Many people decide to become more active, hoping to change their body shape or size. The decision to become active is something to celebrate, but there’s no need to tie your success to a scale! Why?
Emerging health research suggests that the key to health and preventing major illnesses isn’t about your weight but your activity level.
Nothing has fueled the battle cry to lose weight more than the Diabetes Prevention Project, DPP. In 2002 this major study reported that developing diabetes wasn’t inevitable and that weight-loss could prevent diabetes. It almost sounds like heresy to question the statement but in follow up studies the weight was regained. The original research failed to separate two distinct things: losing weight by restricting calories and losing weight by being active. Some 16-years later, it is becoming obvious that activity is what promotes health. That’s right; you will help prevent diabetes when you exercise even if you don’t lose a pound.
One study doesn’t make something a scientific fact but diabetes is a global phenomenon, and many countries have done research similar to the DPP, including a Finnish study that looked at preventing diabetes. This research showed that being active on a consistent basis resulted in lower odds of diabetes. Researchers determined this by comparing the exercise group to those that achieved the weight loss goal from dieting without exercise and found the exercise group was more effective at preventing diabetes! If you go across the globe to China there are more examples of why being active is what matters. The investigation called the DaQing Diabetes Prevention Study divided participants into different groups, and you guessed it, the exercise-only group had the best outcomes!
What researchers are finding is the quick-fix diet-mindset doesn’t work for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and depression. What does matter is movement and activity. Choosing to move your body in a joyful way isn’t a radical idea. It’s not hard accept that your body was meant to move and these research results prove, you don’t need to be skinny to start!
You can increase your likelihood for success by finding a tribe of like-minded people to support your intention. Curate your support from lots of places, including following social media posts such as #ThisIsActive, which provides real-life examples of people moving. Check out the growing number of mindful eating phone apps, gentle yoga programs, or go old-school and take a swim, spin, TRX, or water aerobics class. Focusing on moving in a way that feels good to you helps build consistency. Use this personal work-out double check, if your exercise program fills you with dread then it’s missing the mark!
The human body comes in a variety of sizes. From tall to short, from thick to thin when it comes to people, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Previous research missed the mark but now you know what matters. Being active is the key to health and health comes in all sizes – including yours!