“Lose weight and exercise.” Your blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease is getting worse and your doctor has just laid it on the line for you. Lose the pounds and get moving. “Oh, great!” you say, unenthusiastically. You may have kids, you have a job, you maybe caring for a parent, you are tired and overwhelmed. Time to exercise isn’t in the schedule.
Let’s rethink this situation. Your health is the most important issue. If you don’t have your health, you have lost everything. Besides, who can take care of you? Nobody can care for you, like you can. The first thing you need to do is put yourself on the list and up near the top. I realize that can be very difficult for us women. We tend to be the care givers. We do, do, do for others. It can be very difficult to put yourself on the list. On the list we must be, and high up on the list.
Let’s look at the benefits of exercise. Exercise boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories.
When you exercise, you build muscle mass. There are long muscle fibers and short muscle fibres. Long muscle fibres are strengthened by things like walking and running. Short muscle fibers are built by weight lifting. Short muscle fibers burn more calories. As you age, you really want to have weight training be part of your exercise routine.
There is a higher calorie burn during and after exercise. If you exercise every day, that is a higher calorie burn every day. If you burn just 100 calories more than you eat in a day, every day that is 36500 calories in a year. That equates to about 10 pounds of weight loss in a year. Would walking or more activity be worth it, sure thing.
Exercise decreases your hunger and desire for unhealthy snacks. Exercise works the entire body including the heart and blood vessels, muscles, joints, bones, chemistry and hormones of the body, and the lungs.
Regular exercise clear the mind. It helps circulate the blood to brain, so there is better oxygenation. It releaves stress which will clog up the thinking.
Regular exercise will increase your endurance, flexibility and agility. That means it helps your body be in shape, more stable and minimizes the chance for falls. Yoga is very good for developing flexibility and balance.
What is the easiest way to add in exercise? Walking. If you walk 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week, you can lose 10 pounds or more in a year, without dieting. Get a walking buddy and go for a 20 minute walk on your lunch hour. Add some good nutrition, a winning combo.
I had gotten away from walking and exercise during a stressful relocation a couple of years ago. It seemed like I gained weight every month for about 18 months. I tried dieting, eating on very small plates, and diet supplements to no avail. I made it a goal to walk 3 miles several times a week.
The benefits of walking for me included more energy, clearer thinking, losing 15 pounds in 6 months and peace of mind. It also gives me the chance to review my day and pray. I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I love walking the hills here in the southern tier. It gives me short goals. Gets my heart rate up while it works the legs and buttocks. I love the scenery.
Walking can cause problems with hips, knees, ankles and feet. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Get a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers and good socks. If you need to, start slowly. Walk for 10 minutes every day. If the weather is bad, walk in a mall. Many malls have mall walker groups and the malls are marked for distance.
If you need some more support, keep coming here. I will have an ongoing blog about weight and health issues for us women of wisdom.
There are also excellent magazines about walking and nutrition. These magazines will provide beginner and experience walkers with advice on shoes, clothes, walking sticks, tails, diet and more. They also will have stories about real people like you and I that have lost weight and gained health by walking.
Take twenty minutes every day to walk with a friend. Enjoy your friend, solve problems, tone your body, become healthier, clear you thinking…. priceless.
Would you like a free report that includes tips for weight loss, some very interesting food facts and more? Click here. It is yours. Here’s to a new healthy you, one healthy choice at a time.
Mary Pat FitzGibbons RN writes onhealth and weight issues facing Baby Boomer Women