Last week, while scrolling through my social media, I saw a lot of ads about “getting fit” pop up in my newsfeed.
I wonder what I was researching? Obviously, I googled something with regards to physical fitness, as google now seemed to be stalking me with this same topic.
This took me back to the nutrition convention I attended last May in the city of Toronto. There were a lot of different speakers and topics discussed. We dove into “gut health” and our microbiome. We learned about “brain health” and how to remain young as we age. We dove into “inflammation in the body” when consuming the standard American diet.
And of course, we discussed the importance of physical fitness and how exercise can have a huge impact on our mind and also our body.
There was an important discussion about how exercise is like an anti-depressant. It regulates our endorphins and raises serotonin levels. This is one of the reasons why we feel happier after hitting the gym.
At one point, the lead speaker asked the audience a question. He wanted to know what we thought was the very best form of exercise. Which form far exceeded the others?
Can you imagine all the hands going up in a room full of nutritionists? Every one of us had the correct answer. Some of us yelled, “WALKING”! Others shouted out “SWIMMING”!
The answers kept coming …. GARDENING, SALSA CLASSES, YOGA, 5KM RUNS, BIKING, LIFTING WEIGHTS!!
The speaker kept shaking his head side to side. None of us knew the answer? How could this be?
Finally, the crowd got quiet and we were ready to listen and hear what this magical exercise could be…
This is what he said: The most important and impacting exercise routine is THE EXERCISE YOU DO CONSISTENTLY.
AHHHHH, of course.
All forms of exercise are great. But if you do it once a month and then don’t do it again, it doesn’t do much for you, right?
So from my standpoint, as your bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator, what I ask you for is to move your body CONSISTENTLY. I encourage you to MOVE.
- If you want to take Zumba lessons, then ZUMBA.
- If you are into biking, then BIKE.
- If walking floats your boat, then WALK.
- It doesn’t matter what kind of movement you like or perform – what’s important is that you do it CONSISTENTLY.
We already know what physical activity recommendations are. Our social media feeds are full of them. We all know that in order to stay healthy, we are recommended to move our bodies for 150 minutes each week. That breaks down to 20 minutes 7 days a week or 30 minutes 5 days a week.
The “how” is a bit more complicated. How do you want to move your body? In the gym? In a class? In your garden? Behind your boat with water skis? What is it that makes you WANT to move your body? You need to be HAPPY with the movement you choose.
You know what? Let’s uncomplicate this. Sometimes I like to bike. Other times I like to walk. There are days when I feel like taking a yoga class. The Spring season makes me feel like jogging. Why do we always need to be doing the same thing over and over again?
The most important part of this equation is to just get moving. We need to focus on consistency with movement.
This is a bit like “self-discovery”. We all know that exercise makes us feel happy once it is done. The biggest hurdle, most of the time, is to just get started. Once you are in a routine, it gets easier.
Monday and Wednesday you can lift some heavy stuff.
Tuesday and Thursday could be a bike down your local trails or around your neighborhood.
Maybe Saturday is a good day to visit the local indoor pool with your goggles and a speedo.
I encourage you to just sit down and work your plan. Take some time to dig deep and give yourself some encouragement.
If you are already active – GREAT and keep up the awesome work.
If you are not active – LET’S DO THIS. Let’s make a plan. Don’t run before you can walk. Take the important steps to get a plan in place.
My personal plan … I run marathons (in my head). I am a super active person (in my dreams).
Right now, at this stage in my life, I love to SPIN and LIFT WEIGHTS and do BOOTCAMP CLASSES.
This is what floats my boat right now. I don’t spring outta bed ready to ROAR any day. I need to move slowly in the morning. I need to walk my dog and drink my coffee before I start my day. BUT, I make sure to work the time into my days to treat myself to a 45-minute workout.
Do you know what happens? I am a happier person after my workout. I am a better person after my workout. I am a less depressed person after my workout. I am a better wife and Mom after I workout. I am a better nutritionist post-workout.
When I don’t feel like moving, I remind myself that I want to feel happier. This is my catalyst. You need to find you.
Pick a start date. Send me that start date to be accountable. Work a plan out on paper.
I promise you if you get started, and you are CONSISTENT, the MAGIC HAPPENS.
Your mindset will shift as your endorphins are released through movement. The movement will no longer be a “chore”, it becomes a wonderful “gift” that you give to yourself.
Love yourself enough to move that beautiful body of yours.
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About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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