We have already demonstrated to you, via various research papers, that exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is helpful in lengthening telomeres (and is obviously good for you in general!). So now it’s time to get off the couch and start working out, right! Well, yes, actually. But we all know that beginning and sticking with an active lifestyle is difficult; therefore, in this post, I will give you my tips to becoming active, and staying active. After all, it’s best for your telomeres!
1) No False Starts!
In my opinion, the biggest reason people quit being active and go back to a sedentary lifestyle is because they begin, but don’t really commit. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds and have started hitting the treadmill any amount of time per week, that’s a victory! However, if it is only twice a week that you are hitting the gym, and for 20 minutes at a light or moderate level, the likelihood that you will start to see results are low. It is extremely demotivating to be spending any amount of time on fitness, and to not see any results. Thus, we suggest that when you start, fully commit to at least 5 days of moderate activity a week. This way, you will see results within a couple of months, which will keep you going over the long-haul.
2) Figure out the time that best works for you
There are many posts on the Internet about when the best time to workout is. Generally, the advice is to do so in the mornings, and to avoid exercise right before bed as it may keep you up at night. The truth is, if you are not a morning person, but otherwise have no time except at night, do what works for you. We can begin worrying about when your body is getting the most out of a workout when you are training for competitions, but if you are not yet at that point, just stay consistent, find the time that works for you, and do so regularly. The American Heart Association has a great post on this topic specifically.
3) Be careful with supplementation!
Every day, I drink a protein shake. However, I always use all-natural plant-based protein powders and make sure to never take more than 30 grams extra a day. This is because, after some basic research, I have found that whey is probably not that great for me, and since I do eat meat fairly regularly (usually fish!) I probably do not need an excessive amount of extra protein to hit my fitness goals. In fact, too much protein can actually be detrimental to your health.
The point is, always read up before you ingest something that comes in the form of a powder or a pill. Looking great is an amazing thing, and supplementation can definitely help towards that goal. But don’t sacrifice your long-term well-being for a slightly higher bench press or more toned beach body.
4) Play to your strengths… and weaknesses!
Find what motivates you, and always use that to your advantage. Personally, I have an enormous personal guilt complex if I do not stay on schedule. Some have made the argument to me that I shouldn’t feel bad about myself as a guilt trip to exercise. But the fact is, if I didn’t, the likelihood that I actually get out of bed and go to get regular exercise would be far lower.
At the same time, I really, really like peanut butter and chocolate together. For this reason, I add peanut butter to my chocolate (flavored) protein shakes, and only allow myself to have a protein shake after working out on days that I go to the gym. This keeps me away from detrimental junk food and makes it feel like I am earning a personal reward for having gone to the gym.
Find what works for you, and use it as leverage over yourself in a positive way for motivation.
5) Just do it!
To end with the theme of this post, the biggest thing is to get up and go exercise regularly, no matter the time and no matter the motivation.
If you are considering starting an exercise regimen, and want to see how exercise affects your cellular health, please find our telomere testing kits online at our shop! We highly recommend checking telomere length over time to see the results of your positive lifestyle changes, and offer discounts when ordering three telomere testing kits.