Exercise for Weight Loss
"The gym next door is not my competition. My real competition is the couch." --Gym owner
Generally speaking, exercise is not the go to strategy to lose weight. By building muscle, there is a countervailing weight gain process. However, if the reason you want to lose weight is to look better, feel better and be healthier, exercise is the go to strategy for all of those.
Somewhat seasoned statistics (2010) indicate roughly 45 million Americans belong to a gym. The vast majority (85%) use it at least six times/year. Wait a minute! Someone is saying six visits to a gym per year is exercise? It is widely known that gyms are in the business of selling memberships to people who visit a handful of times and quit. Exercise is unbelievably helpful in improving our health, vitality, and overall energy. But the fact is we don't do it.
If you are planning on starting an exercise program as part of an overall lifestyle to lose weight, this is an excellent strategy. However, do not become a statistic. People quit the gym because they feel out of place, they are too tired, have work or family obligations, feel it is too expensive or inconvenient, have no one to go with, etc.
In selecting a form of exercise, we often tell people to think about things they have always wanted to do. To try new and different things - to find something that excites them. These are alternatives that are more likely to last. Also, when you feel better, you will appreciate the benefits even more. Lastly, taking time off of work for exercise is wonderful for stress reduction and increasing creativity at work as well.
Understanding how to develop and maintain an exercise program in the context of a mindful life is essential to avoid becoming another American statistic.