Admittedly, I used to have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it now and that is because I choose to do exercises that I enjoy, and I leave the rest.
(Don't feel like reading? No worries - just watch the video above!)
Really, a lot of my exercise comes from daily movement and isn’t just for the sole purpose of working out.
By that I mean, I take my son to the park and we play baseball or soccer, I go for family hikes, I take my dog out for walks, and I even make my house cleaning into a workout! (Can you picture me doing squats as I clean the shower walls?)
Some of my body movements are from actual intentional exercise but a lot of it is from just being intentional about getting my body moving with things I enjoy!
It’s important to understand WHY exercise is an essential component of healthy living or weight loss program, and HOW it will increase its effectiveness by helping you to tone up, strengthen your bones and speed up your metabolism, which will help you to lose weight more quickly.
While 80% of weight loss is what we eat, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and plays a really important role in weight loss as well.
Benefits of Exercise:
You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Incorporating movement into your daily living is easier and less complicated than you might think.
Getting your body moving four to five days per week for at least 30 minutes will do wonders.
As I mentioned earlier, finding something you enjoy is key. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. You can start small and gradually increase the time and intensity.
The picture below features one of my absolute favourite ways to get my body moving - hiking in nature with my family (this was during our summer vacation in Gaspe, Quebec last month.)
When I hike, I get it all - fresh air, sunshine, exercise, nature AND time with my family - Bonus!
Here are some other great ideas:
The main thing is to find something you enjoy – so you stick with it!
You also want to choose some weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your bones. A benefit to this is lean muscle mass speeds up your metabolism, which helps with weight loss.
Even after your workout is over, you’ll continue to burn calories because of the increase in muscle.
If you’re worried about looking bulky – don’t. Basically, if you can lift the weight you’re using 10 times in a row, you’re only going to tone your muscles and not bulk up.
Here’s your ACTION TASK: Choose an activity (or more than one) from the list above, or use your own ideas, and get your body moving 2 days this week. You’re going to gradually increase that to at least 4 days/week.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to schedule it in your agenda, and give it the same level of importance (or higher!) as paying the bills.
Whenever we do something for ourselves, for some reason, it’s the first thing that gets set aside when anything seemingly more important comes up. Do you see this happening in your life? If so, make sure you read this blog post about why it's essential to put yourself on your to-do list.
So, expect that to happen and when you see that happening, take note of it, and make sure you rearrange your schedule so that exercise and the time needed to prepare your foods is a priority.
You’re worth it and when you take the time to take care of yourself everyone around you benefits.
When you feel better about yourself and you’re giving your body and mind what they need physically, emotionally and nutritionally, others are going to notice a shift in your mood and your attitude and it’s going to affect your relationships for the better.
After you watch this video (or read this post), I want you to share in the comments below what exercises you’re choosing to get your body moving this week!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.