Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. 🙂
Mine was, well, strange. It involved a trip to the junk yard in the rain, a foot injury that left me immobile, a house-warming party, and an earthquake. I will say no more and let you create as many crazy scenarios as you wish.:)
The past several weeks I have been basing my Monday posts on a grown up version of the Little Golden Books by Diane Muldrow. I picked this book for Minimalist Mondays because the book holds basic truths about happiness, which is not found in material possessions, but in our experiences and taking the time to enjoy the world around us. Today’s advice for a happier life:
Get some exercise every day.
There are many benefits to regular exercise including:
Weigh control Not only does exercise burn calories and fat, it helps increase your metabolism for a longer period of time.
Improved mood Exercise creates the production of endorphins which improve our mood as well as help with our overall health.
Mental clarity Exercise increases oxygen to the brain helping it to function better.
Better sleep – Studies show that aerobic exercise helps promote a good night’s sleep.However, care should be taken not to exercise too late in the evening as some people may feel too simulated to rest if they exercise just before going to bed.
Increased energy The more we exercise the more efficient our lungs and heart function. When our body is using oxygen efficiently we have more energy. Also, the more we exercise the stronger we become and the more endurance we have throughout the day.
While most of you have read these statements many times in various places I would like to add a personal note. I have spent most of my life struggling with weight. Most of my youth and early adult years my weight fluctuated like a yo-yo. In my mid thirties I became obese and weighed close to 300 pounds at one point in time. Although I heard many people talk about exercise and eating healthy I really didn’t know how to go about it. It took a lot of time, a lot of research, the support of family and friends, and determination but I eventually lost the weight to what you see in my pics today. Exercise changed my life. It is hard for me not to get emotional when I think or talk about physical fitness. It is just that important for your physical and mental well-being. Whether you walk every day, work out at the gym, play a sport, or garden, get up and move! Your life and health will improve. Maybe not over night, but it will improve.
One other thought: if you are like I was and very intimidated by the thought of exercise because others may see you and you are afraid of judgement or ridicule, it will be OK. Garden in your back yard. Walk. Walking is inconspicuous and very easy to do. Even if it is just around the block. Check out some DVD’s from the library or get a work out off of YouTube and exercise in your own home. If you want to give a gym a try, I can tell you from personal experience that most of the people at the gym will cheer you on and encourage you. I joined a gym three years ago and I have come to look forward to seeing familiar faces each time I go work out. I can not guarantee there will never be cruel or insensitive people, such is life, but don’t let them hold you back. For each person that is waiting for you to fail, many others will want you to succeed.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. What is your favorite form of exercise? Have you experienced benefits from an exercise routine? How often do you consciously work out or engage in physical activity?
Thanks for dropping by the blog!
Until next time,
My exercise routine is unfortunately not great. I practise yoga a few times a week and walk quite a bit, but that’s it really. Recently I’ve tried a couple of YouTube zumba videos but I haven’t yet got the motivation to keep going – even though I know it’ll help with my mental health. Any tips?
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Yoga and walking are great!
For walking, an easy way to step it up is to increase your distance every couple of weeks. In addition, you may Google some speed walking techniques if you want to get more of an aerobic work out. You could combine speed walking with your regular walks.
It may help to know your activity and exercise style. My sister is not much for the gym, although she does go when her schedule allows for it. For her, exercise is best if it is an activity she loves so it is not like she is working out. Her life consists of lots of bike rides. She bikes to work and takes long bike rides with her husband on the weekend. They explore places and stop at favorite coffee shops.
I need a sense of human interaction to stay motivated so the gym works really well for me. The trainers for my classes push me harder than I would push myself if left to my own devices. The other people in the classes that I have come to be friendly with help to make me want to come back. Also, I have a walking buddy who was my neighbor for many years. We can get to walking and talking and be out for several hours and cover four miles or more without realizing
It is a good question. I may try to blog about some more ideas tomorrow. 🙂
Hi Laura, thanks for replying!
I’m not a fan of the gym really – the price puts me off a lot. I did used to like going to exercise classes though – generally yoga, occasionally zumba or aerobics and I tried pilates for a while (but that was really bad for my neck, which I already have a lot of problems with, so I stopped). But again, prices are really too steep for me at the moment.
I like following a routine and doing something that I enjoy at the same time. I’m not very good at motivating myself if do something that seems more open-ended, like going for a run: questions like “how long should I run for?”, “Am I doing this right?”, “How far should I go?” are constantly in my head. The human interaction factor bothers me less; I think I often prefer exercising alone, which is why I like to exercise at home.
My walking is included in my commute at the moment, but maybe your idea of increasing my distance is a good one. I used to go for walks on the weekends sometimes too so I might start that up again. I am also trying out new yoga routines to try and keep myself interested in what I’m doing.
Great to have such a thoughtful response to my comment, thank you. 🙂
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I like the cross training or five minitues of different things like eliptical, weights, treadmill, weights, bike, weights and row machine. It keeps me from getting bored and I hear is good for metabolism. My problem is the huge increase in my appetite on days I work out. It’s hard to balance out how ravenous I get! I do want to try some youtube videos I always forget with this technological age how easy it is to get free professional workout videos.
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Ooh, I like the row machine too 🙂
.I agree knowing how much to eat after working out is difficult because we are so hungry afterwards. It is like I burn 400 calories but I want to eat 800 afterwards.I have found that a high protein snack with a little card helps after a workout. Cheese and a few crackers, for example.
I was ecstatic to find famous trainers on YouTube this winter. How did I use to survive before Google and YouTube? I have no idea 🙂
My favourite exercise is working in the garden 🙂 all other exercise… I’m not doing to good on 😦
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Gardening can be great exercise and fun! 🙂 From your pics on some of your posts I am guessing your yard and garden are quite well kept and beautiful!
Thank you, that’s ever so nice of you to say. I don’t know about how beautiful it is, it’s quite a small garden, but I LOVE it 🙂
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I weighed 470 pounds at age 21. My wife and I didn’t have a working kitchen so we were eating fast food three times a day. We finally found a free stove and a cheap fridge on craigslist, and I started learning to cook. I’m now 25, and weigh 275. Little by little I’ve taken it off, but the real success is that I’ve never put any pounds back on. I have another 100 pounds to loose, so I’ve started exercising more by getting a dog! I HAVE to walk him twice a day, and he needs to play…I got him a month ago and lost 8 pounds in that time. I have a hard time doing pointless exercise, and by that I mean doing repetitious things and not getting anything done. I like working in the yard, and re arranging the furniture and cleaning the house, but running on the treadmill is not going to happen. I’m realizing I’ll have to start doing some of that to get my last 100 pounds off…but I will! Thanks for the words!
What an amazing and inspirational story. Good luck with your last 100 lbs.
Dogs keep us very busy and give us unconditional love. They are a great way to get our exercise.
Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