Yup… you read that right.
The title does sound slightly bonkers.
But, in my experience, it’s true.
Most diets and weight loss sites talk about exercise in terms of ‘burning calories’.
As in, if you run for 20 minutes you’ll ‘burn off’ the chocolate chip cookie that accompanied your mid-morning cuppa.
Have a Big Mac for lunch? Well, a three-hour-run will ‘cancel out’ those calories.
But, by thinking of exercise as ‘burning off’ or ‘cancelling out’, you inadvertently reduce exercise to a numbers game.
And, the problem with thinking of exercise with a numbers mindset, is your workouts will be short-lived.
You’ll give up.
Exercising will become a torture session. You’ll feel like you’re ‘make up’ for the guilty pleasure of having eaten something yum.
And, eating will seem like a naughty pleasure where X no. of cookies = Y no. of hours exercising.
Sound like fun, no? No way! Ick.
It’s very possible you’ve been there already. I know I have.
Clearly, exercise is beneficial for shifting those extra kilos. Hugely beneficial.
Where most people fail is because weight loss is their singular reason for exercising. And soon they run out of puff, metaphorically-speaking.
If you’ve previously run out of puff where exercise is concerned, you need to change your reasons for exercising.
The real reasons to exercise.
Before I share the real reasons to exercise, here’s a helpful aside that’ll make a world of difference.
Stop calling it exercise.
If you’re like most people, exercise has “Eww… I’m all sweaty and puffed,” negative associations. That’s exactly why the majority of good folk eschew it.
Instead, replace the dreaded E-word with ‘moving your body’. Our bodies are absolutely, brilliantly designed to do just that – move.
See, how suddenly it already feels more do-able just by changing what you call it?
Now, back to the real reasons for exercising Moving Your Body:
MYB lowers cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a stress hormone released by your body whenever you feel stressed. When your cortisol levels are elevated, your body tends to lay down fat, especially around your tummy.
MYB is the antidote for lowering your cortisol levels.
MYB increases your sensitivity to insulin. Increasing your insulin sensitivity sounds like it’d be a bad thing but it’s not. Here’s why.
The more you MYB, the more sensitive your muscles become to insulin, so your pancreas produces less insulin. Since insulin also instructs your body to lay down fat, less of it in your body, the better.
MYB increases feel good hormones.
When you MYB, you release some of the best stress-reducing drugs available – your body’s own natural endorphins. The release of these natural opiates positively affects your mood, enhances concentration and enables you to sleep more soundly.
As if these weren’t reason enough already…. MYB increases your sex drive.
And, certain hormones released during exercise have been shown to slow – and even reverse – the aging process.
Yay! Five tremendous reasons for exercising, none of which include weight loss. Although it WILL BE a happy bi-product.
If you’ve previously exercised to ‘lose weight’, stop it. It’s doomed to fail. Like all those other times.
Instead, Move Your Body. Because it’s terrific for you – and your brilliantly, intricately designed body – on so many other levels.
MYB every day and watch those extra kilos shift.
Love etc, Avril