Thursday, January 13, 2011

5 Ways to Approach Your Fitness Resolutions in 2011

1.) Break your goals down into something that you will achieve the outcome versus the broad goal itself. Take get fit and weight loss on their own they seem easy enough but these two goals are way too broad to ever be achieved. Instead set a resolution to do a 10km race or a triathlon. These goals are achievable and defined and by doing them you will achieve the goal of getting fit and losing weight as well as you start the lifestyle change needed for long term success.

2.) Get up an hour earlier and hit the gym. You usually can count the number of people at the gym at 5:30 AM on 2 hands or less. Knock your workout out before the sun rises and that is one less thing you have to worry about doing all day.

3.) Get a workout buddy. Meet people online, at the gym, at work that want to meet some new fitness goal and start pushing each other. When one of you doesn't want to workout, the other should "force" them to.

4.) Don't allow any eating out except one meal a week. How hard is this? Not really when you think about it. Just DON'T do it. Sure, getting up and running is easy to get out of. But not allowing yourself to eat out is EXTREMELY SIMPLE. The Anti-Nike Slogan comes in handy: Just don't do it.

5.) Make small goals. Try losing a pound in the next 5 days. Then 3 pounds in the next two weeks. Then on...and on...and on...

I hope these help you all stay focused on such an important resolution.

Eat a Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables and unsaturated fatty acids. Common foods include pasta, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and red wine. People living in the Mediterranean countries have the lowest heart disease rates and greatest longevity in the world. Diet may play an important role in their excellent health.

A large study of nearly 500,000 men and women age 25 - 70 years living in 10 European countries found a reduced risk of abdominal obesity in people who followed the Mediterranean diet. The relationship was strongest in men from northern European countries. People living in France, Norway and Sweden were the thinnest, while those living in Greece and Spain were the fattest. Europeans were considerably leaner than Americans. The Mediterranean diet has positive effects on metabolic health and preventing obesity.

(Journal Nutrition, 139:1-10, 2009)

Question of the Week:

Q: Will I lose body fat more efficiently by performing my aerobic workouts at a low, rather than a high, intensity?

A: Many aerobic exercise programs and videos feature low-intensity workouts which surport to maximize fat burning. The argument behind such an alleged theory is that low-intensity aerobic training will allow your body to use more fat as an energy source, thereby accelerating the loss of body fat.

While it is true that a higher proportion of calories burned during low-intensity exercise come from fat (about 60 % as opposed to approximately 35 % from high-intensity programs), high-intensity exercise still burns more calories from fat in the final analysis. For example, if you perform 30 min of low-intensity aerobic exercise (i.e., at a level of 50 % of maximal exercise capacity), you'll burn approximately 200 calories - about 120 of those come from fat (i.e., 60 %).

However, exercising for the same amount of time at a high intensity (i.e., 75 % of your maximal exercise capacity) will burn approximately 400 calories. Using a 35 % fat utilization yardstick, 140 of the calories you've burned will have come from stored fat.

Although the more vigorous exercise burns both more total and more fat calories, the less intense form of exercise has its benefits as well. For example, because many overweight people tend to find that lower-intensity exercise is more comfortable, they may, therefore, be willing to engage in such workouts. The point to remember is that low-intensity workouts do, in fact, promote weight and fat loss. You just have to do them for a longer period of time.
Low-intensity aerobic exercise, however, is not a better or more effective way to lose weight than more intense physical activity - the idea of a "fat-burning zone" is simply a myth.

Keep in mind that you lose weight and body fat when you expend more calories than you consume, not because you burn fat (or anything else) when you exercise.

Bryant, Cedric