Here’s something pretty fun.
Pick a game this weekend that’s predicted to be close. At the opening tip-off, start a treadmill and hop on.
Take breaks whenever there’s a time out and you want a break. At halftime, lift weights. Feel free to switch machines.
By the end of a game you’ll have been happily, joyfully worn out. And if the game was exciting, you may find yourself pushing harder just to stay up.
But the amount of physical activity throughout the day had more impact. For example, a woman who didnt have a specific workout session but was active all day — such as a waitress or a mother who has young children and is always on the move — would get more exercise and burn more calories overall than a woman who had an exercise session but was otherwise inactive during the day.The findings show that its important for pregnant women to increase their overall daily levels of activity.”Maybe it means that you make a conscious effort, if you have a desk job, to get up every hour and make a loop around your building for five minutes,” Campbell said. “Or maybe you walk to work or make an effort to park farther away or take the stairs. Really just those simple little things that weve been saying all along, but instead we find so many ways to cut corners on being active.”
via Move More to Control Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Study – Pregnancy – MSN Healthy Living.
Not to downplay working out AT ALL. But — can you stay more active all day also? Check out this study to see how much difference it can make.
Thanks for the reader-submitted question: what exercise produces the most weight loss?
The exercise that helps you lose weight best is the exercise you actually do. I could say, wow, free-roping up the side of a cliff is a very fine exercise, but likely you and I do not have access to that, for many reasons, so that exercise is, for you, not good at all.
For losing weight, it really does not matter; anything that elevates your intensity level higher than it would be if you were sedentary, is calorie-burning. The total burn is a multiple of FITM — the Frequency at which you choose to exercise, at the Intensity you choose, for whatever Time you choose, in whatever Mode you do the exercise. You can find your own level of ability for a certain activity within those variables, and go for it. For some people, Time and Frequency are the main variables; they may only have 30 minutes a day, so they will have to crank up Intensity and Mode, and really move at top form for those 30 minutes. For almost everyone, Mode and Intensity are limited by their athletic realities, but they can go for longer on Time to get the same result.
That’s the weight loss answer. The heart answer is a slight refinement on that; your heart was made to be exercised by speeding up and slowing down, so when you exercise, it’s really nice to speed up to an uncomfortable pace, just for minute or so, then slow down for a couple of minutes, repeating as you go. That’s called High Intensity Interval Training, a very fancy name for making sure your activity has the normal ups and downs of the way people were built to work.
It eventually happens. Some of that precious lost weight is going to return, and you’re going to have to repeat those pounds of weight loss before you make further progress.
It’s ok. Re-losing those pounds IS progress because it helps you reflect on what happened and make sure you only fall over that same way, exactly that one time.
Do not wait till the next day. Don’t try to make up for it by eating nothing. Heroics are not required here. Just start with the very next meal, and go back to the plan you know is effective for you. Add extra minutes of exercise if you can. Learn from the past, but don’t be constrained by it.
I’m really a fan of the principle I call the Beater Bike Rule. Basically, I have a nice bike that only goes riding in places where it’s going to stay nice, and also a $25 yard sale special that’s intentionally a rain bike. When I ride it, I stop at the manual car wash and hose it down because it’s all mudded up and pretty much a mess. It saves wear and tear on the new bike and keeps it nice.
Likewise, consider having a really nice “Plan A” day planned out every day for yourself, but you’re always ready to slip into “Plan B” whenever you need to. Example: you brought your great little lunch to work but your whole team is going out to eat. It’s a nice bonding experience, so go, and eat something similar to what you were going to eat. Likewise for exercise. Have a second plan for the non-negotiable parts of your day, so you can live in reality instead of the dogma of a fixed plan.
Here’s a little dilemma. People typically follow a plan much more faithfully if the plan is not full of grace and forgiveness, but people like to live under a grace perspective more than they like to live under a law perspective, and it’s the only long-term approach we can ever hope to comply with.
As it applies to diet:
If you’ve repeatedly lost and regained weight, it may be that at least for the short term you approach your weight loss under a legal, have-to perspective. Make a very short list of what you eat, and of what you do for exercise, and go do that every day. It’s irritating, it’s very invasive of the rest of your life, and it works. Stick with some existing program that is very well explained, unless you have a great deal of spare time to customize your own plan.
Then once you have that weight loss going really well, you can move back into a life of more personal freedom and grace.