I’m not a fan of exercise. I wish I was but I’m not. I’ll just never be one of those women who’s giddy about going to a gym. I have to force myself to get it done so making it easy and fast are my two main objectives.
There was a time that every “expert” recommended at least half an hour of moderate exercise daily. Your heart rate had to be over a specific threshold for it to be considered beneficial.
Over the last decade, the reality of exercise has been exposed.
No, you don’t need any fancy equipment or trap yourself into some awful gym contract. You don’t have to monitor your heartrate and push yourself harder to reach it. You don’t have to spend hours of your time every week.
It turns out that all of that was overboard and the average person doesn’t need it.
If you’re a professional athlete, a model or actor, or have a profession where your body literally determines your paycheck…you have to go overboard. The mass majority of the world doesn’t fall into any of those “body equals money” categories.
The unrealistic expectations of how long we should exercise were self-defeating. It’s easy to become frustrated, tired, and maybe even end up hurting ourselves trying to reach some ideal goal.
Right now, two-thirds of the United States adult population is overweight or obese and one-third of those under the age of 18.2/3 of the US population is overweight or obese and 1/3 of those under the age of 18. #epidemic Click To Tweet
The typical Western Diet is riddled with boxed and bagged foods, fast food dives on every corner, and a strong emphasis on fast and cheap rather than healthy.
To make matters worse, Americans are more sedentary than ever before in history. In a survey conducted by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), researchers discovered that 83 million citizens of the U.S. live a sedentary lifestyle – defined as getting little to no physical activity (even the least strenuous variety) in the course of their daily life.
If you think that’s just confined to “couch potatoes,” you’d be incorrect. Too many of us with computer-based jobs end up in this category as well. When you sit all day, it bleeds into your non-work hours as well. There’s also a high rate of sedentary behavior with older people who might have misconceptions about the risks and benefits of exercise.
Is it any wonder we have epidemics of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and so much more?
PAC Chairman, Tom Cove, stated, “The high rate of inactivity is fundamentally alarming. While we can look at this number in a negative light, I would like to use it as a wake-up call to society.”
What are the facts? How long should you exercise and what regimen is right for you? Is there physical activity that you’ll fit into your schedule and maintain?
Why Your Body Needs Exercise
Your lymph system (the backbone of your immune system) only works with movement and deep breathing. Since most of us don’t breathe effectively (I’ve written on this topic before) and we’re clearly not moving enough, your lymph system is vulnerable to sluggishness, backup, and disease. You have more lymph fluid in your body than blood so this is definitely a problem.
There are more than 308 million people in the United States according the Census Bureau. Of those, almost 163 million are over the age of 35. Research shows that the older we get, the more complacent we become about physical activity.Research shows that the older we get, the more complacent we become about physical activity.Click To Tweet
Before the age of cable television, computers, and video games, people spent more time moving. Now, we spend as much as 15 hours each day sitting (and much of that is in front of screens).
Exercise has become a “task” on our to-do list that must be completed rather than part of our lives that we didn’t think much about. Addressing our stress levels, inadequate nutrition, lack of quality sleep, and sedentary lifestyles has reached a critical point.
In a New York Times article, Kraft VP Michael Mudd stated, “We’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while food companies do the very same thing. We could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco.”
Those are strong words and more than most in the food industry would admit.
“Diet, exercise, and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. A viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage, and counteracting the effects of aging,” explained Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, Ph.D., neurosurgery professor with the University of California – Los Angeles.
Top 7 Benefits of Exercise
- Lower your risk of sickness and disease
- Sleep better
- Strengthen bones, muscles, and joints
- Balance mood
- Boost your lymph system and overall immunity
- Increase your energy levels
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
To determine what exercise is right for you and how long you should exercise, you first must be brutally honest with yourself. About yourself.
Setting rational and sustainable goals is the key to success. Sure, it might feel good to say you’re going to run three miles every day but the longer you ignore going for a run, the worse you’re going to feel emotionally and mentally.
Keep it simple with these three steps.
1. How long should you exercise? If you live a sedentary lifestyle, 10 minutes a day will give your body far more movement than it’s currently getting. Once you establish a routine (it takes a solid month of dedication to set a habit), your body will want it. Eventually, you might really get around to running but for now, get at least a little movement in every day.
2. What exercise is right for you? There are many free video sites that offer 5, 10, and 15 minute workouts at various fitness levels. Maybe you’ll enjoy yoga or tai chi. If those are a bit slow, perhaps a low-impact aerobics routine. The important thing is to move. During that set time every day, you commit to moving for a little bit. Pick something you enjoy online or take a short walk, go for a swim, or go up and down the stairs of your house or apartment for ten minutes.
3. What’s the best time to exercise? This is another thing that is totally up to you. I prefer first thing in the morning before I start work to get the blood pumping. Maybe after lunch or at the end of your workday is best for you. The important thing is to pick a time when you are least likely to be interrupted by children, phone calls, work commitments, etc so that you can stick to it.
The truth is that you can accomplish more than you think in ten minutes every day. No matter what is going on, you can take that time for yourself and your health. Living healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or frustrating.You can accomplish more than you think in ten minutes every day. #VividLivingClick To Tweet
Let me show you how easy it can be in my book “Vivid Living.” In just ten minutes a day, you can transform your life mentally, emotionally, and physically. These are the life hacks I use in my everyday life to help me on my journey to my health and wellness goals.
I can do it. You can do it. Let’s do it together. Read “Vivid Living” right now!