Not everyone who visits this blog or comes to Green Mountain at Fox Run, does so to learn how to reach their healthy weight – but a lot do. When you have your weight on the brain, expectations around getting healthy often get skewed.
The good news? Small improvements in your behavior and your thinking, could be as good for your health as just about anything you could do. The improvements you make don’t have to rock your world overnight. In fact, they shouldn’t. That’s why it’s so important to remember that increases in activity and subtle healthy changes in your diet can add significant benefit to your overall health and well being – even if you haven’t seen the needle move on the scale – just yet.
A recent study of 133 overweight men and women found that a moderate exercise regimen (such as 12 miles of brisk walking a week), offered major improvements in fitness and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, it’s logical that any additional increase in the amount or intensity of exercise provides even more health benefits. Just keep in mind that some of us are capable of taking that notion to it’s illogical conclusion – if more is better – than more and more and more must be the best! So, before you decide to go rock climbing, white water rafting or swimming the English Channel, you might want to consider a brisk walk.
“People only need to walk up to 12 miles per week or for about 125 to 200 minutes per week to improve their heart health,” study lead author Brian Duscha of Duke University, said in a prepared statement. “Our data suggest that if you walk briskly for 12 miles per week you will significantly increase your cardiovascular fitness levels compared to baseline. If you increase either your mileage or intensity, by going up an incline or jogging, you will achieve even greater gains.” The truth? “You can improve cardiovascular fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease by exercising without losing weight,” says Duscha .
This isn’t to say your journey to lose weight isn’t a valuable one. It’s just some food for thought. Don’t be so hard on yourself, understand and accept your successes. Every step you take to improve your health and well being is good for you – even if you can’t see it right away. Rock on!