Is the obesity epidemic due to diet, exercise or both? No one will deny that the foods we feed our body do become our body. The nutrients and chemical makeup it contains is absorbed into our cells and in a sense become a part of who we are. The saying, “You are what you eat,” is very true.
Is diet the only issue to the obesity problem or is there more? It’s been said that no amount of exercise will beat a poor diet, and I do agree with this statement. However, if we pay attention to 90% of what we eat and don’t move, then be patient because the results you want will be slower to appear. On the other hand, if exercise is incorporated into a health program, goals can be reached much sooner.
The problem is most of us are over committed and exhausted after a day’s work, and the thought of getting up early is unfathomable, so procrastination continues until “one day” comes around. What would it look like if you found yourself working out or even intentionally moving more? Can you imagine the muscle definition or trim physical appearance? How about that your clothes fit great, and you can finally get into those pants you’ve had in your closet for three years? What would it feel like to have a good night’s sleep and feel energized during the day? These things are possible with regular physical activity.
I used to be somewhat opposed to exercise, mostly because I don’t sweat like most people and overheat quickly. It was embarrassing to be all red-faced and ready to pass out during exercise. A few years ago, I started walking and running (if you want to call it that...my children don’t) to get in better shape. I was eating well, but had some areas I really wanted to work on. I started lifting some small hand weights, but I was afraid I would get muscles like a man, and I certainly didn’t want that. I started out slowly and began to see some results, but I became stagnant and, quite frankly, bored. So I joined a gym. By the way, I learned that it takes more than just lifting a few weights to get muscles. I’ll never have muscles like a man no matter how much weight I lift. The results have been better than I ever could imagine. What I was most surprised about is at the age of 50, my body is lean muscle with definition I never had before...EVER! It's never too late. Never too old!
Being around people who are motivated is motivating. The energy from other people can be energizing too! To be successful, I think it’s important to first list what goals you hope to achieve with your health and your body. Do you want to be slimmer? Have muscle definition? Run a 5K or a marathon? Once the goals have been defined, place your goals on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you can see it everyday, and then it’s time to get to work.
- Make a plan first to incorporate someone who shares your same passion or goals. Having an accountability buddy or health coach is an important part of reaching the finish line. It’s really easy to find excuses not to exercise.
- Carve out part of your day to make your goals a priority. Remember this is an investment in YOUR health. It’s your body, and you are the one who takes up the residency. How you feel, though, transmits to others. Just think about that for a moment.
- Get moving, whether it’s taking the dog for that much needed walk or running on the treadmill.
- Join a gym that offers classes or a personal trainer. Some gyms offer a free consult with a personal trainer when you join.
- Make exercise a priority by letting something else go...like that Netflix series. You can do it!
Why not call a friend and play some tennis? Even if you don't play well, it's still moving and you'll benefit from the social interactions. Have a bike? Take a ride on a cool evening and enjoy the sights often missed while driving. Do your children have roller blades? Why not join them? Hiking is a great way to exercise and enjoy the beauty of this earth! Other ideas are playing in the water whether it's swimming or kayaking. The point is...if it's fun, you'll go back for more! I promise you will not be disappointed in how you feel after exercising. Check out a few of the benefits:
- Reduces stress
- Improve self-confidence
- Sleep better
- Help control addictions by releasing dopamine from the brain
- Feel happier
health bite: It’s time to commit to physical exercise.