“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” Carol Welch
Eating healthy is a great start, but it isn’t enough to stay healthy in a long term. I know that many people starting to improve their nutrition feel like they could stay away from the gym, as they already feel much better than before. Mistake! Even if nutrition has a great impact on our health, it needs to be combined with regular physical activity in order to maintain optimal and sustainable health.
Although everybody is aware of this fact, many of us still find it hard to get off the couch and move our bodies. Let me remind you here of some key benefits of exercising. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and enhances your cardiovascular system to work efficiently. This allows your lungs and your heart to work properly and, therefore, you have more energy for your daily activities. Moreover, exercising increases blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body. This process brings oxygen and energy to your brain helping you to think clearly. Exercising is not only effective in combating disease; it is also crucial for your general well-being as it helps you maintain an optimal weight, reduce stress, enhance your mood, make you feel younger and much more.
My Fitness Journey
I was amazed by this change as it was the first time in my Life that I could consider myself as a “sportive”, exercising on a regular basis, consistently for many months and, most importantly, with pleasure. In 2015 I ran my first half-marathon in Chicago! YES I did it!
One important point in this journey was to vary my exercise routines. Instead of just running every day, I mixed it with volleyball and later Zumba classes. Oh YEAH, that’s what happens when you start eating a diet fully or mostly based on whole plant-based foods– your energy level skyrockets! And the more you exercise, the more your body eliminates toxins, allowing you to enjoy your life more fully. This was really helpful because even though I enjoyed running, the variety of other activities enabled me to challenge myself elsewhere!
The benefits of exercising were almost immediate. The first results was linked to my emotional balance. After a few days of working out I already felt more equipped to face life, and my self-confidence raised considerably. I started to love my body, and I was much more motivated to take care of it by eating clean. The next reward was healthy weight loss. It wasn’t much weight in the beginning, but it was enough to encourage me. In total, I lost about 15 kg (about 30 lbs) and the main part of the weight loss occurred when I introduced raw foods into my diet. I felt my body becoming fit as I was developing muscles. I was able to concentrate and work many hours without getting tired. My digestion improved significantly, my skin started to glow and my sleep became more restful than ever before. Today, exercising is an important part of my daily routine, and I’ve also introduced yoga to help me stretch so my muscles can recover easily after each workout.
What I particularly enjoy about fitness is that it’s a great way to share the vegan lifestyle with my surroundings. Indeed, it is easier to invite a friend or a family member to go for a run than to ask him or her to stop eating meat (crisis!). When you start glowing inside, it shows on the outside and people take notice and want to know what you are doing! This is my main tip to share with people– just shine inside out without trying to change the entire world by force. I feel that this is the best way to catch the attention of your loved ones without creating resistance. After a great session of exercising together, people are always curious about what I eat or do in order to have so much energy. Here is the best moment to introduce them to my “magic” diet!