Exercise: It takes less exercise than you think to make a big difference in your health
We all know exercise is good for us.
Was I the only one who had the fun knocked out of exercise at school?
I loved dancing as a young girl, but I would have done anything to avoid sports in school. To me it was like torture!
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Why do we have to exercise?
We are literally born to move. We should have to move to get our food, to stay alive but we invented cars and now we barely have to move our bodies at all.
What are the benefits of getting your body moving?
1) Exercise reduces your appetite, makes you crave food less and helps you be satisfied with less food.
2) Being fit helps our minds work better. You will think more clearly and increase your productivity by squeezing in a bit of exercise.
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3) You are much more likely to stay at your ideal weight.
4) You will suffer less ill health and injury over your lifetime
5) Exercise prevents depression and anxiety
6) Exercising for 3 years can increase life expectancy by 3 years
7) Exercise creates endorphins which are mood enhancers, making you feel amazing. This can get very addictive. Try it and see what I mean!
The best thing we can do to exercise is find something we really love doing that doesn’t actually feel like exercise.
Take a dance class, play sports with friends, sign up to run a race, play with your kids, go hiking somewhere beautiful or workout with a friend.
Gretchen Reynolds talks about new findings in her book, The First 20 Minutes, where she talks about the biggest benefit of exercise happens in the first 20 minutes, why walking is what we are made for, how stretching before a workout isn’t advised anymore and she even suggests we should drink to thirst rather than to prevent thirst.
I totally agree with her that walking feels so natural and is one of the easiest forms of exercise we can take.
I had also given up stretching before a workout but that it’s good to do a light form of the exercise you’re about to do as you still need to warm up the muscles.
I also believe if you eat a lot of raw fruit and vegetables in your diet, the water content is so high that you very rarely feel thirsty.
She also says in her book that we are far too sedentary. It is far more beneficial just to stand up for a couple of minutes every 20 minutes to get the muscles working again than to sit down all day long without moving and then do a very intense workout.
That makes sense that you are increasing the risk of injury as your body just isn’t used to moving all day long.
What do I do to keep fit?
As I have a young baby, I don’t get as much free time as I used to.
However I am constantly lifting and carrying her around which is like a workout in itself. I put her in a baby carrier and get on with my household chores. This is like housework carrying 10KG of weight on my back.
I really have to maximise my time, so I have to concentrate on what I think is the most effective use of my time. So here is what I do:
2) I go walking with my baby for 30-60 minutes most days.
I think gentle exercise is still very important.
Walking is the easiest form of exercise. We can do it anywhere and it’s free.
Not only that but I think fresh air is so beneficial to our health that I would rather half an hour of walk outside than a more intensive workout inside any day of the week.
Fresh air is needed for good health so this is a perfect way to ensure you get exercise and fresh air.
You can’t help but feel more alive after you’ve been walking outside. This will help you sleep better too.
Whatever you do, enjoy it, keep doing it, and don’t set something too hard to start with.
Just a walk around the block is so much better than killing yourself at the gym for a couple of hours every month and not doing anything else.
Just go for 20 minutes, you’ll feel so much better and it’s very easy to find a spare 20 minutes in your day.
Have a healthy day
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