You've probably heard that fitness and exercise are the keys to sustainable weight loss, and it's true! Experts agree that if you want to maintain weight loss long-term, you need to make a habit of being physically active.
And it's not just about losing weight. Regular exercise has many other benefits, including reducing your risk of chronic diseases, improving your mood, and boosting your energy levels.
So if you're looking to lose weight and keep it off, start by making fitness and exercise a regular part of your life.
What the research says about fitness and weight loss
There's a lot of research that supports this idea. A study found that adults who engaged in regular aerobic exercise lost an average of 3.5 kg over 16 weeks, while those who didn't exercise gained weight.
In another research, a group of overweight, inactive adults were assigned to different low to high intensity activity groups, including groups with no given activity, low intensity, medium intensity, and high-intensity activities. The study volunteers were required to maintain their usual diets. After six months, it was found that those who engaged in a high-intensity activity equivalent to a weekly 20-mile jog lost fat in their abdominal region. On the other hand, those assigned low to medium-intensity activity did not experience any fat loss.
The science of weight loss through exercise activity is relatively straightforward. When you exercise, your body starts to burn calories, and over time, this can help you lose weight and keep it off.
How to integrate fitness into your lifestyle
Here's the thing: you don't need to buy a gym membership or spend hours on the treadmill to see results. You can make fitness a part of your everyday life by simply integrating it into your daily routine.
Think about it: instead of taking the stairs, take the elevator, park at the back of the lot. Take a brisk walk during your lunch break. These are all simple ways to get in a little bit of exercise without having to change your entire routine.
And if you want to see results, you need to prioritize fitness. Dedicate a specific time each day (or week) to working out, and be consistent. Explore the various forms of exercise, especially strength training, as it is known to help to build muscle and a toned physique.
Tips for starting an exercise routine
So you want to start an exercise routine but don't know where to start. We hear you. Exercise can be daunting, especially if you need to get used to it.
Here are a few meaningful ways to get you started :
- Start small : A 10-minute walk is a great way to get started.
- Make a plan : Schedule your workouts like you would any other appointment.
- Find a workout buddy : Working out with a friend makes it more fun and helps keep you accountable.
- Set realistic goals : Losing weight is great, but don't allow the pressure to get to you. Try to focus on things like feeling stronger or having more energy first.