7 Reasons to Move More and Sit Less

For the first time since 2008, new U.S. federal guidelines for physical activity have been released.

The guidelines recommend that all adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity that elevates the heart rate each week (1). The good news is that any activity during your day counts toward the total, and just 22 minutes a day can offer dramatic health improvements. Experts no longer believe that exercise needs to be in bouts that are 10 minutes or longer to gain health benefits.

The reasons to add physical activity to your routine extend beyond weight loss and general fitness. Focusing on the immediate benefits may motivate people to move more and sit less. Here are seven benefits beyond weight loss to add physical activity to your daily routine.

1. Build Lean Body Mass

Exercise, such as strength and resistance training, helps build and maintain lean body mass. When you lose weight, some of that weight loss may include a loss of muscle and bone density. Research shows that approximately 25 percent of lost weight comes from lean body tissues (2). Intake of proper nutrients — in particular, an adequate amount of high-quality protein — is key to maintaining and building muscle while losing weight (3).

2. Improve Metabolism

A faster metabolism, measured by resting metabolic rate (RMR), allows the body to burn more calories while at rest. Exercise is associated with increased energy expenditure, promoting an increase in RMR (4). Since fat-free mass, such as muscle and organ tissue, is more metabolically active than fat mass, any increase in muscle mass may support improvements to your metabolism.

3. Relieve Stress

People consistently feel less stressed and more energized after exercise. Several research papers link exercise and physical activity to a decrease in stress and an improved sense of well-being. The American Psychological Association reports that 64 percent of adults who say they have low stress engage in exercise at least once per week, while those who don’t exercise report high stress levels much more frequently (5).

4. Develop a Healthier Gut

Although understudied until recently, the effects of exercise on the gut microbiome are emerging. Because the gut microbiome is largely affected by dietary habits and is unique to each individual, it can be difficult to make conclusions based on exercise alone. However, in one study, researchers found that athletes generally have a greater diversity of gut microbes (6). Microbe diversity has been linked to positive benefits to immune and digestive health, intestinal barrier function, energy balance, and metabolism (7).

5. Improve Sleep

Sleep has been shown to respond positively to physical activity. Research indicates that both sleep quality and sleep duration are improved with regular exercise. In studies of adolescents and adults, those with sleep problems greatly benefited from aerobic and resistance exercise (8, 9). Even those who regularly suffer from insomnia have reported increased sleep duration by an hour and 15 minutes each night following an exercise program of 30 minutes four days per week (10).

6. Boost Memory and Focus

Exercise has been shown to increase memory and cognition both directly and indirectly. Not only does it stimulate the release of growth factors that encourage the growth and survival of new blood vessels in the brain, it also improves mood and sleep and reduces anxiety and stress, all of which lead to improved memory and cognition.

7. Bolster Immune Health

Regular moderate exercise has a protective effect on the immune system and improves the body’s response to pathogens. This reaction is thought to be mediated by a reduction in visceral fat mass and the anti-inflammatory effect that occurs with each bout of exercise (11, 12).

All these health benefits are achievable with regular physical activity — and again, everything counts. Even just 22 minutes a day is sufficient, whether it’s resistance or aerobic exercise. The most important factor is consistency. Finding ways to incorporate a little extra activity into your day can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and well-being.


  1. Peircy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, et al. The physical activity guidelines for Americans. JAMA. 2018 Nov; 320(19): 2020-28.
  2. Weinheimer EM, Sands LP, and Campbell WW. A systematic review of the separate and combined effects of energy restriction and exercise on fat-free mass in middle-aged and older adults: implications for sarcopenic obesity. Nutr Rev. 2010 Jul; 68(7): 375-88.
  3. Cava E, Yeat NC, and Mittendorfer B. Preserving healthy muscle during weight loss. Adv Nutr. 2017 May; 8(3): 511-19.
  4. Stiegler P and Cunliffe A. The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss. Sports Med. 2006; 36(3): 239-62.
  5. Anderson NB, Belar CD, Breckler SJ, et al. Are teens adopting adults’ stress habits? Amer Psych Assoc 2014; 1-47.
  1. Clarke SF, Murphy EF, O’Sullivan O, et al. Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity. 2014 Jun; 63: 1913-20.
  2. Stephens RW, Arhire L, and Covasa M. Gut microbiota: from microorganisms to metabolic organ influencing obesity. Obesity. 2018 May; 26(5): 801-9.
  3. Yang PY, Ho KH, Chen HC, et al. Exercise training improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review. J Physiother. 2012 Sep; 58(3): 157-63.
  4. Mendelson M, Borowik A, Michallet AS, et al. Sleep quality, sleep duration and physical activity in obese adolescents: effects of exercise training. Ped Obes. 2016 Feb; 11(1): 26-32.
  5. Reid KJ, Baron KG, Lu B, et al. Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Med. 2010 Oct; 11(9): 934-40.
  6. Brolinson PG and Elliott D. Exercise and the immune system. Clin Sports Med. 2007 Jul; 26(3): 311-9.
  7. Walsh NP, Gleeson M, Shephard RJ, et al. Position statement. Part one: Immune function and exercise. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2011; 17: 6-63.

