The Best Exercise for Maintaining a Weight Loss

Some people emerge from a weight loss effort with a new-found enthusiasm for working out, and become avowed gym rats and fitness nuts. This post is not for them.

For the rest of us, people who just want to maintain what they’ve lost, there will come a point when we need to figure out what we’re going to do for exercise. For these folks, it’s a matter of finding something that works and isn’t too odious. Yeah, I said it. Not everybody who needs to exercise is completely in love with exercising.

I’ll say it again – just because you exercise, doesn’t mean you’re in love with it. That means you need to find something that achieves your goals and gets done. That last bit is important, so while I may have blithely commented in the past that the best exercise is the one you’ll keep doing, here are some ideas and suggestions for exercise and how to approach it if you’re not all that into it.

Basically, if you’re maintaining a loss and you are already watching your food intake, then exercise is going to be a lesser component of your overall program. If your food intake is balanced correctly, then exercise is for fitness, feeling good, and burning up a few extra calories (always nice). For a long time I approached exercise by looking for the highest possible caloric burn in the shortest amount of time, and requiring the least amount of equipment, so I could get it done and get on with my day as quickly as possible. For me this meant running.

Here are low-commitment, easy forms of exercise I like and that work perfectly well in a long-term weight management program:

  • Walking. Sing the praises of walking! Almost anybody can do it, you can do it just about anywhere you happen to find yourself, and it doesn’t require any special equipment – you can likely do it in the shoes you’re already in! Walking is truly the A Plus, Number 1 exercise for maintaining a weight loss. I’m very enthusiastic about walking.
  • Jogging/Running. Faster than walking (gets it done with and you on with your day), requires only slightly more equipment (good running shoes and a running bra if you’re female), and almost anybody can do it.
  • Riding a bike. If you already have a bike you’ve got what you need. As a bonus, you can combine it with other things you need to do – ride your bike around town, get groceries (add a basket to your bike), go to the movies – trips you’re using a car and burning gas to do can be done while getting your exercise done for the day.

These are all things you can do without needing a gym membership. Really, anything you like that you can do every day or every other day is the right thing to do to maintain a weight loss. It doesn’t need to be a big Crossfit/Yoga Studio/HIIT/Personal Trainer deal. You can quietly do the things that need to be done without spending a lot of money or a lot of time.

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2 Responses to “The Best Exercise for Maintaining a Weight Loss”

  1. Donna Says:

    Also, make the exercise something you will actually do. I need to go to work everyday. So, I commute by bike. This means, at the very least, I get some bike riding each day. I can add other exercise if I like or make my bike route longer, but the basic ride is convenient so it gets done. If your exercise is something that is inconvenient, you’ll find excuses to skip it.


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