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    Walking Away from Weight Gain

    Sorry, but there are no magic pills or potions that can melt off weight for good.

    Studies have proven the only people who maintain weight loss are those who engage in regular exercise. Yes, it is time consuming, but the health and energy you get as a result are worth the time it takes. The first step is to find a physical activity you enjoy and can keep up for a lifetime. If walking is what works for you, here's how to do it effectively:

    Go faster. The serious calorie burn starts to kick in when you're walking or jogging a 15-minute mile. If you can't move your feet that quickly right now, walk as quickly as you can and you'll get faster as time progresses. Using a treadmill can help you pick up your pace.

    Pick up your hands. Pull your hands up to waist level when you walk (just like a runner). This position aligns your body properly and will help you increase your speed.

    Pick up your feet. Incorporate short bursts of jogging into your walk. Start with 30 seconds of jogging at a time and increase the time as you're able. A good combination is three minutes of fast walking followed by a minute or two of jogging.

    Do it five days a week. Many people who exercise don't see results because they don't do enough. To lose weight, you need 150 minutes of aerobic exercise (like fast walking) every week. Some people break that down to 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. If you're training for a half marathon, you can get 1-3 hours in on one day.

    Get strong. Building muscle builds your body's ability to burn calories. In addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic exercise, do 30 minutes to an hour of strength training a couple of times each week. This can be lifting weights, an exercise class, or push-ups, crunches, and planks in your own home.

    Be accountable: Find a friend, a group, or a trainer to join you on this journey. You are less likely to fall prey to excuses if you have like-minded individuals who support what you're doing and will expect you to keep it up.

    Our team members use the following resources to wage the war on weight gain. When you call or visit, make sure you mention the Covenant Health Marathon Team and ask about current discounts or special programs for walkers and weight loss:

    Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center
    Knoxville Track Club
    Covenant Therapy Centers

    *See your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you experience pain, extreme shortness of breath or other alarming symptoms stop and seek medical attention. 

    © 2014 Covenant Health
    100 Fort Sanders West Blvd.
    Knoxville, TN 37922
    (865) 374-1000