Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about 6 reasons to exercise, starting today. People that are not fit today usually have many reasons why they can’t start a fitness program; most of which (if not all) are unfounded. One common reason used is ‘not enough time.’ The truth is, almost everyone can find 30 minutes a day to exercise if they really want to start working on getting fitter.
But instead of focusing on reasons people use why they can’t get fit, let’s look at six of the more important reasons to workout, starting today:
1) Tomorrow may be too late
If you are overweight and out of shape, you are at an increased risk of getting Type II diabetes, a heart attack or stroke, or certain kinds of cancers including colon and breast cancer. Once you have been diagnosed with cancer or suffer a heart-related medical emergency, you might not get a second chance to make a lifestyle change. If you have diabetes, by losing weight and getting in shape, you may even be able to get off of your medication.
2) Look and feel better
Let’s face it – if you look better, you feel better. Many overweight and out-of-shape people don’t like the way they look and because of their self-image, suffer from low self-esteem. That can lead to a whole host of mental problems ranging from stress to depression. But by exercising, not only will you lose weight, but also tone and firm muscles. All of a sudden you are buying clothes off of the rack and you like the way they fit. Your mental state of mind improves and you have a better outlook on life. Wouldn’t that be great!
3) Live longer
As a parent, we want to be around to see our children get married and have children of their own… your grandkids. But the sad fact is many people out-of-shape will not be able to see those two events, because they will die at an early age; something that most likely could have been prevented with proper diet and exercising earlier in their life.
4) Reduce stress
Excessive stress is a killer – literally. It raises your blood pressure, floods your system with cortisol, which in turn prevents you from maintaining your weight, and keeps you awake at night. All of this eventually takes a toll on your health. Eventually your body can’t handle it and something bad happens.
But one of the outlets of stress relief is exercising. Not only does it lower the stress you are currently feeling, but it enables you to handle future stress better, thus keeping your health better in check.
5) Have more energy
If you are not fit now, you don’t know what you are missing. Wouldn’t you like to be able to run around and have fun with your kids or grandkids while they are still young? Before you know it, they will be grown-up and gone and wish you had that fun as a parent or grandparent.
6) Be more productive
Working or maintaining a home can be exhausting if you are overweight and out of shape; but it doesn’t have to be that way. By getting fitter, you’ll be better able to do more things around the house easier, such as laundry, grocery shop, vacuum and cleaning. At work, you’ll increase the amount of work you get done in a day, because you are not exhausted by noon. Everything you do just gets easier once you are fit.
If you don’t do it for r yourself (which is who you should be doing it for), at least do it for your loved ones. Make sure you are there for them when they need you the most.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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