Exercise is kind of like pecan pie: you either love it or are passionately averse.
With obesity at an all-time high (a whopping two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese), one might assume that we’re all vehemently opposed to exercise.
Statistics do support this to some degree: only about a third of adults engage in the minimum amount of recommended exercise each week.
However, statistics don’t necessarily tell us why that is: do we dislike exercise, or just lack time for it?
To be sure, most of us don’t have a wealth of extra time on our hands, and few of us consider exercise to be a necessity.
But should we?
If we can believe research (and firm research at that), the answer is an adamant yes: studies have shown that exercise reduces risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
A study from researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute found that engaging in sufficient physical activity is inversely associated with risk for breast, colon, endometrial, stomach, liver, and esophageal cancers, among others.
Studies have consistently shown that consumers who engage in a higher degree of physical activity tend to have better weight control than consumers who engage in less.
Outside of the context of physical health, exercise reduces stress hormones that take a toll on mental health, happiness, and emotional regulation.
Unfortunately, in a frenetic and modern society, exercise and other forms of self-care are often the first things to be sacrificed when schedules get tight.
So, what’s a time-crunched or exercise-averse wanna-be fit body to do?
Schedule, schedule, schedule!
Oftentimes, we can find the time (and energy!) to exercise simply by making it a planned and non-negotiable priority on our to do list.
By scheduling it just like you would any other important appointment, you’re less likely to find a convenient excuse or sacrifice the much-needed time for important self-care.
While you might not love it the first time (or even the first twenty times for that matter) the feel-good high of exercise will eventually win out: consider it time well spent.
Morgan Medeiros is a certified nutritionist, holding a both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Morgan completed her undergraduate education at Central Washington University, and her graduate education at Northeastern University. During her time as a graduate student, Morgan focused her area of expertise in health education, weight management, and behavioral change. Morgan has experience working in areas of nutritional neuroscience and disease prevention, obesity prevention, and weight loss. Morgan also works in areas of nutritional analysis and menu labeling for restaurants, where she is able to creatively bridge her interest in food culture and health education. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling, reading, writing, running, and spending time with her family and friends (including- most importantly- her dog, Clyde).