Spring is here, along with the urgency to clean our closets, weed our yards, and pack away our winter clothing.
Through the shedding of layers of winter wear, we face the world with the reality of how much, or how little we’ve exercised the past few months.
If you’re like most people, you can probably pinpoint exactly when you dropped the diet and exercise program. And right about now, you’re probably regretting some of the choices you made.
It’s easy to backslide in the winter months, and it’s amazing how many things interfere with our good intentions. Well, don’t worry, the good news is that you can always begin again, so don’t give up. You can start today by creating your spring training plan. It should to consist of a good diet strategy, a weight-training program, and aerobic exercise activities.
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX DIET THAT WORKS IN THE LONG RUN. YOU NEED TO BOTH CUT YOUR CALORIES AND INCREASE YOUR EXERCISE IF YOU TRULY WANT TO GET THAT WEIGHT OFF. IT’S A SLOW PROCESS, BUT IT WORKS.
To take off one pound per week, you need to create a “caloric deficit” of 500 calories per day. (One pound of body fat equals about 3,500 calories.) You can do this by reducing calories, or exercising more, or ideally, by a healthy combination of both.
Try eating 250 calories less per day and exercising enough to burn 250 calories— like walking about 2.5 miles each day.
The easiest way to cut back on calories is to watch your portion sizes. Survey your diet and look for places to make cuts. Try not to eat foods that are processed. Instead, whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, and reduced fat meats/protein are best.
WEIGHT TRAINING PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN GETTING RID OF EXTRA WEIGHT. AEROBIC EXERCISE BURNS CALORIES, BUT THE BODY’S METABOLISM QUICKLY RETURNS TO PRE-EXERCISE LEVELS, USUALLY WITHIN 30 MINUTES OR SO. WEIGHT TRAINING, ACCORDING TO THE RESEARCHERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, LEADS TO INCREASED CALORIE BURNING FOR UP TO TWO HOURS AFTER THE WORKOUT IS OVER.WEIGHT TRAINING SHOULD BE PERFORMED 2 TO 3 TIMES PER WEEK. DO 2-3 SETS OF 8-12 REPETITIONS FOR THE MAJOR MUSCLES IN YOUR BODY, (I.E. CHEST, BACK, ABDOMINAL, LEGS, SHOULDERS, AND ARMS).
TO IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS AND TO DECREASE BODY FAT OR MAINTAIN BODY FAT AT OPTIMUM LEVELS, YOU SHOULD EXERCISE (CARDIOVASCULAR) AT LEAST THREE DAYS A WEEK, AND IDEALLY 30 MINUTES DAILY.
THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE RECOMMENDS THREE TO FIVE DAYS A WEEK FOR MOST CARDIOVASCULAR PROGRAMS.
¨ YOU MUST WANT IT BAD ENOUGH!
¨ DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF WHEN YOU HAVE “OFF” DAYS.
¨ BE PATIENT!
¨ SET REALISTIC GOALS FOR YOURSELF AND WRITE THEM DOWN. TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND REALLY THINK ABOUT THEM. WRITE YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL DOWN LAST, AND BE SPECIFIC. THERE IS NO GREATER MOTIVATION THAN SEEING YOUR GOALS FULFILLED BEFORE YOUR EYES!
¨ THE FIRST 3 WEEKS ARE THE HARDEST.
¨ LISTEN TO MOTIVATING MUSIC WHILE EXERCISING.
¨ DOCUMENT YOUR PROGRESS, DIET, AND EXERCISE.
REMEMBER THIS WHILE YOU ARE PLANNING. RESEARCHERS SUGGEST THAT IT TAKES 21 DAYS TO DEVELOP A NEW HABIT, AND THIS, MORE THAN ANY AMOUNT OF WEIGHT LOSS, IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DEVELOP.
MAKING DIET AND EXERCISE A HABIT WILL GUARANTEE YOUR ONGOING SUCCESS, SO LET’S GET GOING ON THIS SPRING TRAINING PLAN TODAY!