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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Changes that helped me drop pounds: Exercising

     Yes, this blog is about food and eating, but because I am discussing health and losing pounds I felt that I would be remiss if I did not mention exercise and the role it has played in my overall health and weight loss.  I have also made changes in that area of my life, in addition to food, so I thought it would be a good idea to mention it here as well.

      For years I did all sorts of aerobic type exercising, from Jazzercise, to walking and/ or jogging, and all kinds of exercise tapes at home.  However, I was never thin.  Of course at the time I was sitting at a desk in an office all day and was still up to all my previous eating habits:  eating tons of low fat simple carbs (pastas, breads, bagels etc) and not nearly enough veggies/ fruits or whole grains, and plenty of desserts and high calorie drinks.  It wasn’t until after the following changes that I started to see the pounds come off:

      1.  I started changing my eating habits, one little change at a time, as discussed in this blog.

      2.  My job as a full time stay at home mom forced me to be on my feet all day long.  My workouts became running around after two active boys: around the house, around playgrounds, around the yard and neighborhood.  Also I have had lots of opportunities to do walking with the stroller as well.  When I’m not running around with them or pushing the stroller I’m standing:  to wash dishes, cook food, blow bubbles, fold laundry etc.  Not to mention all the trips up and down the stairs!  I spend most of my day on my feet which of course helps with the caloric burn.

      3.  I started doing some exercises with weights (a 5 pound weight in each arm - 10 pound total) and doing various exercises to maintain my upper body strength so I could continue to comfortably pick up, hold and carry my two growing sons.  Roughly 10 minutes, twice a week.

      4.  At the same time as I do the arm exercises I also do squats as well, in an effort to keep my legs strong; a lot of squatting is required with mothering!   Strange side not here:  I was having balance/ form issues with squats and tried doing them in heels – much easier!  And the burn on the thighs is more intense, so it’s a win-win.  I’m sure it looks ridiculous, but I’m doing this in the privacy of my own home of course :)

I realize that as my sons grow bigger and more independent and go off to school I will have to adjust the amount of exercise I need to do to maintain my health and weight.  But at this point, this level of exercise coupled with my lifestyle and eating habits seems to be working for me.

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