Michigan Minds podcast: For lasting fitness, prioritize moving your body—not the numbers on the scale

February 12, 2024

Though it’s only February, many of the millions of people who resolved to lose weight this year have already given up, opting instead to sit for hours of binge-worthy Netflix or to polish off those leftover holiday cookies.

That’s partly because people set unrealistic goals and focus too much on the scale, says University of Michigan clinical exercise physiologist Laura Richardson. In the new Michigan Minds podcast, Richardson discusses more sustainable and healthy ways to jumpstart—and stick to—a fitness plan.

Can we talk about a healthier, more sustainable way to approach fitness and track progress besides the scale?

Focusing primarily (on) the bathroom scale is not an effective way to track our progress. I do recommend logging how many minutes you move throughout the day along with a daily step count using a pedometer or a fitness tracker, as these are much more effective because we actually have control over these numbers. I always tell my patients, “I won’t ask you how much you weigh at each session, but I will ask, ‘How are you feeling?'”

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