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Overcoming the Exercise Rut

Author: Nutritionist Deborah Enos, The One Minute Wellness Coach

If you’ve ever found yourself in an exercise rut (and who among us hasn’t?), you know how hard it is to get back up and start a consistent program again. And if you’ve gained weight during your hiatus, it can be even harder. I’ve found that having a positive self-image goes a long way towards helping you feel motivated and in control of your fitness goals.

If you’re not feeling motivated, it’s important to gradually introduce exercise back into your life. Otherwise, you risk feeling overwhelmed and under-enthused. And it’s perfectly fine to start with just a little movement. The weight loss benefits may come slowly, but there are still significant benefits to exercising just a little bit each day.

For example, walking just three hours each week can reduce your risk of stroke, according to a 2013 Stroke study. A 2012 National Institutes of Health study found that moderate exercise may also increase your life expectancy by as much as 4.5 years.

So, if you’re just getting back on the exercise wagon, go ahead and start slow. Just keep the following tips in mind as you plan your workouts.

  • Consider aerobics: If you want to get the most out of your short workout time, consider aerobics over resistance training. A December Journal of Applied Physiology study found that participants who were assigned to an aerobic training regimen lost more weight than those who only did resistance training. Exercises like dance, cycling, running, rowing and swimming are considered aerobic. Pushups, lunges and many pilates exercises are considered resistance.
  • Set a daily or weekly goal: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests about 150 minutes of exercise per week. That may sound like a lot, but if you’re committed to exercising every day, it’s only a little more 20 minutes at a day. That sounds more doable, doesn’t it?
  • Take it one step at a time: Here’s some more good news about that exercise time. It doesn’t even have to be done all at once. A 2013 American Journal of Health Promotion study found that engaging in physical activity for less than 10 minutes multiple times per day can have the same health benefits as a more structured exercise for a longer period of time.

About the Author

Deborah Enos, Certified Nutritionist, also known as “The One-Minute Wellness Coach”, is one of the most popular wellness coaches on the West Coast. Her blog, “Health in a Hurry”, is quickly becoming the weekly must-read for busy people who want to learn to improve their health in just 60 seconds. Visit for details.


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