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Reframing How we think about exercise makes new habits: punches



"Feeling better is not just a selfish, hedonistic thing – it is actually a fuel, and I consider energy as a vital fuel for the things that matter most in our lives," says Michelle Segar, psychologist University of Michigan, which investigates how we endure healthy behavior like exercise.

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"Feeling better is not just a selfish, hedonistic thing – it's actually fuel, I see energy as an essential fuel for the things that matter most in our lives," says Michelle Segar, psychologist at the University of Michigan, which examines how we maintain healthy behavior like exercise.

Savior Giyorges / EyeEm / Getty Images / EyeEm Premium

I became a person who made me puzzling in the past. I am … a fitness fanatic.

That certainly was not the case a year and a half ago. At that time, like most Americans, I was mostly sedentary (unless you count on foot for meetings). Ironically, as Chief Editor of the NPR science, food and health team, it's literally my job to know better. With two small children, a full-time job and recurrent insomnia, I had no time or energy to exercise. And I will not tell you how much I weighed, but it was not healthy.

What has changed? For a start, I reformulated what I felt as an exercise.

"Research now shows that essentially all movements count and everything is better than nothing," says Michelle Segar, psychologist and director of the University of Michigan Sports. Center for Health and Activity Research and Policy. She examines how we maintain healthy behavior, and she says a major stumbling block for people is that they can not use the exercise options they can put into their daily lives, such as: B. climb stairs or go to work.

"I'm amazed that well educated people do not know – do not believe – that running is actually considered a valid exercise," she says.

That was a big hangover for me, I always thought that if I did not sweat on the treadmill or run on the treadmill for at least half an hour, why would you Making Effort?

But science today tells us so much about moderate exercise.There is indeed a rather geeky, but cool scientific resource called the Compendium of Physical Activities. It's used by researchers to compare apples and oranges when it does And it uses a value called MET or Metabolic Equivalent.

"Just sitting, doing nothing is a MET of one – you're working at your metabolic rate at rest," e explains Loretta DiPietro, a scientific researcher at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. "An activity that is two METs, for example, will cause you to work at twice the resting metabolic rate, and getting up and going through the room is about 2 METs."

DiPietro says the compendium lists the MET scores for all sorts of activities – everything from wiping (that's about 3.5 meters) to line dancing. (That can be almost 8 METS!)

But to be considered moderately intense, the magic number you want to hit is between 3 and 6 METS. (Unfortunately, according to Compendium, even the most violent sexual activity is barely enough – though DiPietro suggests with a laugh that further research may be needed.)

It turns out that many regular activities find the magic sign. Climb the stairs slowly and that's 4 meters. Climb fast and it's almost 9 feet – that means you burn almost nine times as many calories as you would be sitting right now. Even vacuuming counts if you do it with enthusiasm.

And researchers now know that the health benefits of these small movements add up. If you only take short breaks to leave the chair and walk all day, you can regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and fight off illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. And even though it does not make you an athlete that moves all day, even if it's just short but repetitive relapses, it's less likely to die prematurely. If you call it something that can be broken down throughout the day, the idea of ​​getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week – as suggested by the federal guidelines – is less daunting.

in a piggy bank, "says DiPietro." They think, "Oh, I'll put in three pennies here," and you think, "Oh, that does not make much." But at the end of the month, this is indeed the case.

Knowing that this really changed the way I think about exercise, instead of considering exercise as all or nothing, I thought about it as if I were climbing a ladder, it's okay, the bottom one So I started doing small movements all day long and instead of sending an e-mail to a colleague, I went and talked to them, skipping the elevator and taking the stairs. I would do squats at my desk and take short walks in the office whenever I could put them in. I would have one-to-one talks with colleagues while they walk and talk.


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