We often think of exercise as something we do when we want to lose weight. While that is one potential benefit of exercise, there are so many others that get looked over and forgotten about. Exercise …
We often think of exercise as something we do when we want to lose weight. While that is one potential benefit of exercise, there are so many others that get looked over and forgotten about. Exercise is a tool meant to be used frequently for the duration of our lives, not a dreaded experience intended to punish ourselves. Let’s reframe the belief that we do it because we hate ourselves and instead, that we do it because we love ourselves.
Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, biking, or swimming, is something I believe we should do every day. Not only does it help keep our heart healthy, it also greatly improves our mood, self-esteem, confidence, and can help prevent chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Resistance training, such as weight lifting, using weight machines, bodyweight training, or band training, have all of the above mentioned benefits. This type of training also helps us get stronger, increase our bone density as we age, remain able-bodied longer, and enjoy how our bodies look and feel. Resistance training should be incorporated at least three times per week. When we are strong, confident, and healthy, our lives are much more enjoyable as we can do more of the things we want to and have less to worry about.
Regular exercise also helps us learn about ourselves and grow through challenge and competition. We don’t change much when life is easy, and challenging ourselves through exercise is a great, healthy way to add adversity to our lives in an environment where it is safe to fail. Exercise helps make us stronger by stressing and damaging our muscles with microtears. In recovery, these tears heal and the muscles become stronger than they were before. The same can be said for challenges through exercise. When we push ourselves a little bit further than we have while in a safe environment, we can recover from this challenge whether we succeed or fail and come back stronger the next day. This transfers over to the rest of our lives where the conditions may not be so fair.
Although I do not think it’s necessary to take on our most difficult physical feats this time of year, I do believe it’s absolutely crucial we continue to move our bodies from now until the New Year. This time of year is filled with extra food and less opportunities to move our bodies. While it’s okay to participate in all that this season has to offer, we will feel our best if we also choose to prioritize ourselves and move more through structured exercise. This is why I created and will be participating in the Move More Challenge.
The Move More Challenge runs from Monday, November 28 - Friday, December 23, 2022. When you join the challenge, you’ll receive four strength training workouts per week you can do at home or at the gym, a 30-day walk challenge to help you move more outside of your workout, journal prompts to help you build awareness of how exercise makes you feel, and accountability and support from me and the rest of the group. It’s not too late to join! If you’re interested, head over to www.calofitnessllc.com/movemorechallenge. I hope to see you there!
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