Surprisingly, only 23% of Americans get enough exercise. For those of us who are not math majors that is less than 1 In 4 are getting the minimal amount of cardiovascular and strength training to live a healthy lifestyle. This number is based on the recommended 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 5-days per week. This directly impacts the overweight and obesity numbers as much as our sleep deprived cravings and subsequent unhealthy snacking and overeating.
Simply put our ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle and our resulting weight and physical composition comes down to a simple formula. Calories in vs Calories out, which dictates whether our weight is moving up, down or staying neutral (more on calorie quality in a future post). AND just as important, the amount and type of MOVEMENT we initiate and experience determines how much and how fast we burn through those calories. Once again there are volumes of research and text on this topic but for the purposes of this I am trying to keep it simple.
Notice in the previous paragraph I highlighted the term MOVEMENT. Also notice that I didn’t use the term exercise. Because for many the term exercise conjures up visions of torture, gloom, body aches, forced discipline and various other undesirable expressions and experiences. What I am conveying to you is that any movement regardless of intensity will begin to elevate your metabolism and help you to shed pounds. And since we are talking about movement we are at the perfect segue into FUN!
I have found through the experiences of many clients, as well as with myself, that the more fun you can make your movement the more likely you are to sustain your “exercise” routine over time. Would you rather “workout” or go dancing? There is a reason ZUMBA has become an international billion-dollar phenomena. Would you rather go do your “exercise routine” of go play? For most of us these are easy answers. PLAY!
For some, the gym becomes drudgery. But not so for a walk in the park or an easy hike along the lakeshore or in the foothills. Whether your thing is friendly game of basketball (or whatever your sport) in the back yard, yoga, jump rope, swimming, or simply splashing around in the water, golf, riding a bike, playing tag with the kids, throwing the frisbee around, double dutch, ballroom dancing or jogging. Find something–anything active that you have FUN doing and do it a lot. Every day if you can. Or better yet mix it up and try a different fun activity on different days. You will be set up for success and much more likely to sustain your healthy movement over the long haul–creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
Yeah, yeah I know, resistance training is recommended for a lot of things related to health as we grow older like combating osteoporosis and countering the natural degeneration of muscle tissue as we age. We’ll worry about that later. Its much more important that you find something fun to get you started and keep you engaged. We’ll build on that as we go along.
As I stated earlier these two concepts SLEEP and FUN are straight forward and pretty simple to understand.
Get enough sleep and go have some fun!
Master these two very desirable aspects of fitness and you are well on your way to living the fit healthy lifestyle that so many crave but as of now so few actually achieve.
For help developing your healthy lifestyle book your FREE session below.
Let’s have some FUN!
Eric S. Lee