Making Exercise a Priority
Most people can reach the recommended exercise goals by simply making it part of their daily routine. The key is to make exercise a habit and figure out what time of the day works best, such as:
› Before going to work
› During lunch hour
› Right after work
› In the evening with a friend
Many people have thrown in the towel with exasperation after hearing the guidelines for healthy living that recommend 30 to 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. Some suggested ways to reach this amount include:
› Walking briskly
› Shooting hoops
› Pacing while talking on the phone
As the list above shows, the guidelines don't require meeting the time recommendations through structured exercise alone. Half the time can be spent on a structured activity, while the other half can be accumulating from using the stairs or walking around whenever possible (at work, the mall, home, etc).
Use Exercise Effectively
The key to exercising is to make sure you are doing it effectively. By doing so, you will ensure all your hard efforts (and time) are not wasted and are having a positive effect on your body. To aid you in your efforts, there are three important variables to exercise to keep in mind:
› Length of time
Finally, most people don't have the slightest clue about exercise intensity and just don't understand that walking at an average pace, though beneficial for general health, isn't a sufficiently intense exercise for weight loss or heart benefits.
The problem with walking is that it is great for out-of-shape individuals for a week or two, but most become fit relatively quickly and require a constant increase in exercise intensity to maintain their training effect.
Walking just simply can't do that unless you are walking on an inclined treadmill. The simple way you can find out if you are exercising hard enough is to increase the intensity of your workout until you are having a difficult time talking to someone. Once you are there, decrease ever so slightly and you will be at your ideal intensity range. It is important to understand with time this will continue to increase, but some days you might actually have to go backwards as stress or illness will decrease your fitness level temporarily.
If you can easily carry on a conversation with someone next to you, then in all likelihood you are going too slow to generate the aerobic benefits that exercise is capable of doing; if you cannot carry on a conversation at all, then you have gone too far and need to decrease the intensity.
Remember real and spontaneous motivation comes after action, and seldom before it…so if you're waiting to get motivated…many seasons may pass… because more likely motivation is waiting for you.
The 20 Benefits of Exercise
1 Releases beta-endorphins (anti-depressant)
2. Releases growth hormone, helps stage III and IV sleep (deep sleep and anti-aging)
3. Prevents osteoporosis
4. Increases oxygen to the brain
5. Lowers cholesterol
6. Burns fat tissue…especially aerobic sessions over 40 minutes
7. Helps coronary arteries by enlarging openings
8. Releases circulating fibrinolysins (keeps blood viscosity down i.e. less likely to have a thrombosis)
9. Clears “acidosis” from food allergies
10. Helps the digestive system
11. Helps the immune system
12. Keeps mobility of joints
13. Helps overcome “mental puff/brain fog” (focus improves)
14. Develops stamina
15. Purges pesticides and herbicides through sweat ducts
16. Enhances libido
17. Assists in preventing cancer
18. Circulation improves throughout whole body, improving physical, emotional and mental clarity (AH HA memory therefore improves)
19. Energy improves
20. Sense of achievement and wellbeing No wonder exercise has been labelled as the single biggest option available to us for optimum health! Remember to include a warm-up good enough to induce a slight sweat on thebrow before your work-out session...and most of all...have fun with it.
Simone Sleep (N.D.) is from the Gold Coast Anti-Ageing and Wellbeing Centre. Contact her on 0420 362 990