On this blog, we often talk about how eating a high-protein, low-carb diet is the key to weight loss. But diet alone isn’t enough.
Regular physical activity — specifically aerobic exercise — is also important to losing weight and keeping it off.
Dr. Dirk recommends doing 60 minutes of aerobic activity each day for weight loss.
What are the benefits of aerobic exercise?
Committing to regular aerobic exercise can help you:
- Lose weight and keep it off.
- Strengthen your heart.
- Reduce health risks. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
- Stay active as you age. Aerobic exercise keeps your stamina strong, and studies show that it also helps your brain stay sharp.
How do you start an aerobic exercise routine?
People who are overweight or obese are often nervous about starting an aerobic exercise routine. The key is to start slow. While 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day should be your goal, you don’t need to do that much on the first day.
Instead, build up to it. For example, walk for 10 minutes on the first few days. Then, after a few days, start walking for 15 or 20 minutes. You’ll surprised by how quickly your body will adjust to aerobic exercise.
Build up to your daily 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, then continue with it. Soon, you’ll begin to notice the benefits of regular aerobic activity.
Always remember that the first day will be the hardest. Once you finish your first day of exercise, you’ll feel good about knowing that the most difficult part is over.
Five aerobic exercises for spring
Aerobic exercise doesn’t need to be complicated or boring. Here are five aerobic exercises that Dr. Dirk recommends trying this spring:
- Walking. One of the simplest and lowest-impact forms of aerobic exercise is walking. Spring is a great time of year to start a new walking routine. Take advantage of the beautiful weather to take walks around your neighborhood, your favorite park, a local arboretum or any other place you like.
- Jogging. There’s a reason why spring is marathon season. Try going for jogs through your neighborhood, around a lake or or anywhere else. Be sure to start slow and build up your stamina. If you can only jog for 1 minute, then jog for 1 minute and walk the remaining time.
- Bicycling. It can be more exciting to bike than walk or jog. So why not hop on your bicycle and go for a morning or evening ride?
- Rowing. Going to the lake is one of the best things to do in the spring. Instead of relaxing with a cool drink, try rowing. It’s a fun, outdoor aerobic activity that makes good use of your entire body. Just remember to fasten your life jacket and stay safe.
- Dancing. Why not try an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise? Dancing is a great way to get your body moving and your heart pumping. Consider taking a Zumba class at your local gym, or simply turn on your favorite music at home and enjoy yourself. You can even get your family and friends in on it. Throw a backyard party, crank up the tunes and dance together!
Eating healthy and exercising daily is a proven way to lose weight, keep it off and improve your overall health. While doing aerobic exercise may be hard at first, keep at it, and you’ll quickly notice the changes in your body and your mood.