Choose You Blog
In a recent post here about eating right and making healthy food choices (or healthier) over less healthy food choices, (Knowledge about your food really is power!), a commenter left a truly potent remark that has lingered with me ever since:
“De A says:
There was a recent article in my local paper about visitors from Europe. They were quoted as saying they could not believe all the emphasis on exercise here, and it would be less necessary if American portion sizes were smaller, as in their country.”
The assumption in the newspaper quote is that one only exercises as means to some form of weight loss or weight maintenance end. I strenuously (aerobically, lol) disagree.
But I don’t blame anyone; I just think we’ve gotten such a focus on obesity we’ve grabbed the wrong end of the stick. Exercise isn’t just about your weight; it’s about your body, keeping it toned, strong, healthy.
For example, yoga, when it defines itself, says its purpose is to, “involve movements, which bring stability and energy to the body, the senses, the mind, and the consciousness.” So, no mention of weight there. Yoga as exercise intends to balance physical and mental energy, strengthen the body, increase flexibility, relieve stress, improve posture, control breathing, and so forth. These are all things that have the primary goal of improving overall health — not losing weight.
The American Cancer Society advocates activity because, “Being active is an important part of staying healthy, regardless of your age. It may also lower your risk for certain types of cancer. In this section we offer suggestions to help you get and stay active.” It adds that, “Research has proven that we all benefit from being active, regardless of age. People who are active are less stressed, live healthier lives, and have lower medical costs.”
You lessen your risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. You increase your chance of feeling happier and less stressed. And more. The Mayo Clinic has seven proven benefits of exercise:
- Improves your mood.
- Combats chronic disease.
- Manages your weight.
- Boosts your energy.
- Promotes better sleep.
- Puts the spark back in your sex life.
- It can be fun!
Who doesn’t want that?
Yes, portion control and healthy eating choices and exercise are crucial to managing weight, but it’s not all about the number on the scale or how your pants fit (or what size they are). really it’s all about taking care of your body and being healthy. It’s about lowering your risk for problems.
You can do a little or a lot. You can be creative or follow a standard gym plan. Here’s a great article to help you determine a good type of exercise for you and how much you need, as well as creative alternatives: “Make Exercise Work for You”
And if you can spare a few minutes, Choose You blog has a daily exercise video! Just scroll down to see the ExerciseTV Workout of the Day or click here to download a two-week workout. You can also pledge to get active!
Just remember: it’s for your muscles, bones, heart, organs, and mind as much as it is for your waistline.