To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. To maintain your weight, you have to maintain the proper balance of calories you consume and calories you burn.
Exercise is a huge part of that process.
But, it's more than that. Much more. My exercise routine has been significant in my sobriety and freedom from nicotine. It's been the best mental health medicine I've found.When I'm desperately gasping for air, I'm living in the moment and just about all of those things I'm worrying about don't seem nearly so significant as they did before pulling on my running shoes. When I'm done, my body's relaxed and my mind is clear.
Running is my thing, so that’s what I talk about here. Running may not be your thing. Whatever you do, if you want exercise to melt fat and keep it off and improve your physical and mental health, you need to sweat. You need to get your heart going fast. Gardening’s great. It distracts your mind from your troubles. Your muscles may hurt when you’re done. All that’s good, and you should keep doing it, but listen to this: you’re not doing much to burn calories. You’re not doing much to lose weight.
The best exercise regime for losing weight is a mixture of cardio and resistance training. Cardio includes running, jogging, swimming, and walking fast enough to get the heart rate up. The goal is to work hard enough to burn calories at a high rate. The harder you work, the more you burn. Strength training includes weightlifting, hydraulic/elastic resistance, and isometrics like push-ups and sit-ups. The goal is to work hard enough to build muscle. Muscles burn calories when they’re just sitting around, so the more you have, the more calories you burn.
Over the years, I discovered some things I had to do to keep on exercising. Once, again, I’m calling these rules. They’re not optional for me. For more on these, read my blog here.
My Rules for Exercise
Rule One: Work hard, but not too hard.
Rule Two: Don’t let pain defeat you.
Rule Three: Make no exceptions.
Rule Four: Measure, Measure, Measure!
Rule Five: Whatever you do, get going.