Improve Your Health

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Heart beat. Young woman drawing a heart on her shirt

By Monique Bartlett

You can improve your health by losing as little as 2 to 3 percent of your body weight.  In order to start, you just need to make a commitment. Decide why you want to lose the weight.  Set both long term and short term goals which will help you reach your personal milestone.  Eat healthier foods and replace bad habits with healthier ones. Start to get active if you haven’t already or increase your intensity if you do some sort of exercise routine now. Know that there will be setbacks and understand that’s okay. Don’t be in a hurry for results as weight loss is a journey not a destination. Just don’t stop.

Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. It increases muscle mass even if you don’t ever lose all the weight that you’d like. It’s also necessary to prevent weight gain and maintain any weight loss. While exercise by itself won’t cause an extreme amount of weight loss, it will change the distribution of fat. Aim for about 4 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You don’t have to do 4, 1-hour sessions. You can break it down into multiple 10-minute sessions throughout the day to get it all in. With any exercise, the harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn, so ramp up the intensity to get more out of your exercise time.

Take the time to learn new eating and physical activity habits and enjoy the rewards for the rest of your life. If you’re having difficulty reaching your goal, don’t despair.  Being overweight and active is better than being overweight and inactive. Even though it’s difficult to get started, the process will get easier with time.  You need to make sure you’re working on permanent lifestyle changes, not just the quick fix. Determine what will work for you and make changes that you can stick to.

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