When it comes to health and wellness, ask any holistic health care provider, “How can I be healthier?” and they will probably focus on the following pillars: Healthy mind body connection, Food, Water, Sleep, Nutrients and you guessed it: Exercise.
We've spent some time extolling the virtues of eating mostly real foods that reduce the body's inflammation load. We've extensively gone on about water and sleep. And as far as nutrients go, that's a story for another day. So guess what we are chatting about today dear one: Yes indeed, exercise. I feel like you either love it or hate it. My intention in writing this is to encourage you to be on the love it side.
I feel you tuning me out but hear me out! Remember this is the easy 7 day launchpad to optimal you, (part of the 30 day kickstart!) I feel as though I have been true to my promise, that everything I will ask of you in this process will be easy to get started, and exercise is no different.
Like everything else we've talked about, just be easy about it, and it all starts with how you are thinking about the things you are thinking about.
Let me share a story with you. It's a story that truly proves that you just have to take a "be easy," approach to all this. This woman was in her 30's. As far as she was concerned she'd been trying to lose weight for the longest and nothing seemed to be happening. Her doctor did all the tests: blood sugar, thyroid etc, she tried different diets and she even trained for the upcoming marathon with our run team that we used to have in our office at the time. She had recently had a baby, she was still nursing, not sleeping well because her baby wasn't sleeping through, and she was eating very few calories. At the time in her life that i'm describing, she was about a size 14, up from about a size 6 before her baby. She was FRANTIC. She was a very smart professional lady, the kind of person who actually knows a thing or two about health and wellness and she was also open to trying something new, anything!
Firstly, she had to eat more. Her body had slowed her metabolism way down in response to her practically starving herself. She also needed to actually reduce her exercise. True story y'all. All this marathon training, coupled with her lack of calories and lack of sleep was causing fat storage instead of building lean muscle! Short version of this long story: With eating more, getting better sleep and reducing my exercise, I went from a size 14 back down to somewhere around a size 8. Yes y'all. This is my true story.
So when I tell you that exercise in the wrong context can be bad for you but in the correct context can do wonders for your body, please please please do believe me. I've not only seen it in the text books and with patients, but I've also seen it with myself.
So my question to you is: why would you exercise? Why would you want to include exercise in your daily regimen? What do you feel about exercise? Is it punishment for the extra treats you may have consumed? Is it something you are doing because you look in the mirror and are dissatisfied with the wonderfull goddess that you truly are?
Exercise is amazing! It increases the production of your "happy hormones," improves bone density in many cases, improves energy, reduces inflammation when taken in moderation, improves skin, cardiovascular and brain health. Exercise can help improve sleep, increase energy and also can even reduce pain. A study in the journal of the American Medical Association concluded that exercise was more helpful for patients with arthritic changes than NSAID pain relievers!
Is there another way we can be considering this idea of exercise? What if we moved our bodies in celebration of the ability of our bodies to do tremendous things? What if we moved our bodies in anticipation of all the wonderful things exercise gives us. What if we were EASY about this whole idea of including daily exercise in our lives? What would that mean for us? What would that make available? What if we changed the way we think about the way we think about exercise?
Nowadays when I lift weights, I luxuriate in the power I feel being able to lift big things up and put them down! When I run or cycle or spin I marvel at my body's ability for speed and I revel in the post exercise endorphin rush. When I do yoga or zumba or dance, it's for the pure pleasure of doing it and not as a punishment for not living up to what society thinks I should look like, it's not because I had the extra servings, it is absolutely not because I dislike my reflection! Who's with me?
Oh, BTW: one more thing, when you are tracking your steps make sure you aren't just going for a leisurely stroll. You want to swing your arms and walk briskly to truly get the benefit.
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*Disclaimer: Please remember that it's impossible for me to diagnose you and treat you just by you reading one of my articles, books or from a challenge! I'm superwoman it's true, but even that is beyond my capabilities. So before you engage in any health and wellness activities, do consult your healthcare provider. Please know that we are happy to address your personal concerns, just call us in office (860-589-1491) to schedule your personal consultation; and thanks ever so much for reading. We appreciate you