Thanks to the article in Time magazine last week, there has been a lot of attention paid at the controversy surrounding the actual benefits of exercise when it comes to weight loss. While author John Cloud sure got people defending both sides of the argument, a closer look at this ensuing discussion in the weight loss and weight loss maintenance world is needed.
Cloud may have created a more convincing and less dangerous argument had he recommended the function and usefulness of maintaining a regular, moderate-intensity workout routine rather than suggesting that exercise and reduced caloric intake are perhaps not required to lose weight.
The overall take-home message spiraling from this divisive argument is that as a culture we need to quite simply eat less and move more. And this movement does not nor should it not come exclusively from being a gym rat, but rather a rat who walks, runs, skips, bikes, gardens, errands, climbs and treads more than his or her bum sits at a desk, idles in a car or lounges on the couch.
I’m a health advocate, but I’m also a writer. And what do writers do? They sit and write. But I know that in order for my body to not put on extra weight, I must move. Every day. And a lot. As I write this blog post, I can see my bike on which I rode to the cafe to get some work down and will ride back home when I’m finished. I whisk my daughter off to the park at least once a day, take our dog out for walks, and when I do drive, I forgo the proximal parking spots for the ones way back in the lot.
I’m saying this not to pat myself on the back, but to make a case that as a society, in order to move more, it doesn’t take much. For those who hate the gym, don’t go! Take up a fun dancing class. Join a walking club. Plant and maintain a garden. Move the laundry area downstairs so it forces you to climb up and down whenever a load needs to be changed. Have a phone conversation standing up as you water the plants rather than lying down on your bed. Just keep your body moving.
Trust me: All of these actions will add up. But your weight won’t.