Exercising for Where You Are
During your medical weight loss program, you’ll need to exercise consistently. Just like the old story of the tortoise and the hare, the best way to get started is slow and steady. Exercising will help you burn calories, tone your muscles and improve your health as you lose weight, and there are so many options that chances are you’ll be able to find one you really enjoy.
Gauge your current fitness level to find where you should focus your efforts. Write down your results to the following questions:
- How far can you walk in 30 minutes?
- How many jumping jacks can you do?
- Can you do a push-up? (Try it from your knees, not your toes. How many can you do now?)
- Sitting down with your legs extended, how far can you bend? Do your fingers reach your toes, knees or mid-thigh?
Answers to questions like these will help you assess your current fitness level and provide valuable insight about where you need the most work.
Creating Your Workout Plan
Having a good look at where you currently stand can help you create a workout routine that is right for you. When a workout routine matches your fitness level and interests it becomes easier to stick with it.
What area of personal fitness do you want to concentrate on first? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Improving Cardiovascular Strength and Endurance
Cardiovascular activities are exercises that increase your heart rate. This includes activities like walking, running, biking and dancing.
If you wish you could walk farther and faster, then this is a great place to start. Walking is something that most people do daily. To get started, push yourself a bit farther today than you did yesterday. This might mean walking an extra block or staying on the treadmill another 10 minutes.
Other fun ways to improve your endurance include:
Strength training is a great way to build up your muscles, tone your body and feel a lot stronger in the process. Push-ups are a great place to start because they can be modified to just about any level.
If a traditional push-up is difficult right now, start out with wall pushups:
- Stand with your hands pressed against the wall with your feet planted arm’s length away. Push your chest away from the wall until you are standing upright, then lean back in.
As you build your strength, try traditional push-ups again.
Improving your flexibility is a rewarding process. In time you’ll find yourself better able to bend down to pick up something you’ve dropped and completing other simple tasks of that nature.
Try adding flexibility training to every workout you do, whether it is strength building or cardio. You can do this by stretching before and after your workout as you warm up.
If you really like flexibility training, try out a full workout. Yoga and Pilates poses can be modified to meet your needs at any fitness level.
There are all sorts of ways to work out. Talk to your friends about their favorite ways to get fit and find an activity you can look forward to. The more you like your workout, the more likely you are to stick with it.