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This is not a New Year's resolution.

Three ways to convince yourself you need exercise

By 12:56:00 PM , , , , ,

I have encountered a lot of people who would go to the lengths of the earth to shed off a few pounds but refuse to exercise. Believe me, they could come up with millions of excuses in just a matter of seconds after I say the magic words: "you should try running."


Most of them would either tell me they don't have the time. But hey, I have a day job and a humble but steady social life to keep up with but still manage to run at least once a week. As for the expenses, especially the rubber shoes part, I have blogged where to get the cheapest ones. Still, they would be able to somehow circumvent the discussion in their favor. 

I believe that this is partly because they are dreaming that they could achieve what they want overnight. But we know that's not true. Not even the promises of invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures could keep up with the benefits exercising hold for us. 

So, here are three ways to convince yourself that you need to exercise.


1. Stop begrudging other people's "gifts"

Wasn't there always one person you envy for not getting fat? She or he might be a friend, cousin, sibling, among others, who can eat whatever, whenever, not minding how much and not gain a single pound. And how you would wish you could have the same body and metabolic rate, right?

Well, the truth hurts but not everyone is gifted. So wake up, wake up! If you really want to get that kind of "gift" -- so to speak -- you can't have it just by forever wishing and not lifting a finger. 

You can only accomplish that by exercising. It can be done by going to the gym, running, boxing or any other form of cardio exercises. Fitday.com reports that our metablic rate slows down as we age. Here's an excerpt:

Starting at about age 25, the average and not physically active person's metabolism declines between 5% and 10% per decade, which accumulates to between 20% and 40% metabolism over the adult life span. However, there is good news for those who continue physical activity their whole lives: they have only 0.3 percent metabolic decline per decade.

Hear ye, hear ye! It's never too late. But don't get me wrong, don't even think that exercising would give you a license to eat all the food you want. Choose the kind of food you eat, go for natural -- organic if possible -- to get the kind of body you have always wanted. 

2. Starvation diet? Forget it.

Still, there are many people I know who would resort to starvation diet, thinking it would resolve their problem. They do this, of course, without even bothering to consult a dietitian or even good 'ol Google. All you need to do is to type in the keywords and thousands of medical websites and health-related blogs would tell you that starvation will not do you any good.

For the lack of a better term, starvation diet is like resolving a problem with another problem. Here's an excerpt from Live Strong.com: 

Not eating enough can slow the body's metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. The body can detect when there's been a shift in calorie levels and reacts accordingly. With severe food restriction, the body begins to conserve its fuel, stored fat. The result is that you burn less calories and stop losing weight. Then whether you are exercising, working or sleeping, you will burn fewer calories all day long. While "dieting" is supposed to mean deprivation and hunger, staying fed actually leads to more successful weight loss and maintenance.

This metabolic response to starvation demonstrates a protective mechanism of survival. When you don't eat, the body thinks you may be entering a period of famine. Who knows when the next food may come along, so the body conserves its stored calories for later use. This evolutionary protection of our ancestors makes an "all or nothing" eating pattern ineffective for weight loss. Even though sustained starvation over a long period of time will eventually result in weight loss, this is not a healthy or realistic weight-loss plan. Weight loss from starvation can cause lasting damage to the body and metabolism.

I have my own share of days I spent on starvation diet during my high school days. And I ended up in hospital bed because it triggered a gastritis attack. So forget it, okay?

3. Pills? Forget that one too!

I tried those diet pills before, too. And yes, it did work. But at what risk?

It was four or five years ago when I tried one of these over the counter diet pills available mostly in Chinese drugstores and in online shops. Sure thing, I lost several pounds in just one week without doing anything. All you have to do take a tablet or two in morning and in between meals.

That is definitely every woman's dream right? No wonder many women are hooked over the promises it hold. But again, I am asking, at what risk?

I remember how dehydrated I felt when I took those pills. I was so dehydrated that I could feel the my eyelids whenever I blink. At first, of course, I thought that it was "natural" and that it was side effect I did not mind to experience. But dehydration, no matter what caused it, is bad and dangerous to one's health.

It was instinct, I guess. I decided to stop taking the pills. And I was glad that I did because years later, I stumbled upon my high school classmate Martha Sta. Barbara's blog The Beauty Junkee. She narrated her harrowing experience with these pills. Click here to read her blog entry.


If, even after reading this entry, you are still not convinced that you should exercise, then at least do it for the people you love. Exercise, after all, will not just help you shed a few pounds but would also save you from diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, among others. You need to be alive, healthy and kicking to be with them.

For now, task completed.

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