As you’re working to reach your weight lossgoal or transitioning to maintaining your healthy weight, incorporate NEAT (Non-Exercise Thermogenesis Activity) to help burn extra calories in the process. In fact, the Habits of Health Transformational System encourages you to start practicing healthy motion simply by walking.
Walking is especially powerful because it’s sustainable, safe, and accessible regardless of your fitness level or age. You don’t need any special equipment and you can do it almost anywhere—on the treadmill, at the park, or around your neighborhood.
Here are some tips to consider to take your walk to the next level, which may help bring you even closer to your fitness goals:
- Pick up the pace. Push yourself to complete your typical routine at a slightly faster pace. If it usually takes you 15 minutes to complete your routine, try to do it in 14 minutes. By making a conscious effort to pick up your pace, you’ll challenge yourself and elevate your heart rate at the same time.
- Pump your arms. Did you know you can also get an upper body workout from walking? Pump your arms up and down as you walk to build stronger muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
- Use your core. Your core muscles help you maintain good posture and resist slouching. Engage your abdomen by tightening your stomach muscles and straightening your back while you walk.
- Add some weight. There are several different ways to add weight to your walk. Try ankle or wrist weights, a backpack with weights, or weighted vest. You can also walk with dumbbells for increased muscle definition in your arms.
- Make it social. Invite a friend or family member to take a walk with you. While you’re burning calories, you’re also building and nurturing these social bonds.
Don’t underestimate the power behind a good walk! Next time you go for a stroll, consider your goals and adjust your routine to optimize your walk.
Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about other ways to enhance your healthy motion on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time.
If you are transitioning from the weight loss phase to weight maintenance, you may be thinking about increasing your healthy motion and adding exercise*. With some patience, consistency, and a little sweat, fitness will soon be a regular part of your schedule.
Remember, if you’re not ready to transition to EAT, focus on NEAT activities such as walking, taking steps, and moving to music.
Here are some tips for introducing exercise, or EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) into your routine:
- Assess your fitness level. Just like achieving a healthy weight, in order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re starting. First, consult with your healthcare provider to determine what kind of exercise is best. If you’re brand new to exercise, record how long it takes you to walk a mile and check your pulse before and after. These measurements are the benchmarks for improvement.
- Consider your goals. Are you exercising to maintain your current weight or are you preparing to run a marathon? Having clear goals will help gauge your progress and stay motivated.
- Start slowly. Since you are just introducing or reintroducing exercise into your routine, it’s very important to start slowly and to listen to your body carefully. Stop if you experience any signs of pain or discomfort and contact your healthcare provider. Incorporate rest between sessions to allow your body time to recover.
- Make it a routine. You already have your alarms set to remind you when to eat. Now, add a new alarm for your exercise routine. Try exercising around the same time every day so this repeated behavior becomes a healthy habit.
- Make it fun. The easiest way to continually exercise is to make it fun! Exercise with a friend or find activities you enjoy and add them to your routine. Try taking a new fitness class that interests you like yoga or kickboxing. Not only will you have fun, but you could make new friends in the process!
Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, for other tips to introduce EAT on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.
* Contact your healthcare provider prior to starting an exercise program.