It's also far from optimal, as new research (somewhat contested research, I should mention, but potentially accurate) indicates that diet is far more implicated in weight loss and maintenance than exercise ever will be. That exercise, muscle-building fabulousness notwithstanding, is inadequate to the task of regulating weight without the moderating influence of good (which is to say not high-calorie) diet and genes.
But exercise is a vital variable in the health equation, to be sure.
For what it's worth, I walk approximately 15000 steps a day (that takes a couple of hours), 5 or 6 days a week. I also aim to do 3 sessions of yoga, in my home studio, of approximately 1 hour in length each.
Here's why I do it:
- Meditative movement keeps me sane - and I'm not being glib.
- I enjoy being alone (an outcome which exercise sometimes affords) and being with others (another outcome which exercise sometimes affords).
- I love to walk and think. My imagination keeps me company.
- I need to get from one place to another and I get a secret thrill knowing it's my own body that gets me there.
- I believe it sets a good example for my daughter.
- I appreciate symmetry in all things - especially bodies. Yoga aligns my body in such a way that it looks, and feels, even and balanced.
- I like being strong.
- I really like being flexible.
- I love inverting (headstands, handstands, shoulderstands etc.). There's nothing like flipping upside down to make an upside down world seem right side up. Exercise gives me perspective.
- It feeds my exhibitionist nature. (What? I have a blog, don't I?)
- It helps me look better in clothing. (See above)
- It's likely lowering my blood pressure, improving my sex drive, staving off pre-diabetes, preventing cancer, increasing my lifespan and enabling me to eat that ice cream cone without feeling chubby.
(Oh, theme week over and out... Frivolity will return with the next post!)