Read this first ...
Some of our customers tell us that they started running to lose weight, and then got hooked on running. Others say they'd like to lose a little weight to be able to run further or faster, and to ease the load on their joints, heart, etc.
Of course, you should have a talk to your GP before embarking on any weight loss or exercise program, but once you've got the green light there then have a look at some of our advice below ...
Weight loss is one of those things where the concept is simple but the execution can be difficult if certain steps are not followed.
Weight loss occurs when there is a short term negative energy balance, this is achieved by expending more energy than (food) you put in. One way of doing this is increasing energy expended in a day by adding physical activity whether it's going to the gym, running or even household tasks like vacuuming ("grey gym") or gardening ("green gym"). However, most journals prove that successful weight loss is achieved best when a food and exercise intervention is implemented.
Where to start?
Start simple by setting attainable, specific, and forgiving goals. The goal has to be realistic or you risk falling off the wagon and not wanting to get back on. It has to be specific to you. By setting realistic goals, you will find it easier to keep motivated and moving towards your said goal. Trying to shift 10lbs in the 3 weeks before you go on holiday is too much to ask, so choose a goal that you can see yourself achieving.
How often & how long for?
It is recommended that we are physically active for 30 minutes a day, However attaining this in our busy modern day lifestyle may be a big ask for many of us. The important thing to consider when looking at how often and how long to exercise for, is to think about sustainability. If you can manage 4 times a week of regular exercise, with work and family life too, that's great. However, if you can do twice a week and maintain it, that's also great! You have to do what is right for you and easy for you to maintain long term. 20 to 30 minutes each session is a good duration to start at and depending on your current ability and your goals, you can progress on from there over time.
What should I do?
Exercise should be simple, fun and enjoyable especially if you have goal like weight loss to achieve. The simplest forms of exercise are walking and running. They require little or no money or equipment, and can be done anywhere. However if you are going to participate in these activities, the right footwear & apparel is very important. At Up & Running we provide the best selection of footwear and exercise apparel for both running and walking activities. As mentioned previously, you can start by a short run or walk from 20 mins and build up from there.
There are many different ways you can make your exercise session more challenging. One way is to invest in a Heart Rate Monitor. A good heart rate monitor will monitor your heart during your exercise session and help you to keep it within certain zones. This will help to maximise your time spent exercising and can help you reach your weight loss target much quicker. We stock a super range of heart rate monitors and the staff in the store(s) will advise you on the best one for you and your level of exercise. A simpler, lower cost device is a simple pedometer.
You might also consider doing strength conditioning exercises when looking to lose weight. By combining weight training with your walking/running you will help speed up the whole weight loss process. "It's very important to do strength conditioning work when looking to lose weight" says Mike Hendricks of Optimum Health pts personal fitness studio in Leeds. "By doing strength training you help boost your body's metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn off both during your exercise session and when resting afterwards. Doing the right kind of weight training at the right intensity is the key to developing your core strength, posture and maintaining your desired weight."
What should I eat?
When trying to lose weight it important to use stimulus control, have a variety of fruits and nuts available and close to where you work so you are more likely to go for that than a chocolate bar. Find what triggers a naughty eating session or missing an exercise session and try get rid of this trigger. Nutrition can be a complex subject but try to keep it simple by eating smaller portions and have more fresh food and less processed food. Mike from Optimum Health pts say's "Diet can be made to be over complicated and that's how many folk get confused. By following simple basics, most people can achieve significant weight loss."
What should I do after exercise?
High impact activity or indeed any form of exercise always comes with some risk of injury so to help avoid this it is wise to take on a good stretching programme. A post exercise stretch routine is always a good idea. This will help speed up recovery and minimise the risk of stiffness and/or soreness that can be found in the muscles after your exercise sessions. Your body will work more efficiently and get you to your weight loss target much quicker and pain free!
Weight loss does not need to be hard or complicated. By following these few tips and advise you can get down to your target weight. All you need to remember is that it's a process that happens over time, to this end your should try to make it as enjoyable as possible, not a chore! There is a lot more to exercise activity, but you can see great results by applying the simple tips that have been mentioned above. For more information on strength conditioning training, stretching and weight loss tips visit www.Optimumhealthpts.co.uk.
Written by Laura from our Leeds, Headingley shop.