Ever since I learned that 80% of fat loss has to do with diet, I think I lost my will to exercise. I kind of know its good for me and every time I see you, I think to myself I should do it, but I don’t really feel motivated.—M. from Los Angeles
It’s great that you are becoming educated about your body. Its true that diet, including what you eat, when you eat it and in what quantity has so much to do with weight loss. Trainers like me can only help you maximize the other 20% of the picture when it comes to getting you to your ideal body weight.
But there’s more to life and more to being healthy than simply being thin! You can be thin and not necessarily be healthy. I’d like to think I help people do more than look hot in their skinny jeans–we are talking about quality of life and possibly the duration of your life as well!
So, you mean you are dieting, but you aren’t exercising? Ouch. You could be losing muscle, too…That’s not pretty. There are so many benefits to regular exercise:
Exercise decreases your risk of some cancers:
- An inverse relationship has been found between colon cancer and physical activity (http://nihseniorheath.gov/colorectalcancer/faq/faq3a.html)
- Lack of physical activity is a risk factor in Pancreatic Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/pancreas/page4)
- Vigorous Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer
Cardiovascular activities have been shown to reduce cardio vascular disease risks because they:
- Decrease triglycerides
- Increase HDL cholesterol
- Reduce resting blood pressure
- Reduce insulin needs
- Reduce blood platelet adhesiveness
- Increase stamina, endurance and energy
- Strengthen the heart
- Decrease heart rate and blood pressure at sub maximal levels
- Increase maximal oxygen uptake
- Improve immune function
- Improve sleep
Strength Training Benefits Include:
- Increased functional ability/ability to perform the activities of daily living. (Being more fit means you can do more with less effort)
- Increased bone density
- Decreased sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss)
- Potentially increased metabolism (making it easier for you maintain a healthy weight)
- Decreased risk of injury
- Increased strength of connective tissue
- Increased motor performance
- Improved feelings of well-being and self-confidence
Additionally, circuit weight training (where one resistance exercise is performed one after the other without rest for 20 minutes or more) may result in:
- Reduction in blood pressure at rest
- Improved lipid profile
- Improved glucose tolerance
Just stretching alone can provide the following benefits:
- Decreased stress
- Relief of muscle soreness
- Decreased muscle tension
- Improved posture
- Decreased low-back pain
- Improved ability to perform daily activities
It’s a choice, really. You have to make the time for exercise and you have to choose to make exercise a priority or it won’t happen.
There are lots of things we know we should do in life that we don’t necessarily want to – change diapers, pay taxes etc. but we get through it. Maybe you haven’t been able to find something fun? If you can’t–just do it anyway!
Ideally for optimal health, we want 3-4 days a week of cardio and 2-3 days of strength training. Flexibility training could take place 2-3 days a week, but ideally 5-7 days/week. If you have been sedentary, you will need to start slowly and work up to this ..for example start walking maybe with just a 10 minute walk a few times a week and increase the duration and/or distance as you build your strength.
Both a sensible diet and exercise are needed to achieve optimal health.
Hope to see you Monday for cardio kickboxing!