Here on the blog, we talk a lot about the two keys to long-term weight loss: nutrition and exercise. According to Dr. Dirk, that second key is best achieved with one hour of aerobic exercise, seven times a week. Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to stay healthy. The best news, Dr. Dirk says, is that it does not have to be intense or difficult — just consistent.
“Surprisingly, a recent study showed that people who walked one hour a day lived longer and healthier than people who did not,” he says. “Even more surprisingly, in comparing marathon runners to the walkers, marathon runners did not benefit any more than the walkers!”
Creating habits can be hard work, but there are a few apps on the market to help track your activity, which can be a huge motivational tool.
Apple Sport Watch
Get your beach-body ready for summer with an Apple Sport Watch, the perfect combination of an all-day activity tracker with the capabilities of a superior watch! Enter here for a chance to win Dr. Dirk’s Apple Watch giveaway!
Couch to 5K
This program, designed to get people from “couch potato” to 5K runner, is a great way to ease into a workout routine. The sessions average 30 minutes and help you work your way from a 30-minute walk to running a full 3.1 miles. The program’s smartphone app can “coach” you with a guiding voice that helps cheer you toward your goals.
While running can be a great aerobic workout, it’s hard to enjoy it while timing your speed and measuring your distance. Runkeeper uses your phone’s GPS to map where you’ve run, how far and how fast. This allows you to focus on doing your best and enjoy your workout without distractions.
Ready to get started? Most experts agree that finding something you enjoy is important, but safety should be your top concern.
“Don’t go out there and try to break a land speed record,” Dr. Dirk, a Weight Loss Surgeon in Dallas, TX, warns. “Start slow and work your way on up. But your goal is one continuous, uninterrupted hour of aerobic exercise every day.”