On exercise and time
Look at that little hummingbird, flapping his wings between 50-200 flaps per second. That is some cardio workout he has going there, with his heart beating at about 1200 beats per minute. What?!? I don’t see him complaining!
I know what you are going to say: “Yeah, yeah, I know I need to exercise, I’ve heard it all before, but I just don’t have the time!” Well, the way I figure it, if I can make it happen, anyone can! I promise myself at least three days a week of gym time and I arrange the time according to my schedule that week. When we talk about exercise and time, we can all find a way to make it work.
Sometimes I go to the gym at 6 am, other times it’s a lunch time work-out and still at other times it becomes an evening workout. I also like to rotate things so that my muscles don’t cop out and go on a vacation by getting used to the same movements. It is important to vary the exercises we do, so that we can continue challenging our muscles and exercises remain effective. I will do one day of a cardio sculpt type class, one day of barre class and one day of yoga. The other days, I make it a priority to walk to places, if I can I jump on the treadmill 20 minutes, or take a bike ride with my family on the week-end, I do.
Here is the thing: you don’t have to exercise for 1 hour to reap the benefits, even 20 minutes a day could be sufficient.
You also don’t have to belong to a gym, you could do it at home. I bought a rebounder a few years back and I use it with an online group class system when I don’t have time to even go to the treadmill in our building basement. There are also online memberships and clubs that offer all kinds of online home work-outs. I recently trialed one of those memberships (click here if you want to know which one) and the workouts are varied, brief and brutal. There are so many options, we can all find something to work for us.
What about motivation? I think even harder than finding the time to exercise is actually getting started or once you have started finding the motivation to keep going. We are so good at finding excuses not to exercise. Whether it is that initial push to start an exercise program or hitting the gym on a day that you are tired, we all like comfort. Lets face it, working out is not comfortable. So, you probably already know that exercise helps with weight control and that it is
- Good for your heart
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Strengthens the cardiac muscle so it can work more efficiently
- Improves your good:bad cholesterol ratio
- Good for your muscles
- Good for building bone and preventing osteoporosis (brittle bones)
You may even know that people who exercise tend to have
- better sleep
- more energy
- lower stress and anxiety levels
- lower incidence of depression
Lets not forget that you also decrease your chances of developing several different types of cancer. What about the brain? Did you know that exercising boosts the chemicals that prevent degeneration of certain brain areas that control memory and learning? That’s right, see you later Alzheimer’s! While exercise can’t cure Alzheimer’s, it can certainly help stop the cognitive decline that affects us as we age. It’s also good for kids and their cognitive function at school. They learn better and have improved attention, so get the whole family involved in this!
Ok, so maybe that isn’t enough to convince you to jump on the treadmill or do a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. Well, how about this: you live longer. Who wouldn’t like that? Research has shown that people who exercise have an overall mortality that is lower than those who don’t. Even those with cancer lived longer than their non exercising cancer counterparts. Not enough? Ok, lets talk about sex, baby. Great reason to bring the guys into the mix: males who exercise regularly (we are talking about 3 hours per week of high cardio activity like running) have about 33% lower incidence of erectile dysfunction. Because let’s face it ladies, who has time for that?
I mean, there are sooo many advantages! What more do I need to say? I haven’t even touched on its benefits for glucose control in diabetics and in preventing development of diabetes in those who don’t have it. So what are you waiting for? Get up, move, take a walk, run for 20 minutes, hit the gym! You can find a perfect compromise between exercise and time. Anything that gets you going. We only have one body and it has to last us for, at least (I’m hoping), 80 to 90 years. Take care of it!