A Few Thoughts On Exercise and Healthier Living

This post is sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This picture was one I shared last week on instagram, and this is what I posted with the picture.

9:00 at night and this is what I am doing. Determined to keep working out even on busy days or bad weather days. And even on days like today when I really did not want to.

If you have followed along here for very long, you know that I started running about two years ago. Although I have always been pretty thin, I have not always been into exercise. In fact, exercise is pretty new to me.

Over the years I have done what I would call pretty mild exercise. I have walked. A few years back I did Pilates pretty regularly for six months or so, but I have never been able to do much beyond that because of my asthma.

Last month I talked about my journey towards a healthier life, and that journey really started a few years ago when I went gluten free. For me a major change in my diet was my wake up call to leading a much healthier life.

As my health improved from the gluten free diet, I started to focus more on my over all health. Although I was not overweight, I knew I needed to exercise in order to really get healthy. Because my asthma was so much better, I decided to give running a try.

It turns out running was just what I needed. I had not realized that I need a good cardio workout. Walking is great and is better than nothing, but I have realized the importance of a good cardio workout. You know the kind that makes you sweat.

Over the last two years I have really learned to love running. For me though, it is about so much more than just running, because really there are some days that running, or a cardio workout, is the last thing I want to do.

There are many days that I use the same excuses that everyone else uses.

It is too hot. It is too cold. I am too tired. I am too busy. I am too sore. I don’t have time. Oh yes I have lots of reasons why I can’t.

Some days I need a kick in the backside just like everyone else to get myself out the door and exercising.

But over the last two years I have learned that I feel so much better when I do exercise. I may not want to exercise, but I never regret it when I do. The fact is I feel so much better after a good workout.

I feel better.

I sleep better.

I deal with stress better.

I eat better.

And I look better.

All those things are what keeps me motivated to keep at it, even on days when I don’t want to. The reality is I feel better when I exercise.

I do sleep better. I am sure there is some scientific explanation for this, but I have no clue what it is. I do know that on days I go for a good run I sleep much better. I have never been a good sleeper. I often get up six to eight times a night. One of the first things I noticed about running was how much better I slept. And the longer my run is the better I sleep. I sleep best on days that I run three or more miles. There is nothing quite like a good nights sleep and a good nights sleep makes exercise so worth it for me.

I deal with stress better. I am one of those people that don’t handle stress well. I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but on the inside I am usually a stressed out mess. I have realized how much running helps me with this. It is amazing how much stress and frustration I can run off. Life just seems more focused after a good run.

I eat better. I think this is true with many people. That piece of gluten free cake sitting on the counter is a little less tempting when you know you will have to run an extra mile to work it off. I have found that the days or weeks I take off exercise are the days or weeks I don’t eat so well. For me exercise helps me focus more on what I eat and what I am putting into my body. I also find that I eat more protein and less carbs when I exercise, and this works well with a gluten free diet.

I look better. So, this might have something to do with eating better, but I really think it has to do with all of the above. We all look better when we sleep better. We all look better when we are not stressed out. And yes we look better when our clothes fit a little better because we are making better food choices.

Now this is my experience and everyone else’s may vary. I do know though that you rarely hear people say they regret exercising and eating healthy. Yes, there may be days that I may not want to, but I never regret it once it is done.

I think what is important when it comes to both diet and exercise is finding what works for you. For me it is eating gluten free and doing cardio exercise four to five days a week.

What your body needs might be different, but find what works for you and what benefits your body and needs.

It might be gluten free. It might be dairy free or paleo. It might be running or maybe Pilates. But finding a plan and lifestyle that works for you. It is important and well worth the work.

For more information on healthy living and the gluten free lifestyle be sure to visit Udi’s Gluten Free.

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

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