Photos by Karen Woo
Recently I learnt something interesting from this online nutrition course: that the rate of metabolism depends purely the amount of lean muscle mass. This is why exercise, such as weight training is so important. People blame age and diet but actually inactivity is the culprit to man’s many health problems. This issue was further reiterated in this health and fitness online course I am doing after completing the nutrition course. I figured I needed to learn from both sides of the coin, so to speak.
What I learnt from this course has completely changed my view on fitness: exercise is not optional. When I was younger (ie pre-baby days) I was pretty fit, I used to run 3 times a week and called stairs my BFF. But now that I’ve become exponentially time-poor, and sleep-deprived, exercise has fallen off the bandwagon. I’ve become more sedentary and no longer prioritize exercise. But research shows that exercise is not just good for us, making us look and feel good from the inside out, it’s necessary for our survival! Mortality rates increase if we don’t do 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week! This takes ‘fit for life’ to completely new level!
Exercise is the best medicine. There is no ‘medication’ cheaper, more effective, with less side effects than exercise. It can prevent, treat and manage so many health problems from improving confidence to preventing cancers. It’s even effective at low doses! There are so many ways to ‘consume’ this medicine, and all ‘formulations’ are effective. You can take it indoors or outdoors, any time of the day. Doctors are starting to ‘prescribe’ exercise as a form of medication because it helps us live better and longer.
‘I’m too busy to exercise’ is a common excuse for many of us, but I hope that now you’ll agree that we are too busy not to exercise! Whether it is dancing, walking the dog, or a round of golf, there are so many ways we can be less inactive. The fitness course suggested some great ways to meet the minimum exercise requirement each week. For 150 minutes of moderate exercise, try walking for half an hour every week day. And for those who are extremely time poor during the week, try 75 minutes (40 minutes or so each day) of vigorous exercise, say running, on the weekend. I love this suggestion, because instead of equating ‘indulgence’ with weekends, I will now think ‘intensity’!
Now I finally get why so many of my friends take their fitness so seriously! It’s time for me to hit the pavement too and become more active. Let’s take this ‘medicine’ together, because exercise is easier and more enjoyable with an accountability partner! So, how will you spend your 150 or 75 minutes this week?