Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Exercise: A Little Goes a Long Way

I recently had a fall off my mountain bike, and was unable to exercise for about 3 weeks.  I am used to getting my share of regular exercise, even if it is only a 2km walk after dinner, or some backyard badminton with my son.  No matter how much or how little, there aren’t many days that I don’t fit something in.

I was so uncomfortable that even walking flared the pain (bruised ribs).  So for 3 full weeks I worked, and then tried to find a comfortable position on the couch to wait it out until I could go to bed.

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, but what amazed me is the affects this had on the rest of my day.  I realize that the pain was limiting me from doing some things, but I just didn’t feel like doing anything.  I got a little hooked on TV, and some silly iPhone game (I don’t normally do things like that).

Since I was sitting around so much watching TV or gaming, I started snacking a little too, and not on carrot sticks!

So after 3 weeks, I was hooked on “Juice Cubes”, watching “Suits” on Netflix, and eating bread and cheese, too much coffee, and too many chocolate chips.

Then came the day of truth, the ribs were feeling well enough that I could go for a short run, but I was feeling so lazy and sluggish that I didn’t want to go.  My husband and the dog got me off the couch, but I seriously could have happily stayed there and finished level 60 of Juice Cubes.

We went for an easy 4 km run, and it felt like I had never exercised before, but I was so full of energy after the run that I didn’t stop the rest of the day.  My ribs were sore after, but it felt so good to have oxygen and energy.

So now, a week later, I am back on track, exercising daily and eating my green smoothies and salads.  I could so easily have stayed on that couch and not started exercising and eating right, but I am lucky enough to know what it feels like to fuel your body with nutrients and oxygen.  Many people have forgotten what that feels like.

So I urge you to try it.  It doesn’t have to be boot camp or running a 10 km race.  A little goes a long way.  Even a daily walk around the block is a start.  It is 10 minutes that you are not snacking, and not sitting on the couch.  It is 10 minutes that you are fuelling your cells with much needed oxygen.

If you walk at 3.5 mph for 20 minutes (brisk walk), you can burn approximately 85 calories (this will vary depending on weight, gender, etc).  Doesn’t sound like much?  Think about this: that is 595 calories a week, 2380 calories per month, and 28560 calories per year!  If you changed nothing else, that is over 8 pounds of weight loss in one year!

Now what would happen if you continued this, but made some dietary changes too?  Oh my goodness, I’m excited!