I just saw yet another infographic showing how much exercise is required to burn off various fast foods: a Krispie Kreme donut, McDonalds French fries, five Oreos, a grande Starbucks frappuccino, etc. (I’m not going to link to it here because I don’t want to encourage this sort of thing!)
Fitness trackers and calorie counters make it seem like the only reason to exercise is to burn off those pesky calories.
A couple of years ago, there was even a serious discussion about adding an “activity equivalent” to the calorie count on our nutrition facts labels.
But all of this just reinforces the dieter’s mindset: the idea that we have to offset “bad” eating choices with “good” behaviors like exercise.
Burning calories is NOT the primary benefit of exercise. Nor should it be the primary goal.
So what’s the point of exercise, then?
- Increased strength, flexibility, and balance
- Strong bones
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced immunity
- Reduced chronic pain
- Better mood
And by the way – exercise isn’t just the 20, 30, or 60 minutes you spend at the gym or doing a workout video in your living room. Your day is full of opportunities to move, stretch, and strengthen your body. You just need to get into the habit of noticing and taking advantage of them!
The human body was designed for movement, and learning to move more can truly improve the quality of your life–and also help you weigh less in the long run.
How can you add more movement into your day today?