As you continue your journey with Atkins and the pounds start coming off, you may feel like you have more energy. This is the perfect time to add some more activity to your routine. If you’re new to exercise, start slowly. It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or going for a walk with your kids in the evening. Keep in mind that exercise is not a requirement of Atkins; you are losing weight because you are changing the way you eat. Your body is now burning fat for fuel, instead of carbs. But exercise does have many other health benefits. It can help you sleep better, improve your mood, boost your endurance, make you feel more energetic and can help manage or even improve a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, depression and diabetes. So, if you choose to exercise, what should you be doing?
Of course, some cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart. This can be as simple as a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood, a bike ride or a hike, or even 20 or 30 minutes on an exercise bike or treadmill. But in addition to cardiovascular exercise, more and more studies show that weight training should be an important part of your routine. Weight training helps reshape your body more efficiently than hours of cardio ever will. It helps build muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat. This means that you burn more calories, even when you’re not exercising. Weight training also helps increase bone density and maintain joint flexibility.
In addition to all these benefits, a regular exercise routine will help you maintain the weight loss you’ve experienced with Atkins. Fortunately, adding exercise to your life does not have to break the bank, nor do you need to spend hours and hours doing it. You can get in a good cardiovascular workout almost anywhere;
it’s as simple as stepping outside and taking a walk or a jog.
As far as weight training goes, all you need is a set of elastic resistance bands (which you can find at any sporting goods store), and you can do a variety of exercises. Or you can visit second-hand sporting equipments shops and get a
set of dumbbells at a reasonable price. And, of course, there is always the option of joining a gym or local rec center. If you have never done a weight-training workout before, it might not be a bad option to buy one session with a personal trainer, who can take you through all the basic exercises and ensure you are doing them correctly. You can often see positive results just from doing two to three 20- to 30-minute weight-training sessions a week. The bottom line is that exercise is not required in order to lose weight with Atkins, but the health benefits you gain from adding some regular activity to your life can be well worth it in the long run.
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Tell me about your experience with exercise and Atkins. If you started an exercise program, how has it benefited you? I’d love to hear! Please share your thoughts with the Atkins Community and also let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future.