During my detox, I put exercise into my schedule. I’d been swimming every week, and walking randomly when I didn’t feel too tired and the weather was good [read: not too hot, not too cold, not too wet:: Goldilocks::it had to be just right]. So most nights not. It rains in Oregon.
Get real clue: EXERCISE DOES NOT MAKE YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
Get real clue: MORE IS NOT BETTER.
Get real clue: NO PAIN NO GAIN is the biggest load of horse patootie I ever heard. If it hurts it is not doing you any GOOD.
Get real clue: YOU HAVE TO EXERCISE.
There. I’m done yelling. Just wanted to get your attention because THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
Now you could go whole hog like Lesley Carter at Bucket List Publications and live your life full tilt boogie especially if you are as vital and healthy as she sounds in her blog. She has some really fun goals and is actively working toward them. If you are able, I encourage you to join her. And if you are not able I encourage you to make any effort you can. It will make a difference in how you feel.
Sadly not all of us enjoy Lesley’s level of health. I’m actually kinda jealous! That’s ok too. We do what we can. She does a lot, me not so much. I’m not sure sleep is on her to-do list but it sure is on mine.
Sleep is also important and chronic illnesses can impact sleeping patterns. I’ll talk about sleep in another post, but most people find adding regular exercise to their day helps in getting better sleep, an additional benefit from doing something fun that’s good for your health. Another perfect circle.
The body is built for motion. Just look at you. Your arms and legs bend in interesting places and in interesting ways. Your toes can curl and wiggle. You have bendy fingers to gather eggs or pull weeds or diaper a baby or type on a keyboard with. The way the bones are shaped, and attached with muscles and tendons and sinews, reveals the elegant design of human motion.
The internal organs have movement of their own even if you don’t move the extremities. Your blood, and lymph, and hormones circulate. Your heart pumps. Your lungs expand and contract. Your cells migrate and divide. Your ear hairs vibrate. Your brain cells transmit. Your gastrointestinal system digests and eliminates through muscular contractions. With some people their tongues flap a whole lot and don’t say much either. Your body is in constant motion whether you realize it or not.
You don’t have to buy a gym membership. You don’t have to buy expensive equipment. You don’t have to work out two hours a day. You don’t have to do one of those “extreme” workouts every day. Unless you want to, then have at. But you don’t have to. Many studies now have shown anything more than an hour of designated exercise like running, walking, biking, etc., to show no additional effects. Studies also have shown exercise alone over a six month period decreases body weight only by an average of just seven pounds. Seven pounds sounds like water weight loss to me.
I would suggest if you want more activity to change gears, perhaps many times a day. Do a bit of yoga in the morning before breakfast, push the vac around after brekkie, garden after lunch, walk after dinner, or swim before. Grow your own food, compost, preserve what you grow, cook from scratch, get some chickens for your yard and add that to your regular work schedule. Guarantee you’ll spiffy up in no time. It’s what grandma did. She milked the cow and did the butchering too. And raised six children, made all their clothing, and quilts for their beds. No wonder she wasn’t fat. She used up everything she ate.
You do have to exercise EVERY DAY for the metabolism re-set to work. Now the cool part. Thirty minutes a day is all it takes. That’s right thirty minutes as in three zero: 30. Thirty minutes is the point where the metabolism is stimulated enough to perform efficiently.
I like to walk for thirty minutes after supper, except on Friday night when I swim immediately after work and have supper after my swim. I can’t swim if I’ve eaten anything an hour and a half before I swim. My stomach cramps, or, I don’t think it’s really a cramp. I think the water lifts the weight of the fat and muscle off my bones and lifts my internal organs as well. That’s why the water gives me that “weightless” feeling, but it also pushes my stomach up into my esophagus.
So if exercise doesn’t make you lose weight, why bother? Because exercise is the key to the metabolism re-set and the regulation of fat accumulation.
Remember that exercise we did with the word fat? Get out that chair or stepstool again if you need to and remember how to treat that little word fat. It’s not a bad word and fat itself is not bad. Eating fat is not bad. Being fat is not bad. Cultural treatment of fat people can be bad, but we don’t care what other people think of us, because we know we are good. Even if our bodies are fat. For me improving my body is not about how I look, but about improving how I feel.
The only reason you should choose to lose weight is if you want to. I don’t encourage you to depend on medicine to fix/cure whatever unwellness you have. I wanted to reduce my weight to gain control of my blood sugar. I didn’t want to take medicine. I have NEVER been comfortable in my body so that was not a real big concern for me, nor was my appearance. I’ve always admired bodies for bodies; some are rounder than others. My body has always been unusually shaped and sized, and I’ve suffered some degree of pain or discomfort since I was seven years old. Those were my reasons.
You NEED exercise to keep all those internal moving parts in good working order. Again we’ll use the sadly over-used car analogy. If you let the car sit too long, the fuel goes bad and doesn’t work or the battery dies altogether. If you are not going to use the car on a regular basis, you still need to get out there and start it up a few times a week. Your body is a 24/7 bio-electrical unit, which is how it varies from the mechanic model. The internal movement of breathing and beating and peristalsis and circulation require the daily support of muscle movement to stimulate all the behind the scenes action. Exercise keeps your joints lubricated, your heart pumping and your blood flowing properly, and your muscles in proper working order so they sit well on your bones. Exercise also aids in moving the food through you; regular input should equal regular output.
I’ve known how important exercise is for a long time and have worked since 2007 to get to the point of thirty minutes every day. It took me four years to get up to twenty minutes a day in such pain I’d sometimes vomit when I got home.
After I started the detox, I was finally able to work myself up to thirty minutes a day walking. Sometimes I go forty minutes depending on my level of pain. The decrease in the constant level of nausea has made it so I can move the extra time I needed to hit the re-set button. My theory is my body is not having to work so hard to digest processed foods and carbohydrates in concentrated forms, and since my liver is previously compromised it wasn’t making and using all the hormones, like insulin and cortisol, or digestive juices like bile and stomach acid, the optimal way.
I fell last Thanksgiving (TWICE!) and took three weeks off to let the swollen banged up knees heal. The fat, bruised lip went away fast enough. I still swam, but boy, what a set-back that was. Now I walk like a slug, slow and steady, one foot in front of the other. Every day. Thirty minutes. Rain or shine. Hwell, if the water is coming in sideways or the wind is blowing trees over I’m more likely to skip it and go to bed.
Despite the pain of every step, I love my walking time. I’m such a snoop. I admire other people’s yards and homes and love it when efforts are made to keep them in good condition. Two small bungalows up the street from me are being renovated by a couple of thirty-something families and it’s so good to see the homes being loved and used again. I love the air against whatever skin is out: cold air on my cheeks, warm air on as much as I can expose. I love getting home and saying I was able to walk thirty minutes again today. Because I can. It’s become a bit of a habit and I get a little cranky crazy when I can’t go.