Nearly every one of us has the desire for good health, more energy, physical attractiveness and fulfilled happiness. With the level of stress that current times bring and the ability to find food around every corner, the bakeries and frozen meals in the grocery store, it’s easy to fall into the convenience of fast foods, a quick muffin, ice cream year-round, a fat-laden coffee drink for a quick pick-me-up. Soon this becomes an endless cycle of sorts – self-abuse to your body.
We crave the things we eat most. We crave the things we do most. Think about it for a minute; if we’re used to shopping, we want to shop, if we hike a lot, we crave the outdoors, if we spend time with our friends; we miss them when there’s a longer span of time between visits. In the same way, when we eat sweets, we want more sweets, when we eat vegetables, we want more vegetables, if we eat pasta, we sometimes cannot get enough.
Exercise has a lot to do with what you crave. If you’re sedentary pretty much every day, you’ll probably crave carbohydrates and fats; where can you get both? In chips, pastries, cookies, cheese & crackers, creamy sauced pasta…etc. When you exercise you’re more likely to crave healthy complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables and lean proteins such as lean meat, fish and beans. Why? There can be two reasons; when you exercise you are more aware of your health and have a desire to be healthy, and because exercise releases happy endorphins leaving you feeling satisfied and by choosing complex carbs you get a satisfying boost of energy the body needs.
How much exercise do you need? If you’re pretty sedentary right now, you should at least start walking four times a week for 20-30 minutes each time. If you’re active but don’t necessarily exercise, walking will be enough to begin with. As you become a more active and regular exerciser, you can increase your routine and change it up if you desire. If you choose to only walk, that’s ok; every step matters and increasing distance over time will be useful. On fair weather days, don’t quit, walk indoors or put on some upbeat music and dance for 20 minutes-dance like no one is watching!