Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weight Loss Tips #3: Adding Exercise

Adding Exercise

I wasn't going to blog about exercise quite yet, but thanks to one of my avid readers, Mike, I've decided to jump the gun! 

I truly believe that losing weight and maintaining your weight is attributed to two things, a) health eating and b) incorporating exercise in your life.  I think a lot of people hate the idea of exercise.  In the back of their mind, it's almost like going to another dreadful job.  They feel it is something they have to do, not something they want to do.  Exercise can change your life though, once you get into a routine.

Here are a few exercise tips:
  • Pick an Exercise you Enjoy: When I was starting out Number One had just started taking Taekwondo.  Miranda Grace asked me to take with her.  I didn't want to.  It was out of my comfort zone, something I thought I'd never do, but I let her pull me into a class with her.  Now, I love it and I've stuck with it for almost two years now!  Doing something you enjoy will make it easier to actually go and do it!

  • Stick to It: It takes 3 weeks to make a habit.  In the meantime, stick to the exercise because if you don't it won't become a habit.  I had weeks of dragging myself out of the house, complaining about going to exercise, not wanting to do it. Then one day, I woke up and it just clicked, I went. I never complained again.  Automaticity has a way of taking over, as humans are creatures of habit.

  • Start Out Slow: Start out slow and easy, so you don't get hurt.  If you start out slow, then you can increase your endurance, add different types of exercise, and add more hours later as your body gets more fit. 

  • Stretch: Stretching is so important, both before and after exercise.  Lack of stretching leads to injury.  I had one injury when I started out.  I tore my calf muscle, attributed to lack of stretching and stop and go exercises. I was out for almost two weeks because of this little injury.  Stretch well beforehand and you limit the possibility of injury.

  • Have an Accountability Partner: If you have someone who is encouraging you to exercise, then you are more likely to stick with it.  When I started out Miranda Grace was my accountability partner.  She would hound me if I didn't come to TKD.  She doesn't take anymore, but we still tell each other about what type of exercise we've done during the week.  Also, with TKD, I chose a sport with built in accountability. If I don't show, someone's bound to text me or call me and ask where I am.  Accountability is essential for incorporating exercise into your life...one step at a time.
Exercising allows you to consume more calories during the day.  After all, the key to weight loss is expending more calories than you've consumed.  As I mentioned in last week's post, don't eat all your extra exercise calories.  If you eat the extra calories, then you're sabotaging yourself and your new lifestyle change.  People often exercise so they can reward themselves with food, and this is the wrong mentality.  (I'm guilty of it too).  If exercise affords you 900 extra calories a day, then simply eat 300 or 400 of those calories, preferably with healthy foods: lean meats, complex carbs, fruits and veggies.  By doing this, you'll lose the weight more quickly and your body will become toned more quickly.  Also, you won't start craving those bad-for-you foods if you stay away from them or only treat yourself occasionally.  Plus, recent research shows exercise actually suppresses your appetite, but humans have made a habit out of rewarding themselves with food, even if they're not hungry.  Food for thought (pun intended). 


  1. Great tips Lauren. I love the photo! :)

  2. Thanks Mike!  Two things about this photo: This was only about 4 months after I started taking TKD and my arms are not in the correct guard position! LOL.  I need a new one, and then I'll post it!


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