Physical activity is a crucial component to weight loss and weight maintenance for the role it plays in increasing your energy expenditure (kilojoules burnt) and helping boost your metabolism.
While activity is a vital component of weight management, it’s about so much more than losing the weight on the scales. Focusing on exercise beyond weight loss will help you stay motivated, fit and healthy in the long term.
Some physical and psychological benefits to being more active are:
- Muscle mass
- Diabetes management
- Energy levels
- Bone density
- Heart health
- ‘Good’ cholesterol
With all those benefits it is an important part of our everyday life, so here are some quick tips to get you motivated to get moving.
Make a plan: At the start of every week look at your schedule and realistically plan your activity. Block out time in your calendar to go for a walk or book into a class. Consider it as another appointment you need to commit to. Write your plan on your menu in the activity section each week and tick it off as you go.
Track your steps: Using a pedometer or fitness tracker is a great way to track your current level of physical activity and motivate you to move more. Get your baseline level for a week and then use it as motivation to increase your steps each week. It is recommended to aim for at least 10 000 steps per day. Don’t worry though if you’re not there yet. Building up your steps gradually is what’s most important!
Have an activity buddy: Support can come from friends, family and colleagues who can help by encouraging you, or better yet, being active with you! When you have someone to exercise with you are more likely to stick to your plan. They are relying on you to show up and can make exercising more fun and can help you feel comfortable.
Rewards: Planning rewards is a powerful motivator to keep you on track towards your physical activity goals. Use non-food rewards such a new pair of runners or some new active-wear. Reward your small successes and short term goals as well as your long term goals.
Move more for a cause: Having the inspiration of something larger than your own personal goals can be highly motivating. It can also be fun and connect you with a community of like-minded people for mutual support. Look out for fun runs/walks in your area.
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