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October 20, 2008, last updated September 6, 2013

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist


When we first begin to try to lose weight, many of us spend
more time getting ready to exercise than actually exercising.
We spend hours meticulously researching the right gym,
pouring over the details of enrollment contracts, we spend
weekends on end searching for just the right clothes
--comfortable enough to let us move around but not so roomy
that they make us look fat --- and so on and so on.

Why do we prepare to begin rather than just beginning? I have
a theory. If we invest a lot of time in the preparation to
exercise, and then we fail at losing weight, we can more easily
blame the preparation, rather than ourselves. The gym was too
far away or too expensive, the classes were too advanced or at
the wrong time of day, and yes, the outfit did make you look
fat.

Now, studies have found that we should skip all that gym
drama and still lose weight. The latest thinking in this area is
that those who exercise at home seem to have the best results.

For example, a study carried out in 2012 and led by Alyson
Ross of the University of Maryland school of nursing found that
those who practice yoga at home lost .17 of a point off their
body mass index (BMI) for every extra day they practiced at
home.

Similar results have been found for aerobic and strength
training.  Studies have found that self-starters who are
consistent in training at home lose more weight over the long
term.

That said, here is a starter set of exercises you can do at home
to help you lose weight and keep it off:

1.
Leg Raises. Try leg raises. Lie on your back and raise both
legs at the same time. Lower them until they are about a foot
off the ground and hold it there to the count of 10. Repeat 8
times. When that gets comfortable, repeat 10, then go to 15.
These work your abdominals, especially your lower two abs.


2.
Push-ups. For your arms and shoulders, do push-ups. Aim
for 25. Your goal is to do full, military style push-ups. It's okay
if at first you start out with half style push-ups-- the kind
where your knees are on the ground and you only push-up half
your body weight.

But never settle for half push-ups. Always strive toward doing
full push-ups. The kind where your knees do not touch the
ground and you are pushing up your entire body weight.


























3.
Squats. Look to the right and you will see a green box with a
step by step lesson on the right way to do squats.  Squats are
the perfect exercise for building muscle mass fast. And the
pay-off is once you build up muscle, you will lose weight faster.
Why? Because muscle burns 8 times more calories than fat to
sustain itself.

4.
Reverse Push-ups. Sit down on the floor. Put your arms
behind you and lift yourself, then lower yourself slowly. Killer
workout for the triceps.

5.
Isometric Exercises While You Sit. Isometric exercises
involve tightening a muscle and holding it. These isometric
exercises can be done even while you are sitting at your desk,
watching TV, typing at a computer or riding in a car or subway.
Tighten your stomach, focusing on your belly button and
imagining that you are trying to push your belly button toward
your spine. Hold it to the count of 10. Release. Do 3 sets an
hour every day whenever you find yourself sitting.  Another
great isometric exercise is to tighten your thighs and buttocks.
Hold to the count of 10, and release. Do 5 to 10 sets a day.

For weight loss, it's best  to do your cardio exercise after you
finish with your weight training routines. This forces your body
to use its stores of glycogen and fat.

24 hours a day, the muscle you add to your frame will be
burning calories-- even while you sleep.  This happens because
muscle needs 8 times more calories than fat to sustain itself. In
effect, it speeds up your metabolism.

Update:

6.
Take the Stairs. Here's a secret. Just taking the stairs instead
of the elevator works the same muscles as the squat. Over the
course of a year, you can add a pound or two of muscle by just
taking the stairs. That pound or two will help to shed fat all day
and night, because muscle burns 6 times as many calories as
fat, even while you're asleep.


Related:
Diet and Exercise-A Simple Plan for Life /Foods That
Shrink Your Waist  / Exercises That Speed Up Your Metabolism
/
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Health Benefits /Exercises That Stop Snoring

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Squats --The Right Way to Do Squats


What is the right way to do squats?

Many people do squats improperly.
The thing to remember is that you
should never dip down too low.
When your derriere is level with your
knees, stop. Do not let your derriere
dip below your knees.

Think of it as sitting down in an
imaginary chair. Your derriere never
goes below your knees because the
chair's seat stops it. That's how low
--and no further--you should go
when you do squats properly. Any
lower strains your knees.

To heal, you must rest the knees.
Glucosomine/chondriatin also helps
sometimes but mostly the knees need
rest once they are strained.
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Easy 10 minute Workout You Can Do at Home
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