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Thu, Feb. 20

Exercise can't be seen as an option

Do you like to exercise but struggle at doing it consistently?

You might do better sticking to an exercise routine if you view exercise as a required part of your daily routine. If you view exercise as an option, then you give yourself the opportunity to pass it up. Think about the things that you need to do every day. For example, you need to eat, brush your teeth, shower and sleep. How often do you skip out on these activities? You may be the type of person who does better with a more rigid exercise program. So try not to view your exercise program as an option. Participating in physical activity daily can help you lose weight more quickly.

If you're having a busy day and can't quite fit in a workout routine, try to squeeze in some quick activities that will help keep your metabolism up and burning calories. Walk with your children or a friend, or walk the dog. If you have to drive around town and run errands, park far from the building(s) you're going to. If you're in a building with multiple floors, take the stairs whenever possible. If you need the house cleaned and have other household members helping you out, let them take care of the lighter chores. Try to take care of the chores that take more energy, such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping or mowing the lawn. Even if you can't fit in a formal workout, try to find ways to keep your body moving and burning calories.

Have you considered lifting weights as part of your formal exercise routine? Maybe you haven't because you have no desire to increase your muscle mass. However, lifting weights can benefit your weight loss program. You don't even have to participate in an intense training program. Moving your muscles burns calories. Different activities use different muscles. Any exercise will help you burn calories. But the more muscles you use, the more calories you will be able to burn. Weight training can help you to work out all your muscle groups.

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University found that resistance exercises push the body to burn calories for up to two hours after a workout. Weight training helps raise your metabolism, energizes you, strengthens your bones, makes you less prone to back injuries, decreases your resting blood pressure, elevates your mood, decreases your risk for certain diseases, and more. Try to include weight training in your exercise routine to help you lose weight, develop a fit body - and feel great.

Mesick can be reached at the Diet Center, (928) 753-5066.

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