At David’s Way, we strongly encourage all who want to live a healthier lifestyle to incorporate a regular exercise regimen into their daily routines, or at a minimum three or four days per week for at least a half hour of activity. Just ensure you have your physicians approval before beginning any new physical fitness activities. If you have never been one to exercise, know that thirty minutes of moderate intensity, such as walking 3 days per week is sufficient to be a benefit to your health and well being. If thirty minutes is too much for you to begin with, then try three ten minute walks each day as they are equally useful as one thirty minute walk. In fact, if you have never exercised, you would be better served to do three ten minute walks and build into walking for a half hour straight at your own pace.
Having studied several popular weight loss/management programs, I have observed that many of them appear to only concentrate on two things, getting you to lose weight and taking your money. A glaring problem I have identified is that even if they encourage some exercise, the focus is aimed squarely at losing pounds, and reaching a number on the scale or maybe a smaller size article of clothing. The mental health aspect of why people might become overweight is almost never addressed. The programs are always aimed at getting your weight down and not at fixing your mind in order for you to understand why you might have an eating disorder and fail to address how regular exercise helps to clear your mind and how it can increase your self esteem and confidence. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mind are caused in part by the blood supply’s improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Inactive people usually experience cognitive inflexibility which keeps them repeating unhelpful behaviors and restricts their ability to process or to even acknowledge new information which reduces the ability to change their behaviors which contributed to their overweight or obese situation. Regular exercise will help to clear the mind in order to see new solutions to life’s problems.
For a large number of overweight or obese individuals, possibly even a majority, if you do not get your mind right as a part of a weight loss program, even if you do reach your goal weight, you are likely going to put that weight back on and likely even more than you lost in the first place. The mind has to be in the game too, or you will fail at your efforts. As a part of having your mind right, exercise has to be about more than causing a scale number to drop. Exercise has to also improve your mood along with increasing your lean muscle mass, or at a minimum be sufficient for you to maintain the lean muscle mass you currently possess. As a component of a healthy lifestyle, the health benefits of regular exercise that should be emphasized include the following:
- Improved sleep.
- Increased interest in sex.
- Better endurance.
- Stress relief.
- Improvement in mood.
- Increased energy and stamina.
- Reduce tiredness which can increase mental alertness.
- Weight reduction.
- Reduce cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness.
Friends, you do not have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better in body and mind.