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Exercise is a marathon, not a sprint

Part 4: Let your New Year’s resolutions last the whole year!

Written by Mariya Pogorelova, MD, board certified internal medicine doctor and director of the Mercy Healthy Image Weight Management Program.

Gyms are always busy in January and February. Athletic trainers call it “tourist season.” After that, attendance goes down.

Exercise is important, but be realistic. Can you be in a gym for an hour, six days a week, for a year? If so, great! But if that sounds like a long shot, think about using home equipment.

To create a habit, start slow and get comfortable. If you start off intensely without building your foundation, you can easily get injured.

At first, aim to exercise two to three days a week. Then work up to five days a week. Being consistent is more important than doing a few, long arduous sessions every now and then.

Think about finding an exercise partner among family members or co-workers.

Many people who start exercising find that their appetite increases. That’s a normal, short-term effect. Eventually, regular meals and regular exercise combine to reduce your need for calories and your appetite will lessen.

Your body needs time to adjust to your new routine. Some weeks you might not lose any weight at all. That is normal. Besides, no weight gain is an achievement in itself!

Remember, 10 minutes of exercise is better than 0 minutes. The time you spend exercising is important, but regular exercise is more important. Regular exercise boosts metabolism, and in the long-term, reduces your appetite.

Be patient. Developing good habits takes time, but definitely pays off.

To read part 1 on setting goals, CLICK HERE. To read part 2 on eating a healthy breakfast, CLICK HERE. To read part 3 on counting calories, CLICK HERE.