No seriously, why?
Do you exercise to get rid of the muffin top?
Do you exercise because your thighs are rubbing together?
Do you exercise because you ate too much over the holidays?
I pulled this out of an article in Time magazine, special for all of you that answered YES! to the answers above…
“In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher. Many recent studies have found that exercise isn’t as important in helping people lose weight as you hear so regularly in gym advertisements or on shows like The Biggest Loser — or, for that matter, from magazines like this one.
The basic problem is that while it’s true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.
Oh there are many benefits to exercise, such as: health, energy, vibrancy, a good sex life, better body image, less stress, better sleep, etc. So why do we (mostly) never say that we exercise for these reasons?
Do you think that if you exercised for the above mentioned “healthy” reasons to exercise that you might approach exercise differently?
Would you perhaps take a walk and enjoy your neighborhood whilst peeking in windows to see if people’s Xmas trees are still up, or would you go to the gym for yet another grueling/boring/monotonous 45 minutes on the Stairmaster?
Would you perhaps put on your favorite dance mix, clear the living room and go crazy with your awesome dance party moves, or would you put in that generic strength training video that you have watched twice and can’t stand listening to the instructor or looking at her outfit.
I have talked to countless people that have exercised like crazy only to find out that they have gained weight (me, multiple times), and I have talked to even more people that have traded in their rigorous routines for activities that they truly adored and lost weight (me again).
It can be scary to give it all up and trade it in for something new.
I like to exercise now because it makes me feel alive. I like the way my leg muscles feel after a long walk. I feel sexier after a yoga class. I know that my heart is beating, my blood is pumping and my body is working the way it is supposed to. As soon as I started doing the exercise that I wanted to do I began to feel this way. Oh yeah, AND I’ve lost weight! Before it was a different story. I used to feel nauseous, exhausted and ravenous after a workout. I used to dread working out, every single time.
What kind of exercise would you be doing if you weren’t exercising to get skinny?