Exercise in 10 Bullet PointsExercise in 10 Bullet Points https://www.thrivehealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/bigstock-Young-couple-hiking-in-nature-67413580960.jpg 960 640 Geoff Geoff https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/07524fbcd4a7e528ee98959dc2d2249a?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Exercise is not necessary to lose weight. Repeat, exercise is not necessary to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight and slogging it out on the treadmill or punishing yourself jogging around the park, stop. You are unnecessarily torturing yourself. While this might sound strange coming from an exercise professional we have the proof. Start by eating real food and you will lose weight and increase your energy – then you will actually feel like exercising. Then point number 2 becomes relevant.
Do the wrong exercise while trying to lose weight and you will lose muscle mass not fat. This will only make you fatter in the long run. The fitness industry has purveyed the myth that you need to do cardiovascular exercise to burn fat to lose weight. Cardiovascular exercise is good for your cardiovascular system. It is not necessary to lose weight and it can destroy muscle mass. Cardio can actually make you fatter. And older. Put the treadmill on ebay.
Exercise should be and can be fun – you just need to find the right exercise for you. More importantly, once you understand what exercise is doing for your body, mind and spirit then it becomes meaningful. Exercise that is fun and meaningful? Sounds like the Holy Grail! Take an hour to educate yourself just a little bit about the impact of appropriate exercise on your health and wellbeing. Find a way to give exercise a purpose and it will no longer be a chore.
Your first priority when exercising (after having fun) should be to increase lean muscle mass. Your muscle mass is your glucose reservoir, the more muscle you have, the more glucose you can store and use and the better your insulin sensitivity becomes. Insulin sensitivity is critical for health and for a lean body. Moreover, the more muscle mass you have the higher your basal metabolic rate and the more efficiently your body will burn energy – even sitting on the couch. Muscle mass also plays a role whole body protein synthesis in vital tissue and organs and in the prevention of chronic disease. It is relevant then, to at least maintain muscle mass as we age as it is far more difficult to get it back once it has gone (prevent rather than reverse sacrcopenia).
Muscle mass far more critical to your health than you think.
Every single human being on planet earth should be strength training. Not only will it achieve point number 4, it is by far the best way to increase bone density, improve balance, reduce aches and pains, manage stress, enable movement function, increase joint, tendon and ligament integrity and ensure independence into older age. And there is something very empowering about getting stronger.
A sit up or crunch will not flatten your stomach and they are not training your “core”. Your core is not the superficial muscles of your torso. These are examples of exercises that take more than they give (see point 7) and another example of fitness industry myth. If you want a flat stomach and a six pack you need to eat real food and train your body in an integrated manner using whole body movement patterns.
Your exercise should always give more than it takes. For example, it should contribute the improvement of your posture, not make it worse and it should help you improve basic movement patterns like squatting, lifting, pushing, pulling and walking. If you can’t complete a confident body weight squat then your quality of life is going to suffer.
Interval training IS for everyone. It just needs to be structured appropriately. Interval training provides a lot of benefit in a very short space of time. Intervals burn fat and build muscle making them the number one priority for people looking for fast results.
Never engage in an exercise program unless you have been assessed by a qualified professional. 12 week body transformation challenges often result in pain and injury as they encourage unsupervised exercise with no prior knowledge of a person’s capabilities. That is negligent. Don’t be sucked in.
You can achieve all of the above in 15-20 minute exercise sessions, a few times per week, in your own home, with equipment that costs little and takes up no more space than a storage bucket. And you can have fun. Yes you do have time to exercise – you just need to know how.
- The author’s real life experiences as an exercise professional.
- The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006.
- American College of Sports Medicine – For an all-day metabolism boost, try interval training http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/for-all-day-metabolism-boost-try-interval-training
- The benefits of strength training for older adults http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14552938
- Thrive Health article “Masters of their own destiny” https://www.thrivehealth.com.au/2013/08/22/masters-of-their-own-destiny/