WARNING: You must consult with your doctor prior to performing any type of exercise program. This warning is usually meant for those individuals with extreme heart conditions because the risk of a cardiac-related complication is extremely small for the rest of the population.
Regular exercise will play a CRITICAL role in reducing the amount of fat on your body, increasing the amount of daily energy you have, as well as building LEAN muscle on your frame. More muscle = higher metabolism = less body fat + more energy.
JUST SHOW UP
Okay, let’s dive in! I like to take a quote from Woody Allen, where he stated, “80% of success is just showing up,” and it couldn’t be more accurate here. Any physical activity performed is worth 1,000x's not doing any at all. Studies have shown that inactivity is just as damaging to a person’s health as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.1
It’s shown that regular physical activity reduces the risk of tons of damaging health outcomes. Furthermore, you will receive additional benefits as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, more frequency, and longer durations. To a point, of course. Most of these benefits occur with at least 210 minutes (three and a half hours) of moderate-intensity activity each week. That’s only 30 minutes per day, so there’s really no excuse!
Our bodies were not meant to sit at a desk all day, sit on a couch all evening and then lie down in a bed all night. Our bodies were meant to MOVE!
WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE?
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is beneficial to the body. Aerobic physical activity means endurance-type exercises such as long-distance running, biking and rowing. Anaerobic physical activity means your muscle strengthening-type exercises such as weight lifting, sprinting and body-weight exercises.
What’s truly amazing is that the health benefits of physical activity happen for everyone, whether you have a disease or a disability, whether you’re old or young, and whether you’re already living a healthy lifestyle or just beginning to. Just acknowledge that injuries may result from exercising, but this should not dissuade you from exercising because the benefits are so tremendous!
One such amazing benefit is that physical activity also helps you to become more mentally sharp!
The Journal, NeuroMolecular Medicine, shows research that clearly proves exercise enhances the cognition of your mind. Furthermore, physical activity is actually more effective in this regard than nutritional supplements, brain training, medications and pharmaceuticals.2
EXERCISE CREATES HEALTH
So how does exercise create health? First, it lowers the amount of free radicals in your body, which are responsible for making oxidative stress.3,4 Oxidative stress is sort of like the rust on a car, but in every cell of your body.
*Free radicals- an uncharged molecule shown to cause damage to the body on the cellular level
Don’t get me wrong, free radicals are a normal part of your body’s chemistry, but excessive free radicals cause cellular damage. This damage can be easily avoided by regularly exercising and practicing the other wellness tips throughout this book.
This regular physical activity is going to enhance your body’s performance from the inside of your cells! In every cell, there are mitochondria, which act as “power plants” by converting the food you ingest into a form of useable energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is what allows us to maintain all of our bodily functions, and if the mitochondria are not taken care of, they can malfunction, which causes SERIOUS damage.4
INACTIVITY IS THE ENEMY
So what causes this damage? INACTIVITY! You wouldn’t think that doing nothing all day could hurt you, but it does. When thinking of your mitochondria think “use it or lose it.” Inactivity will cause damage to the mitochondria, eventually leading them to die off. This damage can cause a loss of cellular function, a massive decrease in metabolism, a loss of physical energy and a halt on cellular healing, which leads to the accumulation of toxins within the body. Some of these toxins, like free radicals, will run wild and cause cellular death and disease.
How do you stop this? Easy, you GET MOVING! Exercise is the number one way to not only create new mitochondria, but also to keep your existing mitochondria healthy, which in turn leads to anti-aging effects and an increased metabolism. Even though exercise is the number one way to do all of this, there are SPECIFIC ways to exercise that will lead to these great health benefits.
LIVE AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
Your first step is going to be just showing up. Making it to the point that you are actually doing the physical activity is the first part of gaining all of these benefits. Step two is going to be giving it your ALL. Walking is a great start, but actual intensity will provide you with a better return on your investment of time and energy. With time and consistence, pushing yourself will give you the maximum benefits. However, MAKE SURE TO ONLY PUSH TO YOUR OWN ABILITY. Just because you saw someone in the gym doing something doesn’t mean that you’re prepared to try it. Some people have been exercising for years, so take it slow at first if you’re inexperienced or out of practice. Everyone has to start somewhere. Progressing to your body’s ability to exercise harder and longer when you’re ready to do so is when you’ll see massive results.
