When it comes to losing weight, calories are king. It doesn’t matter what you eat. If you consume less energy than you expend, you will lose weight. John Cisna, a high school biology teacher from Ankeny, Iowa, told KCCI that he ate nothing but McDonald’s for three months and lost 37lbs. Surprisingly, his cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170. His golden rule? Consume fewer than 2,000 calories per day. Only cutting calories has down downsides too, though. It’s hard to shift those pounds without exercise and Cisna admits that he started walking for 45 minutes per day during his experiment. Here are five tips for getting active in Connecticut.
#1. Determine Your Physical Activity Goal
Do you want to get started, do more or learn about muscle strengthening activities? If you don’t set goals, it is easy to lose focus and struggle to maintain motivation. Your chosen goal will determine which types of exercise you need. We will deal with each goal separately.
#2. Best For Those Just Getting Started
If you are just starting out, you need to pick an activity that you enjoy and one that will fit into your lifestyle. For most people that means walking. It sounds odd but walking burns the same number of calories as running over the same distance. The catch is that it takes you far longer to walk than run so running will burn more calories in a certain timeframe. Start with 10-minute chunks of time, a couple of days per week. Try to build up your exercise periods until you can walk for 45 minutes like John Cisna.
#3. Best For Those Who Want To Do More
If you want to do more, the perfect way to become more active is to consider how active you are on most weeks.
• If you already do some physical activity each week, try going longer by walking for 50 minutes, three times per week. You can begin doing more by being active for longer each time.
• If you are already active for over two hours per week and can do activities that make you breathe harder such as running, begin by building up the time you spend being active. You can then switch to being active more often and switch to activities that require more effort. For example, if you can walk for 50 minutes three times per week, try jogging for part of that time. Build up your endurance until you can jog for 50 minutes, three times per week.
#4. Best For Those Who Want To Learn About Muscle Strengthening Activities
If you are currently inactive, simple muscle building activities such as push-ups will help you build upper-body strength. You should aim to do these activities at least twice per week.
#5. Make It Fun!
Research by the U.S. Department of Human Health Services indicates that people are far more likely to stick with their goals of becoming more active if they involve their partner or a friend and keep it fun. According to one of the leading fitness centers in Norwalk, even strenuous activities such as boxing or mixed martial arts can be offered to beginners through safe, fun courses that help people become more active.