“I hate exercising!” If that’s you, join my club, then read to find out how to stay fit without exercise.
God created us to be active throughout the day. But modern life discourages movement on many different levels, and it’s making us get sick and die before our time.
No, I don’t mean exercise. I don’t like to exercise. To look at me, you’d think I do a lot of exercising, because I’m underweight, and have been most of my adult life. But exercise is tedious and boring.
I figure most people feel the same, which is why I’m avoiding the “E” word.
Movement, on the other hand? That can be productive, fun, or both. And study after study has shown that a sedentary lifestyle is equally at fault for people being overweight and obese as is overeating or eating the wrong foods. The more overweight you are, the greater your risk of developing coronary and related diseases, as well as diabetes.
In addition, physical activity boosts the immune system and reduces stress, both mental and physiological. Reducing stress also reduces the risk of developing all manner of disease, including cancer.
If you have to sit down all day for your job, make time before you go to work and after you come home to do a total of an hour of physical activity. That includes housework, walking the dog, playing with your children, or standing and lifting weights or stretching while watching T.V.
If you don’t have to sit down all day, don’t. Spend ten minutes of every hour on your feet. If you are disabled to the point that you can’t do that, move what parts of your body that you can.
Engage in more intense movement that you enjoy at least three times a week. If that includes either biking or swimming, make sure to balance that out with walking, dancing, or weight training. The reason is that biking and swimming have been found to have a negative impact on bone density; that is, if that’s all you do, your bones will gradually grow more brittle. Activity that pushes your feet against the ground, however, increases bone density. This is critical for women who have hit their forties, because as estrogen levels drop, bone density drops, unless they intentionally work to prevent it.
That’s why, even thought I despise exercise, I do a bit of it. As minimal as I can. I do some weight lifting three times a week, and do interval training five times a week.
If the word “exercise” makes you want to crawl into bed and throw the covers over your head, you’ll like the idea of interval training. In ten minutes of exercise, you can get almost all the same health benefits that you would from a forty-five minute jog. And only one of those minutes is intense. It’s called “interval” training because the actual intense exercise happens in just a few short bursts, interspersed with more leisurely movement.
If you have any history with heart trouble, talk to your doctor before trying this.
I’m going to explain how it looks if you want to do a walk-run, because it’s the easiest to explain in writing, but the principle works for other kinds of activity, too.
**1. Walk at a leisurely pace for two minutes.
**2. Break into a hard run for ten to thirty seconds. If you’re already panting for breath after ten seconds, stop then. Eventually you’ll be able to go for twenty or thirty seconds, if you so desire.
**3. Walk for another two minutes as you catch your breath.
**4. Run as fast as you can for ten to thirty seconds.
**5. Repeat steps three and four, perhaps twice.
**6. Finish by cooling down with another two-minute walk.
The weight lifting (arms only) and interval training are the only exercise I do. However, I am on my feet much more often than I am sitting down. I take a few short walks outside every day, do the laundry by hand, walk around while listening to audio, am on my feet around an hour per day just doing food-prep, work a little in the garden on nice days…I am active most of the day, even though I don’t exercise much.
Before you have a giving-up-exercise party, however, you should know that people who consume a 90%+ whole foods, plant-based diet can get away with less exercise than those eating animal products and/or junk food.
Sorry to burst your bubble. 😉 Then again, why should I apologize for trying to steer you into healthy eating habits? It’s one of the things I do here. LOL.