Exercise Your Way to Maintenance
Last updated: March 2022
So you’ve lost the excess weight, now it’s time to maintain! Did you know that consistent exercise is one of the most important parts of weight maintenance? The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which includes weight-loss data from over 4,000 individuals, identified exercise as an integral part of successful long-term weight maintenance regimes.1 Once a person is able to maintain the weight loss for 2-5 years, they are significantly more likely to maintain their new weight for the long-term.
Since maintaining your initial weight loss during the first few years is so critical for long-term success, you’ll be much better off by making permanent lifestyle changes, rather than trying extreme exercise regimes that you will only be able to stick to for a short period of time. You don’t want to lose the weight only to gain it back - you want to maintain the weight loss by sustaining new healthy habits! Here are some easy ways to add more movement to your life to help maintain your weight loss!
Plug some walking time into your daily routine:
It’s easy to remain sedative in today’s world. Between driving to work, sitting through meetings, and replying to emails, you can find yourself sitting for hours on end! Here are some easy ways to bring more movement into your daily activities.
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to get up from your desk to walk around for 5 minutes every 2 hours.
- Have a walking meeting with a friend or coworker. Rather than catching up over coffee, take a walk around the neighborhood together. Bring water bottles to stay hydrated, and use them as weights while you’re walking and talking!
- Walk for 10 minutes after eating lunch. This simple daily act can go a long way in helping to manage your blood sugar because it will get you in the habit of moving more. After a heavy meal, our blood sugars tend to rise higher than desired. Walking can help bring it back down to a normal range. You’ll feel more energetic and ready to conquer the rest of your day.
- Physically visit a store to shop when you can, instead of shopping online. It’s so easy to click “order” online, but by shopping in-person, you can easily add a few minutes of walking to your day. It all adds up! Do you live within walking distance of a grocery or drug store? When time permits, make it a habit to walk to the store to restock your staples.
- Head to the water fountain, restroom, or copy machine that is further away from your desk. Try using the restroom on the floor above you to add an extra flight of stairs to your day. If it’s less than or equal to 5 flights –make it a rule to always take the stairs.
- Stay active while watching TV. Rather than sitting on the couch to catch up on your favorite series, try adding some activity! Walk on an incline on your treadmill, ride a stationary bike, or cruise on the elliptical for the duration of your favorite show. It makes the time fly. Make sure to vary workouts to use different muscle groups and avoid an exercise rut!
Add Activity to Your Stationary Activities
Little movements can really add up throughout the day! Try these fun activities to boost your calorie burn.
- Doing the dishes? Do some lower body exercises! Do some squats while you’re washing, tighten your stomach muscles and buttocks, or try leg lifts while you’re drying. You can even add movements to loading the dishwasher! Each time you load a dish, do a jump squat- squat low to the ground then jump and raise your arms up to the sky in one explosive movement.
- On a quick grocery shopping trip? Use a hand basket instead of a cart to give your arms an extra work out.
- Playing with the kids on the ground? Get a good stretch in while playing to maintain your flexibility.
You get the point. These ideas don’t disrupt your current routine/lifestyle; they simply boost your activity level just by doing your daily chores differently! So ditch the idea that fitness has to be difficult or laborious. Use these lifestyle fitness ideas to make physical activity a part of your every day routine. It’s the secret to long-term weight maintenance!
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