Do you remember as a child how you loved to play? You didn’t have to be reminded or told to play. You played because you had fun and loved it. Guess what – exercise can be the same way for you. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or a dreaded part of your day. It can be fun and, believe it or not, something you “get to” do and look forward to. You can reap the benefits of exercise as play and lose weight and find life at the same time!
We all know that exercise is important. It is the cornerstone to successful weight loss and maintain your weight. Many of us though consider exercise as a chore. We think of it as a “have to” rather than a “get to” in our day. A healthy lifestyle includes exercise, activity, or movement. I would encourage you to put another frame on exercise. Think of it as something that you get to do. Does that sound crazy? If you’re like others, it does sound crazy.
Think of children…what is among their favorite things to do? Play. Kids love to play. You don’t have to remind them to ride their bike, play soccer or baseball, run around in a game they’ve created. For children, play is second nature and part of who they are. If you put children on a treadmill, they would become bored after the first couple of minutes. Children incorporate activity and get exercise just by merely playing. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it play.
One of the most important components of losing weight is regular aerobic exercise in your day. This can be challenging especially in the beginning. Persistence is key because after a short time, exercise usually becomes enjoyable, fun, and an activity that you can actually look forward to. You begin to enjoy the payoffs from regular and persistent exercise. Here’s a few of the payoffs:
First, schedule regular time to exercise even when you are busy. This regular exercise appointment you make with yourself brings order to your day and helps to assign priorities to our daily routine. Second, exercise boosts levels of endorphins, the “feel good” levels, making us feel happier for hours after our exercise session. Third, it provides you with self confidence. The majority of people that include regular exercise into their lives enjoy increased self-esteem. Finally, exercise is the best drug available that has no side effects but multiple, long-lasting benefits.
Whenever your life feels chaotic or stressful, add exercise by, for example, going for a walk, rather than reaching for a cookie or donut! It will give you the self confidence to take charge! Try it….it works!
Do you need more convincing to attain fitness through play? In addition to losing weight and tone your body, you receive major health benefits by changing your mindset about exercise. The dividends of fitness are:
1. You’ll live longer. You’ll enjoy your longer life even more.
2. You’ll have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. You’ll also be less likely to have high blood pressure.
3. The less active you are, the higher your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. If you already have Type 2 Diabetes, exercise can lower your blood sugar levels. Another bonus is by losing weight, you’ll also enjoy additional positive benefits to your blood sugar levels.
4. For those with arthritis, exercise can help reduce the pain and swelling along with improving mobility.
5. You lower your risk of colon cancer and other cancers when you increase your activity.
6. Strength training helps to counteract the effects of bone loss from osteoporosis.
7. Exercise makes you more physically fit. You’ll be able to perform routine daily activities easier and without as much effort. You’ll be more agile, flexible, better stamina, and move through your day healthier and stronger physically.
8. Exercise is the perfect way to get calm and stay calm. As a result, active people are less depressed, enjoy higher self-esteem, and an overall feeling of confidence and well-being.
What comes to your mind when you think of exercise? Do you feel negative or consider it drudgery? Try this instead – think about dancing in the kitchen while you make dinner, walking your dog, taking a bike ride with your children, gardening, a set of tennis or a round of golf. Sound like fun? You’re ready with an enthusiastic start for your fun program of fitness. Getting adequate exercise will improve many areas in our lives besides our level of physical fitness.
Rather than think of exercise as the dreaded “I have to”, change your mindset to exercise as an “I get to”. It will boost your energy, provide a sense of wellbeing like nothing else will, and create a joyous sense of accomplishment to your day! Give yourself the gift of exercise. It is the gift that keeps giving benefits to you throughout your entire day.