The numbers speak for themselves…
- 60% of Americans don’t exercise
- 25% of Americans get no activity at all
- 50% of us who start an exercise program quit in less than 6 month’s
- 90% of all exercise equipment goes un-used in less than 1 year
The key to understanding exercise is to know it’s not about going to the gym and there’s very little chance you will ever exercise off over-eating. Exercise is not by itself the solution to our nation’s obesity epidemic but it has its benefits. There’s a host of benefits such as musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health and improved brain function but our focus is going to be more on living an active lifestyle vs. formal exercise or “working out”.
Benefits of regular exercise and an active lifestyle:
- Helps to lose and control your weight
- Strengthens your heart muscle and ultimately will lower your resting heart rate
- Increases your lung capacity (volume)
- Decreases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke
- Helps to lower blood pressure
- Helps to lower cholesterol
- Burns calories
- Builds and strengthens bones
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress
- Improves self esteem
- Slows down the aging process!
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” - Plato
Exercise is not just a physical activity. It’s also a matter of values and perspective. Do you treasure (or value) the muscles in your body to live an active lifestyle? Ancient wisdom states “Whatever you treasure there your heart will be also” so if we treasure the muscles in our legs and arms we’ll use them because our heart will be into it. If we don’t we will lose them.
Recent studies show without regular resistance training or exercise the average person loses 1 lb of muscle every year and replaces it with fat. This makes us more prone to injury and we burn fewer calories because muscle burns 50 times more calories than fat. This all boils down to the fact that it is in our best interest to retain the muscle we have for optimal health if we like to eat!
Answer the questions below to see if you T.R.E.A.S.U.R.E. an active lifestyle?
Time – Do you invest a min. of 30 min. every day into being more active and climbing the mountain?
Resources – Do you dedicate a portion of your resources or money to pursue extraordinary health?
Energy – Do you put energy into climbing the mountain?
Abilities – How do you leverage your natural talents and abilities to climb? How much would you sell your legs for? If they were worth ten million dollars don’t you think you should leverage this asset vs. sitting on it?
Space – What do you have in the space around you will dictate what you value most. Do you have tools and resources to help you become a better climber? Books, magazines, websites, clothes, shoes, or other equipment to help you climb should occupy the spaces in your home.
Utterances – Do you talk about climbing the mountain more than you will gab about rafting the river? Words have power and the more you talk about climbing the mountain the better your chances are you’ll spend time doing it.
Recreation – Do you see climbing the mountain as recreation or work? If you believe rafting the river is a form of entertainment and you desire more recreation in your life, you’ll spend more time rafting than climbing. If you find enjoyment in climbing, you’ll achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
Eager – What are you the most eager to do? Climbers wake up with a desire to conquer mountains.
Integrating your values into your daily schedule will precede your success in living a more active lifestyle. If you don’t focus on being more active each and every day you won’t achieve your goals. Exercise is never a time issue. It’s a priority issue. Will you prioritize getting in a little more activity this week and go beyond what’s usual, regular and customary? If you do, you’ll see exceptional results to a marked extent in a very short period of time!
Start by putting in daily appointments on your calendar to be sure it’s on your plan for the day. Don’t start with something staggering (1-2 hour workouts). Just focus on doing something for 10-15 minutes a day until it becomes a habit. The first few minutes are the hardest part but once you get started you’ll feel good and typically you’ll find a few more minutes than you thought you had.
eHealth Challenge Tip: Make time for your body
Exercise can help you burn and/or bank calories, which helps you to balance your calories consumed with your calories expended. Get your friends and family involved by suggesting group activities (such as walks or sports challenges) that focus on physical health and take the emphasis off food.