Exercise fixes everything. The other night, I had the worst night’s sleep and to make matters worse, I awoke at 5:15 am for the day. Feeling horribly sluggish all morning, even after 2 cups of coffee, I considered skipping my workout. But after fighting with myself about it all morning, I decided to do it, hoping it would help me feel better. I hopped (let’s be honest…dragged myself) onto the treadmill and started one of my favorite treadmill workouts. After about the first 10 minutes, I noticed how much better I felt. The sluggishness lifted and was replaced by a feeling of energy that ended up lasting all day. This is when I came to the realization that exercise fixes everything.
Both The American Heart Association and The American Cancer Society recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. I personally recommend you work out 5-7 days per week for at least 40 minutes, varying the type of exercise you do each day. And always try to get additional activity during the day besides your workout. See this blog post for some tips on achieving this. http://www.healthyfood4life.com/2016/10/29/move-your-body-daily/
Here is a list of everything you can fix by engaging in exercise:
-your cholesterol and blood pressure…exercise helps to lower it!
-the functioning of your immune system…exercise helps improve it!
-the length of your cold…exercise can shorten it! If you do not have a fever, but are just fighting a cold that is not full-blown but is lingering, working out can help knock it out of your system.
-your heightened stress level…exercise will alleviate stressful feelings that build up and cause you to feel physically anxious and mentally overwhelmed.
-the look of your body…exercise tones and slims your physique!
-the number on the scale…exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off! I believe exercise to be a crucial element of total health, wellness and weight loss.
-your anxiety and depression…exercise causes the release of natural endorphins otherwise known as “feel-good neurotransmitters”. They are natural antidepressants. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, exercise can help immensely. I went through a period in my life where I experienced mental and physical anxiety including nervous stomach, physical shakiness and mental anguish, and daily exercise helped me lessen these symptoms.
-your energy level…exercise will increase it!
-your relationships with friends, your spouse or your kids…exercising together gives you a chance to catch up with people. Also if you have to address a difficult conversation with someone (talking to your teenager about drinking or to a spouse about an argument you had), it can be easier to do that while on a walk with that person rather than sitting face-to-face.
-your need for some zen time…exercise alone and feel regenerated! A walk alone outside is a perfect way to achieve some much-needed solitude. It gives you a chance to think, sort things out, or listen to a podcast.
-your self-esteem and mood…exercise enhances it! Again those endorphins come into play. But also if you challenge yourself to try different exercises (like kickboxing or a spin class) or reach different goals within your exercise routine (workout for 10 minutes longer than normal or run a 5K) it makes you feel empowered and capable.
Work exercise into your life no matter what. It truly can be the perfect fixer-upper!
Here’s one of my favorite treadmill workouts to try if you are tired of the same-old routine!
THE 10-10-10 TREADMILL WORKOUT
5 Minutes: warm up with an easy walk on the treadmill
10 Minutes: walk VERY FAST at no incline
(all treadmills and physical abilities are different– I walk at about 4.5-4.7 speed for this segment)
10 Minutes: jog
(around 6.0-7.0 speed if it is okay for you; if you’d like, you can start at 6.0 and increase the speed by .1 after each minute)
10 Minutes: walk at a very steep incline like 10-12 if it’s not too much for you and at a very slow speed like 3.5-3.8
(keep your abs engaged while walking on an incline to protect your back)
5 Minutes: cool down with an easy, slow walk
TOTAL 40 MINUTES
Please note: Be sure to check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous exercise. Adjust the speed and incline to your own abilities. Wear the safety clip while on the treadmill.