Monday, October 21, 2013

Benefits of Exercise Don't Come in a Pill, So Get Moving!

Creating a new habit is not easy, but it is possible. You have to make it a priority and it must be workable in your life.

Woman running on trail
Getting a little support can help you develop an exercise routine for life.

How important is exercise?

People who live sedentary lifestyles have a greater risk for a long list of chronic diseases, with a greater risk of mortality. When you incorporate consistent, moderate-intensity exercise into your life, you will measurably increase the quality and quantity of your life. Abundant scientific literature provides the evidence.

What’s stopping you? No, seriously, what’s stopping you?

Why don’t you exercise? What are the obstacles? Take one week and keep a log. Increase your awareness around it. Solving the problem first requires identifying the problem. One of the principles of naturopathic medicine is tolle causam, or treat the cause. You can’t treat the cause if you haven’t identified the cause.

Creating a new habit is not easy, but it is possible. You have to make it a priority and it must be workable in your life. You have to enjoy it. You have to appreciate its benefits. For example, people who exercise sleep better, have more energy and weigh less. Would you buy that in a pill if you could?

Once you have identified your problem – too tired, no time, unhealthy snacking, too much beer, etc. – your next step is to find someone to help you. Clinical research shows people who are supported in their efforts to be more active have greater success and enjoyment. It can be your naturopathic doctor. It can be your pastor. It can be your dog. It could even be your iPod. It doesn't matter. You’re gonna need some need help with this.

To start, commit to exercising every other day for a week. The intensity level of your exercise should exceed your ability to tell a long story to a friend. You want your heart and respiratory rate elevated.

Take stock after one week. How do you feel? How did you sleep? How was your energy? The answers to these questions may not be overwhelmingly positive at this point. Stay strong. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Do the same the next week. Take stock at two weeks. How do you feel? How did you sleep? How was your energy? These answers should be more positive at this point.

Keep in mind that weight loss is only one outcome. We can be overly focused on weight loss, which will come eventually with changes in diet and lifestyle. Exercise will also lead to more energy, better sleep, a sense of wellness, decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, decreased risk for cancer and more. Research tells us you need to exercise 150 minutes each week for maximum disease prevention.

How long does it take to form a new habit? Sixty-six days, according to current psychological research. It may be less for you. It may be more. There's only one way to find out!

Jamie Coroon, ND, naturopathic doctor and resident, Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

More Health Tips

Here are some ways to eat an inexpensive and well-balanced diet consisting of many nutritious whole foods.

Here's how to create a healthy posture to improve your health.

The main benefit of the Paleo diet is that it promotes eating whole, nutritious foods while avoiding refined, processed foods.

While tax season can be daunting and stressful, these are simple, easy ways to help lighten the load.

Behind the calm exterior of a doula is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

With the recent buzz about gluten- and wheat-free diets, it’s good to know how they compare and if they’re right for everyone.

Events

Apr 16

Deepen your understanding of the interconnectedness between energy and healing. Engage the four levels of your being and experience flow as you fuel your body and feed your soul with the Elemental Healing™ Method. Our energy body codes our experiences in its energetic architecture where there is a complete record of all our past experiences and emotional wounds. Healing those wounds is one of the primary rewards of one’s Inner Journey.
April 16, 23 & 30, Wed, 6-9p.m.
Instructor: Lauren Nalder, BSc.
(8 CEUs, PDAs)

Apr 16 Community Ed

Yoga is a way into life. Develop greater awareness of your body's strengths and challenges through yoga. Using the yoga postures (asana) appropriately, we can bring more freedom and peace into our bodies and minds. Working with the breath (pranayama), we can cultivate stillness and strength.
April 16 – June 18, Wednesdays, 6-7:15p.m.
Heidi Fischer, Certified Yoga Teacher.
12.5 HRs

Apr 17 Admissions

Bastyr University will be in Chicago to help you learn about the amazing opportunities that await you at Bastyr.

Student & Alumni Profiles

Coquina Deger, MBA, and David Siebert fill key roles as part of President’s Cabinet

Herbal sciences students cook up foods with love -- and health-giving herbs -- in a popular lab class.

The actor and author joins us for a Q-and-A before her May 22 talk at Bastyr's Spring for Health Luncheon.

Spring 2014: There is a lot blossoming at Bastyr University

A mysterious illness transformed Priya Walia's vision of medicine and gave her a plan for her future.

Press

Bastyr University Nutrition Faculty Member Receives Prestigious State Honor

The public is invited to a free community event to explore Bastyr University’s teaching clinic

Teaching clinic earns second consecutive year of stellar results in regional patient satisfaction survey

In the Media

FOX Q13: Bastyr University's Ellie Freeman Discusses the FDA’s New Food Labels
Bothell-Kenmore Reporter: Bastyr Center for Natural Health Expands Integrative Oncology Services
Puget Sound Business Journal: Bastyr University's President Daniel Church to Retire