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I get asked all the time…”what is the best exercise for weight loss?”

The question I always have for people is “what do you like to do?”

So…would you swim, if you don’t like the water? Would you run if it hurts your knees? It’s always interesting to me to see someone who chooses a form of exercise that they don’t enjoy or that is clearly hurting them because they think that’s the only way they can lose weight.

If the activity you choose makes you dread exercise or has you licking your wounds the day after, it’s going to be hard to sustain long enough to lose weight or benefit in the ways that exercise should.

Step 1: Take a look at what you are currently doing

Do you enjoy it? Does it make you feel like you accomplished something when you are finished? Is it moving you closer to your weight loss goals?

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going for a run or lifting heavy weights. Any form of movement that is more than you did the day before is going to move you closer to your goal. If you sit at a desk all day long, consider getting up every thirty minutes and walking around or stretching for 2 minutes. If you currently average 3-5K steps per day, can you increase to 6-8K?

Step 2: Find something that you enjoy

If you don’t like to do it, you won’t do it consistently , and if you can’t create a habit out of it, is it going to benefit you? Going for a run one day, then having to take 3 days off to recover, probably isn’t going to move you closer to your goals. What about walking? Sure you won’t feel like it gets your heart rate up as high, or make you sweat as much as running, but if you can get up and do it again tomorrow and maybe even go a little further, you are more likely to reach those weight loss goals over time. If you like to lift weights, but have trouble with your knees, find strength training exercises that focus on other body parts or allow you to work around your injuries.

Whatever type of physical activity you choose, it should be something that you enjoy and you look forward to doing, that way you are more likely to do it often and allow you to move toward your weight loss goals.

Just remember, the goal should be to do more than you are currently doing, find activities that you enjoy, and participate in things that don’t make you hurt so bad the next day that you can’t do anything else!

Choosing physical activities that support your goals is key to long-term weight loss. Let us help change the way you think about your health. Go to our website at at and sign up for our Health Newsletter and more ways to reach your health goals.

Meeting your weight loss goals will require some planning.

So consider this…what is measured is managed. What will you measure to help you get to your goal?

So you start on Monday…because everyone always starts on Monday. You do your initial weigh in and off you go. You cut the sugar and creamer in your coffee and you have salads for dinner. However, by Friday, the scale hasn’t moved and you are already sick of salads. You spend all weekend feeling defeated, back on the sugar and creamer, skipping those veggies, and decide to start back again on Monday. And the cycle goes on and on……..

Now what?

With nothing but the scale to measure, those goals are going to be hard to meet.

There’s no one right way, just as there’s no one right diet. Having methods other than the scale will help. Here are few other methods to consider.

Strictly using the scale can be tricky. Your body weight can change from day to day, sometimes significantly due to food, activity, water retention, stress, exercise, even how much you sweat.

When using the scale, it’s easiest to pick a few days during the week, like Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and then weigh the same time each day. It’s easiest to measure first thing in the morning, before any food or water, preferably with liNle to no clothing.

Another method is body measurements. Sometimes it’s as easy as a pair of tight pants that you want to fit back in to, or it can be choosing a few body parts that you can measure through the process.

Pick body parts that typically change when you lose weight, like the arms, thighs, waist and chest. Measure at specific intervals, like beginning, half way and the end. Choose a few articles of clothing that you want to fit back in to. Use those as an incentive to keep going.

Progress pictures can also be a great visual tool to use when other methods don’t change. What you see in the mirror may look much different in a picture and having pictures to compare through the process may help motivate you to stick with it.

Taking photos from the front, side and back, in daily/weekly/bi-weekly/or monthly intervals can help show progress that you might not be seeing on the scale. Sometimes it’s hard to see small changes when you look at yourself every day. Be sure to take pictures in the same lighting, same environment, and same/similar clothes each time.

When setting goals for weight loss, there are many tools out there to help measure progress. Whether it’s a scale, body measurements, or progress pics, all of them can be helpful in managing progress.

Figuring out how to reach your weight loss goals can be challenging.

For more helpful ways to reach your weight loss goals and change the way you think about your health, go to and sign up for our Health Newsletter.

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