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Diet plays a huge part in losing weight, of course, but there is more to the story. Sedentary lifestyles lead to disease and obesity. Until you get up and move, you will never be as healthy as you can be. This article will give you the strategies you need to get your body into tip-top shape.

Start small! Set a timer for 30 minutes, your goal for exercise for the day. When you have a minute or two to spare, start it and do some exercise. It could be 1 minute of squats, or 3 minutes of running up and down the stairs. You could go for a jog around your house or do some sit-ups. Whatever movement it is, it will get your blood flowing, plus studies have shown that small bursts of exercise are more effective at burning calories and fat than long sojourns. Once you are easily achieving 30 minutes, bump it up to 45. Don’t forget to set that timer on the weekend!

While short bursts are great, include longer spurts of activity as well. For example, go for a walk to the grocery store on the weekend instead of driving. You can even have your partner meet you there with the car to drive the groceries home. In fact, walking as much as possible is a great way to keep your body trim and fit. If you can walk to the doctor, to school to pick up your kids, or to the post office, you’ll find pounds melt away.

If you don’t like to exercise because you’re lonely, bring a friend along. There is always someone around you who would love to get a little more exercise into their lives. If you can’t find anyone to join you, consider posting flyers looking for a running partner, someone to play soccer with you or even a one-on-one basketball player who needs a number two. Also check out sites like Craigslist to see if any local house league teams are looking for someone to play with or against them. It isn’t hard to find someone to exercise with, you just have to get up and do it!

If you’re not a people person, consider working out with a canine friend. Adopt a dog from a shelter and help him get healthy right along with you. Remember that the cost of a pet can be high, but if you can afford it, they’ll change your life. When you’re down, they’ll pick you up. When you’re frustrated, their silly smile will make you smile. And when you don’t want to be alone, they’ll always be there for you – especially when you want to go out for a walk or run!

If you can’t adopt a dog due to finances or residential rules, consider talking to a shelter about helping them exercise their dogs. They will often take you in as a volunteer and you can spend an hour throwing a tennis ball around an enclosure, walking the dogs around the block or even taking them out for a good tug-of-war battle. You’ll be doing good for dogs who need love while exercising your body in the best way possible.

Moving your body, getting your blood flowing and building muscle all lead to great health. The first step is getting up and doing something about it, so take one of these tips and get down to work. Your body will thank you, your mind will thank you, and your soul will thank you.

We have not received any compensation for writing this post. We have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that we have mentioned.