Molokai Fitness: Why Do You Exercise?
By Ayda Ersoy
Exercise has so many health benefits — it can improve your posture, decrease stress, help you sleep better, improve your memory, you’ll have more energy, live longer and be happier. Sounds pretty good, right?
But many people exercise just to lose weight. That should not be your main reason to exercise. Yes, if you burn more calories in one day than you consume then eventually you will lose weight. But in reality, most people do not achieve and sustain weight loss just through exercise, no matter what they try.
So do you want to lose weight temporarily? Or do you want to be healthy and at your ideal weight permanently? If you do the correct exercises regularly then yes, you can increase muscle mass. But if you don’t support this with the correct nutrition then you’ll lose everything that you gained.
If you’re doing exercise because you want to lose weight, unfortunately you are on the wrong path. You should look closely at your diet. What types of foods are you choosing? Are you eating enough foods with good nutritional value? Do you eat the correct food after your workout?
Think about it: if you are going to a party and you know there will be amazing food there that you want to enjoy, what do you do before? Maybe you go to the gym to try and burn a few extra calories? Or maybe you miss one meal, so you can eat more when you’re there? When you exercise with the purpose of losing weight you are doing the same thing — exercise more, eat more, you want to go to the gym regularly so that you deserve to eat more…. Does that sound familiar?
A very recent scientific study said: “In many interventions that are based on an exercise program intended to induce weight loss, the mean weight loss observed is modest and sometimes far less than what the individual expected. The individual responses are also widely variable, with some individuals losing a substantial amount of weight, others maintaining weight, and a few actually gaining weight.”
Your health is much more important than just how much you weigh. Exercise is far more important for your health than just reducing your weight. Do your exercise for your soul, for your health. And most importantly, combine it with a nutritious, healthy diet.
Try and find a type of exercise that you like, so that you’ll enjoy it and you can stick to it. Exercise will give you confidence, joy and it will help you connect with yourself. You are doing something just for yourself! And you are the only expert for your body — only you can really know what’s best!