It Turns Out Exercise Is Not The Best Way To Lose Weight, Experts Say

If you’re a workout junkie, you’ll want to read this: according to Vox, exercise isn’t the most efficient way to lose weight—monitoring what you eat is.

According to research, weight loss is much more than “calories in, calories out,” and exercise is more beneficial for improving your health overall than slimming your waistline. What most people don’t realize is that you are constantly burning calories. Between the calories your body burns keeping you alive and digesting your food, exercise only makes up between 10 and 30 percent of daily calories burned. What’s called your “resting metabolism” actually accounts for the majority of the calories you burn… and you have very little control over that number.

Conversely, you control 100 percent of the calories you consume, and you only control around 30 percent of the calories you expend (remember that 10 to 30 percent from before?). On top of that, when you exercise, you’re more likely to not only eat more but move less. After a rough workout, you’re much hungrier than you would be normally—cue doubled portion sizes and increased snacking throughout the day. Plus, you’re less likely to do other physical activity throughout the day, such as taking the stairs or driving instead of walking. These are called compensatory behaviors—essentially, you’re compensating for previous energy expenditures but not taking into account future calorie intake.

Another fun aspect of weight loss is that your body’s metabolism slows as you begin to slim down (this is why so many contestants on The Biggest Loser gain back all the weight they lost on the show, and sometimes more). Your resting metabolism goes down, meaning you’re burning fewer calories overall, but perhaps still exercising—and eating—vigorously.

A study of a hunter-gatherer group in Tanzania found that they burn the same number of calories as an adult in America or Europe, despite the group’s extremely active lifestyle. So how did the hunter-gatherers stay so slim? They eat modest portions, unlike us in the U.S., where a staggering 40 percent of the adult population is obese.

The takeaway? It takes far more exercise than you’d think to burn off that midday donut or that bottle of wine you split at dinner. If you’re actively trying to lose weight, take a hard look at your diet first—then hit the gym.

Here’s A Great Five Minute Full Body Stretch Routine To Improve Your Flexibility

Every year I put getting more flexible on the top of my list of goals.  However, I never get around to making that goal a reality. And it shows.  Currently, I’m not even close to being able to touch my toes.  I likely put this off because I just hate stretching. There’s really no other excuse.

There are a ton of great benefits from being more flexible, including reducing back pain, better posture, and improved circulation. So, I’m no longer going to put this off and have officially started my flexibilty plan.

I did some research and found this video that walks through a simple, yet robust 5 minute plan.  It’s good for beginners which is perfect for me. So if you’re looking to get a bit more flexible, give this a shot.

Hopefully it’s helpful for you too.

 

 

Fix Your Posture With Three Simple Exercises (P.S. It Only Takes Three Minutes)

A lot of people struggle with posture issues.  It’s not a surprise considering so many people sit in front of computer screens or stare at their phones all day.  The good news is that there are some simple exercises you can do to help improve your posture.

YouTuber rekrain put together three simple exercises that only take three minutes to do.  And all you need to get started is a wall (so no excuses).

As a starting point, stand with your back to a wall . Tuck your chin into your chest and lean back so the back of your head touches the wall.  If you can’t get your head all the way back as you start the exercises, rekrain recommends adding a pillow between your head and wall.

Starting in that position, here are the exercises:

  1. With you head tucked to your chest, stretch out your arms and raise them above your shoulders.  Keep you palms pointed to the ground. Repeat this 10 times
  2. Starting with the position from #1 with your arms extended above your shoulders, bend your elbows to touch your ears. Repeat this 10 times.
  3. With your head tucked, pretend you are climbing an invisible ladder with your hands out in front moving up and pulling down. Repeat this 10 times.

While this may not cure everyone’s posture issues, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try these and integrate them into your daily routine. So, if you need a little break from staring at your computer screen, these are some great and easy ideas to help get your body back in proper form.

H/T Lifehacker

This Easy 15-Minute Morning Yoga Routine Will Wake You Up Better Than Coffee

Yoga can be a great and very easy way to get your body and mind ready for the day.  According to Yoga instructor Brett Larkin, a quick 15-minute session can clear the mind, loosen up the body, and wake you up better than a cup of coffee.

Next time you are struggling to get out of bed, try walking over to a mat or any carpeted area and follow these basic exercises. The poses should wake you up but also stretch out your hips, shoulders, and back.

The good news is that the above routine is perfect for those who have never done Yoga before.