Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight 645d50e3160df.png

Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight

One of the most common goals of the new year is to exercise more and lose weight. This is a great goal, especially when it comes to dealing with the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, can both decrease knee pain and increase knee mobility.

Those of us that already go to a gym, might notice an influx of people working out in January, as new years resolution-based memberships skyrocket.

We also might notice that this increase in people tapers off considerably as the weeks go by.

Why is this?

We know that by exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, we can experience significant health benefits such as improved circulation, increased feelings of wellness and well-being, and reduced knee and joint pain. Regular exercise can also dramatically reduce our risk for all sorts of other health problems.

So knowing all of this, why is it that so many well-intentioned people fail to achieve their exercise and weight loss goals?

According to James Clear, the author of the New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits, one reason for this could be that they set unrealistic standards for themselves.

Clears writes that many well-intentioned workout regimens are just too hard to maintain day to day and week to week. Therefore, he writes that the better choice is to set small goals to make little changes that build over time.

And how does one make these little changes?

By building new habits.

So what is a habit?

According to James Clear, “Habits are the small decisions you make and the actions you perform every day.”

He goes on to say that “Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.”

So the key to changing these habits is by introducing some new ones.

In order to build a new habit, such as regular exercise, Clear’s recommendations are:

Start with an incredibly small habit.

The author states that one of the best ways to start building a new habit is to choose something that doesn’t take a lot of motivation to do.

For example, instead of saying “I’m going to do 50 sit-ups every day.” Try starting with five.

Increase your habit in very small ways.

In Atomic Habits, Clear writes that it’s important to start small at a new task or activity, and then gradually improve.

He recommends that we aim to increase a new habit by merely one percent every day.

As a result of doing this, Clear has found that motivation and willpower are given time to grow, therefore making it easier to practice the new habit.

In our next article, we will continue looking at research-based recommendations for building an exercise habit in order to decrease knee pain, and increase function.

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