“Exercise is King, Nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”
— Jack Lalane.
As part of my goals for healthy lifestyle I am focusing on adding movement into my daily life. Last week I was able to work out only twice but every day I was moving! Either moving around the kitchen prepping meals, outside walking around at market and all my errands or just running around at work. The fatigue was gone all week – yeah! I had energy to keep going all day and make those nutritious, healthy meals most nights. I kept my water bottle next to me all day and did well most days drinking my goal of 40 oz a day. It wasn’t perfect but it was PROGRESS!
You don’t have to go to the gym to have movement. An early morning walk to watch the sunrise is a great way to start the day. Take you significant other with you or a neighbor or one of your kids. Or get on the floor and play with your kids. Even if you it’s only for a few minutes the first couple of times you are doing your body good. Each time go for a few minutes longer. The best part is looking back after a few weeks and realizing that what you are doing now is what was impossible a short time ago.
Think about ways to incorporate some type of additional movement into your day. When you are brushing your teeth in the morning and evening do squats or lunges. Or anything! While standing at the stove stirring the risotto swing your hips side to side. Put the music on and dance. By yourself, with your honey or with your kids. Have fun with it!
Here are my reasons to get off the couch:
1. Clarity and Concentration
An active body has been linked to an active mind. The more consistently you exercise, the less prone you’ll be to grogginess and lapses in concentration. As evidence of this, my best cure for writer’s block has always been going for a walk either around the block or just around the house. And as a bonus: walk backwards to help solve a problem. It gets your brain to think about it in a new way. It works! I do it frequently 🙂
Exercise is a time to let your mind unwind while your body does the work. When you stop actively trying to solve a mental challenge, the solution will often pop into your head. Exercise is an opportunity for your subconscious mind to put together the pieces (see above).
Working out needn’t be seen as a chore or obligation. There are tons of enjoyable ways to exercise. For example, if you live in a scenic area, going for a run or bike ride along a beautiful route can brighten things up. I love to walk on the beach. The water renews my soul and the sand works my legs!
Other great options include: using exercise as a chance to spend time with friends and family by playing a sport or game.
Have you ever gone a couple weeks without exercise and noticed that you begin to sweat an exorbitant amount? That’s because sweat, along with toxins, tends to build up over time. Sweating regularly through exercises removes these toxins and will help you feel more comfortable.
5. Better Sleep
Studies have shown that exercise improves sleep. I’m all about getting my 8 hours of sleep a night. When I exercise (and eat right) it is so much easier to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up rested.
6. Longer Life
When you choose to exercise, you are making an investment not just in your present physical appearance but in the rest of your life. People who exercise regularly live longer and stay healthier into old age.
7. Stress Relief
Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress. This is a combined result of the benefits of cleansing, reflection, and a physical outlet for frustration. I am able to handle the day so much better when movement has been part of my day. I try to go outside at least 3 or 4 times a week while at the office and just walk around the parking lot for 10 minutes. The fresh air and sunshine makes a huge difference for me. Once I am back at my desk the stress is reduced and my focus has returned.
8. Strength and Endurance
By exercising regularly you will be better able to live a full life, taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you such as playing with your kids or grandkids or going on a trip that involves a fair amount of walking (Disney World anyone?). You are able to do the fun things without getting winded or tired. Sounds like a win/win situation to me!
9. Self Confidence
The sum of all these benefits is self confidence. (And, yes, looking good will help here too.) Greater self confidence drives success so its value can’t be underestimated. Exercise and fitness are an enormous part of becoming the best version of yourself.
What are your favorites ways of adding movement into your daily life? And what would you add for the 10th reason for getting off the couch? Tell us in the comments below. Can’t wait to hear your responses!