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Should You Have Carbs Before You Work Out?

Sugar is supposed to be bad, right? Isn’t the goal of exercise to rid yourself of all the damage done by eating carbohydrates in excess?

While it may seem counterintuitive, the reality is that a little carbohydrate and sugar can fuel your workout, especially when it involves high-intensity, long-duration exercise. A modest intake of carbohydrates can also speed up your recovery time, helping you get back in the gym sooner.

Carbs Improve Training, Adaptation, and Recovery

Carbs have attracted a lot of attention from exercise physiologists, who aim to help athletes during training and competition (1). These scientists generally agree that consuming a moderate amount of easily absorbed carbohydrates — like simple sugars — prior to, during, and immediately after exercise can improve performance, adaptation, and recovery.

This method works because it allows the body to sustain high carbohydrate availability in muscle glycogen stores and blood glucose to fuel the demands of exercise. When these carbohydrates are depleted during a workout, it can quickly lead to fatigue, reduction in work rate, impaired skill and concentration, and an increased perception of effort (1).

In summary, not getting enough carbs before, during, and after your workout makes it harder for you to achieve the results you want from your efforts. Regardless, recreational athletes regularly make the mistake of failing to meet carbohydrate recommendations (2).

The Role of Carbs in AMPED Nitro

Despite the wealth of scientific evidence, many question whether it’s wise to include sugar and carbohydrate in a pre-workout product such as AMPED™ Nitro. The multifunctional supplement contains about 5 grams of sugar alongside performance-enhancing ergogenic aids like Nitrosigine®, creatine, and natural caffeine from green tea.

The amount of sugar in AMPED Nitro is quite small in comparison to what is stored in metabolically active tissue, like the tissue in muscle and the liver (3, 4). One hour of intense exercise can potentially burn six times the amount of carbohydrate energy found in AMPED Nitro (4).

The evidence suggests that not only is the amount of sugar in AMPED Nitro minor, but there may also be room for additional carbohydrate intake to improve exercise further. Extra carbohydrates can be achieved easily enough with intake of other sports drinks such as an e+™ shot or AMPED Hydrate.

Figure 1. Based on an average 70 kg male athlete. Modified from “Clinical Sports Nutrition: 5th Edition” by Louise Burke and Vicki Deakin.

Carbohydrate Recommendations for Exercise

Carbohydrate guidelines for athletes are based largely on an athlete’s body size and their training duration and frequency. Generally, the rule is about 3 to 5 grams per kilogram per day for athletes exercising at a low intensity, 5 to 7 grams per kilogram per day for athletes who get moderate exercise (about one hour per day), and up to 7 to 10 grams per kilogram per day for endurance athletes.

A good practice is to time the intake and amount of these carbohydrates to improve carbohydrate availability during exercise. The general guideline given to athletes is to consume about 1 to 4 grams per kilogram about one to four hours before exercise (3).

Then, small amounts (around 5 to 10 grams) can be taken just prior to and during training to sustain high-intensity exercise. The recommendation increases to 30 to 60 grams per hour for endurance training and stop-and-start sports like soccer and basketball.

The amount of carbohydrates you should consume before a workout depends on your goals. However, the modest amount of sugar found in AMPED Nitro and other Isagenix products won’t interfere with weight loss. Not only does sugar make the product taste better without the use of artificial sweeteners and flavors, but it can also can help fuel your exercise and keep you on track with your health goals.


  1. Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016.
  2. Masson G, Lamarche B. Many non-elite multisport endurance athletes do not meet sports nutrition recommendations for carbohydrates. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016.
  3. Burke LM, Cox GR, Cummings NK, Desbrow B. Guidelines for daily carbohydrate intake: do athletes achieve them? / Instructions pour une alimentation riche en glucides: les athletes parviennent-ils a prendre les doses prescrites. Sport Med. 2001.
  4. Burke L & Deakin V. Clinical Sports Nutrition, 5th Ed. McGraw-Hill Australia, 2015.

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How to Support Your Immune System This Winter

Exercise and Nutrition Communications Specialist Katie Carpenter, Ph.D., is on the call to discuss how Isagenix can help support your immune system this winter. Dr. Carpenter shares her top tips for avoiding sickness as well as her favorite Isagenix products for supporting immune health.

Check out this episode!


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Podcast: How to Support Your Immune System This Winter

Trainer: Katie Carpenter, Ph.D., Exercise and Nutrition Communications Specialist


Exercise and Nutrition Communications Specialist Katie Carpenter, Ph.D., is on the call to discuss how Isagenix can help support your immune system this winter. Dr. Carpenter shares her top tips for avoiding sickness as well as her favorite Isagenix products for supporting immune health.

For more podcasts visit IsagenixPodcast.com.

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