Responsibility to Self

In my last couple posts, I talked about having a busy life and the importance of exercise and nutrition and how we must take care of ourselves first and foremost.

Friends, make your wellness your first priority in life. If you are not well, it becomes quite difficult to tend to your responsibilities to family and career. When life becomes difficult, our stress levels rise which triggers cortisol, ghrelin and leptin. These are our hormones which affect hunger and body fat. When you get these hormones out of whack, you begin having troubles with food cravings, weight gain, depression and other health issues. Keep yourself out of kilter long enough and you could easily find yourself with Metabolic Syndrome which in laymans terms, is a combination of all the problems I just cited put together. The good news is all of this can be remedied without medication of any sort. You can heal yourself through proper nutrition and exercise.

I always want to put out there, if you are new to exercise, ensure you are first cleared by your doctor. Especially if your physical activity of choice is fairly strenuous or if you have had an injury or health condition which could flare back up.

A couple keys to making any type of exercise work for you is first you need to enjoy your activity and second, you need to treat it like your job in that routine exercise becomes a priority. My exercise is as important to me as my job. If you enjoy it, then it is much easier to prioritize it.

All who know me, know my first exercise of choice is weight training. However, I also enjoy going for long brisk walks around my neighborhood. Walking is a perfect exercise for everyone, but especially for those who are just beginning. Another great choice for newbies to exercise is water aerobics. These are low impact, easy and very effective means of raising your heart rate while enjoying yourself. With water aerobics, have you ever seen anyone in a pool who was not smiling?

I find walking, even at a brisk pace for long distance to be relaxing. I like to see the different wild flowers that grow where I walk. Turtles sunning on logs at the fish pond, and even the sounds of nature such as birds singing to one another bring me peace while walking. I make it a point to also speak to everyone I encounter while out on my walks. It is good to get to know folks in your community.

Often, the topic of fitness trackers comes up, and I get asked which I think are best. What I use, I have no clue if it is best or not. I do know it is accurate. I use the Samsung Fitness App on my phone. But, I really only use it to track my time while out as I have not worn a watch in years. I have a busy schedule, thus I need to watch my time.

Here is my true thought on FitBit trackers. If you do not have one, do not bother with one. You do not need to spend $100 to know if you got a good workout. If you have one, do not get hung up on the data. Heck, sometimes they are not even accurate. The next thing about the data is the minutiae of details from one workout to the next is pretty insignificant. If you ran a mile in 10 minutes or 7 minutes, the difference in calories burned is pretty small. I often see people getting stressed over data which only serves to kill the joy of exercise. Stressing is what you are trying to fix, not create. Leave the FitBit on your dresser and just enjoy.

Know this, it take on average 20 minutes to burn through your glycogen stores before burning fat when you exercise. You want your heart rate elevated, but not too high for fat burning. And you do not need a heart rate monitor to tell you if you are in the fat burning zone. If you are breathing easy and speak easy, you need to quicken your pace. You are not burning fat. If your heart is about to beat out of your chest and you can not talk, slow your but down. Your heart rate is perfect for you to burn fat when your breathing is a bit difficult, and you can have a conversation which is labored.

Now get and have fun with some exercise.

6 thoughts on “Responsibility to Self

  1. Oh, I so agree about the fitness trackers! We know if we have a good workout. Those things can just contribute to procrastination before working out…good stuff!

  2. I have to put it out there, I love my Fitbit 🤣. But I don’t get caught up on all the data. I love keeping track of my steps/miles. But here’s the thing, it has to be set at your stride length. I had to adjust mine several times. There’s a formula you use to measure stride/distance. I didn’t do that because where I run, I know what my distance is and comparing it to my stride, I knew I needed to change it. Anynway, I feel it can be a useful tool. That said, I don’t freak out if I run out the door without it. Yes the workout/steps/distance count! My body is what’s most important here and that’s where the long term
    payoff is! Also, David, you are so right about making exercise priority. I HAVE to do it 1st thing in the morning, if I don’t then life gets in the way and it won’t happen!

  3. I totally agree about the fitness trackers. Once again, keep it simple! Great advice on how to just get out there and move!

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