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We are continuing our series on small microhabits of health that you can implement to create long-term sustainable health in your life. There are six key components to optimal well-being: nutrition, movement, sleep, water, mindfulness, and stress management.
Two weeks ago, we discussed the difference between a diet mindset and healthy living mindset and how to live a lifestyle of balanced nutrition is the best way to ensure long-term success with your health goals. This week we are going to talk about exercise.
I love having conversations with people about exercise. For some, just the word exercise makes them cringe. For others, it brings a huge smile to their face. No matter which side of that fence you are on, exercise alone will not create optimal well-being. Exercise is important, but in and of itself alone will not give you optimal results, just as healthy eating alone will not give you optimal results.
Do you know how many calories are in a pound? There are 3,500 calories in a pound and every extra pound you carry can place anywhere from 4-5 pounds of pressure on your joints and bones. So, for every 3,500 calories you burn, you will lose a pound and take pressure off your joints. Let’s look at a few ways to burn those calories.
A one mile walk may take an average of 20 minutes and will burn about 100 calories. You will need to walk for about 12 hours straight to cover 35 miles to burn 3,500 calories. What about something a little more aggressive? It would take 90-120 minutes of vigorous nonstop exercise a day (such as running) to burn one pound of body fat. Need to lose 30 pounds? You’d have to run the equivalent of 40 marathons, 1,040 miles, to lose those 30 pounds. That is almost one marathon a week for a year! Have you heard the saying, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet?” That is exactly why!
So what is a person to do? Where is the help and hope? Healthy habits of motion are simple and easy to obtain. My business and coaching partner, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, wrote the educational component to our health programs lifestyle system, “Dr. A’s Habits of Health.” In it, we break exercise into two sections: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT, and Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or EAT.
NEAT is a great way to think about exercise as extra movement throughout the day. Simply put start with increasing your steps. If you wear a Fitbit and are tracking 2,500 steps a day, increase it to 3,500 for a week, then 5,000 for the next week, and so on.
EAT on the other hand is the planned physical activities we do on a weekly basis. Going to the gym to lift weights, taking a brisk walk several days a week, cycling, jogging, playing basketball, tennis, baseball, etc.
Be encouraged and don’t give up! The most important thing to do is identify where you are and start with something that will fit with your fitness level. Next week we will dig into the importance of sleep!
Honey Wiggs is a speaker, author and a certified health coach. Even though she lives in North Carolina, she has helped over 7,000 people across the country transform their lives one healthy habit at a time. Honey can be reached at info@legacyOfJoyInc.com or visit her website at www.LegacyOfJoyInc.com.