Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | September 24, 2010

EXERCISE your right to be healthy

Saturday: 14 hours of work. Sunday: 14 hours of work. Monday: 6am-3pm. And I’m freeeeee!

Ok, so what’s my first instinct here? I’m exhausted from horrific work hours. All I want to do is sleep for the next ten days. But since I know better, I decide to take my bike out for a ride.

What exactly is it that I know better?

1. Exercise relieves stress. After working all those hours, I could definitely benefit from blowing off some steam. If you’re having a stressful week or a rough day at work, a brisk 30 minute walk can help improve your mood. That’s right, studies show that 30-60 minutes of physical activity 3-5 times/wk can improve mood, self-esteem and relieve depression.

2. Exercise improves energy. Working long hours can be exhausting. And let’s face it, when you know you have to go home and make dinner, the last thing you want to find energy to do is exercise. But if you exercise, the energy will find you! Being active improves your cardiovascular function which in turn gives you long-lasting energy.

3. Exercise helps maintain or increase muscle mass. At work, I sit at a computer for hours upon hours. No muscle movement there! Therefore, when I’m done with work, I know I have to move those little muscles of mine to keep them happy and strong. Aerobic activity as well as weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss that comes with age. Osteoporosis runs in my family so it’s really important that I stay active and strong!

4. Exercise helps maintain your weight. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week of 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week can help maintain your weight. Looking to lose weight? You bet exercise is gonna help! Studies have shown that dieting alone is unsuccessful when it comes to weight loss. Pair healthy eating with some exercise? You’ll meet your goals in no time!

5. Exercise helps you live longer, free of chronic disease. That’s right, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Prevention is key my friends. Let’s stop it before it happens.

The way I see it? Exercise is a win-win for everyone. Who doesn’t want to feel happy, stress-free, strong, and live a long healthy life? For me, exercise is definitely my stress-release. When I ride my bike along the Charles River or through a park, surrounded by beautiful nature, I instantly feel a wave of calm come over me. Especially with the right music, ahhh it can be bliss. My latest ipod mix? Jimi Hendrix. It took me 23 years and a trip to Seattle to download and discover his amazing music. Boy, have I been missing out!

You don’t have to join a gym to exercise! Here are some other ideas so that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to feel healthy:

1. Spring? Summer? Fall? Your gym is outside! Go for walks, runs, bike rides. Find a park or trail near you and use it!

2. Winter time makes it a little trickier. But, winter sports like skiing and ice skating can be a lot of fun and great exercise.

3. If money is an object, invest in a set of free weights, a mat, and some hardcore exercise DVDs. This way you can use, re-use, and save! Create your own indoor gym. Looking for a good exercise DVD to use at home? My mother just tried one of Jillian Michael’s DVDs and raved about it. Well, actually she complained about how sore she was the next day, but I think that’s code for a great workout!

4. Little steps add up BIG time. So take the stairs, walk to work, park your car further from the store. Every minute counts.

5. Physical activity doesn’t have to be intense. You don’t need to run 10 miles. You do need to move your body. The more you move, the better.  Moving your body could mean you do chores around the house or you get down and dirty in the garden. These activities are sure to get your heart pumping and get your body burning calories.

On a different note, I have some exciting news to share with all of you…I have a full-time job as an outpatient registered dietitian! Now all I have to do is pass my RD exam! I will be working at the Weight and Wellness Center at Tuft’s Medical Center. It’s an excellent opportunity and I’m really excited to start.

With all the changes about to happen in my life, ie. the RD exam, starting a new job, finding and moving into a new apartment, you better believe my bike and I are going to become besties. That’s best friends. What I’m saying is staying active is going to help get me through any stress I face. I hope the same goes for you too. We all deserve the right to be healthy and happy. So EXERCISE your right to be healthy!

Peace, love, and exercise,

Kara

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Responses

  1. love this!! even though the rest of my life is crazy, i know i can’t cut exercise out of it! and congrats again on the new job!

    • thanks! yes it’s so important to make exercise a priority!

  2. Great post on exercise! Congrats on the new job and so many + life changes.

    I recently downloaded some Janis Joplin on my ipod. Hooray for hippy 60’s music!

    • yay thank you! love hippy music. i think janis joplin will have to be next on my list :).

  3. Agreed, agreed, agreed! Sometimes when I’m tired and in a bad mood–I’ll exercise and feel so much better afterwards! Thanks for posting.

    P.S. Jillian Michaels IS a good workout!!

    • good to know you like Jillian Michaels’ workout. i’m going to have to try one!


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