Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Can Daily Workouts Really Do?

How many of us have done sit-ups by the dozens? How many of us believe that we can reduce our flabby "pouch" and sculpt a flat belly by just doing enough sit-ups?

How many of us believe if we follow a healthy diet, along with daily workout fitness plans, that somehow, it will magically, someday, give us the body we've dreamed about?

Although a healthy diet is always better for you than an unhealthy one, and a fitness plan that includes a daily workout will improve your health, they are not "magic solutions" to recapturing the body of your youth. Now may be the time for a reality check.

Here's the truth about a few mistaken beliefs about weight loss and physical fitness. Many of us harbor these mistaken beliefs as we strive to lose weight.

You can't spot reduce. Dozens, or even hundreds, of sit-ups are not going to give us the flat belly we desire. The only way to lose fat in our bellies is to lose fat all over our bodies. Virtually any activity that burns fat will help us achieve a flat belly. Intense aerobic or cardiovascular workouts burn fat all over your body, which is necessary to reduce belly fat, which is typically lost after all other body fat is lost.

You won't lose all the weight you want immediately. Losing weight, specifically fat, takes time. And it takes even more time for our skin to shrink enough to match our new, smaller selves. So understand that even though your skin may seem flabby, eventually it will tighten up. And the good news is, the reason our skin seems flabby is there's less fat underneath it. Be patient, keep eating right, keep working out and eventually the weight will fall off your bones. Literally.

You'll never look as good as your 20-year-old self. Our metabolisms slow down as we age, making it tougher to lose and keep weight off, and easier to put weight on. Solve this by eating less and exercising more. Sure, it sounds trite. But it's true and it works. Accept that although we may not shrink down to the size 6 we were at age 20, size 8 or size 10 will look darn good on us at our current age. Size 10 beats size 18 any day.

Fitness and healthy eating is not an event in our life; it is a way of life. There are no instant fixes, but we will see progress if we stick with our fitness plans.

Copyright Sharon Sweeny, 2011

Sharon Sweeny is a writer trying to get into better physical shape by doing a daily workout 365 days in a row. Follow her progress daily on her blog at http://edailyworkout.com.


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