For many of us, “exercise” sounds like an odious task. It’s something we put behind us in high school, after completing our physical education requirements, and we haven’t thought about it since. A walk to the mailbox or a few laps around a shopping mall in December are about all the exercise we ever contemplate these days.
People exercise for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight (this is the most common reason). Maybe you want to reduce your stress (and exercise works). Maybe your doctor told you that you need to exercise more. Or, maybe it’s just a habit, or you enjoy it. Whatever the reason, exercising regularly is certainly one of the best routes to improved physical and mental health, and we should all do it regardless of how many calories we’re burning.
Yes, medical weight loss is a large part of what we do. Yes, we encourage and support clients as they lose weight, usually for health reasons. But we also caution you against tying too much of your feelings, about your health and about yourself overall, to a number on a scale. Your weight is just one very small part of of you are, and only one indicator of health. So we wanted to take a moment to remind you that there are plenty of other ways to practice good health.
We often remind our patients of the importance of exercise, both in aiding weight loss and in preventing disease. But more and more research also indicates that exercise is good for your mental and emotional health as well.
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shared some dramatic findings. Over the course of a decade, researchers tracked 22,000 study participants. Their exercise habits were recorded, and participants were divided into groups based upon those habits. Then, researchers looked for diagnoses of depression within each group.
Yes, you know that eating fewer calories and burning more through exercise is usually the key to weight loss… But all of your favorite foods are so heavy in calories! How can you cut back on your energy consumption, while still enjoying your cravings?
One method is to trick your taste buds, by substituting healthier alternatives for your favorite ingredients. Try some of the following tricks to reduce your overall caloric intake, while still enjoying a satisfying eating plan.
Some of our clients want to lose weight for purely aesthetic reasons. However, most recognize that weight loss will help them live longer, healthier lives. We’re all more prone to certain health conditions as we grow older, but some of us definitely carry a higher risk than others. Considering that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in this country, we should all take steps to improve our heart health, aside from losing weight.
We often say that you shouldn’t rely upon willpower alone to achieve your weight loss goals. What we mean by this is that no one will stick with a bad or excessively uncomfortable plan forever. No, you probably won’t be able to live on lettuce alone, or exercise four hours per day. Any reasonable person would “lose” their willpower – and fall short of their goals – before very long in those situations. And that would be okay, because those plans don’t sound very healthy, anyway.
It’s an old joke: A comedian or sitcom character quips that they want to join a gym, but they need to get in shape first. Like most humor, the joke is funny because it’s a little bit true. Most of us feel intimidated by gyms, imagining that we’ll be the least-fit person in a room full of fitness models. We picture ourselves struggling and sweating through a simple workout, while lithe “gym bunnies” prance around effortlessly.