The new year is now upon us, your resolutions are set and you’re eager to initiate a change for the better in 2013.
Statistically, weight loss and getting fit are among the most prominent resolutions set each year. But on the downside, more often than not, these promises to yourself become transient and tend to fall through.
If increasing your level of physical activity and shredding those pounds happen to be your primary improvements coming into the new year, there are a few key concepts to consider.
First of all, to prevent such a quick derailing of the hard work you’re about to endure, it’s important to actually choose a type of physical activity you enjoy. For instance, if you’re not into running, then spending your first week of training on the treadmill may not be the best way to start things off. Instead, choose a mode of exercise that suits you better, such as bicycling, playing basketball or cross-country skiing instead.
Even more importantly, stop the excuse that you “don’t have the time” for exercise. It doesn’t take endless hours each day in the gym to see results. If you put aside just 30 minutes per day in addition to healthy eating habits, it’s a guarantee that you will begin seeing changes physically and feeling better emotionally.
“The key to losing weight, or better yet, losing fat from the body, is to combine eating somewhat less and exercising somewhat more,” said Dr. Brian Goslin, program director and associate professor of Exercise Science at Oakland University. “Exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day, burning 200-300 calories, and eating 200-300 calories less each day will result in the loss of a pound of fat each week. Keep at it and you’ve lost 50 pounds this year!”
It’s also a common myth that weight training will not affect fat loss and lead to bulkiness of the body, hindering overall weight loss. A structured total body weight-training program, utilizing light to moderate resistance, concurrent with 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (which can also be participating in your favorite sport, not just machines) will boost your energy and burn more than twice the amount of calories.
“Muscle burns more energy than fat, even at rest,” Dr. Goslin said. “Building muscle means that you are consuming more energy every minute of every hour of every day compared to having too little muscle, and the best way to build muscle is to do progressive resistance training.”