Unless you are a natural outdoorsy type of person, it’s all too easy to spend most of your day on your gluteus maximus. Throw in some less than clement weather and any inkling of a leg stretch dissolves alongside a nice cuppa tea and a good book or “where-did-the-time-go” internet surf.
From a nutritional point of view I tick most of the boxes (usually) but I’m ashamed to say that exercise has never been a strong suit. I’ve no aspirations to join a gym or run a marathon or participate in a team sport. Interestingly the things I do enjoy, I don’t actually think of as exercise. So an evening’s dancing or a Tai Chi lesson are to me just variations on the same thing – a way to move my body (hopefully gracefully!!); and a walk allows me to enjoy the sights and take photographs along the way. The problem with this is that unless I have an “activity” booked each day, I could so easily miss a whole day and stay indoors. So to address this I have a new buddy – my pedometer. It holds me accountable at the end of the day. I have set myself the goal of 10K steps daily, and there is a real sense of achievement when I get there (OK – sometimes at 10pm I can be found pacing the hall to make up the shortfall). One lazy day recently I barely got off the starting block and my pedometer, giving up all hope of anything happening, reset itself to zero, possibly in disgust!
So why am I telling you all this? Exercise is a MUST and needs to be combined with a healthy diet if you wish to enjoy the best health. So runners can appear healthy pacing the roads but if their diets are poor, they will not sustain either their performance or health for long. Likewise, me slurping green smoothies whilst ensconced in a comfy armchair all day long will take its toll too.
The Chinese have a saying we “die from our feet up”, which is pretty self-explanatory!!
Most people sign up for exercise in one shape or form when trying to lose weight, but its benefits are far-reaching and when you read them, it seems crazy not to start RIGHT NOW.
When you move, think of it as jiggling everything else too – so your cells, lymph, circulation, thoughts and emotions all move along with you and if they have been sitting stagnant for a while, they can blow their metaphorical cobwebs away and start flowing, which is their natural happy state!!!
If you want to think of it from a science point of view (I prefer to think of the cells dancing with me), try some of these out for size:
- Enhanced blood circulation to all areas = better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain (improved thinking and memory) as well as all other cells (even your little toe cells). Remember anaerobic cells (i.e. without oxygen) encourage disease big-time.
- Lymph is stimulated (it’s a lazykins normally and relies heavily on adjacent structures to squeeze it into action, so think of exercise giving it a good kick up the bottom) = you and your cells detox more easily and immune function is boosted. Yay!!
- Your bowels move better, so better digestion !!
- Exercise encourages better quality sleep.
- All the above encourage healing. Kris Carr says that the body heals 8 times faster when you exercise regularly.
- Studies show exercise is the most effective treatment for depression (even more so than anti-depressants). It releases lots of lovely endorphins (feel good hormones) which help you to feel more positive and balanced as well as handle stress better.
- And amazingly, energy creates energy!!! Yes please to that !!
If the word “exercise” makes you cringe, think of it as “movement” instead. Settle on an activity which you find fun. So whether it’s music that gets your foot tapping, the allure of a medal, or the camaraderie of a team, it’s as simple as JUST DO IT. And if you think exercise is only for those who are “well”, think again. Studies have shown it to be hugely beneficial in diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
If you are currently a couch-vegetable, start small and build up gradually. Don’t overdo it, but don’t underdo it either. Find a buddy (real or perhaps a small digital help!) and ENJOY
I love this quote ………….. “A regular exercise plan is not optional. It heals our bodies, calms our minds, and gives us the energy we need to kick ass”. Crazy Sexy Diet - Kris Carr