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Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine

As the "Weight Off with The Early Show" series entered its third week, we looked at how exercise plays a role in shedding those unwanted pounds.

If you are following the plan you may find the following information, from Dr. Louis Aronne, useful.

You need to exercise three times per week for 45 minutes to reap the benefits of exercise.

In a recent study, it was found that those who exercised for only 10 minutes, three times daily, had the same health benefit as those study participants who exercised for 45 minutes, three times per week. That is, the benefits of weight loss, lowering of blood cholesterol and blood pressure, were the same for both groups. One year following the end of the study, researchers found that those participants who exercised three times a day for 10-minute intervals, had a higher rate of maintaining their exercise regime. The moral: Work exercise into your daily life in a way that allows you to stick with it.

You really need to work up a sweat and feel some serious pain to have a good workout.

Light to moderate activity is the key to good health, weight loss or maintenance, and longevity. In fact, overdoing it at the gym will likely lead to more than unnecessary muscle pain. You could wind up injuring yourself. You should plan on working out your muscles, not injuring them. If you haven't worked out in a while, go easy on yourself. Think about how you can be more physically active in your daily life. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Walk one stop before getting on your bus or train when commuting to work.

You can't exercise properly because a gym membership is not in your budget.

You can plan an exercise regimen that will fit any budget. Do you own sneakers? Well, there you go. Just start walking. Other equipment can be purchased very inexpensively. Exercise videotapes, dumb bells, exercise balls, strength training rubber bands and jump ropes are available at many large exercise retailers. These inexpensive items can help you jump-start your exercise plan.

You're not motivated to do any exercise, so you have no hope of succeeding in instituting an exercise plan.

Motivate yourself by planning realistic exercise goals. Think small and let your plan grow slowly overtime. In a recently published large study of death rates in men, it was found that overweight men who were physically active lived longer than lean men who were couch potatoes. Motivated now? Put down that remote and tie on those sneakers.

The only way to really burn fat is to run.

Everything you do that is more physically active now, versus before your plan, will burn calories- and fat. It takes calories (energy) to cook dinner, clean the house and rake the leaves. If you don't enjoy going to the gym, or running outside, try to do things you enjoy. Cancel the gardener this spring and cook a few more meals next week. The meals will undoubtedly be healthier and you will have "burned" fat while standing at the stove cooking and cleaning up afterwards. Don't believe me? Consider these numbers: A 175-pound woman will burn up 300 calories in one hour of house cleaning, 430 calories cooking for one-half hour four times a week, and 420 calories doing one hour worth of gardening. That adds up to 1,150 calories used.

Remember the Benefits of Exercise

  • Lowering serum cholesterol
  • Raising HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol)
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Increasing your metabolic rate (which can help burn calories)
  • Lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Improving emotional spirits
  • Decreasing stress levels
  • Increasing your energy level
  • Decreasing body fat
  • Increasing muscle mass
Remember to always check with your physician before starting any exercise plan!!!
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