Food Challenge: Exercise Your Way to Better Eating

Free Weights in the Office

Free Weights in the Office

In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of simple changes to your daily routine. Each week I will post powerful, simple and easy to implement ways to help you change the way you and your family eats…and thereby improve your health.  Yes they are simple, but taken together they can have a powerful impact on your health.

Why am I giving you one a week?  So you can start small, incorporate one change into your day and then add a new change next week.  If you skip a week, that’s ok, start where you are.  Some changes are better than none at all.

When I was younger (much younger, before graduate school, work, family) I used to do double splits and laugh at everyone who was doing less than I was.  Now I look at my father in law, who at 80 still goes to the gym 3 times a week.  He might not be pounding weights, but he is a fit, healthy 80 year old. I am a physician, husband and father of three and no longer have time for my double splits.  My father-in-laws daily habits have served him well through a lifetime!  The crazy, perfectionistic, routine I had in my youth only served me well for a short period of time.  As my daughter would say, “Habits, people!”

So for Challenge Number 1:

If you are not already exercising, take a 15 minutes every day and move. You can find 15 minutes, do it at lunch, after dinner, wake up 15 minutes earlier. How is exercise related to better eating?

Individuals who exercise tend to make better food choices, not wanting to waste their effort. Exercise is a keystone habit. If you are not familiar with this phrase, keystone habits are those that prompt more change. Hungry after a walk? You are more likely to make a healthy food choice.

Here is what I don’t want you to do:  don’t start researching gyms,  exercise videos, or rush out and by the latest and greatest exercise equipment.

Do this (choose one):

  • Talk a brisk walk after dinner
  • Pick up some free weight and do squats
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Do jumping jacks
  • Walk stairs
  • You get the idea

Whatever you do, make sure you keep your current health conditions in mind and exercise in a way that is safe for your body.  Very few health conditions prevent one from exercise, choose one that is safe and healthy for you.  Ask your physician, if you are not sure what will work for you.

Let me know what changes you make!

 

 

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