Essential 8: Exercise

Exercise was one thing I did try to do consistently after the birth of our second son.  However, because I was not eating healthfully or supplementing my diet, the exercising could only do so much.  Again, that’s why I stress the order of our 10 Essentials.  Trying to workout while eating junk is really counterproductive.  The two really do need to be done simultaneously for the benefits to be enjoyed.  They complement each other!

I have always enjoyed working out, and one of my favorite ways to get exercise is through exercise DVDs.  I have a large library of all different kinds of workouts so that I don’t ever get bored.  And they are led by some of the world’s best trainers, so it’s like getting a one-on-one session with them in the privacy of your own home.  You don’t have to battle bad weather or traffic to get to a gym or exercise outside. And they have them for just about any kind of workout – aerobics, strength training, interval training, pilates, stretch, yoga, etc.  There is also a plethora of free online exercise videos.  Some of my favorite and most effective videos are with Cassey Ho from www.blogilates.com, and Tracy Anderson (who has a number of videos on www.youtube.com) In under 20 minutes a day, you can get an amazing workout and slim and tone your body!

So, the importance of exercising is probably a no-brainer for most of us, and yet some days it can seem impossible to get motivated and get moving.  But when you look at all the health benefits, not to mention the emotional and physical benefits, there’s no getting around our need to move our bodies!  Here are just a few of the benefits that come from regular exercise:

  • Strengthens bones and increases bone density
  • ŸBuilds muscle, boosts metabolism, and burns fat
  • ŸReduces stress and balances cortisol levels
  • Helps balance blood sugar
  • ŸStudies have shown it to be a very effective remedy against depression
  • Extremely good for the heart and cardiovascular system

It’s important to get both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.  Aerobic exercises would include things like walking, running, bicycling, elliptical or treadmill machines, and floor aerobic DVDs.  Anaerobic exercises would include things like strength training (weights), HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) or some other strength based workout.  It’s important to get a variety of these kinds of exercises.  If, for example, you go running one day, try to have a strength training session the next day.  Follow that with a day of yoga or pilates, another interval training session and then a day of rest.  If you continually change your workouts like this, you will avoid the plateaus that many women experience by doing only one kind of workout.

More and more research is showing that you can burn up to 300 calories by doing only 20 minutes of strength or interval training!  That’s great news for us busy women!  Research also shows that strength training and interval training actually creates more lean muscle, burn more fat, increase HGH (human growth hormone, which keeps us youthful!) and shapes and sculpts your body in ways that aerobic exercise alone cannot do.  And again, you only need as little as 20 minutes a day to do these kinds of exercises.  That sounds like a win-win to me!  Don’t give up your aerobic activities that you love!  Just try adding strength training, interval training, pilates, and yoga (or some other stretch workout) to your weekly regimen, and you will have a well-rounded workout program.  You will also shed pounds much faster than solely doing aerobic workouts.  Once you add this to your healthy eating and supplement plan, you are going to look and feel SO much better!

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