This is the fourth blog in a series delving into the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, the support system I incorporate into my nutrition coaching because good nutrition includes more than just what we eat.
Exercise – some people can’t live with it, others can’t live without it. The truth is, all humans need it.
“Ideally five, one hour sweat sessions per week is a good goal for the average person,” says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. “Aside from burning calories, exercise is important because it causes your body to release endorphins, which make you feel good. This motivates you to eat well, play well, and simply be happy!”
Moving to break a sweat builds muscle which boosts metabolism, prevents disease, reduces risk for depression, is a stress reducer, helps us sleep better, improves our brain function, and boosts our immunity. Whoa! That’s a LOT of benefits!
However, even when all the evidence says to move more, many of us still aren’t motivated to “just do it?” I’m going to save the “why aren’t we motivated” piece for another post. For now, here are a few tips to help make Sweating More, more doable.
Start Small | Stay Consistent | Be Patient
Over time, 10 minutes a day will make a difference. 30 minutes three times a week will too. It certainly makes more of a difference than zero minutes a day! Decide the smallest amount you know you can do and how often, and stick to it because it will pay off. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, calls this the “compounding effect of small changes.” (Clear’s book is an easy read that I highly recommend because he explains habit change in layman terms and then gives practical advice on how to implement it. It’s a game changer!)
- Stand for 5 minutes if you’ve been sitting for 25
- Take the stairs any chance you get
- Park further away from the store entrance to get in extra steps
Walking counts In March 2020, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that taking 8,000 steps/day vs. 4,000 steps/day lowered risk for death from all causes by 51%. When steps were upped to 12,000/day, risk for death was lowered 65%!!!
Find an exercise you love My good friend Martha Newport gets a great workout and has a blast doing it (just check her IG feed for proof!) with Supernatural, a VR exercise program. And, if you get bored with one routine, find another one that excites you. Bonus – our muscles like it when we switch it up!
For me, I’m a runner and I love it! I run for my brain, not weight loss (though another benefit is my low resting heart rate that my doctor likes to listen to!) I do cross-train riding a gravel bike or using a trainer and doing strength training. I want to run well into my 70s, so I now work with a kick-ass run coach Rachel Bell Kelley who is helping me train smart and teaches me about things like recovery WEEK. Who knew?
Why do you exercise? Why do you not exercise? What are some of your favorite ways to move? Let us know and let’s encourage one another to Sweat More because embracing exercise is part of living a healthy life for the rest of our lives!