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The Maintain-Your-Weight Workout

Exercise to keep the pounds off

Add Strength Training to the Mix continued...

Most strength training programs call for weight lifting two or three days each week, with one full day of rest between workouts to allow your muscles to recover, according to the physical activity and weight control recommendations of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

If you are new to strength training, or physical activity in general, the NIDDK suggests hiring a certified personal trainer who can plan an individualized program to help you work out safely and effectively. Look for a trainer with a degree in exercise physiology or who is certified through a national certification program such as the American College of Sports Medicine or National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Tips For Staying Motivated

Here are some suggestions for staying motivated and keeping the weight off once you're reached your goal:

  • Track your progress. The NIDDK suggests keeping an activity log noting when you worked out, what activity you did, how long you did the activity, and how you felt during your workout.
  • Think variety. Doing a range of different physical activities, and changing the pace or intensity of your workouts, will help prevent boredom and keep your mind and body challenged. Once your current workout starts to feel easy, very gradually increase the time or intensity, perhaps adding five minutes to your daily walk or five pounds to your weight stack. (It's always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new type of exercise routine.)
  • Get support. Encourage family and friends to support you and join you in your activity. Form walking groups with co-workers, play with your children outside, or take a dance class with friends.
  • Watch less television. Numerous studies show that the more television a person watches, the more likely he or she is to be obese and to have diabetes.
  • If you just can't fit in an hour a day, do some sort of physical activity on most days (even housework or raking the yard). Studies have shown that even light to moderate exercise can improve your health and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Originally published Oct. 10, 2003.
Medically updated Oct. 7, 2005.

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Reviewed on October 21, 2005

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