“Honestly, if I read another article about exercise
I think I will just sit here and be ill. No, I guess I better not just
‘sit here’ to be ill. I need to walk around-right?”
- The Uphill Skater -
I know, I know. Exercise is good for you. I have often said, though, it is not really a weight loss tool. You cannot possibly exercise off all the calories you consume. Well, just as everyone is convinced, more information has emerged showing how important exercise, even mild exercise, can be for a huge variety of reasons. Who knew?
Experts are coming forth almost daily with results showing the benefits of even moderate exercise. They say even moderate movement—a new term—can reap huge health rewards. In the newest issue of The Good Life, the Dr. Oz magazine, he calls exercise the “drug I want you all to take,” and goes on to list 11 major health conditions helped by even low impact movement. He lists things like better sleep, adding healthy years to life, reducing risk of Alzheimer’s, and lowering risk of both colon and breast cancer.
Most important of all, to women at least, is his statement that heart disease, well known to be the biggest killer of women, can be reduced by nearly a third with moderate exercise. I think that is so very important!
A friend of mine had what they call a “heartbreak heart attack,” and her doctor told her the same thing. She started about six months ago with a walk to the end of her block and back—not very far. Since starting, she has lost 20 pounds and gone from a size 14 to a size 8. She walks about two miles a day, which does not seem like much to you guys who do the big runs and huge gym work outs, but it has certainly worked for her, and I am in hopes it will work for me, too. My dog hopes so as well, since he loves to walk more than anything.
So, do you have to go to the gym, kill it for an hour, break a sweat, take another shower, and change yet again to say you have exercised? No you don’t. New research, and lots of it, says it does not take much. You can count yard work and housework. Do you lift when you do laundry? Lift that load five times instead of one. Get up during commercials and walk around the house, but NOT TO THE KITCHEN!
I have used Sparkpeople.com in the past and I really liked it. I have also downloaded several apps that are great; I especially like Calories in Food, which breaks down literally anything you eat. I know counting calories is out these days, but I still use it and read labels, and I hope you do, too. Some people advise finding a buddy or group, either real or virtual, but honestly, that has never worked for me. I think it makes it easier to play the blame game when others are involved. In the end, it is just you and that is always a reality.
My next favorite exercise, right behind walking the dog, is dancing. I was never a prom queen or any kind of a dance lesson kid, but I have always loved just moving to the music. I swing and sway, bop and jive, flail my arms and do the cool jerk all to either Pandora or one of the music channels on my TV. If I am not by myself, I feel a little silly, but so what? I may feel silly, but I also feel energized and good. Try it.
The most important thing is to keep things simple. I do not need to tell you that if it is simple and you form a habit, your plan will stick. If you set small goals, you will keep going toward the big one. Try not set big goals that are unrealistic and give a sense of overwhelm before you ever start. Don’t say the old 10-pounds line, or the belt buckle hole goal. How about just saying you want to feel better? Try it.
Summer is here big time, and yes, it is hot and humid. Go to the pool or beach. Try a water aerobics class, or just paddle up and down. Walk on the beach in the early morning, or dance in your air-conditioned family room. Stand up during a commercial and trot around the coffee table. You get it—just do something!
My blog www.skatinguphill.com is getting better and better as I learn how to do it. Look for archived PINK articles, new recipes and tips, and daily affirmations for good mental and physical health. Love, Judith