Move It To Lose It

Health Benefits of ExerciseEven if it’s not something you enjoy doing, I think it goes without saying that we all know there are overwhelming benefits to exercise.  In addition to aiding in our weight loss efforts, there are a whole host of other benefits including decreasing our risk of certain diseases, elevating our mood, and improving our overall health and quality of life.

I know for many people, the word “exercise” conjures up thoughts of huge muscle-bound men lifting obscene amounts of weight and perky, perfect looking aerobics instructors who can work out for hours and barely break a sweat but trust me, “real” people can and do exercise every day.

In 2008 The Department of Health and Human Services issued the federal government’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans http://www.fitness.gov/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/ which says “adults should get at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity.”  At first you may be thinking, “I don’t have an extra two and a half hours per week,” but I urge you to take a closer look at your schedule and your priorities.  150 minutes breaks down to 30 minutes per day for five days or approximately 23 minutes per day for seven days.  Who cannot carve 23-30 minutes per day out of their schedule to improve their own health and take care of themselves?  I think we all spend more time than that per day on the internet.

No, it is not always easy to fit exercise into your schedule, but I have found the key is to make it a priority.  I don’t look at my workout time as “optional.”  It is set in stone in my schedule a minimum of five days per week.  I will forego other activities if need be to ensure that I have time to take care of me.  You see, after two and a half years of working at this, I have seen time and again the benefits of my dedication to exercise.  I don’t just mean the physical benefits, which are great, but the benefits to my overall health and my emotional well-being as exercise provides a great rush of endorphins, much like the one I used to get from eating for pleasure, but without the nasty side effects of the eating.  In over two years of exercising and eating healthy, I have not had so much as a little cold and I believe my not getting sick has everything to do with my diet and exercise.

Fast Cheap Easy Fake

If you are someone who views exercise as torture, I want to help change your mind about that.  The key is to find an activity that you enjoy as you will be far more likely to stick with it.  If the idea of rigorous training and weight lifting sounds like torture to you, don’t do it.  Contrary to popular belief, you can exercise and have fun too.  I love walking, other people love ballroom dance, some of you are swimmers, and others love to hike, or do yoga, or Pilates, or Zumba.  My point is there are more than enough activities out there for everyone to find one that they like and can stick with.

I know that we are all super busy these days and for that reason, you should always be on the lookout for ways to “sneak” activity into your day.  I have shared some of these ideas with you before but they bear repeating; park a little further from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the mailbox instead of stopping the car on the way in, go back upstairs to get the thing you forgot rather than sending your child, keep walking shoes in your car so you are always prepared, and lay your workout clothes out so they are ready to go as soon as you are ready to exercise.

You need to look at exercise as a good thing you are doing for yourself to improve your overall health.  Remember, you cannot take care of other people if you do not take care of yourself first.  Start gradually and build up.  Don’t start out training for a marathon if you haven’t exercised in twenty years.  I always say that some movement is better than no movement at all.  You are not competing against anyone else.

Taking Care of You

DISCLAIMER:  It is imperative that you consult your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program.  I am providing tips for motivation but NOTHING I say should ever replace or supersede the advice of your physician.

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