Last week, Chrissy wrote a great blog about the importance of goal setting, how to most efficiently set goals, and she even provided you with some examples of goal setting. Do you want to guess what the most common outcome goal is? If you guessed weight loss, you’re right! So, this week’s blog posts will discuss some ideas for setting behavioral goals in order to lose weight in a healthy, realistic fashion.
Although I’m most likely telling you something you’ve already heard, the key to successful weight loss is long term behavior change, particularly in regards to your physical activity and nutrition. Easy to say, hard to do, especially when there are so many false claims in the media, promising the next quick fix to weight loss.
I have another question for you. Do you know what the number 1 predictor of weight maintenance is (losing weight and keep the weight off)? The answer: exercise and physical activity. What this means is that adults who alter their diet (slight caloric restriction) AND are physically active will be significantly more successful in maintaining their weight loss than those who try to lose weight by cutting their calories without adding any physical activity. So what’s the moral of the story? In order to successfully lose weight and more importantly, to keep it off, physical activity MUST be a part of your lifestyle. Here’s the good news though: physical activity and exercise can (and absolutely should) be fun! Below are three helpful tips on how to actually enjoy the time you spend being physically active and exercising:
- Find an accountability buddy. Research shows that people who have a friend or loved one to exercise with are more likely to continue exercising. I have been active my entire life, and I can honestly say that the last year of my life has been the most fun I’ve ever had while exercising. Why? Because I found my exercise “soulmate”: Chrissy Schaefer (fellow blogger and Smart Fit Chicks co-founder). If you don’t have a workout buddy, don’t let this discourage you, as there are plenty more ways to enjoy being active. Plus, if accountability is your worry, try journaling your workouts. You’d be surprised how rewarding journaling your workouts can be, as it allows you to visually see your progress week to week and also gives you something you look forward to doing (e.g. if I workout today, I’ll get to write that in my journal).
- Try something new. I was just listening to someone complain that the reason they no longer exercise is because step aerobics is not popular anymore. I have two comments for this: 1) Step aerobics still does exist! In fact, at every club I’ve ever worked at, this class format is extremely popular (for good reason, it’s fun and you should try it 🙂 and 2) Why not try something new? There are so many fun group fitness classes available now and days (Zumba, Cycle, Bootcamp, Strength, Pilates, Yoga, etc.). If you are taking a new class, make sure to show up about 10 minutes early. That way, the group fitness instructor can help you get the proper equipment and answer any questions you have prior to class starting. Other great ways to ease any nerves you may have regarding taking a new class: look up the class format on the internet prior to taking the class (so that you can see what the class looks like) and/or ask around about the quality of the instructor/class. My advice, be open and try multiple different group fitness classes. You may just surprise yourself!
- Resistance Train. Ladies I’m speaking to you in particular-you have to lift weights to lose weight! Yep- I just said that. Resistance training is so imperative to losing weight that I’m going to post an entirely separate blog later this week describing the how and the why. Simply put, lifting weights won’t make you bulky, but rather, will increase your metabolism. This will help you burn more calories while you sit at work all day and will also make your body more, as I’d like to call it, “aesthetically pleasing” (aka: swim suit ready). Although I don’t want to bore you with all of the health benefits of being active, below is a short list:
- Decreased risk of disease (Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
- Improved sex life (enough said :))
- Longer and better sleep
- More energy
- Improved cognitive and mental state (so helpful when you’re juggling your busy schedule)
- Improved sex life-oops, did I already include this?
- Etc. This list could go on an on because physical activity is the “miracle drug” we’ve all been looking. It just helps with everything!
So you may be thinking, wait Kellie, what about nutrition? You’re right-nutrition plays a large (very large, in fact) role in weight loss. The purpose of today’s blog is to address the physical activity portion of weight loss, but you better believe we’ll be writing about the nutrition component soon, (and on many occasions, given the complexity of nutrition). In the meantime, what questions do you have regarding nutrition?
Remember, the Smart Fit Chicks foundation is built by our followers (aka, we want to write about things that interest you), so interact with us. Post questions, comments, and share with friends. What is your favorite way to get your exercise? Have you ever tried having an accountability buddy? If so, what worked well? What didn’t work well? What do you still struggle with? We want to build a culture of trust, education, and passion and we’d love for you to be a part of that! Make sure to subscribe to our blog so that you can be included on the most up to date fitness and wellness information, including my post later this week.