*Photo courtesy of Canadian Obesity Network (CON) Image Gallery*
When starting my own path to a healthy weight, I have to admit that fitness was one area of my journey I was dreading. You see it everyday – gyms popping up, high-intensity fitness programs and overwhelming/complicated routines. Me personally, I was freaking out about having to put on gym clothes and being judged when someone saw how I looked – let alone actually doing the workout. Therefore, I just didn’t.
What I finally learned (and what I teach in my own practice) is that it’s okay to take it slow. In fact, I recommend it! We won’t be perfect overnight; this process is about progression and not perfection. So, we need to realize that our goal is to change our lifestyle – not fad fitness, and that takes time.
First of all, I want you to love the process… if you love it, you’ll not only do it but you’ll accomplish the key to weight-loss and weight maintenance. You’ll be consistent!
Lifestyle Fitness is the Key.
So… how do we start? Well, if you’re cleared from your doctor and you’re good to go, start with lifestyle fitness.
What’s that? Think about your lifestyle. Do you always park close to your location or take a valet? Do you return the cart to the cart return at the grocery store or leave it in the parking lot? Do you walk your dog or just put them outside?
These are all opportunities to increase your fitness without ever stepping in the gym. The goal is just to move more! If you have a pedometer, this is a cost-effective tool to see if you’re being consistent and striving toward new goals. Also, if you have a smart phone, there most likely is a pedometer built in. What this tool does is count your “steps.”
You may hear that 10,000 steps is THE goal. Well, maybe an “ultimate” goal, but I recommend you monitor your steps for a week – then average them out. That is YOUR goal. So, if on average you walk 2,000 steps a day, GREAT! Your goal this week could be 2,020.
It’s about progress; you may find you walk a little more just to achieve that 20 extra step goal. That’s awesome! Roughly 2500 steps = one mile! (This number will fluctuate based on your height). One mile burns roughly 100 calories, and that adds up! Journal your steps each day with your food journal, and then you can see if you’re being consistent with your new goals of fitness.
Ideas to Increase Your Steps:
- Park one row back than normal (then next time two, three of four rows back). Slowly progress your fitness and stamina
- Return the grocery cart to the cart return…or the building!
- Parking your car…then walking to check the mail
- Walk your dog…twice!
- During commercial breaks, walk around the room and stretch
- Intentionally take multiple trips to bring the groceries in
- Don’t call a neighbor… walk over there!
- Don’t mail out Christmas cards to neighbors. Hand-deliver them!
- If you have to go to the bathroom, go to one farther away
- Take the stairs if capable rather than the elevator
- Got to a movie early? Walk around the parking lot
- Go for a walk during your 15-minute breaks at work. Two breaks a day is 30 minutes! Start a walking club!
- If you’re going to a shopping center and need to go to multiple stores, park in the middle and walk to each store
- When you get a phone call, stand up! We burn more calories standing than sitting. Better yet, get a headset and keep working, walking and moving while talking!
You can do this. Set your goal, make it realistic and be consistent. Most importantly, start small and HAVE FUN! Love the process and you’re already on your way to a healthier, happier and fitter you.
About the Author:
Kimberly Schorn, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, EP-C, EIM(2) is the owner of a Private Practice located in North Carolina, specializing in weight management. As an individual who has struggled with weight her entire life, weight management is truly a passion of hers. This passion and motivation has created Kimberly quite a following on social media and throughout the country. She provides services in-person and virtually all across the country. She is known for her infections personality and motivation. For more on Kimberly, please visit www.DefyNutritionHP.com.