I really like to push anaerobic exercise, which is your higher-intensity physical activity. Warm up a little and try some interval training sprints once or twice a week. This is a series of shorter bouts of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise followed by low-intensity cardiovascular exercise. You can try doing 30 seconds of sprinting your hardest followed by 2 minutes of walking. This is going to get your heart rate to skyrocket and then drop, which is a great way to torch body fat. If you’re not the running type, try out a different cardiovascular machine until you find your favorite.
*Even though we are talking about cardiovascular exercise, performing intervals classifies it as anaerobic exercise.
Strength training is another form of anaerobic exercise that is HIGHLY recommended. Performing your compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges will give you the best results because you are using more muscles at one time, stimulating more of your central nervous system and burning more calories in a lesser amount of time. If you were to “superset” your exercises, which means doing one exercise followed by another exercise that works a different muscle group with no rest in between, you will see massive results. Both interval and weight training done together will make your body adapt to the extra stress by increasing the amount of mitochondria in it!
WOMEN NEED WEIGHTS!
Most women get nervous when I tell them to start lifting weights because they “don’t want to look like a man.” I am here to tell you that YOU WON’T! Women do not have the natural hormones that men do in order to become muscle bound. Weight training will help you to tone up and reduce body fat.
Weight training has been shown to:5
- Increase bone density
- Improve muscular strength
- Improve muscle size and shape
- Improve immune system function
- Improve flexibility
BE A CARDIO KING/QUEEN
With all of these benefits just from weight training, it’s easy to forget about cardio, but cardiovascular training is also going to remain crucial for seeing the best results.
Cardiovascular training has been shown to:5
- Improve endurance
- Reduce stress hormones
- Improve heart and lung efficiency
- Improve general health and fitness
The good news is that when it comes to cardio, the more the better! This type of exercise doesn’t break down your muscle as much as weight training. The only problem is that it will not build actual muscle or directly tone your muscles. Rather, this is going to be the supplement to your anaerobic-training program.
FIND THE TIME!
We all have the same 24 hours in each day and, like I said before, you only need to find a minimum of 30 minutes a day to work out. But even when your time is limited, something is always better than nothing. You can use high intensity or interval training, which increases the number of mitochondria and burns more fat over time.
GET YOUR N.E.A.T. ON
N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is going to be your typical daily activity like standing, moving, walking, gardening or dancing. At work, you can sit on a yoga ball, use a standing desk, have a walking meeting or anything else that will get you moving more. I recommend that all of this be performed up to 2.5 hours each day.
* N.E.A.T. is a daily movement, NOT exercise! These types of movements will not increase your metabolism or secrete the hormones that burn fat.
FIND YOUR WORKOUT
There isn’t one “right” way to exercise and there’s no such thing as a “perfect” workout. The fact of the matter is that our bodies adapt to our environments and our activities, so it’ll be important for you to create different workouts that will continue to challenge and stimulate your body.
I told you to do what you are capable of, but another HUGE aspect of this is going to rely on what you actually LIKE. Exercise should be fun, not a chore. Have some fun with it by switching it up sometimes. If you hate a certain type of exercise, do something else! There is always going to be something out there for you that you will enjoy. So go out, find it and DO IT!
Remember these tips when it comes to exercise:
- If you do something every day, it will become habit!
- Train harder
- Make it fun
- And just show up!
*The Rant: There are so many different ways to exercise your body, so find what you enjoy the most. Challenging your body will come naturally after you find an activity that you enjoy.
To book Dominick M Manfredo & his team for motivational live lectures, please visit http://www.itsfatlossnotweightloss.com/need-motivation/
1. Lee, I. Physical Activity. The Lancet Published:july 18, 2012 available at: http://www.thelancet.com/series/physical-activity
2. Praag HV. Neurogenesis and Exercise: Past and Future Directions. June 2008, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 128-140
3.Menshikova EV etal. Effects of Exercise on Mitochondrial Content and Function in Aging Human Skeletal Muscle. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Jun; 61(6); 534-540.
4.Holloszy JO. Regulation by exercise of skeletal muscle content of mitochondria and GLUT4. J Physiol Pharmacol 2008 Dec;59 Suppl 7:5-18.
5. ACE Personal Training Manual. San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise; 2010.
6. McArdle WD, Katch FI, Katch VL. Exercise Physiology Nutritional. Energy, and Human Performance seventh, edition. 2010
7. Wolfe RR. Metabolic interactions between glucose and fatty acids in human. Am J Clin Nutr
8. Katch F, Katch V, McArdle WD. Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business; 2010.
9. Burke L, Deakin V. Clinical Sports Nutrition. Australia: McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd; 2010.