascension Via Christi Weight Management program in Manhattan.)
If you are trying to lose weight, you probably have plans to become more active. You also know that finding the time for more activity can be very hard, especially on a tight schedule. If you are managing health conditions that restrict exercise, it can also be difficult to find the correct exercise for you. Fatigue is another frustrating barrier that too often gets in the way of exercise. Who wants to get active after a draining day at work, or be active if you are in pain from health conditions?
Weight-loss leads to energy, which leads to motivation for exercise
Excess weight puts a lot of strain on your body. It can be difficult to run simple errands, do housework and perform work-related functions, let alone complete a workout. Lacking energy can make weight-loss seem impossible when it involves so much physical activity.
The good news: A weight loss of just 5 to 10% can have amazing health benefits – more energy being one of them. You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to start feeling better. The more energy you gain from seeing the scale drop, the more likely you are to reach your fitness goals.
Tips for getting the scale moving in the right direction:
- Write a list of active activities you are currently capable of, like walking the dog, taking stairs at work, or swimming.
- Aim to do at least 1-2 of these active activities each day.
- Work your way down this list and repeat them.
- Maintain other lifestyle changes like healthy eating and stress relief.
- If the scale drops, increase your “active activity” workload and challenge yourself.
The reverse effect of exercise
While fatigue can make it difficult to get moving, did you know that exercise will give you energy? It is quite the Catch-22! You need energy to exercise, but it is exercise that will give you energy. If you can muster up any energy you have, you will see it multiplied once you put it to use. Whether you would rather snooze your alarm clock in the morning or hit the couch after a grueling 8-hour shift, it is worth your while to make time for physical activity. You will find that you are more productive and energized throughout the day.
Weight-loss, energy and exercise are all connected, even if you need one to do the other. If it all becomes overwhelming, remember that small steps make a difference. Any healthy changes that you can make to your lifestyle will have positive results, even if it takes a while to see them.
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