Exercise is essential for good health and vital for long-term
weight management. But before you start 'sweating', don't worry -
you don't have to exercise like The Biggest Loser contestants to
see good results.
Ultimately, your goal is to achieve 30 minutes of exercise on
most days of the week; however, you can start with shorter sessions
just 2 - 3 times a week until you get the hang of things. Walking
is popular with The Biggest Loser Program customers because it's
practical, convenient and free! That said, swimming, gym sessions
and sports are other great ways to get moving.
Taking exercise one step at a time
If you haven't exercised in a while or find it difficult to find
time for it, a good way to get started is to use a pedometer to
measure your everyday activity. Pedometers are smalldevices, which
clip onto your belt or waistband and measure every step you take,
whether it'swalking the dog, treading the aisles of the supermarket
or climbing a flight of stairs.
For good health, experts recommend you take 10,000 steps a day,
which is the equivalent of walking around 8km. This may sound like
a long distance to cover but it can add up quite quickly if you
focuson always taking the active option.
The table below will give you an idea of how daily stepcounts
correspond with activity levels. Obviously, the 'active' or 'highly
active' levels are the ones to strive for; however, it can take
weeks, if not a couple of months, to get to this level.
|Steps Per Day
|Less than 5,000
|10,000 or more
|12,500 or more
How to be more active every
Walking is one of the best ways to boost your step count - a 30
minute brisk walk is likely to clock up around 3750 steps. Other
ways to increase your activity level include:
- Always take the stairs - you can even climb up and down them
during a 10 minute workout.
- Parking at the back of the parking lot instead of looking for a
spot near the door.
- Walking short distances e.g. to the newsagent or post
- Pacing while talking on the phone.
- Walking up and down the hallway during commercial breaks.
- Putting the washing basket five paces away from the clothesline
and walking back and forth to hang each item.
- Using the bathroom on a different floor and taking the stairs
to get there.
- Setting a weekly goal to increase your activity by 1000 steps a
day until you reach 10,000-12,500 (or more!) steps a day.