Many readers have questions on being active, which may give you some ideas.
Reader: After reading all the letters from your readers, and your responses, I get the feeling you don't consider "exercise" an important part of losing and maintaining the weight loss. It seems to me you are suggesting diet alone as a way of losing weight.
Maye: Thank you for your feedback. Exercise is VERY important in helping you lose weight and maintain weight loss. In my book, Feel Fantastic, I go through all the excuses you can have to avoid exercise, and how you can change your lifestyle to make activity an everyday event.
I am one person who is active every day, not only to maintain my weight, but also to keep up my energy and my body supple. As I spend a lot of time in front of my computer or counseling clients, I need to get up and move.
Be sure to be active for at least 30 minutes every day. Some of you will be at the stage of life where you’re terribly hectic, working long hours, commuting, getting kids to school, etc.
· If you sit all day, every 50 minutes stretch and walk for 10 minutes.
· If you work at a computer, make a point of stretching your fingers and wrists, turning your wrists around and loosening them up.
· Take advantage of the time of day when you’re bored, and use that time to go for a walk.
· If you love watching television, do your stretching exercises during your favorite television programs.
· Invest in an exercise video and work up a sweat in your living room.
· In winter, it’s great to belong to a health club. You can spend an hour working out without any interruptions.
Reader: How can someone expect to eat and not exercise, yet lose weight? You have to burn calories, good or bad. If you eat all the healthy food in the world and sit and watch television, you will still gain weight. Proper diet and regular exercise are the keys to a "healthy lifestyle".
Maye: I’m glad you’re getting the right message and passing it on. Proper diet and regular exercise are definitely the keys to a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve had many clients who have lost weight through better eating habits. Yet it’s when they start exercising they feel so much better. Psychologically they’re happier, they have more energy, feel positive and their self-esteem shoots up. It’s wonderful to see.
The reason they feel so much better is that the endorphins in the brain are released with activity. These hormone-like substances are the body’s natural painkillers and give you an enhanced feeling of wellness. Can’t beat that.
Reader: I began decreasing my activity because, I guess, I was so discouraged.
I used to love to walk my dog and that was the real only exercise I got, along with riding my stationery bike. I could do this for an hour no problem, with still no results. I didn’t lose weight. Now, I have developed heel spurs. Walking even short distances is very painful for me. Everything the doctor has done, physiotherapy, specially made insoles, pills etc, have not worked. This had made exercise more or less impossible. They suggested riding my stationery bicycle, but that hurts also, not at the time but when I am finished, because of all the stretching of the muscles in my foot when I peddle. I suppose the extra weight does not help the pain either.
Maye: Sometimes when we’ve decided to start an exercise program, we become too ambitious with exercise and our body cannot handle it, especially if we’re carrying extra weight. Sorry about the heel spurs, I had them once and they are very painful. Why don’t you aim to eat better to lose weight? Then alternate walking, stretching and stationary bike for 10 minutes, 4 times a day. You will get stronger as you lose weight, and can slowly increase your exercise over time.