Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Okay To Skip The Gym?!

Woody and I are an old married couple - we usually turn in pretty early each night in order to get up at 5am for the gym. Last night I stayed up a bit later since I had been out in the evening and didn't get to eat dinner until 9pm (I know, not healthy but it's definitely not a habit) and I needed to decompress a bit before I went to sleep. So, I caught the local NBC 11pm news which I don't typically do and they did a segment that bothered me just a little bit.

The lead in headline for the segment was "It's Okay To Skip The Gym" and "Looking for an excuse not to work out? We have it for you." That was what the newcasters were actually saying! I couldn't believe it and had to watch the segment.

Turns out they were really talking about studies that show (and I don't really think you need studies for this) women over the age of 40 are unable to lose weight with exercise alone. If they expanded the studies to younger women and men, I have a feeling they'd come to similar conclusions.

The segment included short interview clips with medical professionals as well as Sherry Glover (some of you NYers may know as one of the NYRR running class coaches) during a running class in Central Park Tuesday night. She was quoted saying that the majority of class participants are women and many of them are looking to use running as a way to lose weight. She also supported the claim that running, and fitness in general, must be accompanied by healthy eating in order to lose weight.

The segment bothered me a bit because the lead in was saying "hey, here's an excuse you can use not to workout. Since you have to exercise and eat well to lose weight, if you're not going to do both, why spend the hours at the gym?" Personally I think that's a pretty lazy way to look at things and only supports those who are looking for an easy out when all they may need is a little boost. Hey, I was one of those people just a few years ago.

I think everyone knows that they can't really lose weight without getting a bit of exercise and watching what they eat. But I also think that sometimes people believe they have to jump in and make huge changes immediately in order to do so or it won't work. It is possible to start with small changes that are easy to incorporate into every day. Yes, it's true, you don't have to go to a gym to do it. Just take a walk during the day, park as far away as possible at the grocery store and walk a bit further, take the stairs instead of the elevator, start to take a jog one or two days a week and make small food changes along with it. Make a few more each week and the weight will start to come off. 

While you may not technically need a gym (as the title of the segment suggested) to get exercise, the fact that weight loss and general good health requires us to get exercise and watch what we eat shouldn't be an excuse for anyone to do nothing. Eating well and being fit is a good feeling! I have definitely found that I feel at my best when I'm doing both and not indulging in too many treats (um, holiday time!) but still working out.

I planned ahead yesterday since I knew I'd be home late, so I boiled a few eggs to make a healthy and quick dinner. I wasn't too hungry, so I put together this simple dinner that was delicious and hit the spot.
Eating well doesn't have to require a lot of work. I had carrots, hummus, two egg whites and one full egg, and a pear. It was a perfectly healthy and quick meal for me last night and a found a great new flavor combo - hummus and egg!

What is your 'go to' healthy and quick meal when you have a busy day but still want to eat well?

Workout Stats -
3/23 (Catching up since I was MIA yesterday, unless you follow me on Twitter. And if you don't, why not?!)
7mi elliptical
6mi stationary bike
3x10 (ea side) weighted side bends
3x10 tricep extensions
3x12 tricep dips
1.5mi walk (afternoon)

3/24 - rest day from gym, will get a walk in later this afternoon and enjoy a day without rain!


Anonymous said...

I keep cooked beans and grains in the freezer to throw in salads when I'm in a pinch. Legumes + Grain + Lettuce + Dressing = Dinner in five minutes. :)

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

I saw the headline for this article and didn't read it. Glad you posted this today. I guess a quick go-to for me is a homemade veggie/bean burger with baked sweet potatoes. I make large batches of the "burgers" and keep them in the freezer.

Molly said...

very interesting. We actually had a segment on our local news last night about women being overweight based on where they live, NY state had a low number compared to the rest of the country.

christina MINDFUL LIVING said...

hey!! thanks for checking out my blog (those stuffed peppers rock by the way! I always have extra filling left so I like to get some chips out for dipping) . thats great that you ran your first marathon, too! Although I have yet to run my 2nd (my 2nd will be this fall in philly and 3rd will be next spring in boston) I know that there is nothing like your very first marathon. how did your go? did u follow a plan? I used hal higdons 18 week novice 1 plan. anyway- about that gym segment on the news. i think that segment is just silly. it gives ppl an excuse not to work out? thats silly. working out (a) makes you feel awesome and (b) is healthy for you! you cant watch what you eat. you need exercise so you can live a long life, have strong bones, etc etc. the list goes on and on. ppl over 40 can too lose weight. are they crazy or something/ hahah

Susan said...

We had a similar story on the news here. I do have to say being over 40 it is incredibly hard to lose any weight, I should know, I try pretty hard to eat right and exercise and it takes cutting way back on food to lose a single pound. But, like you said, too, I feel better when I eat healthy and exercise so, that's why I do it. Great post!