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Active at Any Size Day 3: Get Started

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

 

How do I get started?

◆Start slowly. Your body needs time to get used to your new activity.

◆Warm up. Warm-ups get your body ready for action. Shrug your shoulders, tap your toes, swing your arms, or march in place. Walk more slowly for the first few minutes.

◆Cool down. Slow down little by little. If you have been walking fast, walk slowly for a few minutes to cool down. Cooling down may protect your heart, relax your muscles, and keep you from getting hurt.

Appreciate yourself!

If you cannot do an activity, do not be hard on yourself. Feel good about what you can do. Be proud of pushing yourself up out of a chair or walking a short distance.

Pat yourself on the back for trying even if you cannot do it the first time. It may be easier the next time!

How do I continue to be active?

TO maintain your active lifestyle, try these suggestions:

◆Pledge to be active. Making a commitment to yourself to be active may help you stay motivated, stay on track, and reach your goals. Consider using the activity pledge at the end of this booklet to help you start and continue to be active.

◆Set goals. Set short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal may be to walk 5 to 10 minutes, 5 days a week. It may not seem like a lot, but any activity is better than none. A long-term goal may be to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity at a moderate-intensity level (one that makes you breathe harder but does not overwork or overheat you) on most days of the week. You can break up your physical activity in shorter segments of 10 minutes or more.

◆Set rewards. Whether your goal was to be active for 15 minutes a day, to walk farther than you did last week, or simply to stay positive, you deserve recognition for your efforts. Some ideas for rewards include a new CD to motivate you, new walking shoes, or a new outfit.

◆Get support. Get a family member or friend to be physically active with you. It may be more fun, and your buddy can cheer you on and help you stick with it.

◆Track progress. Keep a journal of your physical activity. You may not feel like you are making progress but when you look back at where you started, you may be pleasantly surprised! You can make copies of the blank journal at the end of this booklet to keep track of your efforts.

 

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Active at Any Size Day 2: Barriers to being active

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

 

How do I get started?

TO start being more active, try these tips:

◆Think about your barriers to being active. Then try to come up with creative ways to solve them. The following examples may help you overcome barriers.

1. Barrier: I don’t have enough time!

Solution: Be active for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. Sit less. Try to walk more while doing your errands, or schedule lunchtime workouts to boost your overall activity. Plan ahead and be creative!

2. Barrier: I feel self-conscious when I’m active.

Solution: Be active at home while doing household chores, and find ways to move more during your day-to-day activities. Try walking with a group of friends with whom you feel comfortable.

3. Barrier: I’m worried about my health or injury.

Solution: You might feel better if you talk to a health care professional first. Find a fitness provider to guide you, or sign up for a class so you feel safe. Remember that activity does not have to be difficult! Gentle activity is good too.

4. Barrier: I just don’t like exercise.

Solution: Good news—you do not have to run or do push-ups to get the benefits of being physically active. Try dancing to the radio, walking outdoors, or being active with friends to spice things up.

5. Barrier: I can’t stay motivated!

Solution: Try to add variety to your activities and ask your friends to help you stay focused on being active. Consider an activity video for extra encouragement. Also, set realistic goals, track your progress, and be sure to celebrate your achievements!

 

Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths: Day 10

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

 

Myth: Lifting weights is not good to do if you want to lose weight, because it will make you “bulk up.”
Fact: Lifting weights or doing strengthening activities like push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can actually help you maintain or lose weight. These activities can help you build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than body fat. So if you have more muscle, you burn more calories—even sitting still. Doing strengthening activities 2 or 3 days a week will not “bulk you up.” Only intense strength training, combined with a certain genetic background, can build very large muscles.

Tip: In addition to doing moderate-intensity physical activity (like walking 2 miles in 30 minutes) on most days of the week, try to do strengthening activities 2 to 3 days a week. You can lift weights, use large rubber bands (resistance bands), do push-ups or sit-ups, or do household or garden tasks that make you lift or dig. Strength training helps keep your bones strong while building muscle, which can help burn calories.

 

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