Losing weight always seems to be much harder than gaining it was. If you deal with certain health issues, such as PCOS or thyroid disorders, it can make weight loss even more of a struggle. Trust me, I've been in those shoes and am now on the road to living a healthier life. Just the idea of going from being near sedimentary to working out 3-5 times a week seems daunting. So where do we start when we are part of the group of people who have let our weight get so out of control that it literally hurts? Here's a short list of the best weight loss exercises to add to your routine when you are just starting off.
Hiking and Biking
Part of the key to making exercise easier is to choose activities that seem fun to you. Personally, I'm not a big fan of nature. So getting out of bed and going on a hike is not very likely to happen in my life. However, I have plenty of friends who love to hike. If you're an outdoorsy type of person, short hiking or biking trips may appeal to you. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just 10-15 minutes of this a day, 3-5 times a week is a drastic improvement from little to no activity.
I'm more of a dancing type of gal. Not only is dancing something that I think of as fun, instead of some ridiculous exercise, but I can also do it with my nieces. Since I keep them daily, I've got to be kind of creative with my workouts (except on park days -
chasing around 3 year old twins is a workout in itself). Workout DVDs, like Insanity, aren't exactly ideal to a 3 year old, trust me I've tried. If we're being honest, extreme workouts like that aren't exactly easy for a 300+ pound person, and can even be dangerous.
But when it's time for my dance workout, the twins get to have a dance party! So dancing can be a win-win if you have young children to incorporate into the workout.
Adding even the lightest type of exercise can benefit your health. Try walking for 5 minutes or more a few days a week, then gradually build up that time until you're walking 30 minutes or more each day. When you have a lot of extra weight to work with it is important to remember that walking slowly lowers the chances or causing joint damage. So there is no issue with keeping it slow and steady when starting off. It may actually benefit the health of your body in the long run. If you injure a joint or tear something, you're not able to exercise for some time, and right back at square one.
Water Aerobics and Swimming
Those who are very obese know that doing any type of activity in the water reduces the gravitational pull on our bodies, making the task at hand much easier. Whether you are walking around in the pool, playing with young ones, swimming laps, or actually taking a water aerobics class - any type of activity in the water is hands down one of the best weight loss exercises.
When you are just starting off in the world of exercise it is important to keep in mind that it isn't wise to go from being sedentary to doing hours of Crossfit training each day. Your body is not prepared for that stress and strain and you can easily injure yourself by doing too much. Start off slow, doing the exercise of your choice for 5-15 minutes a day for the first week. Then you can steadily increase the amount of time you are dedicating to exercise until you reach your goal. All exercise counts. It's okay to have 2 different 15 minute sessions until you are able to continue exercising for 30 minutes straight. Also consider doing little things to keep yourself encouraged. Only weigh yourself weekly, instead of daily, and remember to wear similar clothing and weigh yourself first thing in the morning. You may also think to keep weekly measurements to track your fat loss in inches. A lot of times the scale won't move because we are gaining muscle, but if you keep track of how many inches you've lost you will continue to see the improvements to your body. Stay encouraged, and always remember: choosing to do something is always better than continuing to do nothing.