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GFP Approach to Healthy Lifestyles: Activity


So far we’ve focused on eating and emotional well-being as you choose a gluten-free lifestyle.  Another pathway to health is incorporating exercise into your daily habits.

Just as choosing to change your eating habits have to be important to you and something you want in your life right now, the same holds true for starting an active lifestyle.  There are typically a lot of “shoulds” that come with exercise, you should do a certain amount of exercise, you should  feel guilty if you don’t exercise, you should do a certain kind of exercise.  Today we encourage only “wants”, deep six the shoulds.

The only “should” GFP ascribes to is if you are not already exercising on a regular basis, check with your physician before starting an exercise program.
With certain health conditions (e.g. family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, etc.) your physician may want to run some more extensive test to provide you with more specific exercise guidelines.

Choose activities that are consistent with your personality.  Are you an outdoor person, or do you prefer being inside?  Do you like the idea of working out on exercise equipment?  Do you prefer to exercise alone, with another person or with a group of people?  Do you enjoy exercising to music?  Thinking about these questions in advance will help you hone in on the activities that you’ll most likely enjoy.  Check out the new form of activity combining technology and movement: Exergaming for those who have an aversion to the typical forms of activity.

Make exercise convenient.  Nothing’s worse than having to fight crowds, traffic and parking just to get a workout.  If exercise is inconvenient, you won’t look forward to it.  When deciding what will work best for you, consider how easy it will be for you to include it in your daily life.

Schedule exercise into your day at a time when you’re most likely to do it.  If possible, try to reserve a convenient time for your workouts.  If you know in advance that Monday, Wednesday and Friday you take an exercise class at 5:15 p.m., you’ll be less likely to commit to other obligations at that time.  Be realistic.  Do you really think you’ll stick with a program if you have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. every day to do it?  Just because you commit to a certain workout time doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to stick to it without fail. Planning ahead does increase your chance of success.

Always include a proper warm-up and cool-down in your workouts.  Begin your workout with a gentle warm-up to gradually and safely prepare your heart and muscles for exercise.  Ideally, you should move slowly the same muscles you’re going to move faster later on in the workout.  An adequate warm-up lasts about 5 – 10 minutes.  It combines slow, gentle rhythmic movements such as walking, light jogging or dancing in place with static (no bouncing) gentle stretches.

During the final ten minutes of an aerobic workout, remember to gradually taper down your exercise intensity.  Rather than coming to an abrupt stop, cool down gently and slowly.  This allows your heart rate to gradually return to pre-workout levels and helps your muscles effectively recover from the workout.

Like changes with eating behaviors, it takes time, practice and patience to learn which physical activities best fit your personality and lifestyle.  Once you stop trying to do what you think you should be doing, and begin doing what’s right for you, that you want to be doing, you’ll soon discover the pleasures that come from movement.

•Your body is designed for movement.  The more chances it gets to move, the better it works and feels.

•In terms of burning fat, aerobic activities are best.  Resistance training also helps to build muscle that uses fat as the energy source.

•Find activities that are both convenient and enjoyable.

•If you’ve been sedentary (not exercising), check with your physician before beginning a fitness or exercise program.

•Always warm-up and cool-down when you work out and be certain you are exercising at a comfortable intensity.

AAA of Health

  • ADEQUATE SLEEP, REST and rRELAXATION PRACTICES: are critical components to hormone regulation and the healing process.  Helps to lessen the risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other modern day diseases that plague our society.
  • AMPLE SUNSHINE:  daily sunshine is an important component for health.  Sunlight is a necessary ingredient for making hormones and vitamin D.  Lack of sunshine and overexposure (burns) is what contributes to 19 types of cancer including skin cancer.

After you've incorporated activity into your life, let us know how it's going!!!