I’m betting you love-loved Natala’s article How to Work Out When You’re Overweight. It’s always refreshing to read from Natala because she has been in them thar trenches of getting going with exercise for your health. And when it’s darn hard as an overweight person to get yourself into a frame of mind about it.
Lest you think I was always slim and trim, let me set the record straight. Though I’ve been teaching and training with health and fitness for longer probably than many E2 readers have been alive, it was not without its challenges in the weight department as remember I once weight 50 lbs more than I do at this time. I remember once teaching water aerobics from the side of the pool. There I was in all my weight-problem glory. As difficult as it was, I never let it my weight get in the way of my getting out there and moving, and getting others to do the same. Sometimes it was excruciating. Just so you know, I know what that can be like. And I was the one who was supposed to have it all together and be in great shape, right? So I’ve earned the privilege to talk a little bit to the subject of exercise and overweight.
Here are 7 ways to get started with a workout
1) Start by sitting less: If you are coming from the ranks of the sedentarists, meaning you have a long history of sitting for several hours at a stretch each day, then start by building standing breaks in to your day. At your work station, computer, or wherever it is that you spend a big chunk of your time seated each day, set a timer for every 45 minutes. You can even make it a phone alarm that rings a happy, inviting tune. The first week all you have to do is stand up for a minute. Or whatever goal you set. Make it something doable and reachable, because the whole point is not only to get you off your hmmhmm but to build success. Yay!
2) Walk. One foot in front of the other, YOU set the time goal. Something achievable (see #1) but to which you can say “Hey, I can do that!”. 5 minutes, 10. If you are already doing that, make it 20, 30. If you get 5 out of 7 days accomplished in the next week you call those 5 wins success. And you can get creative and combine #1 and #2, depending on where you are in the workout continuum, as the weeks progress.
3) Breathe. Slowed, deliberate breathing builds your willpower to do things compatible with your health goals. It also builds your won’t power to NOT do things in conflict with your greater interests.It relieves stress and enhances equanimity. You can do it during your standing breaks, or your walk schedule that you are working up as in #2. Aim for 6 breaths a minute for 3 minutes.
4) Imagine. See the big picture of YOU being active, moving – healthy, vibrant, and happy. Imagine yourself doing an activity – walking, stretching, dancing, lifting. Connect with the emotion of reaching your goal. Let yourself get excited about it! It happens on the inside, then the outsides catch up.
5) Don’t wear the dumpy stuff. Ambiance is everything. Don’t wear the ragged hole-riddled t-shirt,the baggy sweats. Unless somehow they make you feel gorgeous. Your workout time is an opportunity to build your vision of vitality and a fit, healthy, beautiful body. Build your vision in as many ways as you can. Try leggings – they come in all sizes and know how to stretch, believe me I know! I personally love a good 3/4 length sleeve, I feel 10 times more elegant than in a t-shirt.
6) Bank it. Pepper in 3 – 5 minute body breaks. Research tells us that short exercise segments accumulated during the day can reap us the same rewards as ‘all at once’. And if you are one of those people who either can’t find the time for a more extended exercise session or the idea of moving for30 minutes at once sends you straight to the couch, a shift to the ‘bank it’ idea might be all you need to turn the tide for you on activity. Mix this in with the ‘sitting less’ idea in #1.
7) Moving makes the eating easier. This little motivational nugget may be all you need to get one or more of the ideas in #1 – 6 implemented. In a recent study, the subjects were asked to make only one change in their life. The researchers found that people who made this one change were also automatically eating healthier , procrastinating less, smoking less, drinking less caffeine, spending less – just about anything you can imagine. And the researchers had asked them to do only one thing.Exercise. And for some, coming from a state of being total non-exercisers, that mean one day a week.Still the carryover benefits in all other areas were observed. Physical activity changes the brain in many of the same ways as does meditation, building neural density in the areas of the brain that are important for self-control. Next time you don’t want to move, remember that moving a little helps you makes the other big changes you are implementing in your plant-strong diet doable.
To make this even more fun, we’re adding a giveaway! Share YOUR ideas for getting started on working out. Think of someone just getting started – or thinking about getting started! Perhaps that is you now,or was you at one time. When the hurdle of being active seemed just insurmountable. Enter your suggestion below and make yourself eligible for winning the entire downloadable Fit Quickie collection.
Fit Quickies are short, 5 minutes-or-under targeted body shapers that you can pepper in throughout the day or string together for a longer workout or to target specific areas. Gorgeous glutes and hamstrings,Topless Muffins, Thigh Warriors are just a few of the fun and playful names for these winners. Set to music, the downloads are video and audio, complete with transcripts. You can see the entire current FitQuickie collection on Lani’s website here: http://www.fitquickies.com
Lani Muelrath is a plant-strong fitness expert! Lani is the creator of The Body Transformation Formula and Fit Quickies™ 5 Minute Workouts. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and trainer. She has received awards for her instruction, created and starred in her own CBS TV Show, and her expertise in the area of health and fitness is called upon by examiner.com, as Fitness Expert for Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center, coach, Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Kickstart program, and Health and Fitness Lifestyle Expert for Vegan Mainstream.com. She is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University. She and her husband also built their house with their own hands!