Fitness apps are growing in popularity, and for good reasons. They’re convenient to use, are designed to help you stay on track, and take away the difficulty of making decisions about your workout each day. You just log in daily, do what you’re told to do, and (hopefully) start to see results over time. Plus, most of them are very affordable for almost anyone. Sounds great, right?
As you set goals to get healthier, walking is probably one of the first activities you will add to your schedule. It’s one of the most common forms of exercise, and even though it’s easy, it can be very effective at burning calories and supporting a weight loss plan.
But did you know that going for regular walks is also good for your mental health? Your walk can help you feel better in multiple ways, such as…
- Giving you time to de-stress by meditating during the walk
- Taking a break from a hectic office environment or the demands of parenthood
- Changing the route frequently breaks you out of a rut, both physically and mentally
- Serving as your alone time, allowing you to recharge
- And of course, a quick walk in the middle of the afternoon can energize you for the rest of the day’s tasks
For many people, working out alone can feel strange at first. Maybe you’re accustomed to workout classes, or prefer to walk and chat with a partner. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with either of those things! But when you work solo walks into your routine, you can take advantage of the alone time to fit in some self care techniques. For example, you can perform the following activities during a walk alone:
- Breathwalking – syncing your breath with your stride is calming and builds a stronger mind-body connection
- Listening to your favorite music can boost your mood or help you relax
- Listening to a podcast, self help book, or novel can add knowledge and entertainment to your routine
- Taking time to mull over important decisions or plans for the future
- Challenging yourself to a faster speed or more hills, or even jogging intervals (without feeling self conscious about a partner hearing your huffing and puffing)
And of course, we know that exercise in general produces endorphins, which boost your mood and help you to feel more energetic. So give it a try! Focus on self care during your next walk. And if you have any other questions about exercise or your weight loss plan, call us to schedule a consultation.
You know that a healthy eating plan is only one part of a successful medical weight loss plan. You also need to exercise… But for many people, that reminder elicits groans and eye rolls. Not everyone enjoys exercise, but that’s okay. We can help you try different strategies that will make your workouts more enjoyable, such as…
Choose an activity you like. Early morning boot camp classes aren’t for everyone. If you’re more of a salsa-dance-at-night type, then sign up for a dance class instead! Or try rollerblading, swimming, a spin class, or something else that has always appealed to you. The important thing is to get moving.
Try classes. If you’re the social type, sign up for a few different exercise classes. Experiment and find something that you enjoy. Not everyone wants to hike miles around their neighborhood, alone, and that’s okay!
Invite a friend. If you’re nervous about hitting up a new gym, recruit a friend to go with you. Or simply take this friend on your evening walk. The conversation and company will make the time seem to fly by.
Vary your pace. No, you don’t have to slog away at an activity you despise, huffing and puffing for 30 minutes or more. Vary the pace of your walk, jog, or bike ride. Add hills or change up the route to keep it interesting. Bursts of speed will serve to keep up your heart rate without wearing you out too early.
Train for an event. For some people, looking forward to a long term goal is highly motivating. If you train for a charity walk or run, you also earn a sense of satisfaction by helping a worthwhile cause.
Make a game of it. Fitness tracker apps don’t have to be boring. Turn your exercise routine into a game, by using an app that installs a storyline into your sweat sessions. Explore a virtual galaxy, run from zombies, or hunt for rare Pokemon on your hikes. And no, there’s no need to feel silly; no one knows you’re doing anything other than listening to music.
Try these ideas, and don’t be afraid to get creative! As for the dietary portion of your medical weight loss plan, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you identify your nutritional needs and make a plan to meet your weight loss goals.