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Wellness Monday: Sewing Seeds of Fitness


alert: benefits of physical activity

Fitness and wellness is a journey and a lifestyle. Lifestyles are something we grow into and fitness is no different. We plant the seeds of fitness to have a beautiful garden of wellness that has become our lifestyle as we age.


I know many of us have goals that have to do with physical appearance, whether it’s weight loss, fitting into a certain size or clothing item, decreasing body fat, improving body composition, etc. That is perfectly fine! However, if we are only working out for a certain appearance, we are missing the most important benefits. There are, or will be, seasons of life where situations are out of your control or your size or weight just don’t matter as much. Does that mean you should stop working out? Absolutely not! To plant seeds of true health and reap lifelong wellness, you must develop a habit of moving your body just because it’s good for you — not just because of how good you want to look. Our best goal is our to have our healthspans match our lifespans as closely as possible.


Here are some awesome benefits to focus on so you can stay motivated to keep moving through all seasons of life!


✔️ Improves sleep quality

✔️ Creates structure and self-discipline

✔️ Improves blood and oxygen circulation

✔️ Increases physical and mental energy

✔️ Improves cardiovascular health

✔️ Supports healthy bones and muscles

✔️ Improves cognition and brain health

✔️ Reduces stress and anxiety

✔️ Boosts confidence and self-esteem

✔️ Improves overall quality of life

✔️ Improves mobility for everyday function


Now that we know the benefits let's talk about how we plant seeds. We plant seeds by starting actions that we develop into habits.


👟 Change our shopping habits to create a healthy pantry

👟 Slowly add in more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our meals

👟 Learn to eat mindfully

👟 Take the stairs when you can

👟 Park at the back of the parking lot

👟 Pace or walk laps while watching your kids’ activities

👟 Get up every hour for a 2-minute walking break

👟 Make the extra trips, instead of trying to minimize them

👟 Go for a 5-10 minute walk after every meal

👟 Work from a standing desk or on a yoga ball

👟 Choose to stand while waiting rather than sitting

👟 Develop good friendships and community

👟 Take time for creativity

👟 Have a reason to get up every morning

👟 Love the people in your circles


Overall, just get creative about doing as much as you can without sitting down. You could read, work, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, visit with your loved ones in person or on the phone, fold laundry and even scroll on your phone while standing or walking, rather than sitting down. Make it a fun challenge and get your family involved! You’ll be surprised what you can do and how many more steps you take just with these small changes. Keep moving and then one meal at a time make healthy choices. Be purposeful in planting your seeds.


Movement is key to our fitness levels.


The good news is, that regular physical activity improves both the quantity and quality of your life! Exercise slows the decline of VO2 max that happens with aging (preserves cardiovascular health), it reduces blood pressure, maintains lean muscle and strength, decreases fat and cholesterol, improves bone density, maintains mobility, and improves/maintains cognitive functioning. All of these benefits directly combat the issues that most of us encounter as we age.


Plus, research has shown that 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week increases life expectancy by about 7 years compared to those who do not do regular physical exercise. Another study compared the heart, lungs, and muscles of active 70-year-olds versus inactive 70-year-olds and active 40-year-olds. They found that the active 70-year-olds had comparable heart and lung capacity and muscular strength to the active 40-year-olds!


If that’s not enough for you, Brigham Young University studied the DNA of almost 6,000 adults and found that the actual cells within the body were different in active people compared to sedentary people. That means regular physical activity actually changes your cells! The finding correlated to about a 9-year difference in cell aging between the two groups.


So, if you want to live longer and have more quality of life, get moving! I can’t think of a better purpose to move than that.


That is the benefit of sewing seeds of fitness!



Adapted with permission from Coach Content Collaboration (affiliate link)

 

Would you like help setting and making your wellness goals? Schedule a coaching session and I'll help you with your plan.


 



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