9 Tips To Get Off The Couch And
Exercise To Lose Weight
By Scott Gray
Many of us have a problem getting motivated, or started, when we want to lose weight. If only we could just wish the muffin top or love handles away. Unfortunately, the only effective way is to eat more sensibly and exercise to lose weight.
It can be easy to become distracted and put the diet and exercise regime off until tomorrow or next week. The only problem with this is that in the meantime you are more than likely getting less fit and the waistline is slowly but surely inching up.
Exercising to lose weight is great for many reasons. Exercise burns calories and fat. Exercising adequately can raise your metabolism for up to 48 hours after the workout has finished, ensuring that you are burning more calories more easily. Exercising also has the added benefit of adding muscle mass to your body, which again burns your metabolism at a higher rate.
There are many simple and effective strategies for motivation. Apply any or all of the following to make it easier to get off your couch and onto that exercise bike or into the gym:
Realistic goals should be set. You may want to lose 14 pounds in a week, but setting unrealistic goals will only end up with you becoming frustrated and throwing in the towel. If you have a lot of weight to lose, break it into portions. Look for the next significant number down. For example if you weigh 168 pounds, then try initially to get to 160. Once you have reached that magic number congratulate yourself and set a new target.
Start date. Give yourself a date to start. Make sure that by that date you have emptied the pantry and fridge of unhealthy and fattening foods. Restock the pantry with your new diet foods. Ensure your workout clothes and trainers are ready to wear. Enroll in the gym or dust off the exercise bike or home gym. Mark the date on the calendar or your personal organizer. Tell everyone that this is when you are starting so that they can help cheer you on. Count the days down in your head, prepare yourself mentally, and have your new routine worked out.
Inspiration. There is nothing like a school reunion, the start of summer, or some other big event to motivate most of us. If you have nothing big coming up, say to yourself I want to be this size by Christmas, my birthday, or next summer. When you have a firm date set for your weight loss it is much more motivating.
New routines. Incorporate your exercise routine into your life so that it quickly becomes a habit. Once it has become a habit you will feel bad when you have missed out. Be sure to do your workout at some part of the day that is convenient for you on a regular basis, otherwise you will have too many excuses to back out.
Rewards. Once you hit that new number reward yourself. There may be a pair of jeans that you can now fit into. You may want a new hair style or shirt. Some dieters take a day off their diet and eat something they have missed and then go back to their new eating habit the following day. This can be great for the strong willed, but if you are easily led astray with your food, I wouldn't recommend using food as a reward.
Personal trainers. If you cannot get off the couch, or out of bed, or out of the office at a decent hour, you may well need a personal trainer. This person will ensure that you are exercising by turning up and banging on your door if needs be. If you miss your appointment at the health club you will be hit with a hefty failure to show up fee. Personal trainers can be great to get the truly unmotivated started, although this will cost you.
Food diary. Keep a journal of what you are eating and the accompanying weight loss. If you are not losing weight you can look back over the past week and see why. Sometimes those glasses of wine or big lunches can catch up on you.
Exercise log book. An exercise log book is an excellent way to keep track of your fitness and how often you are working out. You will be able to monitor your fitness levels and become more motivated. Most people find exercise log books invaluable for making themselves more competitive with themselves. For example, if you are jogging around the block, how many times you went, or how much faster you are running.
Stationary exercise bikes can be great for the person who likes to exercise in the privacy of their home at all hours of the day or night. The great thing about an exercise bike is that it doesn't matter whether there is a heat wave or blizzard outside, you will not have to miss your workout. Stationary exercise bikes are wonderful for burning fat and calories, and improving your cardiac fitness.
People with a sore back, knees or hips are better suited to ride a recumbent exercise bike, which resembles a bucket seat with pedals out the front. The best recumbent exercise bikes come with heart monitors, magnetic resistance, and display consoles with pre-programmed workouts. Recumbent exercise bikes are safer and more comfortable than the traditional upright exercise bike.
You can get your butt off the couch and become motivated to exercise to lose weight. Any or all of the above strategies will have you leaping onto your exercise bike in no time. Now, where are the trainers?
About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a fitness enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing health and fitness tips to consumers. He maintains a fitness tips information web site where you can find information about getting in shape, losing weight and how to live a healthy life style.