When it comes to managing your health, diet is top priority. However, you can't truly be healthy unless regular exercise is a part of your life too. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. A Whole-Food Plant-Based diet will flood your bloodstream with nutrients, and exercise will make sure everything is distributed well. Your journey to excellent health requires that you keep moving!
We have approximately 640 muscles in our body that keeps us moving. Our heart is also a muscle and it needs regular exercise to maintain optimal function. Your body will "rust" out before it "wears" out, so move it or lose it! You don't need to join a gym to reap the benefits of exercising. The secret to success with exercising is CONSISTENCY....we need to exercise everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes. Walking or jogging, for example, improves your balance, increases your cardiovascular capacity, and increases your muscular endurance all at once. In order to reap these benefits, you need to walk at a brisk pace, (I don't mean drenched in sweat, but you need to at least break a sweat), to keep your heart rate up. Your energy levels with improve, your stress level will go down, you will notice improvement in your sleeping habits, your brain will "lose the fog", etc. Exercise has an extraordinary ability to improve your life from every angle. CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY.
Now, I hear what everyone is saying.....I don't have the time. Listen to me, carve out 30 minutes for yourself....there are 1,440 minutes in a day....you MUST take 30 of those minutes to keep yourself from "rusting out"! When you are done exercising, nothing feels better...every cell in your body will celebrate for the gift you have given it. Besides pages of all the physical benefits exercise will give to you, this is what exercise gives you " behind the scenes":
- Encourages nervous system communication
- Boosts immune function
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Develops positive bone turnover
- Reduces stress
- Protects the heart and blood vessels
- Stimulates the endocrine system to release healthy hormones
Exercising improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, the number of calories expended during rest and activity, and the way your cells function. Researchers all agree that the benefits of regular exercise unquestionably promotes health and longevity. When exercising, you're using up calories to improve fitness and condition all the muscles in your body, especially your heart.
Of course, exercise also aids in weight management. Muscle mass is more active, so the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories your body requires to sustain it. Even at rest, your muscles burn calories at a higher rate than they do fat tissue. For several hours after exercise, you get a slight elevation in calorie burn. Working out turns you into a calorie-burning machine!!
A common mistake many people make, however, is to eat a higher volume of food when exercising. Total calories burned during and after a workout doesn't warrant eating a large volume of food. If you're trying to lose weight, you need to get rid of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound...people complain that they are exercising and not losing weight...the reason may be they are still taking in too many calories. However, if you're following a WFPB diet, chances are, you don't have to worry about the calories...what could be better??
So, now the warmer weather is here, there really are no excuses not to get out there and move! You need to do something you like so you do it consistently....if you are walking, recruit a friend to walk with you...you will keep each other accountable.
Take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise....you can't afford not to....