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Why are you exercising, really?
When we were younger and had higher metabolisms, vanity and youthful energy reserves were enough to keep us fit. As the years tick by I think we no longer care so much about vanity. We are ALL short on time, we’re tired, and it’s a lot more work to stay fit. If we only had a compelling reason to actually WANT TO work out every day besides vanity that might change everything.
The very good news for us is that if you look at the what science tells us about aging, exercise, and motivation, staying in shape really doesn’t have to be a hard as we think it has to be and there are compelling reasons besides vanity to keep exercising for life. This new knowledge and some self-coaching work on your mindset can completely overhaul your motivation to get and stay in shape for the long term. Ready to completely change how you think about exercise and staying fit? Ok…let’s do this.
Does exercise help you lose weight?
It’s time to get off the crazy train of exercise fads. It’s time to stop listening to everyone else’s opinions. It’s time to look at the issue logically by asking the most effective questions. Let’s start with the most important one: Does exercise help you lose weight?
Exercise by itself is not going to make you thin. There are no studies that have confirmed that exercise decreases obesity. Think about the 1950’s when no one went to the gym and hardly anyone was obese. Now everyone exercises and we have an obesity epidemic. Hmmmmm. Studies have been done on this question and they found that any weight lost due to exercise was minimized because of the people they studied who exercised ate more due to increased hunger; which tended of offset any calorie deficit. Let this knowledge sink in, because this my friend, is a game-changer.
It means stop exercising in order to lose weight.
Exercise for strength, better body composition (more lean mass, and less fat), its anti-aging benefits, and for that awesome feeling of wellness and vibrancy, but for the love of Mike, stop exercising in order to lose weight.
Takeaway: Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and use your diet to control your weight.
what the new science says
Now we know that we are exercising for the right reasons, we need to clarify our motivation to keep doing it.
So many women have been exercising in order to lose weight for so long – and have stayed disappointed and frustrated and blaming themselves – that when they learn it doesn’t work, they lose motivation. If this is you, please take heart. I have some really good news for you. Let’s talk about our beliefs about aging and then I’ll circle back around and give you the most powerful motivation you’ve had yet to keep you going.
misconceptions about aging
We grew up believing aging meant a gradual downhill deterioration and weakness after age 50. We saw our aging relatives struggle with significant bouts of illness that further weakened and aged them until they died. No wonder so many of are afraid to get old! Is this how it has to be for us?
The new science of aging shows that the old ideas about aging don’t have to apply to us. We can vastly improve our lives in the second half of life IF we exercise. Here’s what the science says:
Over 50% of all disease and injuries can be ELIMINATED in the last third of life by adopting an active lifestyle.*
70% of all premature death and aging is attributed to a sedentary lifestyle. In other words, that vast majority of what we know as ‘normal aging’ can be completely prevented by adopting an active lifestyle.*
Can you get motivated to avoid the pain, sickness, weakness, & frailty that you’ve seen come with aging? Is knowing that you are way more in control over the quality of your life over the next 40+ years something that you’re willing for work for?
healthy aging Rx
This is the simple explanation of what an active lifestyle* means.
Exercise for an hour a day, six days a week for the rest of your life.*
Two of those days should include some sort of strength building exercise.
The catch is that you need to be exercising hard enough to elevate your heart rate to a ‘fat burning’ level. This typically a heart rate that accompanies a brisk walking pace. You need to stay consistent by exercising 6 days a week, 60 minutes a day. Only then will you see the cumulative aging benefits over time described above, but in addition, you’ll also get these benefits:
- better brain chemistry (less depression)
- heightened immune system (less cancer & illness)
- better sleep
- weight loss
- better body composition (more muscle & less fat)
- improved sexuality
- resistance to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and high cholesterol
- improved self-esteem & self-confidence
The best news is that you’ll enjoy these benefits until you are 80 (as long as you start in your 40’s). This active lifestyle is the most potent anti-aging prescription available anywhere, and it’s absolutely free and totally up to you.
do what you enjoy
You do not need to do any particular type of exercise. Find activities that you enjoy that also happen to make you sweat and elevate your heart rate and just focus on those and add in two days of some kind of weight bearing exercise to keep you strong like yoga or weight lifting
a total shift
Now that you know what you know, things may shift dramatically for you. You are now motivated to exercise for the significant anti-aging long term benefits and you look to your diet to control your weight. That’s huge, buttercup. But don’t just close the browser window and fail to take action.
begin by tracking your heart rate
Begin by exercising daily and tracking your heart rate. You must stay in the fat burning heart rate zone or above for the whole 60 minutes of your workout. Thankfully technology has caught up and made tracking so much easier – it’s no longer necessary to wear a chest strap heart rate monitor and watch combination. I use a Fitbit activity tracker watch that also automatically tracks my heart rate from my wrist. I love Fitbit and the company so much that we’ve partnered up in an affiliate relationship so I can recommend them to you.
I recommend a Fitbit activity tracker watch that automatically tracks my heart rate from my wrist. I love Fitbit and the company so much that we’ve partnered up in an affiliate relationship so I can recommend them to you.
I recommend two models of Fitbit:
Fitbit Charge 2
- continuous heart rate monitoring
- tracks your cardio fitness level to help you see how you improve over time
- automatic sleep tracking
- silent alarms
- tracks multiple sport activities
- gives you reminders to move if you’ve been sitting too long
- responsive tap display
Gives you all the features of the Charge2 plus:
- workout summaries
- call and text notifications
- interchangeable accessory bands and frames to go with your street style
- water resistant
- on-screen workouts
- music control
* With technology products, you want to be sure you can get the ability to return or get a new Fitbit in case something happens, which is why I always recommend you purchase through these links at Fitbit.com instead of retail stores because you get
- Free shipping on $50+
- 45-day money back guarantee
- 1 year limited warranty
Want to take it further? I distilled down the essential foundational practices that you need to start doing in order to start thriving in midlife to just five foundational practices. I put those guidelines in a quick start guide. It’s my gift to you when you join my amazing community of women. You’ll not only get your free gift, that you can refer back to time and time again to keep you on track but you’ll also get periodic special content from me. My goal is to provide you with the tools, resources, and the support you need to not only survive but thrive through the second chapter of your life.
are you in?
I love to hear from my clients who jump into this program by committing to a 6 day-a-week active lifestyle. Let me know how you are finding it with a comment below or tweet me @hserody.