There are many obvious advantages to being in shape, but what about being out of shape?
People who are fit tend to look good, feel good, have more energy, less disease, can wear the clothes they want to wear, and can do the things they want to do. They are healthier, happier, they get better sleep, have better quality lives, live longer, and have more self-confidence. They also fit into the movie seats at the local theater, don’t have to pay more for airline tickets, have better sex lives, can be more fun to be around, better parents, and they can eat more without feeling guilty. Yes- fit people can eat more without getting fat.
[frame align=”right”] Fat Man by:drrnarna, on Flickr[/frame]
But what about the advantages of being really out of shape? Well, there is a big one and here it is . . .
People who are really out of shape, who start exercising, get fitter faster! The fact is your body wants to be in shape. It wants to be healthy. It wants to look good. It wants to be hot! So, the more out of shape you are, the faster your body will respond to your exercise efforts.
Think of the Olympic athlete. Those guys work out for 8 to 10 hours a day for months and years at time just to improve their scores by a hundredth of a second. Someone who is really out of shape can go for a 30 minute walk each day and reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, by 20, 30, even 40% – right off the bat!
Wow! And it isn’t just reducing the risk of disease, by beginning an exercise program your body will jump start other areas too, like weight loss, muscle strength, energy levels, intellectual, emotional, and social enhancements, self-esteem, and yes, looking and feeling sexy again.
So just what is the best exercise, and how much of it do you need to do? Research has shown over and over and over again, that if you want the benefits, you should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most or preferably all days of the week for the rest of your life. So for beginners, remember three things.
First, you don’t have to exercise for 30 minutes at a time. If you’d like to break it up into three 10 minute sessions, that’s fine too. Just accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day.
Second, moderate-intensity means you are working your heart and lung muscles enough so that they must recover and get stronger for the next day. You can monitor this by your breathing. If you feel out of breath or you are gasping, you are working too hard. If you are easily breathing you need to work harder. The talk test is another way to measure your intensity. If you can sing while you are working out, you might be having too much fun and you’re not working out hard enough. If you can’t talk at all, slow it down. If you can talk, but you are also breathing more, you are probably in the right range.
Third, what exercise should you do? The absolute best, no questions, hands down, exercise is . . . the one you will do! Just do one! It doesn’t matter how great other activities are if you won’t do them. So pick one or two that you will do and get to it! Walking, swimming, yoga, shooting hoops, an aerobics DVD, spinning class, snow showing, gardening, elliptical machine, whatever it is you will do – just do something.
Most people are more committed to exercise if they find a buddy to go with them. Making exercise a social event isn’t necessary, but it is an excellent idea. Friends help keep friends motivated and exercising is more fun that way. If we are committed to someone else, we are more likely to continue.
Remember, if you stop moving, you not only stop progressing, you slide backwards. My sister used to tell me, “Move it or Lose it,” when she wanted me to help her clean the house. (She scared me sometimes), but the same principal is true with the bodies we live in.
If we don’t move them, we’ll lose them.
So go- and have fun!