“All I can burn is 120 calories after being on the exercise bike for half an hour,” my friend told me. “Why bother? Isn’t it easier just to eat 120 calories less that day?”
While that’s true on paper, the reality is that exercise does so much more than just burn that extra cookie off.
- It increases your pulse, making your heart healthier.
- It strengthens your lungs.
- It increases metabolism, burning calories even after you’re done exercising.
- It gives you confidence in how you look and the power you have over your life choices.
- A little exercise makes you want to exercise more the next day. It’s been said that the body can’t crave something it’s never had. I find the more I exercise the more my body feels the need for it.
- It’s a discipline that makes other disciplines, like limiting sugar, easier.
- It challenges your muscles, making them stronger.
So if we look at exercise as just a number on a digital readout, it can seem discouraging. But if we consider all the benefits, it’s a pretty good deal for just 20 or 30 minutes of sweating.
Assuming that you’re in good physical health and your doctor would be okay if you exercised, starting small is a perfect way to build endurance so that you can exercise more. Even 5 minutes can lead to 10, then 20 and then 30. For most of us, if we strive for more than 30 minutes a day we can feel like we don’t have the time and we may skip exercising altogether.
Just 20 minutes three times a week is better than 30 minutes once a week. Think small but more frequent.
And that 120 calories is nothing to balk at either. If you burned 120 calories a day, 3 times a week it would equal 18,720 calories burned in one year. And that translates to just over 5 pounds a year. I know we all want to lose 5 pounds a month, if not in a week, but the truth is, we usually don’t. And if we do, it’s not lasting.
And with that, I’m hopping on my bike right now!
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