Exercise. For some it is a love affair and for others it is love/hate affair. I love it when I’ve been on a roll and I hate it when I feel like I’m starting from scratch again. However, the benefits you gain from regular exercise far outweigh any negative feelings I may have about it. In the MayoClinic.com’s article, Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity, the following three are my top motivators:
- Chronic disease fighter – Regular exercise can decrease triglyceride levels and boost your good cholesterol at the same time! A few years ago, I went to see my doctor for routine blood work. When I returned for the results I was shocked to discover that my triglycerides were high enough to put me in the “borderline-high” category. A high level of triglycerides raised my risk for heart disease and considering it is in my family history – this was my wake up call. What did I do? I signed up for my next marathon knowing that the regular training would motivate me and lower my triglyceride levels. I also started monitoring my diet. I began taking my lunches and snacks to work and avoided fast food and limited dining out.
- Weight manager – The American College of Sports and Medicine suggests 150 to 250 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity to prevent weight gain.
The CDC recommends the talk test as a simple way to measure intensity level. “…if you’re doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.”
The minimum level of moderate physical activity is equal to 30 minutes, 5 days a week and has been shown to prevent significant weight gain. Exercise is good for the heart and is even better when combined with a healthy diet. To lose 1 lb. of fat per week, a reduction of 500 calories per day is needed. Not entirely sure of how many calories you are eating per day? Try keeping a food journal to track calories and exercise.
- Playtime – Working out does not mean you are chained to a gym or that you have to go run five miles! Taking dance lessons, walking for your local charity, or going for a hike all count! I like to do stuff with friends, in fact this weekend a good friend and I had a blast at the Warrior Dash. We got to hurtle cars, traverse beams, crawl through tunnels, jump over fire and play in the mud — smiling the entire time while getting our workout on!
Whatever reason you choose to stay in shape, find your motivation and start today!
My personal reasons to exercise are:
I want to fight the temptation of the Candy’s call every holiday season.
I want to fit in today’s clothes after the holiday season.
I want live to be 99 years old like my grandfather.
I want to be around for my family.
What are you personal reasons?