There are two basic elements involved in developing a healthy life style and shedding unwanted and dangerous weight. Those elements are move more and eat less. To be sure there is much more detail involved but if you just always keep in mind these two essential elements the details come easier and make more sense. Since the eating aspect can be very complex let’s start with movement because that is after all pretty simple.
Before you start any form of significant exercise do visit your physician, get a thorough check up and let him or her know what your plans are with respect to increasing your physical activities. Odds are you will receive a medical green light but it is always best to avoid unnecessary and potentially even deadly risk, so go and get that checkup. Now let’s get going.
There are thousands of forms of physical activity but let’s begin with the simplest one, walking. Back in my fat days I would drive my car the half-mile to the local grocery store, buy my six-pack and some snack foods and drive home. That is a very bad approach.
These days I don’t buy six packs, not of beer anyhow, and I don’t eat snack food. More to the point I walk no less than 13.1 miles per day every day. That is a half marathon every day and it feels wonderful. But I didn’t start doing that and you probably won’t either.
My recommendation based on personal experience is that you walk as briskly as you comfortably can for 30 minutes each morning and again each evening. Just to confirm what that provides for your benefit I went out and walked a timed 30 minutes and traveled just about 2 miles in 3,954 steps burning about 177 calories in the process. Wait, how did I know this?
I use an app called S Health. It is free and works on pretty much any smart phone. There are plenty of other apps and devices that measure distance traveled, calories burned and calories of all foods consumed. But S Health does it all well and it is free. In fact just to confirm its distance accuracy I have many times measured it against known distances and it has always proven to be very accurate.
But whether you use S Health of some other app or device you absolutely must use something so that you can maintain some sort of record of what you are doing; otherwise it is much like trying to fly an airplane from Los Angeles to Paris with no navigation aids, it will be a disaster.
So assuming that given our typical modern life style you probably haven’t been doing much walking I suggest you start with my recommended 30 minute twice a day. Measure it and record it and do it every day. What you will discover are two very important things. One is that over time that activity will become increasingly easy, meaning you are getting increasingly healthier. The other delightful experience you will deeply enjoy is you will begin to feel great after each mini hike. Exercise causes our bodies to release endorphins. Here is the technical definition of endorphins:
Any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.
My definition is it is a naturally created drug that is perfectly safe and totally legal and makes you feel fantastic.
What you will discover is that as a result over time you will actually want to increase your walking and/or add other forms of exercise to your daily routine. That in turn will begin to start what will become a dramatic improvement in your health as your excess weight begins to slowly but surely disappear.
But always remember this is not preparation for the Olympics. You have only one competitor and that is you. Walk at whatever pace is comfortable for you and steadily increase it at your own rate. Just do it every day twice a day for 30 minutes and you are on your way to a healthier you.
Just be sure to keep checking here at the Los Angeles Post Examiner for regular updates.
Photos by Ron Irwin
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.