Exercise Tips for New Dieters

When I first decided to start losing weight, which was a few years ago now, the thought of exercising was almost enough to prevent me from trying. Visions of myself, a 200+ pound woman jogging down the main street where we lived seemed ridiculous and disturbing at best. And then envisioning myself at the gym, surrounded by all sorts of crazy health nuts staring at me while I walk on a treadmill almost did me in for good as far as exercise at a gym goes. The truth of the matter, however, is that without exercise any attempt to lose weight would be almost futile. If losing weight was something I really wanted (needed) then I was going to have to find a way to include exercise in my weight loss program.

Dev, 19, is the world's smallest body builder can inspire us all to overcome our barriers to exercise. Photo © Barcroft Media

Dev, 19, the world's smallest body builder can inspire us all to overcome our barriers to exercise. Photo © Barcroft Media

I think that exercise is one major area of a weight loss program where many people falter. The real trick for exercise is to set realistic goals for yourself, much like you have to do for losing weight. When I first started exercising, just getting out for a 20 minute walk was enough and I slowly worked my way up from there.

I always figure… “If I could do it, so can you”. So for the new dieters out there who may be feeling confused as to how to start exercising, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Exercise Tips for New Dieters

Start slowly and gradually increase intensity – If you haven’t had exercise as a part of your life for a while then a really good way to start is with a short walk. That’s it. Even if you can only get out and across the street and back at first, walking is a great exercise. Even that short amount will help. More and more walking can be added as time goes on, and other activities can be added as you feel more fit.

Build up your muscles – All new dieters, men and women should lift small amounts of weight as part of their weekly routines. Building muscle helps to prevent muscle deterioration that can occur from dieting. Many women in particular leave weight lifting out of their exercise routine and this is often a huge mistake. Women worry that they are going to bulk up like bodybuilders, but that is really not going to happen because women are not genetically prone to big, bulking mucles. Instead, women build lean muscle that helps tone and tighten.

Do exercises that you enjoy – A key to staying on top of exercise is to mix it up. You may see rows and rows of people at the gym on the treadmills and elliptical machines, and assume that is what you have to do too. That is not the case unless you think that is something you will enjoy. The trick to staying with an exercise program is to pick activities that you are going to enjoy and stick with in the long run. It could be just about anything that keeps you moving: skating, hiking, walking, or playing baseball are just a few options. Do it as long as you love it, and you are going to stick with it longer.

Drink lots of water – You probably hear a lot about the importance of drinking water while dieting. That is because it is the best thing you can do for your body and that goes double for when you are exercising, even when it is just a walk around the block. Drink plenty of clean, cool water and avoid calorie-laden sport drinks.

Happy exercising everyone!

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