By Troy Rampy, Editor, The Wellness Blog™
I’m thoroughly enjoying each Tuesday and Thursday morning jaunt provided by my new aerobic walking class. It’s easy to “practice gratitude” when I’m out on one of our glorious trails in the Sierra foothills. Walking in nature here at this time of year is such a joy: fresh mountain air lightly scented with the pungent smell of Bay trees; end-of-summer smattering of dried Madrone leaves carpeting the trail; rounding a bend for a glimpse of the river canyon with the blue-green Yuba snaking far below me.
About being our “lab rat” vis-à-vis this walking class: yes, the whole aerobic/cardio/endorphins thing is happening. I feel so righteously invigorated both during and after my brisk 80-minute walk! My senses are more acute, I’m more articulate, and…I know it’s a cliché…I feel more alive. My attitude and outlook? Yes, they get a lift as well. No surprise there. And I feel a residual energy bounce throughout the rest of my day.
The down-sides? I was a little tired following our first day of walking. I chalk that up to “getting in shape”. And there’s the dent this class puts in my schedule as I traipse all over the county two mornings each week. Otherwise, it’s a “go”.
For those of you interested in the correlation between exercise and weight loss, I want to underscore an important and often overlooked additional benefit. Current research indicates that exercise, as well as maintaining your appropriate weight, are both key components in reducing the symptoms of depression. It’s partly about physiology, partly brain chemistry, partly emotions, and partly self-esteem. The closer you are to your appropriate body weight, based on your height and age, the less likely you are to suffer from symptoms of depression.
So what’s the best way to lose weight? Despite all the hype we hear today about which fad diet to follow, the actual process of losing weight is fairly straight forward. It’s simply a matter of, on a short-term basis, expending more energy than you take in. That’s right, it all comes down to the relationship between food and exercise…how much you’re getting of each, and not getting, in relation to the other.
Here are four guidelines for using exercise to lose weight based on a program developed by Neil Nedley, MD. I’ve quoted Dr. Nedley before in this blog and probably will again. He’s a noted expert in the field of reducing depression via an overall improvement in health and wellbeing.
This is so simple it hurts, or maybe the implementation is what hurts. I’m not sure.
Four Proven Steps to Losing Weight
- Exercise moderately every day for 45-minutes to an hour, or more, depending on your level of fitness.
- Eat a healthy breakfast, a moderate lunch and eliminate the evening meal. If you “must” eat something in the evening, try some whole fruit early in the evening.
- Eliminate, or greatly reduce refined sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup), as well as fatty foods. Instead, emphasize foods high in fiber like fresh fruits and vegetables. Also include, but go sparingly on the whole grains, and add a handful of nuts or seeds.
- No snacks! Drink only water between meals. (Purified or bottled water if possible.)
Remember, weight loss is a short-term project. But these guidelines, in modified form, are applicable long-term for a wellbeing lifestyle. Once you reach your desired weight, and you will reach it – guaranteed, if you follow these guidelines – the only changes might be to re-introduce a light evening meal, and to possibly scale back on exercise from every day to at least four days a week.
So enjoy your aerobic exercise program…maintain a healthy weight for your height and age…and watch symptoms of depression disappear. At the same time, watch the rise in your personal vibration. Enjoy!