*Remember to consult a medical professional before launching a health or fitness program. The strategies below are what works for me but always follow your best judgment. : )
For the conclusion of our 3 part series, we're going to look at some fitness strategies that help us to maintain our weight.
1. Do something that you enjoy. Find an exercise that you like and aim to practice it at least 3 times a week.
2. Or do something that you don't enjoy...at least not now. If you're someone who disdains the thought of exercise, then it'll probably be hard for you to find something that you like right away. In the meantime, try something that is manageable for you and that also gives you results. You may learn to like the particular exercise and appreciate its positive effect on your overall health.
3. Add exercise to your day. I remember one former co-worker who would walk to a person's desk instead of relying on e-mail or the phone to contact a person. Find a way such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking during your breaks to increase the amount of exercise that you do.
4. Up the intensity or duration. If you've diligently been going to the gym, yet your weight hasn't changed then make some adjustments. You can change the amount or quality of the foods that you've been eating. And you can also change the intensity or duration of your exercise routine.
5. Exercise twice a day. I use this strategy when my weight has increased and I'm annoyed by it! : ) I do my usual morning routine but I also do something brief in the evening such as an 8-minute routine I got from Gayelord Hauser or I just "dance" for 5 or 10 minutes. (Please note I'm being very generous with what I call "dancing.") I usually drop this strategy once my weight has stabilized.
6. Learn a new exercise. You can find new ways to strengthen a certain body part or of upgrading an old routine.
7. Compound movements. Work your shoulder muscles while you're doing squats. Work your pecs while you're doing calf lifts. I'm fond of compound exercise to get twice as much from my workout and to also decrease on my workout time.
8. Use weights. I have 2lb weights which I got from Target a few New Years' ago that I use at home. When I finally visit the gym, I use heavier weights. You can, of course, use more weights to strengthen your body. Unfortunately, some women still seem to shy away from weights because they think they'll bulk up which rarely is the case. With muscles, your physique and metabolism are enhanced. Moreover, if you do feel that you're bulking up, decrease the weight or the repetitions.
9. Stretch. You can spend 5 or 10 minutes stretching your body as a way to prepare for the before and after of a workout. Remember to hold the stretch.
10. Be patient and consistent. With fitness as with the other topics covered in this series, consistency is crucial. Sure you can hit the gym 5 times a week for 80 minutes but expect it to take time to see the results. You have to be patient and consistent. It could take 3-6 weeks for you to see results. Additionally, if you stop with your usual routine, whether it's yoga or strength training, you'll lose the calm or muscles that you gained.
11. The Scale. Remember muscle weighs more than fat, so you could be doing everything right yet not see a change in your overall weight. While the scale is useful, don't let it be the sole judge of how fit you are. Consider how your clothes fit, your overall mood and energy level before you let the scale determine how your state of health.