Exercise is good for us. It helps us in so many ways to live a full and healthy life. Exercise doesn't have to be hard and unpleasant to be good for us. In fact, a simple brisk walk several times a week can make a huge difference to your weight loss and health.
In its most basic form, the goals of physical exercise are to increase muscular strength and endurance, improve performance and increase cardiovascular fitness. Any regular activity that contributes to these goals (as long as it's not a high risk activity) is to be recommended. An added benefit of course is that exercise helps you lose weight faster.
It is generally accepted that there are two types of exercise - strength based exercises and endurance based exercises, although many activities are a combination of both.
If you haven't done much exercise for a while, and don't have a very active job for lifestyle, then approaching an exercise program must be done with some care. We would recommend that if you have a high body fat level and/or you're over 40 years old, or have any medical conditions such as high blood pressure, you should seek advice from your doctor just to make sure there are no real risk factors. Having done this, let's get started.
Our favourite basic exercise, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced exerciser is walking. You can do it almost anywhere and it's FREE! If you're going to do a reasonable amount of walking you need to have appropriate footwear. Buy a quality pair of running shoes as they offer support, comfort and durability. Next is clothing - loose fitting natural fibre clothing such as cotton is a sensible choice. Obviously you need to dress appropriately for the weather and allow for the fact that you can get pretty warm during a brisk walk.
Start with an easy 10-20 minute walk 2-3 times a week. You may prefer to get up early in the morning, take a walk in the evening after dinner or perhaps team up with a friend or workmate for a power walk during your lunch break. Try to add a bit of variety by choosing different routes. Some people even drive to a different location such as the beach, a river or park for an interesting change of scenery. Another variation on the walking theme is to use a walking machine or treadmill. Most gyms have these and many people even have them at home.
Whatever your preference - just do it! Schedule a time and stick to it.