Before we get into a discussion about exercise, we would like to remind you right at the beginning that before you start any exercise plan you need to have a discussion with your doctor.
Weight loss and fitness go hand-in-hand, and fitness means exercise.
We all know that, but many people struggle to exercise consistently. Are you one who has a love/hate relationship with exercise?
There are 3 main reasons why people don’t like to exercise like they know they should.
1. Negative association.
This could go back to childhood memories of having a hard time in gym class or not feeling as athletic as other classmates.
2. Physical pain
If you hurt when you move, you’re not going to want to do much exercise. In a practical way exercise is going to help in relieving both pain and fatigue.
3. Feeling like you don’t have the time
This is really an excuse for putting your needs last. It means that you are putting exercise as your very last priority.
Why do we need to exercise?
Exercise is a necessity if you want to live healthy and have a long life. Your body was created to move, not sit at a computer desk all day and on the couch all evening.
Exercising can add 6-7 years to your life, or, looking at it the other way, by not exercising you could lose 6-7 years.
So many Americans lack exercise and that results in over 300,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Consistent exercise reduces your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It even can reduce your risk of getting colon cancer. And it helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles and joints, which is very important as you age
Our bodies were made for movement and when you don’t use it you lose bone density and muscle, and you increase pain, discomfort, and problems with flexibility.
As if that weren’t reason enough to put exercise in your life, studies have shown that exercising improves your self-image. And an improved self-image impacts your career and how you make your way through your life.
Exercise is not an option but an absolute necessity as a way to be fit and allow your body to achieve and maintain its normal weight.
Are you aware that you might be exercising in a way that it works against you?
Research is showing that low to moderate intensity exercise for only 30 minutes 3-4 times per week is optimal. In the wrong context exercise can wear you down, locking your body into a survival metabolism in which you actually store fat.
If your exercise is intense and/or you have a mindset that you hate it, you increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates the body to hang on to fat.
How to enjoy exercise
But you can create an easy and joyful approach to exercise. Look at it not as a punishment or a struggle, but a way to nurture your body and live a healthy, long life.
Be open to making exercise a pleasurable experience. Exercising can be fun. It’s ‘me’ time. You are connecting to the power in your body. It feels good as you get stronger and stronger, so it gets easier every time.
Fill your mind with pleasurable thoughts as you move your body. Let go of the need to compare and compete. Enjoy the moment and the great feelings in your body.
• Do it with other people.
• Yoga is a great way to move your body gently if you are dealing with pain.
• Watch a TV show you enjoy while you’re on the treadmill.
• Write 30 minutes of exercise into your schedule so it is as important as all the other things you’ve scheduled on your calendar.
• Choose a buddy to keep you accountable.
Consistent exercise may feel uncomfortable at first but that’s okay. It’s your new way of life. Take it one step at a time. This is a way to honor yourself.