A lot of my clients tell me that they don’t exercise enough. Turns out, they are exercising, just not necessarily in a way that seems acceptable to them. I like to think of exercise as movement–we do it to keep our bodies healthy, not to lose weight. We move to keep our joints working, our muscles strong, and our hearts healthy. You can do all of those things without belonging to a gym or training for a marathon.
Tara Parker-Pope recently wrote an article about a study showing that one-third of obese people are metabolically healthy–despite being overweight. This means that their blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. were low; on the flip side, 24% of thin adults in the study were metabolically unhealthy.
What does this all mean? Weight is not necessarily an indicator of health. Even if you’re exercising and not losing weight–that doesn’t mean you should stop. Instead of concentrating on calories burned or miles run, focus on doing a movement that you enjoy. Walking, swimming, cycling, rollerblading, hiking, skateboarding — they’re all movement. Even if you don’t notice any external benefits, your body is reaping internal benefits–so let that be your motivation to keep going!