Losing Weight - A Body in Motion
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Losing Weight - A Body in Motion
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Newton tells us that a body in motion will stay in motion
unless acted upon; likewise, a body at rest will stay at
rest until acted upon. This gives us a powerful metaphor for
the difficulties of getting into a proper, healthy exercise
habit that can help shed weight and keep it off. If we can
break our old habits and get ourselves into a good, strong
routine of healthy habits, we will find they are much easier
to maintain. This applies just as much to exercise as to any
other habit we have in mind. Taking it step by step
(literally!) can make all the difference in the world.
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Distribution Date and Time: 2010-09-02 10:15:00
Written By: Larry Tobin
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Losing Weight - A Body in Motion
Copyright (c) 2010 Larry Tobin
Newton tells us that a body in motion will stay in motion unless
acted upon; likewise, a body at rest will stay at rest until
acted upon. This gives us a powerful metaphor for the
difficulties of getting into a proper, healthy exercise habit
that can help shed weight and keep it off.
Habits can work both for and against us. They build up every
single day, one way or another. If we don't take specific
action, we're going to find ourselves stuck in the bad habits
that have held us back for so long. However, if we can break the
mold and get ourselves into a good, strong routine of healthy
habits, we will find they are much easier to maintain. This
applies just as much to exercise as to any other habit we have in
mind. Taking it step by step (literally!) can make all the
difference in the world.
Step 1 - Start Small, but Start NOW
The nice thing about exercise habit-building is that exercise is
actually very easy. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can
start exercising the moment you wake up.
When you wake up, you tend to stretch. Turn this into a routine,
rather than a reflex. When you wake up, start with the legs.
Rotate the ankles, then flex and stretch the calves and the
thighs. Move up to your middle and torso, and work out to your
arms, stretching everything from shoulders to fingers. Then
reverse the process and work your way back down. This can be done
in as little as two or three minutes.
Taking the time to begin exercising right when you wake up gets
your mind in a proper, habit building attitude right from the get
go. You aren't fitting it in where you can, but ordering your
day around it. Remember that habit-building works best when done
at the same time every day, so what better time than first thing
Step 2 - Every Day, Do Something
We've all seen commercials promising spectacular results with a
certain machine and 20 minutes of exercise three times a week.
While it's true that even three sessions a week can offer some
benefits, it's hard to build habits when you keep interrupting
yourself with days off.
Instead, find a way to exercise just a little, every single day.
Power walk to the mailbox and back to the house. Belt out 15
sit-ups and push-ups before you get into the shower or have
breakfast. Park further out from work or the store than usual.
These are all small ways you can work "extra" exercise into
your day. They build up the mindfulness that every day is an
opportunity, and create the associations that make the habit a
daily occurrence, rather than a periodic event.
Step 3 - Pick your Time, Keep your Time
While taking extra opportunities for exercise is a good part of
healthy workout habits, this can't be the only tool in your
arsenal. The key to habit-building early on is proper scheduling.
When we do the same thing at the same time, it builds into the
habit we need it to be.
So pick a time every day to do some exercise. It doesn't always
have to be the same exercise, either. You could alternate
strength exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups one day with
cardio exercises - which are great for burning fat - the next
Whichever specific exercise you choose, make sure to stick with
it at the same time. Let people know in advance, immediately,
once you set your time. Tell them you'd love to visit the new
Italian restaurant together or work with them on important
projects, but this time is sacrosanct and important to you.
Don't compromise it for anything short of a genuine emergency.
Your wishes are just as important as theirs, so treat them with
the same respect.
Step 4 - Build on It
So far we've discussed a few simple ways to begin working
exercise into your life. We start with stretches in the morning
and a few light push-ups or sit-ups to get the heart moving. The
next step is to increase the difficulty. The number five is a
wonderful benchmark. Going from 15 push-ups to 20 is easy to do,
only five more, but it provides a measurable step up the ladder
of working out. Add five reps or minutes to your routine every
few days to see if you can push yourself further, and you'll be
amazed what you can accomplish.
Additionally, you can build on your routine to include others
beyond just yourself. We've talked before about having a support
partner or friend to help encourage you along. If this friend
wants to spend some time hanging out, invite them to exercise
with you. You can have a nice chat between exercises, and you'll
have the shared experience of doing something that benefits you
both, while also having a chance to be with a friend. This will
create a pleasurable feeling, and make the appointment to
exercise that much more fun to anticipate.
Larry Tobin is the co-creator of
http://www.HabitChanger.com/ offering effective
and empowering solutions for stopping stress.
Try our 42-day weight loss program at
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