Diet and Exercise. They are the inseparable twins that are seen and heard everywhere. You can't have any sort of effective weight loss or fat loss without incorporating both into your daily regimen.
This article is going to focus on the exercise aspect. We're not talking about power-lifting or marathon running, but exercise for the common man or woman.
My wife and I had joined a gym last September, but I had not stepped into the place until almost December. Why, you ask? I was afraid of the soreness and stiffness that accompanies the first several weeks of beginning an exercise regimen. Fear of pain kept me away.
Even my own disappointment at the condition of my body was not sufficient to overcome my fear of starting to exercise. After this past Thanksgiving, however, I weighed in at an all-time personal high. It was shocking, at least to the point that it inspired me to begin working out.
My fears ended up being unfounded. I faithfully take R+ Alpha Lipoic Acid (http://www.ralapure.com), which (among many other things) aids in circulation, and my muscles never really got sore at all.
I'm happy to have avoided the pain, but the whole experience got me thinking... it was fear that kept me away. What is keeping you away? For many people, fear may not be the issue. It may be that joining a gym is not convenient, too expensive, too difficult, or simply beyond their abilities.
I began to look around for recommendations of an exercise regimen that is easy enough for nearly everyone, and yet effective enough to facilitate a meaningful weight loss. Surprisingly, there is plenty of information to suggest that walking for a half an hour each day can do incredible things in a very short amount of time.
But... what if you can't string together 30 uninterrupted minutes to go for a walk? The answer is simple... buy a pedometer.
The website DiabetesInControl.com (http://www.diabetesincontrol.com) published a study that proves you can achieve significant health benefits from simply walking briskly for 10,000 steps each day.
So, what can walking do for you? More than you might imagine. Walking helps to control body weight, blood sugar and levels of cholesterol. Walking at a brisk pace can burn around 300 calories an hour.
The folks at Diabetes In Control assembled a group of diabetics to participate in the 10,000 Steps A Day program. Each one was given a pedometer and asked to work toward increasing their daily steps until they reached 10,000 per day. At the beginning, the average person was taking 3,100 steps per day, so they had to increase by a significant, but not impossible amount.
After just three months, they saw significant improvements in blood glucose, weight, body fat, cholesterol, and overall fitness. Here are some of the average results:
LDL Cholesterol went from 114 to 98
Blood Glucose went from 182 to 153
Total Cholesterol went from 191 to 159
HDL (the "good" cholesterol) went from 36 to 48
Triglycerides went from 220 to 159
Average weight loss: 4.1 pounds
The study concluded with the following comments: "Over 15 patients reduced their medications, 6 eliminated some of their medications. 3 patients were able to get off all of their medications. Most lowered their blood pressure and had more energy. The average weight loss was 4+ lbs and everyone agreed to make the program as part of their lifestyle." Wow, that's pretty amazing stuff!
If you can walk for about thirty minutes at a good pace, you'll find you are at or near the 10,000 step goal. If you can't afford thirty straight minutes, here are some ways to increase your steps each day.
1. Park at the back of the parking lot. You'll spend less time looking for the "right spot" and avoid door dings too!
2. Avoid the elevator and escalator. Stairs are usually an option, so take them instead.
3. Shop alphabetically. Don't loop through the aisles, checking things off your list as you go. Alphabetize your items and go from point to point.
4. Get a post office box near your home. Walk to retrieve your mail each day. Walk your outgoing mail to a community mailbox, post office or mailing center.
Most importantly, though, get yourself a pedometer and begin to keep track of your steps. See if you can't get yourself up to 10,000 steps a day. You'll appreciate the results if you do!
Michael Callen is the author of the Weekly Weightloss Tips Newsletter (http://www.ccwebgroup.com/tips) and the Chief Technology Officer for http://www.WellnessPartners.com, an online retailer of dozens of health and wellness products.