As health coaches, we believe it is 90% what we put in our bodies, and 10% exercise that effects our weight loss and overall health. Although this may be true, exercise is so crucial to the equation. Without exercising, only a part of your weight loss will be from fat…AND you are also taking away muscle and bone density. Working out stimulates growth of metabolic tissues, so when you lose weight through exercise, it means you’re burning mostly fat. That is a good thing! Although the number on the scale may not be dropping because muscle takes up less space than fat does, you will look leaner and your clothes will fit better.
Research shows that in order to lose weight with exercise and keep it off, you don’t need to be running marathons. In fact, overly intense exercise can actually increase cortisol levels, make you crave carbs, and zap your energy levels. So what kind of exercise is best? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Yoga, and weight resistance/strength training are some of the best forms of exercise. These types of exercise can be beneficial for controlling our blood sugar, stress levels, and reducing fat stored in muscle.
We recommend at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Need motivation? Find forms of exercise you enjoy, listen to music or recruit some friends and workout together! Classes and studios are other great ways to stay committed and motivated. Exercising outside is even more beneficial. On sunny days, you will reap the benefits of Vitamin D, which helps with bone health, boosts your mood, and reduces depression. Connecting with nature has so many proven benefits, too. The ability to think outside oneself and to marvel at God’s creations brings a sense of security and purpose. Best of all, there is no cost and anyone can access the outdoors.
Why else should you exercise? Exercise releases endorphins, improves mood, and acts like meditation, increases your energy levels, helps your brain and your memory, and can even help with relaxation and sleep. It can also improve your skin’s appearance, help you lose weight (and keep it off!), decrease the risk of chronic disease and even improve your sex life. With all of these benefits, it’s hard to find a reason not to do it. Make time for exercise. With the combo of clean eating and exercise, you can improve nearly every area of your life!