We perhaps don't truly realise the importance of exercise.
I know that seems hard to comprehend when we have been talking its benefits for years, but it seems that in many ways we have forgotten to take ourselves along for the 'ride'. That we do alot of talking about alot of things and then well we forget to ACTION it.
So I wanted to spend a moment - albeit possibly a short one - to really emphasise to you the importance of exercise because theres a few very important pieces of information I like to share about it.
First a very important did you know?
Did you know that exercise is not about weight loss? That whilst it has been heavily promoted for weight loss, there is in fact a lot of research that tells us that exercise has little true impact on losing weight. That in studies under taken we see that those who are on a specific meal plan, compared with those who have the meal plan and do exercise, and those who only do exercise, that there is little difference between the first two groups, and that they out do the third group in weight loss? That true weight loss is about food. About our input, not just what it is but how much of it goes in. And this is all relatable to each of us individually. That we need to seek out our own individual perfect eating plan for us to get the greatest benefit.
Which seems difficult at first. Once we form families and then have children it seems all too hard to be diverse in what we eat. Its so much simpler to just make a generic meal and ll chow down. yet this is not what is essentially the best for us.
As a mother of 3 who has cooked probably 3 different meals every meal time over many many years, I can tell you it is not impossible, but it is something you need to plan for. BUT thats the key with all good food plans. PLANNING.
But why exercise? Exercise is for a few other very important reasons
It maintains a healthy flowing and efficient elimination system in our body. This cannot be highlighted enough. Movement of our body stimulates movement within us and supports a healthy elimination system. In so many ways, too many to mention here as it would turn into a medical report, but helping our body to function in its elimination is a huge key to wellness and one of the greatest assets to exercise. It allows all things to F.L.O.W. And if we choose the right exercise - the perfect fit exercise - then we are helping that flow physically and mentally and even spiritually.
It allows our heart function to improve and be far more effective and robust in withstanding many years of living. A great reason to exercise is for the heart benefits. Being heart healthy and heart fit opens us to greater living. It helps out heart rate function smoothly and effectively nourishing our body with replenished oxygen. This oxygen is not just for breathing, its for renewal of cells. it is for brain function. Of course the oxygen comes via the red blood cells and well that life giving force of blood gets renewed and replenished and we are alive and well. Having heart healthy exercise is essentially what it is all about.
Yes exercise and gut microbiota are hugely aligned and they help keep the first two functioning. So the gut wouldn't be the same without exercise. Its stimulation in movement and the replenishing oxygen helps to stimulate the gut microbiota and assist with its continual growth and renewal. Our gut bacteria renews constantly and quickly if it is function with optimum health. It loves to be replenished and renewed and it the flow is happening and all things working properly, we find ourselves working to great gut benefits.
Lets not forget the role in mental health!
So mentally, we stimulate hormones when we exercise that impact the happiness of our mindset. The endorphins that are activated and stimulated through exercise increase the happy juices in our brain and keep us not only positive but alert and focused as well. On top of this, the exercise and stimulation of gut health helps with mental health as the gut changes and we can find more clarity in our mind we also gain good endorphins to keep us positive. So in gaining physical health we find so many more reasons to get moving with our mental health.
So we may lose weight in the meantime but exercise is a key element if you are gut focused and on a path to wellness. If you are seeking to improve your microbiota. You need to include some exercise !
What is the best exercise?
This of course comes down to knowing why you are exercising. If it is for wellness and not for a specific goal, then regular medium to high intensity exercise is perfect. Regular is the key! A good exercise session 3-4 times per week is perfect for health benefits. If you are goal orientated and working on running marathons or doing triathlons or becoming a powerlifter - then of course you are going to be training far more than this - but for general health, the regularity of a steady paced 30-45 mins 3-4 times per week is a great place to start.
Walking is a perfect exercise. Not strolling! Walking, a good steady pace and covering some ground is a great all rounder for wellness. Including some weight bearing exercise is adding to the benefits of the bones. A few step ups and squats suffice. Doing your own level of pushups is perfect. taking yourself through an exercise park and working around the little stations is a great way to add some variety! It doesn't need to be costly. You don't have to join gyms if money isn't spare. There is plenty you can do without paying out for it.
And mothers, there is always time! I found it, you can too. Buy some exercise videos and put one on while they sleep or are at school, walk the kids to the bus or school, take them to the park and use the council exercise equipment while they play, puton a kids wiggly move and dance - I have had alot of success with clients dancing their way into health by simply putting on your favourite songs and grooving away, there is always ways to move!
The most important take away from this?
Is to make sure exercise is a part of your wellness plan. Simply, your plan will not work without it!
Make sure you are moving. Dancing. Jiggling. Jumping. Walking. Yoga.
I didn't bring up yoga as the benefits on our wellbeing within yoga- that is a whole blog on its own.