When it comes to talking about healthy living, the topic of exercise always comes up. If you’re doing it, it’s all you want to talk about. If you’re not, it never comes up in conversation. The bottom line is this, as human beings we need to keep moving. Our bodies were designed to work and without some kind of regular physical exertion we don’t function properly, much like a car that just sits in a garage. The trouble with exercise is that there are a lot of myths about how often you need to break a sweat and how strenuous your workouts need to be. Today I’d like to clear up some of the common misconceptions and let you know that incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle is not as daunting as it may seem.
Myth #1: It’s hard to exercise when you are trying to lose weight because exercising increases your appetite.
The opposite is actually true. Studies have shown that regular exercise actually works to reduce your appetite and can help to keep you more focused on a healthy eating plan. It is easier to stick with a healthy eating plan when you combine it with even moderate exercise. And although you can still be successful losing fat without a rigorous fitness routine, regular exercise will excelerate your progress.
Myth #2: To effectively lose weight you need to engage in a vigorous exercise routine.
The fact is that any form of exercise, whether vigorous or not, will support your weight loss goals. Walking is the single most effective form of exercise you can participate in. The reason the health club won’t tell you this is because it could put them out of business. Why do you think Europeans and New Yorkers are so slim? They walk everywhere. Instead of succumbing to the couch every night after dinner, download a new playlist to your ipod and take a walk around the neighborhood. Do this 5 days a week and you’ll notice an improvement in how you feel, both physically and mentally.
Myth #3: You can eat as much as you want as long as you exercise on a regular basis.
WRONG! If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly you will require more nutrition than someone who sits on their butt all day. But, no amount of exercise is going to protect you from a pot belly if you’re drinking beer and eating a bag of Cheetos every night before bed. If the energy you consume outweighs the energy you expend you can’t realistically expect to lose weight…that’s just basic math.
The benefits of regular exercise go beyond helping you to lose extra pounds and look better. The trick is to find something that you enjoy doing and just stick with it!