What’s the Point of Exercise?

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize this.  Maybe it’s because I assumed the machines at the gym were just wrong.  Maybe I just don’t really understand what a calorie is.  Maybe I was just willingly ignorant.  But here’s the truth:

I would say things like, “It’s alright–I’ll work it off later,” or “it’s okay since I work out,”  but I know that’s not true.  I mean, look at the Biggest Loser.  Those people work out like athletes and eat nothing but product-placed diet food.  As big as they are, even the most miniscule exercise should burn tons of calories.  Yet, every week, somebody steps off the scale teary-eyed and begs their team to believe that they really tried and they don’t know how they only lost 2 pounds.

I’ll eat a cookie and a cappuccino from Starbucks vowing to work it off later.  If I get a soy milk cappuccino and a fairly plain cookie, I’m probably looking at about 300 calories.  When I go jogging later for 30 minutes, I’ll burn most, but not all of that.  That wouldn’t be so bad if that was the only thing I overate today or ever.  But, if I’m jogging to lose weight, I need to be burning off what I ate yesterday or last year or 10 years ago.  Spending 30 minutes working off most of a mid-morning snack that took me a minute and a half to eat is a waste.  Why bother?

Here’s the real reason to exercise:  Exercise makes your muscles insulin sensitive so that when they get fed (when you eat) they’ll more readily produce leptin, the hormone that signals fullness.  Here’s another one:  Exercise makes you sweat so that you can fast track toxins straight out of your body.  Here’s another one:  Exercise makes you sleep longer and more restfully so that your body can repair itself and operate more efficiently.  Here’s another one:  Exercise promotes strength and flexibility (when it’s done correctly) so that you retain your youthful vigor longer (or rediscover it).

Here’s the bottom line:  Your weight correlates more closely with your diet than it does your exercise.  If you want to lose weight, eat better.  If you want to feel good while you do it, exercise.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent post! Can I work of the mental calories of this wonderful snack?

    Reply

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