Consumer Watch: Attainable fitness goals for free

Getting fit for the new year might have less to do with working out than you might think. (KOKH/PNG)

Fitness and weight loss resolutions are by far some of the most popular at the start of a new year. Fitness and nutrition experts say it is important to take a hard look at realistic weight loss goals to make your hard work last.

If you think you need to spend hours strapped to a cardio machine to get healthy, you might be on the wrong track. Maybe you have tried work out a lot in the past, but have seen no significant weight loss. It’s not necessarily that you are working out wrong, but that you are eating too many calories. To lose weight, Greg Farris founder of MyoBrain says that people often overestimate the amount they can eat if they start to exercise.

“The math does not work out too favorably for that-- meaning you could go workout hard for an hour and burn 200 or 300 calories and that is very easy to counter act with eating more food, “says Farris.

If you are worried about not having enough time to work out, the good news is that when you have to pick experts like Farris say you should focus on how you eat first.

“Nutrition needs to be the priority. Training needs to be there. You need to have good exercise habits, but you need to focus on whatever your bad habits are with your nutrition and you need to change those, “says Farris.

Realistic expectations about weight loss are also key. Sustainable fat loss will likely mean taking smaller improvements for a longer time, over doing a crash diet.

“Roughly for males one to two pounds a week is something you want to shoot for sustainable weight loss.

For a lot of women I work with, it is usually half a pound to a pound and a half a week,” says Farris.

To make time to work out a few times a week, you can consider starting to do a few work outs at home. Try using these tools to beef up your at home workouts:

1.Dumbbells: Especially if you're on a tight budget, Farris recommends buying a single dumbbell in two different sizes-- a weight you can do upper body movements with like bicep curls or rows, and a heavier weight that you can use for squats or lunges.

“It is going to be a little bit cheaper than having a big rack and barbells and weights and things like that. Also, from a space perspective you could put these in a corner in a garage, “says Farris.

2.Resistance bands: Consider getting a resistance band if you are working your way up to weights or as a great warm-up for weighted movements.

3.Body weight movements: Farris says body weight movements like push-ups or pull-ups using a bar you can attach to a door can also have major benefits.

Weights usually cost about a dollar a pound. Resistance bands and pull up bars cost less than 25 bucks, and body weight movements like pushups or squats are free. For free or inexpensive cardio option think of going on brisk walks, a run, or even buying a jump rope for indoor workouts.

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