Moving more is the gist that keeps giving. Stretching, walking, yoga, running – any sort of physical movement doesn’t just help you shake the cobwebs from your brain and strengthen your body – but it can boost your self esteem, lighten your mood and even help you sleep better.
The second “gift” that comes with moving more is it helps with weight loss too! Changing your eating and moving more – you can shed up to 20% more than if you only changed your eating habits. Keep moving for the long term and you’re more likely to keep the weigh off too!
So here’s the secret – choose activity for its feel good benefits, rather than what you think you “should do”. When you choose an activity that you enjoy, you are more likely to continue doing it, succeed in your weight loss and maintain it. In one study that the Weight Watchers weekly sites, they asked people to walk a mile for “fun. those people said they felt less tired and in a better mood than those that were asked to walk for “exercise” Who knew?!
Walking – Walking is a great, everyday activity that teams up nicely with other pleasures like exploring nature, new adventures, spending time with family or friends or even listening to an audio book. In a recent study (done by Patel AV, et al. Walking in Relation to Mortality in a large Prospective Cohort of Older US Adults. Am J Prev Med 2017), they showed that a little walking can payoff big – the study included more than 62,000 men and 77,000 women and found that walking, even less than the two hours a week recommended by Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, can still help you live longer.
What to do? What moves you? If you have fun being active, you’ll do it more often. So here’s a quick activity from the Weight Watcher’s Weekly to get you started:
WHAT will I do? ( make it simple, clear and doable – play ball in the yard, walk around the block) If it sounds fun to you, then it’s a great idea.
WHEN will I do it? (make time for moving more and you’ll help make it happen – designate specific days and windows of time you can devote to it)
WHERE will you do it? (It’s not enough to say I’ll walk- map a route so you know what to expect)
With WHOM (if anyone) will I do it?
So for this week pick an activity that you enjoy doing and set a specific goal to do it by answering the questions above.
For me, I enjoy walking (in the warmer weather-of course). I download a podcast or book I’d like to listen to and then set off on the walk. I usually shoot for at least an hour walk which equates to at least 3 miles for me. I clear my head on these walks and don’t allow myself to looks at emails, Facebook or even answer calls. This time is only for me. I also do some running, where I download my favorite songs and hit the pavement. Running outdoors is my favorite and I generally choose a route that requires me to complete the distance I selected, so i don’t quit half way through.
Right now, during the winter months in New England, I have been doing Jillian Michael’s workout programs. I completed her 30 Day Shred and I am in my final month of her Body Revolution right now. Up next I plan to do her Body Shred Program- which will end in mid-May, so at that point I plan to log some fresh air hours too. I require a challenge in my workout, that’s what motivates me, something that “level’s up, every so often. That’s what I like about Jillian’s programs. They force me out of my comfort zone each and every morning and I feel great starting my day that way.
The key to all of this, is to find what motivates you and don’t let it get stale. Because when your workout gets boring, it’s no longer serving your body or your mind. It’s time to switch it up to something else. Hit a trail with a friend or your family, try something new at the gym (like that Zumba or Barre Class you’ve been eying) – you never know how much it may change your mindset!
What’s your favorite way to get your activity in? I’d love to hear of new workouts or things to try with my family!