Exercise- What Does It Mean To You?

We all know exercise is good for you. The question is how often are you physically active? Do you consider physical activity a chore or do you enjoy physical activity?

Some individuals exercise for the “feel good” effect; however, some individuals specifically engage in physical activity to help with weight management.

For some individuals, they begin to exercise; however, after weeks of regularly engaging in physical activity, no weight loss has occurred. Why is this?

Questions for you (if weight loss is a goal and you are not achieving results):

  1. Are you engaging in both aerobic and weight bearing exercises?
  2. After physical activity, are you able to maintain the caloric deficit from exercise or do you suffer from hedonic compensation?

Importance of Weight Bearing Exercises

  1. When you build lean body mass (aka muscle), your body continues to burn calories even after you finish your workout.
  2. When you life weights or resist against your own body (e.g. push ups), you are helping to strengthen your bones. This can help you decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis.

What is hedonic compensation?

Hedonism is defined as the pursuit of pleasure.

Hedonic compensation is the theory that if someone feels like pleasure is lost in one area, they will find pleasure elsewhere.

How does this relate to exercise? Research has shown that if an individual enjoys physical activity, he/she is less likely to indulge in “junky” choices after a workout as opposed to if an individuals thinks of physical activity as a chore, he/she is more likely to indulge in a treat as he/she feels like they deserve it.

Not only does hedonic compensation exist; however, many individuals overestimate the amount of calories burned during a workout. As a result, weight loss results may not be achieved.

BOTTOM LINE: Get into a form of exercise which you enjoy so you don’t have to look elsewhere to compensate. I’m not saying you can’t eat after working out but avoid the mentality of thinking you deserve to indulge in decadent food items because the calorie deficit will not be created.

What Activities Have I Liked?

  1. Growing up, I was a member of the swim team so I’m used to getting up early and being in the pool by 7 AM. The sad thing is as I’ve grown up, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to swim.
  2. I have been a member of Goodlife Gym for a very long time. I have always enjoyed group gym classes; however, due to my work schedule, I’m not always available to make it to the early morning classes or after work classes.

As a result, I’ve had to branch out. Here are my current go to options:

  1. I’m a huge fan of Kayla Itsines who is the creator behind Bikini Body Guide (BBG). It’s a great option for individuals who have a serious lack of time as it’s such an efficient workout in 30 minutes. You don’t need alot of equipment and you sweat so much afterwards.
  2. I did cross country in high school so it’s funny how you revisit the things you do during childhood. My husband is a big part why I got back into running. He provided the motivation and encouragement when I really did not feel like getting off the couch. I am happy to say I have found my love for running again. I am not expert runner by any means but I do running for the enjoyment.
  3. I’ve recently started to do reformer’s pilates as I’ve always wanted to lengthen my muscles and work on my core. I particularly like Lili Viola studio as it’s a small intimate studio where individualized attention can be given even in a group setting as a group is never bigger than 5 individuals.
  4. I’m fortunate in the sense that my husband is an avid gym goer. He thoroughly enjoys physical activity. He has always encouraged me to do compound exercises as he always says that I would get more bang for my buck. I am working multiple muscle groups at the same time and would help to achieve my goal which is to strengthen my core. These exercises include: push ups, assisted dips, assisted pull ups, deadlifts and squats. My husband, Jimmy, says I should make it a goal for myself to be able to do an assisted pull up by myself one day. I have yet to achieve this goal but it is a work in progress.
  5. My husband and I live in a peaceful neighbourhood where I feel comfortable in riding my bike. I am by no means an expert biker but to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather, we have ventured to Evergreen Brickworks and the Distillery District this summer. 2018 is going to be the summer of  biking. 🙂
  6. To keep things interesting, I’ve checked out some group classes in and around the GTA.
    1. I think it would be a great idea to round up some of your girlfriends to attend a workout class together. I believe you and your girlfriends would enjoy a Lagree class or a fitness class by fitnessbyjacflash.  Don’t underestimate that machine at Lagree; you will get a great workout!!! The classes by fitnessbyjacflash truly push you to your limits in a very supportive environment.
    2. With my husband, we checked out Barry’s Bootcamp. Although it was a good workout, I don’t know if this format is for me or my husband as we felt like there was too much going on at the same time. The instructor is yelling out instructions to both the people on the treadmill and on the floor doing weight bearing exercises at the same time. Midway through, the participants switch between the treadmill and the weight bearing exercises. There is very little time during the switch; therefore, no participants get to wipe down the machines until after the class is finished.
    3. A class I believe everyone will enjoy is doing a new age spinning class at either SpinCo or Soulcycle. Get your heart rate up in a fun upbeat spinning class. I never used to be a fan of spinning but after experiencing a class at SpinCo, I can see how this type of spinning can become very addictive.

Food For Thought: What can you do so that you can keep being physically active consistently?




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