This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
The Medicine You Should Be Taking
Ever wish there was a simple trick to solve your health problems? Do you want something that can give you more energy, make you feel more confident, help prevent disease, protect you from injury, help you sleep better AND help you focus? What if I told you that you already have access to this medicine, and it’s free!
The Best Medicine
Our bodies were meant to move. When we move we feel better, get stronger, and have more energy. This doesn’t say you need to radically transform your life by hitting the gym every day. It means you have the ability to create positive change in your life by making movement a regular habit until it becomes a natural behavior.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Spreading this out is the best way to get it done. To develop a balanced and doable routine, take small steps to integrate more movement into your daily life at every opportunity.
What’s Your Why?
- Diabetes: Exercise improves blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, contributes to weight loss, and improves well-being. Regular exercise may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes development. Regular exercise also has considerable health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes like improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and insulin sensitivity.
- Heart Disease: High cholesterol, obesity and associated comorbidities have been increasing steadily around the world for decades. Several recent studies have shown that sustained physical activity is associated with decreased inflammation, improved metabolic health, decreased risk of heart failure, and improved overall survival. Regular exercise reduces resting heart rate and blood pressure and increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels. All of these factors reduce stress on the heart and improve cardiovascular function in healthy and diseased individuals.
- Some Types of Cancer: Maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active, consuming a healthy diet, and limiting or avoiding alcohol will lower the risk of cancer. These particular risk factors make up the second largest group all cancer diagnoses.
Studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on sleep quality, time to fall asleep, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and reducing insomnia severity. It also appears that stretching, aerobic exercise alone, or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training all show a positive relationship with sleep quality.
Our moods are affected by many factors, but exercise is proven to boost our mood. Try this easy experiment for yourself. Stop what you’re doing and take a 10 minute walk (at a rigorous pace). I bet your mood will have improved when you get back to finish reading this post.
Exercise changes your brain and helps regulate stress and anxiety. Activity encourages production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. If you’ve ever exercised in your life, you’ve already experienced this.
Self care is not selfish. Self care is a necessary priority and you must make time for it now, or risk paying for it later. Prioritize movement into your routine at every opportunity. Exercise will reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
When you take healthy actions each day and start to feel better, you will naturally be less likely to derail your progress by reverting to unhealthy behaviors. Progress is simply the best motivator! But to have progress, you’ve got to get started.
In most cases, weight gain is driven by consuming more calories than you can burn. This situation creates a calorie surplus resulting in stored body fat. You simply cannot out exercise a bad diet, but when you incorporate exercise into your weight management plan, you’ll be building muscle which improves your metabolism leading you to burn more calories at rest. Win win.
By mixing up aerobic exercise (such as walking, biking, dancing, running) and anaerobic exercise (resistance training and interval training) you will receive greater cardiovascular benefits, increased bone density and muscle strength which are all important factors in weight management.
I’ve written about how small improvements compound gains over time, and incorporating exercise into your routine is no exception. There’s always an excuse to not do something. But not doing something is still a choice – one that leads to continued inactivity. Everyone is busy, everyone has a life they want to lead, and introducing exercise into your routine may not be easy but it’s necessary.
Yes You Can
We are who we tell ourselves we are. If we have high expectations of ourselves, we will achieve great things. If we tell ourselves we’re worthless, well, then when we fail it’s to be expected.
Start today. Even tho you don’t feel like it. Do it anyway. Get up and move. You are worth it. Put your systems in place. Nobody will do this for you.
YOU are the one. YOU are your WHY.