Beyond starving yourself (not recommended), there are no instant weight loss solutions. The bottom line is calories out need to exceed calories in. The “calories in” part (your diet) is subject for another blog post, but today we will talk about easy at-home exercises.
When we ask patients how much they exercise, they say things like “does going out to get the paper count as exercise?” or “I don’t exercise but I never sit down, so I’m really active.” While leading an active life is helpful, it generally is not enough to burn the extra calories you need to lose weight. Pedometers such as Fit Bit (or many less expensive versions) are a great way to track and then increase your daily activity level. However, some dedicated structured exercise program is also essential to everyone’s health (even if you are not aiming for weight loss).
If you have not found a form of exercise you love, then this is depressing news. But don’t get down just yet – there is good news here too! Exercising to lose weight is not as bad as it sounds. In fact, there are some simple at home exercise methods that will, in fact, help you burn those calories. That is the big lesson here: you do not need an expensive gym membership and a two hour a day commitment to fulfill an exercise requirement.
I will give you a few simple suggestions on things you can do in your own time and space to exercise at home.
First, start small. Any structured at home exercise is better than none. Even ten minutes a day is enough to make a difference. Once you start building up stamina, both mentally and physically, your body will naturally want to do more. Yes, you heard it – you will actually want to exercise more. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps here. I recommend starting with a simple (yet challenging) at home exercise routine such as the New York Times 7 minute work-out. This is a wonderful, efficient way to get a whole body workout in just seven minutes. It is a carefully designed series of 12 different at home exercises, each of which you do for 30 seconds. We can all try anything for 30 seconds at a time. It doesn’t get less intimidating than that. If you get good at it (which will take time — this is not an easy seven minutes) you can increase the length of time you do each at home exercise or you can repeat the entire workout to increase your exercise time.
Another easy at home exercise technique is as simple as climbing your stairs. That’s right . . . up and down the stairs a few times and you will get your heart rate up. Have a basement? Then do two flights. Mix in a few rounds of jumping jacks if you get tired of up and down the steps.
Of course, you can walk or run outside, but this is not an option for many of us during difficult winter months. Once the snow and ice melt though – the outdoors beckons. Take advantage by getting into a regular walking routine. Again, start low and go slow. Even better, enlist a friend with whom you meet regularly to walk. You are much less likely to miss a day. Increase your heart rate even more by wearing one pound wrist weights while you walk. This will not only give you more upper body strength and that important weight bearing exercise to build stronger bones, but it will burn significantly more calories by making your walk more aerobic.
The 7 minute work-out, vigorous walking or running, and doing the stairs are all great forms of cardio exercise and calorie burners.
Yoga is another thing you can try for at home exercise.
Yoga at home is a wonderful way to get fit. Many cable providers have on-demand yoga listed under sports and fitness. You can also find online yoga classes such as Doyogawithme.com or myfreeyoga.com. These usually feature many beginner level classes. Yoga is a wonderful combination of stretching, strengthening and movements that will, depending on the particular class, raise your heart rate to help burn calories and build core strength that will boost your metabolism. This in turn will help you in your efforts to lose weight.
You can do any combination of the above, keeping in mind your long term goal of some kind of structured exercise for 30-40 minutes most days of the week. This will not happen overnight, but it will happen if you put your mind to it.
What vitamins can help with weight loss?
In the context of at home exercise, vitamins can play a crucial role in giving your body the tools it needs to optimally exercise. Your muscles need the correct electrolytes and nutrients to work their best. Vitamins for energy and exercise include B vitamins, Magnesium, potassium and sodium chloride, among others. Each person’s needs vary depending on their individual lifestyle and diet (take our survey at Find Your Vous® to obtain your ideal combination). Also, each person’s needs vary from day to day. On a day you are planning an at home exercise, you may want to Power Up™ with an extra dose of essential vitamins and electrolytes that help power your workout.
As you embark on your weight loss program, do not be afraid to exercise. No effort is too small! Not only is exercise a crucial component to losing weight quickly, it is also a wonderful treatment for high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low bone density (osteoporosis).
Arielle Levitan is a doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three active adolescents. Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three elementary age boys. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that women, in their many roles, often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each woman is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide women everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.