10 December 2009

Non-Diet Weight Loss with Effortless Physical Activity

In the previous article we spoke of differentiating between physical activity as a product of everyday natural activities vs. exercise which is much more regimented and planned. Now the question is how does that translate into your real everyday life? How can you make exercise effortless so that it fits into your lifestyle? Well here are a few suggestions to begin. Pick the ones most applicable to you.

• Have regular at-home dance parties. Put on the radio and according to the words of Lady Gaga "Just Dance". Involve the whole family or who ever you live with, or do it yourself. Dance as much as possible. Rhythm is not required. Dance while you are washing the dishes, if you are in front the bedroom mirror, etc. Use this most natural form of movement to your advantage. You could even try the new Just Dance game from Nintendo Wii if you need something more interactive.

• Take up a specific dance like salsa, belly dance, hip hop or any aerobic dance. The thing I like about dance is that it brings the element of good feelings and connection into the physical activity, and you are less likely to feel stressed by something which you have an emotional bond with. So other activities which can work include yoga, karate or kickboxing, tai chi, and alternative dances like the “journey dance”

• Pick up a sports activity or if you’re not so inclined, buy a Wii Activity system which simulates many fun activities including hula hooping, without requiring you to leave your home.

• Get a trampoline in the back yard or a mini-one in the bedroom and get on it as often as possible.

• Enjoy an outdoor swing (make sure it can accommodate you)

• Get a ping pong table or a “ice hockey” table in the game room, family room or in an extra room if you can.

• Roller blade in the backyard, in the park or at the skating ring.

• Go swimming-Water activities make for a wonderful fitness alternative

• Take a trip to a water park

• Walk in the neighborhood

• You’ve heard this one before, but take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. It really is fulfilling.

• If you’ve been thinking about it, adopt a dog. In some places, you can even foster a dog, so that you don't get into an unwanted long-term commitment if you are not ready.

I say a dog, because dogs are very high energy pets who force us to engage physically. We either play with them in the backyard or need to take them out on a walk. Either way both sides are enjoying physical activity.

• Take on a hobby. Although it would be good to adapt a hobby which allows for some physical exertion, it is absolutely not necessary. It could be anything from pottery making to painting. You're more concerned with the mental focus and stress reduction which hobbies often provide. This helps reduce stress-induced emotional eating and unwanted weight gain. If you are looking to lose weight, you won’t need to exercise as much. Also, a hobby is a wonderful way to combat emotional eating.

Often times, the activities we consider to be “child’s play” like the hula hooping and riding on a swing, roller blading and the trampoline, are often the most physically rewarding. Just think about it. Children who play often enjoy natural physically fitness. A sense of playfulness can go a long way towards us being able to naturally fit physical activity into our daily lives, aiding in our non-diet weight loss efforts as well as long-term weight management.

Free your physical health and weight management from restriction and strict, regimented control. Making physical activity more about what you already do than what you need to plan for, causes it be a more fun and sustained part of you life.

To Your Enjoyable and Guilt-free Food Experiences,


Linda K. Hibbard

Try wearing wearable weights like “Body Togs” anatomically designed weighted sleeves worn on your arms & legs under your clothes. Put them on in the morning and you literally forget you have them on while increasing your calorie burn, muscle tone & bone density! Weighted vests work great too!

Joan Nova

Really good advice - I tweeted it. I, personally, started doing Zumba and pilates a couple of times a week. And I always take the stairs.

Karen Lugay,RD

Thanks Joan for the tweet, and hope you're enjoying your zumba and pilates. I've tried pilates myself and it's very effective. Also, Linda, I've never heard of "body togs" before. I'm not sure how well they work, but I checked out the info. Anyway, thanks for sharing something new and different.

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