Maybe while standing in line at the store you glanced through the recent TIME Magazine cover story:
Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin
This bummed me out in the same way Tracy Anderson does. The title is misleading, and the article could be construed as confusing to people who are looking for a simple answer. (Despite this, it does contain interesting information and research.)
The title alone, Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin infers we should all stop moving, because it’s not helping, and instead focus on what we eat. The title supports the all or nothing mentality so often held in America, seeking the path of least resistance.
Call it exercise or a walk to the store, either way, Please keep moving!
This article is really about the psychology of diet and exercise in the US, and the definition of the word “exercise”.
The truth is, exercise, or activity or movement will help you lose weight. It is a basic formula: less caloric intake plus more energy expended equals weight loss.
As stated in the article: The problem ultimately is about not exercise itself but the way we’ve come to define it.
AMEN! If nothing else, this is the statement you should take away from the Time Magazine article.
You may work out two or three times a week at the gym, an hour each time, but does your workout become an excuse to eat more? And how do you spend the other 166 hours that week?
Think moderation. You would be better off, moving all day long, albeit low intensity. It’s healthier, less impact on your body and better for the mind.
Have you ever been on a trip to a big city where you are constantly on the go while at the same time enjoying the city’s culinary delights, and upon returning home, are surprised to find you’ve lost weight? It is possible to enjoy life and stay healthy. Healthy living is not based on sacrifice and rewards. (Does this stem from our puritanical roots?) No matter how you slice it, the American perspective on health is a bit off.
Granted, it’s a big country. Few places in the US are navigable by foot like New York or San Francisco, making it harder to stay active throughout the day. Use some creative elbow grease. Walk in the evenings after dinner with friends, take the steps, not the elevator, create a living environment and lifestyle that allows you more room to move and not just remain in the car or at the desk 10 hours a day. It’s a tall order, but the doing falls on you, and it can be done.
And yes! If you enjoy walking on the treadmill, then do it. If you enjoy going for a lap swim or taking a pilates class, then please go for it. Don’t stop. The key is to enjoy. Enjoyment keeps your brain happy, heart healthy, and stress levels down.
However you add a bit more movement throughout the day, always keep in mind moderation and enjoyment. Life is too short.