Summer on Cape Cod can be very busy for the residents. Guests come and visit and we feel obligated to serve fancy appetizers, dinners and desserts. Why not also go out for ice cream! Cookouts, family gatherings and lots of fabulous seasonal restaurants to choose from also add to the common outcome, weight gain. Now that the fall season has arrived, our outdoor activities are dwindling and before we know it the holiday season will be upon us with new dietary challenges. It is very easy for “life” to get in the way of our attempts to lose weight.
Weight loss must be approached not by diet alone, but coupled with exercise. It has been well proven by the National Weight Loss Registry that 95% of people who successfully lose weight exercise regularly. The challenge is maintaining a fitness program. The most common barriers are; lack of time, convenience, decreased self confidence due to a history of failed attempts, finances, lack of support, and lack of motivation. The most commonly used and most socially acceptable excuse is, “I am too busy to exercise”. Individuals are moving less due to the conveniences of technology but feel busier as they try to keep up with the demands.
There are some strategies that can help. If you are:
• A “multi-tasker”; Try exercising as you catch up with the news on TV or follow-up on emails on your lap top while you stationary bike.
• “Willing to do anything BUT exercise”: If your day gets too busy and you keep choosing other projects or work rather than fitness, then consider exercising first thing in the morning before your day gets away from you.
• “Feeling exercise is TOO BORING”: Does the thought of walking/biking/swimming for 30 – 60 min. turn you off? Try to change the type of exercise you are doing every 5 – 10 minutes. If 30 minutes is too much time then divide your exercise routine into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions during the day. A fitness class also offers variety.
• “Fed up and keep giving up”: Being accountable to a workout partner, taking a scheduled class or making an appointment with a personal trainer help keep you on track. If you choose a workout partner, choose one who is more motivated than you!
“Discouraged because it takes too long to burn off a cookie”: Interval or circuit exercise is the choice for you. For example: a 150 pound person who walks 3 miles in one hour burns 270 calories but if that same person jogged for 20 min. at 8 mph they would burn 320 calories in a shorter period of time. Picking a routine that varies the intensity level in a way that you can tolerate helps burn calories faster.
Interval exercise programs are becoming a more effective way of helping people lose weight. Interval exercise is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity depending on your level of fitness. How much you pick up the pace, how often or for how long, is up to you. For example; coupling strengthening exercises with endurance exercises to help elevate the heart rate for short periods of time helps burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Changing the intensity of a regime every 1 – 3 minutes can also help the exerciser who is getting bored or frustrated from not seeing weight loss results. A personal trainer or other expert can help you time the intensity or duration of your intervals depending on the style of movement patterns that you prefer. Establishing your target heart rate is a good resource for assisting you with a base-line plan to perform a routine you can manage.
Interval classes are also available at Chatham Health and Swim Club for members and non-members. Come visit during MOTIVATING MONDAY, the first Monday of every month at 10:30 am for a FREE workshop to help you learn how to adjust your fitness routine or start one!
Workshops are instructed by Carol Penfield RN, MS, Nurse Practitioner who can address any medical concerns you may have.
Now is a perfect time to exercise and lose the weight!