When I was 26 years old, I became a Group Fitness Instructor because I wanted to teach others the fundamentals of fitness. My main reason was to educate people on the importance of taking care of their body. Not, to mention the accountability it gave me as an instructor! If there is one thing I have learned is that you have to make time for exercise, not find time to exercise! At 26, I did not have children, just a husband. Today, while I do have a husband and two more children, my priorities are different, however; I still have the same amount of time in a day and I still make exercise a priority. In a 26- year- old mindset, I was thinking exercise for weight loss and looking lean, but now in my 40’s mindset, it’s totally different. It’s all about overall health and wellness.
So, let’s get down to the deets on exercise!
How much should I exercise?
Well, it depends on your goals and the right amount of exercise begins with what you can sustain as part of your plan to be healthy.
What are the overall benefits of exercise?
· Heart Health! The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking, water aerobics, gardening, biking) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (running, HITT, Crossfit, swimming, cycling).
· Stress Management! When stress affects the brain, it affects the way we feel. Exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that can act as a natural mood stabilizer, pain killers and sleep aid.
· Muscle Gain! Strength or resistance training twice a week at least 30-45 minutes stimulates muscle growth, improves blood sugar, increasing bone density and prevents muscle loss as we age, improves posture and appearance, increases metabolism resulting in burning more calories.
· Weight Loss! While 100% of the daily energy we gain comes from the types of foods we eat, only 10-30% gets burned from physical activity. Physical exercise does more than burn calories. And, don’t plan to lose weight from exercise alone. You CANNOT exercise a bad diet, the saying holds true scientifically. Any good exercise plan, must accompany a healthy sustainable diet. Reach out to a professional to customize a plan that accommodates your goals.
What should I focus on?
If you focus on exercising for weight loss like I did in my 20’s vs. the overall health benefits like in my 40’s, then exercise doesn’t really become sustainable. Exercise should be something that you enjoy, it should be manageable and realistic. It should not be something you dread or despise. Don’t overdo it and don’t over complicated it. Focus on your health and longevity and what works for you!
“A healthy lifestyle is a journey. Every single day you are working on a better version of you!”
Nichole Barras, BS, CLC, NASM-CPT
Source: Weight Matter Magazine, Spring 2020