As difficult as weight loss can be, weight maintenance is a daunting challenge. Studies of individuals on commercial weight loss programs indicate a high percentage of initial success, followed by a high percentage of weight regain. Within three years, the vast majority of dieters have returned to their pre-diet weight. While each case varies, many of the people who manage to keep the weight off permanently do so with the help of a regular exercise program.
Diets alone can actually slow your metabolism as your body grows accustomed to smaller quantities of food. Regular exercise, on the other hand, boosts your metabolism and burns extra calories to boot. And, exercise doesn’t have to be grueling. Over the past years, research has shown that moderate aerobic exercise performed three times a week for 20 minutes of longer is very effective at improving fitness.
Add weight resistance training to your weekly schedule and you can even increase your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn to maintain normal bodily functions such as circulation and respiration) by increasing your muscle mass.
The key to adherence is selecting exercise activities that appeal to you. If you enjoy dancing, the following exercise will raise your heart rate to a training level.
• Start by standing with your feet together. Touch your left foot on the floor to your left side as you hop on your right foot.
• Extend your left arm toward your left side, following the motion of your leg.
• Next, hop on both feet, bringing them back together in the middle, as you extend both arms downward.
• Reverse the movements to the right side, and continue by alternating sides for 15 sets.
Combine these movements with other dance exercise steps for a 20-minute workout. And remember, before beginning any exercise program, it is advisable to check with your physician.