overweight Recently, new studies have directly named sedentary lifestyles as a death sentence. The link between a lifetime of sitting and mortality is clearly in focus, and it’s not pretty. Obesity and resulting complications are a worldwide issue. There’s never been a better time to break free of your cubical or get off the couch. Your life may depend on it.
The CDC says that physical inactivity is the 4th leading cause of death, right up there with cancer and heart disease. The cost of dealing with obesity, and related complications like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, is unbelievable.
If you’re overweight, getting started is always the hardest part. The first few weeks are not only daunting, they can be physically difficult and leave you sore and discouraged. We often refuse to accept our own limitations. Maybe you could run a mile in a few minutes when you were young, but after a few years of inactivity, that ship has sailed. Here are a few tips to get you on your feet sensibly:
Set small, attainable goals. Start by walking around the block. That’s it. You can do that. First thing in the morning, before your shower, go for a 5 or 10 minute walk around the block. It’s the coolest part of the day and it will leave you feeling energized and alert. If you exercise in the morning, you jumpstart your metabolism for the whole day. During the day, add 5 minutes here and there. Walk around the office or go outside and walk around the building. It all adds up.
Eat more fiber. Fiber cleans out your digestive system, makes you feel lighter and less bloated, lowers your cholesterol, and helps you lose weight. The weight loss associated with upping your fiber is temporary, though. What you’re doing, essentially, is *ahem* cleaning out some excess baggage. You’ll lose a few extra pounds initially, but you’ll feel better and have more energy all the time.
Join a class or group. If the thought of exercise classes with wall-to-wall mirrors so you can see all that jiggly, spandex-clad fat makes you queasy, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are other options. I favor fun ways to get exercise. How about snorkeling lessons?
When I lived in Orlando, I had an annual pass to Seaworld. It didn’t seem like work to spend half a day walking around the exhibits and going up and down stairs. I even climbed the playground ropes with the kids in Shamu’s Playground. If you don’t happen to live in Orlando, find any local attraction or theme park and make it part of your exercise routine. I also like to go line dancing at the local country bar. I’m considering swing dance lessons at the nearest dance studio, but I would not recommend that if you’re just starting out.
Get a hobby. If you’re not quite up for intense exercise yet, consider a hobby that involves slow movement, like bird-watching or gardening. If you have a creative side, why not explore that? Build something, paint, or take up outdoor photography.
The bottom line is that exercise will save your life. It’s vitally important to get up, get out, and live better. The sooner you get started, the better your life will be.
Cindy Johnson is a 26 year old freelance writer with a passion for healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. When she’s not writing, Cindy loves to hike in the mountains of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, son, and a small assortment of dogs. Find out how fucoxanthin supplements can help you lose weight.