Obesity is not a physical challenge but a mental one. Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that causes health risks. Being overweight affects not just how you look, but also your quality of life. It is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. Often it severely damages a person’s social life and leads to social isolation. And yet, the number of people categorised as obese is increasing around the globe.
The important question is ‘How do you lose the weight and keep it off?’. The media has flooded us with quick and easy weight loss programs, many of which do not work. A good weight loss program that helps to lose weight and to keep it off, would most likely involve significant lifestyle and diet changes.
Exercise and dieting, both contribute to weight loss. Diet alone might help you drop weight, but you’ll have trouble keeping it off if you don’t exercise. To lose weight, you have burn more calories than you take in. Research shows that doing regular physical activity is the only way to maintain weight loss. Moreover exercise decreases stress, prevents disease, and makes you feel better.
It can sometimes be difficult to set aside a fixed amount of time for a structured exercise routine. The easiest way to get around this is to connect your physical activity with your daily routine. Walking to and from work, cleaning the house, gardening, climbing stairs; all these can be counted as exercise. However by doing them you need to get your heart pumping and your body must break a sweat. You can do anything that makes your heart and lungs work harder.
It’s normal to feel tired and drained after a long day of work at office. Though it might seem impossible to exercise at that point, physical activity can actually relieve your tiredness and make you feel more energetic. In course of time it will increase your stamina and reduce your lethargy. The key is to start slow and build up gradually.
Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day. Just start with a few minutes of exercise at a time. Slowly it can help you become active. Once you are used to it, you can increase the period of activity and do more strenuous works. The centres for disease control and prevention recommends that an adult should do moderate aerobic activity at least 2 hour 30 minutes in a week.This include brisk walking, swimming or elliptical machine. Alternately one should also try vigorous aerobic activity like running and cycling around 1 hour 15 minutes a week. This should be spread throughout a week. In addition to this strength training exercise is also recommended.
The exercise options are unlimited. You can swim, run, cycle, dance, skate, hike, walk and even play your favourite sport. Losing weight by engaging in such interesting activities would make it enjoyable. There are also programs like yoga, karate, kayaking etc., that are worth exploring.
The most ideal and widely accepted exercise is walking. The main advantage of walking is that it can be done anywhere at any time. You can walk around in your neighbourhood, in a shopping mall, during vacation or even during your lunch break. All you require is a pair of comfortable shoes. For people with certain health issues, including obesity and heart disease, walking is the most effective, low-intensity weight-loss activity that helps them build overall health, as well as better mental wellbeing. You have to warm up slowly and later try walking at a pace that challenges you. This surely will help. Walking can raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It can reduce blood pressure and your risk for type 2 diabetes as well as act as a natural mood elevator.
If walking is not your cup of tea then there are plenty of other options. But make sure that you begin slowly. Beginning a physical activity too quickly increases the chances of physical injury. So it is always advised to build fitness gradually. This will help you make exercise a lifelong habit rather than a fleeting experiment.
The more you exercise, the more calories you burn, and the less you’ll have to reduce your food intake. Strength training can also help to lose weight. As muscle mass increases calorie burning metabolism also increases. Which means, by replacing fat with muscles our body can torch calories at a faster rate.
Thus the health benefits of regular exercise are hard to ignore. It can help you prevent excess weight. It also cuts the risk of heart disease and diabetes, improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promotes better sleep, and builds healthy bones, muscles and joints. Let exercise serve as a fuel to your body, mind and soul.