Happy New Year! January is a time to reflect on where you are in your life and what changes or accomplishments you want to achieve over the next year. The most common New Year’s resolution is, “I want to lose weight this year”. According to a study in the medical journal Science, the average adult gains about 2 pounds per year or roughly 20 pounds over a decade. Twenty pounds per decade is a huge change on your body. But what does “losing weight” really mean? In order to lose weight in a healthy fashion you have to change your lifestyle and for most of us, you have to fix your metabolism!
There are endless diets out there, some good and bad, some geared for long term or short term weight loss. Changing your eating habits will help you to lose weight but without fixing your metabolism most people cannot keep the weight off permanently. So how do you fix your metabolism? Physical activity or exercise is the best way to change your metabolism.
Regular physical activity means that you must be active every day. In order to promote weight loss, you need to perform physical activity for 35-70 minutes daily. This may bring up concerns such as: When are you going to have time to exercise? How are you going to be able to exercise everyday for 70 minutes without being bored? Or worse, without being in pain?!
First, prioritize physical activity into your day. We all can find ways to not have time to exercise or fill up our calendars with other activities but that won’t help you achieve your goals. Exercise should be at the top of your To-Do list every day. You need to make time for exercise and skip out on or reschedule something that may not be as important to your health.
Second, exercise in a way that doesn’t hurt. No matter what your ailment or how out of shape, there is something you can do without pain. Our bodies were designed for movement, not sitting. We internally crave movement to increase blood flow, strengthen and stretch muscles, even help with digestion. If you can’t move because of an injury or ailment seek help with physical therapy. Physical therapists are the experts in movement. We are here to help you recover from injury but to also show you a variety of ways to exercise even when you have injuries. Don’t give up- your body has the potential to change, heal and become better daily!
Remember that you don’t have to exercise all at once. It is okay to exercise for 15 or 20 minutes in the morning and then again later in the day. Ease into your new exercise program, your body needs time to adjust to the new activity and to get stronger. Don’t do too much too soon. If you have questions on physical activity seek out help from physical therapists or personal trainers to get you moving toward your goals for 2015!