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Your Body Craves Exercise

Do you know what modern man is really good at? Sitting. We've really mastered the art of sitting. After all, it's a lot more comfortable to watch television sitting down, and watching television is our national pastime! And that's only part of our regular sitting routine. There's also driving to work, working at a desk, and sitting down for meals. In fact, most golfers even sit in little carts from one hole to the next.

What was once a necessary part of our ancestors' survival—movement—is pretty much optional today. Of course, we have a price to pay for becoming a sedentary nation. We're also getting flabbier. Our muscles maintain their shape from use. The less we use them—and it doesn't take a lot of muscle power to sit—the less shapely our muscles become. It's that simple.

But you already know this, right? So why don't you use your muscles more? For a thousand reasons, we're sure. Everyone can come up with oodles of reasons not to exercise. We ask you to take a fresh look at exercise, put aside your well-entrenched prejudices, and commit to a plan to exercise regularly and happily for the rest of your life.

Overcoming Exercise Inertia

Amidst the busy life you live, sometimes exercising is the last thing you want to do. You're tired. Your to-do list is packed with a dozen other things to take care of. Just the thought of exercising makes you exhausted! We know the feeling, too. Some days we have to force ourselves to exercise, but we do it. We do it because we know what happens when we don't, but mostly we enjoy it!

Inertia Has a Price Tag

Lean Lingo

In physics, the law of inertia states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. The same is true for a person and movement. Thus, according to this law, a person who exercises tends to do more activity overall, and a person who is sedentary tends to stay among the couch potatoes.

Overcoming exercise inertia is a critical step toward reaching your ideal body size. When we don't exercise, all kinds of unpleasant side effects occur. Our legs get flabby; our waists become bigger; and our upper arms jiggle like Jell-O. We struggle to find enough energy to get through the day. We seem to become more anxious and perhaps a bit depressed—feelings that often lead us right to the kitchen searching for something to eat.

From a health point of view, exercise inertia can be fatal. You reduce your risk of virtually every chronic disease—diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and more—with regular vigorous exercise. As an added benefit, exercise improves your health if you have one of those disorders.

When we don't exercise regularly, we feel like, well, like slugs. And that doesn't feel good. We like ourselves less. Even our postures sag.

This is probably not the image you want for yourself. Right? Your ideal self-image is instead loaded with positive attributes—great posture, bright eyes, firm upper arms, and a flat tummy. Well, the road that takes you toward your ideal body size involves exercise along the way. In other words, plan to exercise regularly to get what you want.

Positive Self-Talk About Exercise

Many people tell themselves that they hate to exercise. This kind of negative internal self-talk is sure to make matters worse. Your mind is your most powerful tool to help you reach your ideal size, so use it wisely when it comes to exercise. Don't talk about or even think about exercise in negative terms. Instead, tell yourself the following:

  • “I love to exercise.”
  • “It feels good to exercise.”
  • “I would rather exercise than sit around at night.”
  • “I love to take walks during lunch.”
  • “I love to go out dancing.”
  • “I enjoy going to the gym and working out.”
  • “I enjoy my aerobics classes.”
  • “I like to play tennis, golf, racquetball, and so on.”
  • “I enjoy my home exercise program.”
  • “I smile after a good workout.”

The more you can program yourself to enjoy exercise, the easier for you to overcome exercise inertia.

More on: Exercise Tips


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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