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Getting Started with a Weight Loss Exercise Program — an article on the Smart Living Network
September 22, 2010 at 4:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Getting Started with a Weight Loss Exercise Program

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Losing weight is one of the main reasons why people are inspired to begin an exercise program. Although the desire to drop unwanted pounds and be more toned is definitely a great motivator, it can still be difficult to actually start a routine. After you see and feel the results of staying active, the program itself simply becomes just another part of your day. But how do you get to that point?

Set Your Goals

Before approaching an exercise program, determine what you want to accomplish with it. Everyone has different fitness levels, and understanding yours will help you benefit the most from your workouts. Ask yourself how much weight you need to lose and the amount of time you think it should take to lose it. Write your goals down and look at them frequently to remain focused. Besides long term goals, or total number of pounds to be lost, set some short term goals as well. These can be set on a weekly basis and should act as encouragement for reaching the bigger ones. As you continue with the program, you will have more energy and less stress, which are two effective indicators of success.

Plan Your Diet

Look at the foods you eat and design a diet that works to achieve your weight loss goals. Cut calories when necessary, but include all of the recommended allowances for minerals, protein, and vitamins that are essential to your overall health. Never starve yourself. The best plan is to aim for losing pounds gradually and consistently in a healthy way, and to prevent the weight from returning. Also, include fruits and other foods that are known to boost your metabolism to assist the fat burning process.

Choose Your Activities

Losing weight can be a lot of fun if you do things that you enjoy. Basic cardio exercises such as walking, running, jumping jacks, and bicycle riding all improve your respiratory system while burning calories. These activities are versatile; you can do any of them inside or outside. Using a treadmill, exercise bike, or jumping rope might be more exciting for you. Combining the movements can form an aerobic workout that will never be boring. When first starting your program, do short 10 to 15 minute sessions at a time. Build up to longer workouts until you can do longer sets. 30 minutes per day at least three to four times each week is recommended, and you can split that up into whichever increments work for your schedule. For example, stick with the shorter sessions and perform them at a high intensity. By doing two or three 10 to 15 minute workouts, you will cause your metabolism to stay increased throughout the day. Do not attempt to do an extended session followed by a period of inactivity for a few days. The body needs regular exercise to lose weight and develop firmness.

Keep a Journal

The key to a successful program is adapting your habits according to how your body is responding. Record the results of your exercise sessions in a daily journal so you can track your progress. Make notes in the journal about how you feel and the weight that you are losing. Some people even write down all of their meals to gauge what is working and what is not. Rest is important in fat loss. Regular exercise causes you to require seven to eight hours of sleep each night for muscle recovery. Check with your doctor to select the right exercises for your individual fitness needs and report any pain or discomfort you have immediately. A nutritionist can help in designing a diet, and again, use your journal to adjust accordingly on your way to the new, slimmer you.

Sources: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/weight-loss/how-to-start-a-weight-loss-program.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/expert-qa-starting-weight-loss-plan-james-o-hill

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