THE GYM. Did the word make you shudder? In all reality, the
gym can be a scary and intimidating place. Gym membership advertisements sell
us these glamorous images of thin, fit people working out with smiles on their
faces, and not a single bead of sweat on their brows. Clearly working out is
easy and fun, right? Well… not necessarily…
For many average Americans, losing weight is something that
just does not seem that simple. And while it’s obvious to most that exercise is
a vital component of losing weight, where and how to start can be questions
that many overweight and obese people just aren’t sure how to answer.
In a study by the Center for Disease Control in 2012, more
than two thirds (69 percent) of adults are overweight or obese and more than
one third (35 percent) are obese. And while the American Heart
Association advises at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity for most
or all days of the week, 80
percent of American adults do not get the weekly recommended amounts of
physical activity. Moreover, a study last year linked physical inactivity to more
than 5 million deaths worldwide per year, more than those caused by smoking.
Starting an exercise program or a gym membership can be
tough, especially when considering some of the real (or perceived) barriers to
physical activity that many people face. In a survey conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology
Information, respondents reported barriers to exercising such as being too fat,
being too shy or embarrassed to exercise; being too lazy or not
motivated; having an injury or disability (males only); and being not the
sporty type (females only). And when we look at those upbeat gym commercials,
it feels easy to say, “I can’t do that.”
But actually… YOU CAN. And there is ONE important step that
can get you on the path to a healthier you!
THE FIRST STEP
Exercising requires hard work and commitment, and it can
even be dangerous for those who are severely overweight or obese and more
susceptible to suffering injuries, as activities they participate in have the
potential to place a significant amount of stress on their ankles, knees, hips
and lower back. But with the will to make a change, you can choose wellness and
life, and it can be as easy as that first step. And your first step does NOT
need to be in a gym.
If you are committed to making a healthy change in your life
and losing some weight, start by focusing on low impact activities. Thirty minutes
a day is all you need, and you can even split up that 30 minutes into several
smaller sessions, such as 10 minutes of brisk activity in the morning, during
lunch, and after work.
Try to make your first step a nice walk. Throw on your
headphones and take a walk around your neighborhood. Or for added cardio and
strength, walk up and down a flight of stairs for ten minutes, and you’ll be
guaranteed to feel the burn. Don’t forget to stretch! Warming up your muscles,
especially when you are a beginner to exercising, can help you avoid injury.
Most importantly—DON’T GIVE UP. Taking that first step can
be hard. Taking the next step and then the next can seem even harder. But the
more steps you take, the easier it will become. And before you know it, a new
you will be staring back at you in the mirror, and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t
For some inspiration in getting your weight loss journey
started, check out these video testimonials from people like Jim Carpenter, who lost
more than 290 pounds and just participated in his first 5k walk, or Bill DiNicola, who was
excited to ride a roller coaster for the first time in 15 years after losing an
astonishing 226 pounds.
If you are really concerned about your weight and want to
also get your diet on track, consider seeing a doctor, dietician, or
nutritionist who can provide even more comprehensive, personal, and specialized
advice on how to lose weight safely. Find a clinic with a weight loss
So are you ready to get started? What change are you going
to make to your routine TODAY to be more active? Let us know how your first
step went and keep us posted on your progress by commenting below.
Sources: CBS News,
Center for Disease Control, The National Center for Biotechnology
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation