YOU GOT THIS!: Forget the Weight Goals, Exercise for Health


Beth Douglas of OneLife Fitness in Gainesville, Virginia. Beth Douglas of OneLife Fitness in Gainesville, Virginia.

By Beth Douglas of Onelife Fitness, Gainesville

With Summertime, here and in full effect, we have already tried to squeeze into our shorts and swimsuits. If you stuck to your New Year’s resolution, this may have been an easy task. For some of us, this may have been an unpleasant experience, leaving us in panic mode and looking for the fastest way to get back into our summer clothes. When we are desperate we are vulnerable to creative marketing and quick weight loss schemes.

The latest infomercials, multi-level social media and old fashion TV commercial have convinced us that we can achieve our weight loss goals quickly with magic pills, foods, patches or drinks. It seems like weight loss is on everyone's minds these days. Healthy weight is a good goal, if you achieve it by eating right and exercising. However, weight shouldn’t be the only focus. When you think about all the reasons and benefits to eat well and exercise, I’m not even sure that weight would make it on my top 10 list. The scale is not a reliable indicator of overall health and people who diet and/or exercise just to lose weight are less likely to achieve their goals. Weight goals are often forgotten and then the weight starts to come back.

I get so excited when I meet someone that wants to live a healthy lifestyle, not only because they are going to lose weight, but because I know how much better they are going to feel physically and emotionally.

Exercise is a natural antidepressant.

Chronic depression can make happiness seem unattainable. Studies have found that 60% to 70% of people who suffer from depression did not even classify as depressed after three to four months of a great exercise program. A lot of us turn to junk food when we are depressed, filling our bodies with toxins, which make us feel even worse. Sometimes when I meet with people, the first time they feel overwhelmed and are full of excuses why they feel a healthy lifestyle is beyond their reach.  However, once you have been at it for a few weeks, you will feel and see the difference in everything. Seeing the world differently, smiling and encouraging others that are just starting out, IT'S CONTAGIOUS. So, next time you are feeling down in the dumps, hit the gym not the sweets.  

Furthermore, foods can also alter your mood. These include:

  • Turkey - Most lean sources of protein are good for beating depression, but turkey has the edge due to its relatively higher levels of a chemical called tryptophan
  • Walnuts – These nuts are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids; the omega-3s in walnuts support overall brain health.
  • Turmeric -  This bold spice found in many Indian and Asian curry dishes is a great way to boost your mood, among other benefits. Turmeric can indeed be considered one of the ‘spices of life’ because of its profound anti-inflammatory activity
  • Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate helps to release serotonin and relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system. (Just remember that dark chocolate is incredibly calorie-dense, with about 150 calories per ounce, so eat just one small piece at a time.)

Exercise adds years to your life and life to your years.

The scale is not a reliable indicator of overall health and people who diet and/or exercise just to lose weight are less likely to achieve their goals. [/pullquote]

Want to live longer?  Research shows that exercising a minimal for 2.5 hours a week can extend your life up to seven years and adds "Life to Your Years!" Getting off the couch and planning your weekends becomes easier and exciting as your body transforms into an active one.   

Exercise strengthens bones

Bone density is not something that we think about when we are younger, but we should be aware of it. As it helps us maintain a strong mobile body as we age.  Studies have shown, the best way to build bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis into old age is to do weight-bearing exercises. With proper nutrition, when you put additional loads on the body–the load will cause the body to adapt and bone density improves. The process happens to our muscles as well. Researchers found that adults who exercised moderately or strenuously had better bone density than those who exercised little or not at all. Stick with it: adults that stopped exercising later in life lost bone mass and muscle mass, even if they'd exercised regularly when they were younger.

Exercise and Eating healthy prevents insomnia

Sleepless nights are frustrating and exhausting, insomnia is one of the major complaints people have about their health. Fortunately, good nutrition and exercise can help you. Eating 3-5 balanced meals throughout the day, on average can equal 90 or more minutes of sleep a night.  When we eat regular balanced meals throughout the day, we are less likely to indulge on calorie-dense foods before bed time. People also sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.  

This is just a few of the hundreds maybe thousands of benefits of eating healthy and exercising.   The next time you see an advertisement for magic pills, foods, patches and drinks promising to make you skinny, that doesn’t mean it will make you healthy. These quick fixes sometime leave you undernourished, with a metabolism that has been compromised and now the only way the scale can go is up.   

If you need to lose weight we are here to help - with a healthy holistic approach. This approach has endless benefits. The most important is attaining your goal in a maintainable way, and finding a program that works for you for the rest of your life.  This can be your most amazing year!  Today is the day to start living your healthy life, no matter what time it is.  Take the first step.  YOU GOT THIS!

Beth Douglas is the general manager at Onelife Fitness in Gainesville. You can email Beth any questions about your health and fitness goals at

Onelife Fitness is located at 7500 Limestone Drive in Gainesville. The health club offer classes, personal trainers, on site child sitting and at variety of workout amenities at very reasonable membership prices. Call Onelife Fitness at 571-261-6100

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