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Great addition to my post titled “Exercise for Life”

thehautebunny

The Basics

No magic pills, no secret, just this simple formula.

To burn one pound of fat, you must burn 3500 calories above your BMR.  Now I’m not saying that you have to burn 3500 calories in one day, it is much easier to split it up throughout the week.

1.  The first thing you want to do is calculate your BMR.  Here’s a link to website that will do it for you but you can do the math by yourself using this formula:

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

2.  Now many experts recommend to subtract 500 from…

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Exercise for Life

We all know it’s important to get regular physical activity.  Being physically active will improve your life in many ways.  It is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy.

Let’s talk about the benefits of exercise, revisit body composition, different ways to measure progress and talk about ways to make exercise a part of your life…

~BENEFITS~

Prolongs life – studies have shown that regular exercise prolongs life.  People who regularly engage in physical activity live longer, healthier lives.

Improves Mood – you just feel better!  It can’t get better than that.

Achieves metabolic balance – exercise helps achieve and maintain metabolic balance by the way it balances blood sugar and insulin.  It helps you lose weight and keep it off!

Promotes sustainable weight loss

Strengthens heart and blood vessels – our heart and blood vessels feed our bodies with oxygen and nutrients.  We want them strong.

Increases bone density

Decreases risk for chronic conditions – such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

~BODY COMPOSITION~

Body composition is a simple way to describe the structure of the body.  3 compartments of  body composition are lean body mass, body fat and water.  As we age we tend to lose lean muscle and gain body fat (our weight may stay the same but our composition is shifting) more body fat leads to increase in aging and disease.  Exercise is the best way to prevent the age-associated decline of lean muscle and increase of body fat, a great reason for staying active throughout your life!  Accompanied by a healthy diet, one can expect a long full healthy life.  For more information on body composition see my post here.

~WAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS~

Weight for Height

Body Mass Index

Waist/Hip or Waist Circumference

Bioelectric Impedance or Skinfold

These are all useful in measure our physical activity, but all tell different stories.  Do your due diligence when seeking to measure your progress.  I personally love to just get out my measuring tape, measuring my upper arm, waist, hip, butt, upper thigh and calf and go by how I feel.  I like to just get out, be active how I like to be active and feel good.

~WAYS TO MAKE EXERCISE A PART OF YOUR LIFE~

To truly be fit you need to incorporate 3 components of fitness: aerobic (aka “cardio), strength or resistance training and flexibility training.  I also would add in balance and agility training, but it’s not in the textbooks as a component of fitness, but has become increasingly popular.

Aerobic Exercise: When our heart rate is within 60-70% of our max heart rate, we are in and aerobic state.  In this state our heart and blood vessels get some good conditioning.  A simple way to figure your max heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.  Examples of aerobic exercises are walking, hiking, swimming, cycling, rowing, running or jogging.  Suggested frequency and duration is 30-60 min most days of the week.

Strength Training: increases lean body mass and improves basal metabolic rate.  The idea is to stress your muscles by fatiguing them.  Strength training usually involves weights, but can also be incorporated into your aerobic program.  Suggested frequency depends on your goals.  If your goal is to lose fat and/or maintain lean body mass 2 times per week is suggested.  If  your goal is to increase muscle mass 3-4 times per week is suggested.  In order to build muscle, you also need to provide adequate calories and protein in your diet.

Flexibility training:  another aspect of aging is loss of flexibility, which can lead to injury and lots of unnecessary aches and pains.  As we get older muscle fibers shorten and connective tissue between tendons  and ligaments get weaker.  We feel stiffer and less agile.  Stretching improves flexibility luckily!  Stretching before and after exercise or anytime you feel like it warms up ligaments and tendons and prepares them for exercise or simply, movement.  Stretching can also be very mentally relaxing.  Make sure to stretch properly, go slow, don’t bounce, keep spine in line and hold a stretch for 5-30 sec.

Balance and Agility Training:  balance is the first thing to go as we age, but we can retrain it.  It’s easy to incorporate into aerobic and strength training routines.  Balance and Agility training will integrate the full body and enable you to efficiently coordinate constant changes in body position allowing for injury prevention, performance enhancement for athletes and simply to combat aging.   You can find some good balance and agility training equipment here.  Agility training takes a little more focus then balance training and doesn’t need to use much equipment, it involves the use of  plyometrics.

Hopefully, what I’ve shared with you today will keep you active throughout your life or jump start you if you struggle in this area.

Next week I’ll share with you my “favorite fitness” things and exercises.

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Living Well

Frequently people seem to take an approach to weight loss that essentially amounts to wishful thinking. Here’s how it goes: person picks a given amount of weight that she wants to lose in a given amount of time (usually the timeframe is completely unrealistic) and breaks it down by how much she needs to lose by month/week/day. She then decides on an arbitrary number of calories (usually way too low) that she somehow concludes will enable her hit these targets. And then gets frustrated when it doesn’t work.

Well, it would be nice if you could will yourself into losing whatever amount of weight you wanted, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. You need to do the math and use some common sense to figure out how much weight you can reasonably expect to lose in a given period, and then set a timeframe for achieving your goals that’s…

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Body Composition Management and Control.

Last post I talked a lot about body composition and why I would rather focus on composition than actual weight.

So, how do I do that?

Well, it’s the same elementary answers that all innately know, eat well and exercise.  To expound on eating well, balance blood sugar by eating low to moderate glycemic index foods in small meals all throughout the day.   This is the key, in my opinion, to managing and controlling weight and composition.

In addition to a well balanced diet exercise will help shift the scale by helping to burn calories as well as strengthen system functions such as cardiovascular and respiratory systems.  By building muscle we shift body composition and burn un-needed fat storage, therefore having more muscle mass and less fat mass.  In actuality gaining weight on a scale because muscle weighs more than fat.

The change will come in inches lost and you’ll feel amazing.  Does this mean that we need 2 hours of crazy exercise a day?  No, not at all.  Try to find activity that you can be consistent with and do just that… be consistent.

Next week: Exercise for Life

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Addendum to Blood Sugar Metabolism

I just read an article that explained blood sugar metabolism so well.  Check it out!

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Vinyl Dumbbell Set

Vinyl Dumbbells

  • Precision weighted and balanced
  • Durable construction
  • Vinyl coating for added comfort and protection
  • Perfect for aerobics
  • Great for toning

Sold Individually, available in sets 2lb, 4lb, 5 lb, 7 lb, 8 lb, 9 lb, 10 lb and 12 lb

For more “at home” strength training equipment visit freeweightsshop.com

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