It's day 2 of NEWSTART and Exercise is the word! NEWSTART lifestyle change is the product of Weimar University California. It is a scientifically researched lifestyle change program based on eight fundamental principles proven to help you achieve optimum health.
Do you want to get to your ideal weight in 2023? Diet and Exercise complement each other. Yes, you can lose weight on diet, but without exercise, a portion of your weight loss is muscle and bone density loss.
To lose weight and keep it off, we need to build up to 5-7 sessions a week of at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular (exercise that gets us breathing faster and the heart rate going up) and strength training. We get leaner faster by using our own body weight against gravity e.g. squats, lunges, push-ups and planks. Besides losing weight, there are other benefits of exercise e.g. good quality sleep, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar and reducing stress levels.
That said, the age-old question remains, how do we get from knowing exercise is good to exercising? Here's how I've done it consistently for 17yrs.
Tip #1 - Keep it simple! No gym pass or personal trainer required.
Keep it simple and fun. No fancy gym gear, in fact, you don't have to leave your house to exercise.
I look through Pinterest or google for exercise PDFs. If you type "Beginners exercises" and filter by images you will get nice pages of exercises. I tend to stay away from youtube exercise videos because the pace is not always my pace. Don't forget to combine cardiovascular and strength training. The above 4 weeks beginner's workout plan is one of my favourites. Spell your name workout is also great fun!
Tip #2 - Just do it!
Don't wait for a convenient day to begin exercising. The truth is, for most of us, a convenient time will never present itself. We just have to do it!
At times I don't feel like exercising, but I do it anyway! So Ladies, don't start your exercise program tomorrow; do it today! As you read this article, commit to starting now! and start with 10 arm circles or marching on the spot either sitting down or standing up.
Stick post-it notes in your popular lazing areas if you will, this will remind you to "just do it". No Excuses!
Some of the common excuses for not exercising are:
"I don't have the right gear". I suggest you start with what you've got.
"I don't have time". Create time for exercise, after all, we make time for things that are important to us
"The weather is bad". Dress for the weather
"It's too hot to exercise". Get out early, while it's cool
"I'm scared of neighbours' dogs". They'll soon get used to you and won't bother you
"There's no gym near me". You don't need a gym, one square metre of space in your bedroom is enough
"I have limitations". Check out wheelchair/chair-based exercises on a free 24/7 TV at 3ABN.org. or google https://youtu.be/shvlqYI7GqA
"I'm tired" Exercise helps relieve tiredness, brain fog and poor sleep
Tip #3 - A little exercise is better than nothing
For a beginner, who was not exercising before, 2 minutes of exercise ups your exercise scale to 100% better than 0% exercise. My advice is, to start low and build up your exercise minutes. Yep, you build up, not stagnate at 5 minutes. Aim for 30 minutes of cross-training a day. For Example, if you're a beginner and you've started with 5 minutes of exercise a day, set yourself a goal of increasing by another 2 minutes by end of week one. I promise you, by end of week one, you will have enjoyed your fun and simple exercise so much that you will get beyond 5 minutes without knowing it! No matter how pressed I am for time, I always remind myself that a little is better than nothing
Tip #4 - Enjoy it!
Make your exercise variable and enjoyable.
The aim is to keep moving, by whatever means. I change my exercise routine at least every 2 weeks. It takes me less than 10 minutes to find a new set of fun but simple exercise sheets. Try it, It's amazing! I've even found some face and eye-strengthening exercises, Love it!
Tip #5 - Stick with it, it's a lifestyle
It takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so stick with it! Make a covenant with yourself to exercise daily. I've promised myself to exercise daily, no matter what.
So, there you have it, Ladies! It's a NEWSTART and exercise doesn't have to be taxing! Keep it simple, keep moving, but don't forget your lunges, squats, planks and sit-ups.
Here's to a new year of becoming the best version of yourself and a better butter burner! And don't forget to Just do it!
Please leave me comments on how you're "Just doing it"
Dr Purity Carr is a GP and Menopause Doctor in Harvey, Western Australia
Tomorrow's blog is on Water.