It may sound like a broken record to you but doing at least thirty minutes of exercise a day has several benefits for your body. As I mentioned in my previous posts, exercising may help increase serotonin levels in your body too. If you remember, serotonin is one of the crucial neurotransmitters of the brain, and this chemical has a direct impact on your happiness and well-being.
I’m not going to get into too much detail about the benefits of exercising in this post as I’m sure that you can find more authoritative resources on the subject via the Internet. I want to direct your attention to another aspect of exercising: losing weight. Several people sign up to gyms or make new exercise regime resolutions with the start of a new year with a clear ambition in mind, and that is weight loss. Even though I agree that exercising may help you in your quest to lose weight, I don’t think that just exercising may solve your weight problems.
I’m aware that compared to what we’ve been doing in our modern daily lives, our ancestors led a more active lifestyle back in the day. And researchers believe that they were healthier and possessed muscular and lean bodies. While that might be absolutely true, there’s another fact to consider about our ancestors. None of our ancestors had access to a bottle of fizzy drink full of sugar that they could consume within just ten minutes. Our ancestors did not have easy access to food. They had to move around and fight for their food. And in my opinion, when our ancestors did not have access to enough food, they tended to conserve their energy by not moving around too much. I don’t think it would make any sense to run for an hour if you do not have any food or drink to help you recover after your running session.
In a way, we can hypothesize that exercising was not necessarily a part of our evolution. That might explain why most of us come up with excuses not to exercise daily. Because we innately know that if we exercise, we will consume energy and that in return will require us to eat or drink to compensate for the amount of energy we lost while exercising.
In my humble opinion, a person’s weight can be regulated more efficiently by focusing on the person’s diet and even his/her microbiome. In the end, we really are what we eat. If I eat a box of chocolate worth 700 kcal in just one sitting, it’s not reasonable for me to expect to burn 700kcal with 30 minutes of walking. In fact, 30 minutes of walking may burn only between 100-300 kcals depending on my body type. And in the most optimistic scenario, I would end up storing the remaining 400 kcals somewhere in my body. This may totally contradict my goals if I’m trying to lose weight!
|Running for 30 mins||approx. 360 kcals|
|Jumping rope for 30 mins||approx. 290 kcals|
|Swimming for 30 mins||approx. 215 kcals|
|Cycling for 30 mins||approx. 290 kcals|
Now, let’s talk about the microbiome! We host a huge number of bacteria in our intestinal tract. In addition to our digestive juices and enzymes, these intestinal bacteria play a huge role in digesting the food we consume daily. Some researchers even say that intestinal bacteria may provide explanations for some people who struggle with weight loss. You can find further information about the importance of having the right kind of bacteria in your gut in various online resources. I completed an online course on Human Microbiome offered by Wageningen University on edX, and I strongly recommend this course if you’d like to deepen your knowledge about the gut microbiome. Also, I have not yet tried it myself, but if you’d like to learn more about your microbiome, you can contact a few companies in Europe. One of the companies that offer an analysis of your stool is a company named MyMicroZoo in the Netherlands. From the looks of it, you can send a sample of your stool via post using the kit provided by the company (not sure how this would work due to Brexit if you are living in the UK 🙂 ), and the company would give a detailed analysis of your gut bacteria within three weeks. The company has partnerships with various nutritionists over the world. This allows clients to obtain personalized nutritional advice based on their lab results provided by MyMicroZoo.
Exercising is great. Your body will almost instantly feel great as you exercise. And you will continue to see the benefits of exercise as long as you keep at it regularly. But if you believe you have concerns about your weight and your health, please seek professional help because exercising just by itself may not be enough for maintaining a healthy weight. And if you’re looking for ways to encourage yourself to exercise regularly, make sure to pursue fun and social activities!