Shocking insights offer new encouragement for non-exercisers
Are your pants a little too tight? Do you have a muffin top in the making? A burgeoning bottom? Thickening thighs?
Don’t despair! Exercise can help look and feel your best.
It will help you fit into your pants, too.
Hold it, you say. I know exercise is good for me. But it makes me feel like crap. All that huffing, puffing and sweating. I’ll be exhausted. And my muscles, including ones I never knew existed, will be reduced to whining, sobbing, useless blobs.
Okay. Maybe so. Just take it easy and listen to your body. The feeling-better-physically part will come later. For now, you can feel good knowing that you are exercising, which is wonderful for your body.
Wait, you say. I AM listening to my body and it is demanding a bag of potato chips and a couch.
Stop right there. That is not your body you hear. It is your fat cells. Yes, they are part of your body, but only part and they happen to be extremely LOUD and SCARED. They are trying to protect themselves—and you—in case of food shortages and famine. They don’t want to give up one iota of fat. Fact is, they want more, more, MORE.
Not only are your fat cells noisy, they’ve formed an alliance with your stomach. Together, they team up on you and start begging, begging BEGGING for one or more of the following: crunchy, salty, sweet, creamy, spicy, chocolately, chewy, crisp, buttery, bubbly, cheesy, juicy….
OH MY GOD! If you’re like me, your mouth is watering now and you need full-body restraints to keep from running to the fridge or pantry or grocery store, whichever is closest and has food.
But don’t do it.
Tell your fat cells to hush up
Just this once, don’t listen to your fat cells.
It isn’t easy to ignore them. Fact is, they are so strident that they are drowning out the other little, but very important, sounds from within your body.
For example, if you listen very, very, VERY closely, you just might hear your muscles. This is what they are saying:
Your muscles want to be used. They may be a little timid after so little practice, but they are begging, begging, BEGGING for this.
Your body wants exercise.
It is, after all, designed for movement, just as it is designed for eating, sleeping, working, reproducing and such.
Our sit-on-our-fannies lifestyle has thrown our bodies out of kilter. Most of us sit all day in chairs at work. Then we sit in cars on the way home. At home, we sit in front of a television, computer, hand-held digital device or even <gasp> a magazine, newspaper or book!
It’s no wonder that our pants tighten (and not in a sexy way).
The importance of balance
The key is striking a balance between the energy that you consume (meaning food) and energy that you expend (meaning exercise, although metabolism plays a part, also).
So eat sensibly. I believe you know what this entails. If you don’t, there’s plenty of good advice available. (Ask your doctor or other reputable source.)
If you haven’t exercised much lately, you’ll want to ease into it. I’m a firm believer in starting small. A little exercise is better, MUCH better, than none. Your muscles and body will agree.
With regular exercise and a sensible diet, you’ll get your body back into balance.
Just add movement
You don’t have to be a crazed weights-and-cardio person. In fact, don’t be, at least not when you are just starting to exercise. Instead, focus on adding more movement throughout your day. Sprinkle it in here and there.
Walk the dog. Take the stairs. Park at the far end of the lot. Work in a bike ride. Take a yoga or tai chi class. Garden.
You get the idea.
Choose activities that you enjoy. Gradually, make movement—exercise—a bigger part of your day.
What if you want more vigorous workout? That’s great! But build up gradually to it, please.
Everybody needs some fat on their body and in their diet. It’s important to health. Being too thin, or being preoccupied with becoming so, is not good.
What you want is a balance that is right for you, so you can be fit and healthy, feel great and energetic, and look your best.
And for those pants to fit and flatter.
So go get some exercise!