Lose the Holiday Weight: Exercises to Shed Several Pounds

The holidays have come and gone. You’ve had your fill of pancit, lechon (and the inevitable lechon paksiw a week after), bibingka’t puto bumbong, shanghai, and fruit salad. You’ve even cycled through different Christmas ham preparations just to avoid the typical palaman-sa-tinapay setup until Chinese New Year.

But thanks to all the food, free-flowing alcohol, and leftovers, your waistline may not have survived the holiday feast.

New Year, New Me

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There’s a reason gym foot traffic peaks in January.  People are coming out fresh from the festivities and the post-holiday regret is beginning to sink in. Plus, the hope of the new year encourages everyone to practice their resolutions. Hashtag healthy living, hashtag 2020 will be my year.

Although once “Fall Off the Wagon Day” rolls around and ruins everybody’s resolve, people eventually stop hitting the gym.

Don’t go rushing into a gym membership.

It’s better to build on your workout routine first if you were relatively sedentary for the past few months.  This will ease your body into an active lifestyle, helping you commit to your resolutions.

These three basic exercises and routines help you start shedding those unwanted pounds.

1. Running or Jogging

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Walking is one of the most convenient weight loss exercises. It can be done almost anywhere, puts minimal pressure on your joints, and doesn’t require equipment. So you can easily fit walking into your daily routine. For a 155-pound (70 kg) person, walking at 4 mph burns 167 calories every 30 minutes, according to a report from Harvard.

Try walking to the office, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or taking your dog out for extra walks during weekends. As you build your endurance, gradually increase the speed and distance of your walks to shave off more  calories.

If you’re not into running, you can try other slimming exercises, such as weight training and high-intensity interval training.

2. Weight Training

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Weightlifting is just as popular as cardio among people looking to shed some pounds. Whether you want a body like Alicia Vikander in “Tomb Raider” or Michelle Rodriguez (in any action movie, really), weight training helps you burn calories and build strength. Weightlifting also promotes muscle growth, which can improve your resting metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn while at rest.

In the Harvard Health report mentioned earlier, a 155-pound person generally burns 112 calories every 30 minutes of weight lifting.

Dumbbells and kettlebells are popular for weightlifting newbies. The difference is that the latter has a thicker handle. This is ideal for increasing your grip strength, preparing you for more challenging exercises like pull-ups. Dumbbells, on the other hand, are more geared toward general fitness. They’re dedicated to basic exercises compared to dynamic moves with kettlebells, but still lead to great improvements in muscle tone and strength.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training

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High-intensity interval training or HIIT refers to a series of big bursts of exercise alternating with brief recovery periods. Shifting from a high-intensity to low-intensity activity maximizes calorie burn, according to studies. HIIT can be customized with any drills or exercise as long as you follow the intense workout-rest-intense workout pattern with a 80:20 ratio.

However, beginners need to be wary of engaging in drills and exercises that are too stressful for the body. HIIT has its risks, especially if you’re coming from a generally inactive lifestyle. It’s better to consult a physician beforehand and establish a routine that suits your current fitness level.

Regardless of which exercise regimen you’re planning to work with, keep in mind that health and fitness goes beyond workout trends and fads. Make sure you don’t compromise your overall well-being in the hopes of achieving the “perfect figure.”

Weight Loss Tips and Reminders

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  • Remember that your workout routine constitutes only a small part of your weight loss journey. A balanced diet and healthy eating habits are still the biggest influencers of your #workoutmotivation.
  • Don’t skip meals or crash diet. Although you’ll lose a pound or two at first, your metabolism slows down eventually. Your body attempts to conserve calories to compensate for having fewer nutrients to consume, making it more difficult to lose weight.
  • Cut down the nasty stuff from your diet, such as excessive sugar, cholesterol, and sodium. Lower your sugar consumption by avoiding sodas and alcohol. Be smarter than your cravings; avoid fast food and junk food and opt for healthier food choices. But don’t forget to indulge yourself from time to time.

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Lastly, think long term.

Exercise isn’t a temporary solution for your short-term goals; it should be part of your lifestyle. Holistic health should be your goal, not just a lower number on the weighing scale. Watch what you eat, get 8 hours of sleep, and as Mimiyuuuh said, drink your water, bih!

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