If you’re a Baby Boomer or senior, exercise is simply too valuable to harbor any secrets! After all, its many benefits can add years of healthy living to your life; conversely, inactivity causes 9% of premature deaths worldwide.
So in this blog, we let you peek behind the veil and reveal 3 huge secrets about exercise that you need to know!
1) Exercise is medicine!
Well, not literally of course. But “If exercise could be packed in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation,” according to Robert N. Butler, MD, former director, National Institute of Aging.
The benefits of physical activity are staggering. It positively impacts many chronic diseases plaguing our society today–heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and helps elevate mood in those with depression.
Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine that encourages health care providers to include physical activity in their patient treatment plans. So, the next time you visit your doctor, you may leave with a prescription for exercise, not a new medication!
2) Exercise does NOT play a major role in losing weight.
Many people believe that exercise lends a significant boost to weight loss. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, weight loss is about 80% food management, 20% exercise.
On paper, you need to shed 3,500 calories to lose one pound. That’s 500 calories per day to lose one pound per week. For most folks, that would mean at least 1-1/2 hours of exercise daily–an unreasonable expectation. And even if you were to exercise that much, one restaurant or fast food meal, or a grande caffe mocha and croissant would easily fill up your calorie deficit.
I’m not explaining this to discourage you from exercising (look at the fabulous health benefits above!), but to educate you that it is simply not something you can bank on for happiness at the scale.
As many trainers like to say: Lose weight in the kitchen; gain health in the gym (or wherever your activity takes you)!
3) But exercise is the BEST way to maintain weight loss.
Now, once you’ve lost that weight, you’ll need to maintain a new balance of calories in and out; if not, you’ll backtrack on all your hard effort. You’ve created a calorie gap which must be tended to!
So let’s say you lose 30 pounds. Assuming you have a sedentary lifestyle and depending on your new weight, you’ll need to eat about 200 calories less per day to maintain your weight loss. But imagine you slowly slide back to your old eating habits, indiscriminantly overeating daily–you’ll regain that weight (and self-loathing) in less than a year.
However, you can manage that calorie gap by consistently eating 50 calories less and exercising 30 minutes (burning about 150 calories) per day.
If you’re 50+ and looking for a fitness and nutrition plan to get in better shape, contact me.