Earlier this month I posted about Tipping the Scales, in the right direction. In the post, I discussed the weight equation and where to start to if you are looking to lose weight. I highlighted physical activity and how much is recommended – there were even a few suggestions.
Unless you have been stuck in bubble or just really not paying attention, we all know how important physical activity is for our health – and our weight. Multiple research studies have shown these benefits and we have more than likely read a few articles and posts that have listed them for us. Yet, when I talk to people about increasing their physical activity, there are a thousand reasons they haven’t started or can’t start. After hearing a story from a weight loss group participant, I feel maybe discussing the other side of the story could be helpful. So let’s stop to consider, what else is it that we do in our day to day lives?
What are you doing right now? More than likely if you are reading this, you are sitting down. How long have you been sitting there? In fact, take a moment to stop and think how much time each day do you spend sitting?
For many of us, our list includes: commuting to and from work, work, TV time, bench-time supporting our children, eating and the list goes on. Most of our day is actually often packed with sedentary activities. Why is it that we are so inactive? Yes, our world has been built for convenience – we have drive-thru restaurants and we have machines, remotes and even phones that help keep us from moving. But is there more to it? Is it perhaps the way we feel about ourselves or how we think others feel about us? This is where the story I was telling you about fits in.
The story is of a younger lady, I’ll call her M. At the age of 27 she was 150+ pounds overweight. Out for dinner with friends one evening, M asks her friends if any of them would like to join her on a hiking trip through the Smoky Mountains. Pretending not to notice the question, her friends continued eating.
Although no one ever said it M felt she could hear all of them thinking, “How is she going to do that at her size?” Later that night at home, M then started to think maybe they are right. Thankfully, for M she realized at this moment that it wasn’t that she was lazy or that she didn’t think she could do it – she was having doubts because of what she felt other people thought. This is when she decided to do things that she enjoyed regardless of approval from others. She was tired of letting her size, and other people’s reactions to it, dictate her life. She took that hiking trip and loved it!
That decision helped her develop a true appreciation for moving her body. Regular movement in her daily routine became a habit. And she realized that even moderate levels of physical activity along with simply moving more could make a major difference in her mood and overall health.
Consider how others may be influencing your habits. And I challenge each of us, instead of looking at how to incorporate physical activity into our day, figure out how to decrease the amount of time we spend MOVING very little.