Question of the Week #6/ Nugget of the Day #2

Question of the Week #6What role does prayer play, if any, in improving physical fitness?

Nugget of the Day #2Vigorous physical activity burns an average of about 10 Calories per minute.  Obviously this varies depending on the age and weight of the individual, but this is a good ballpark figure to use when estimating the impact of your exercise sessions.  Just remember, shopping at the mall for an hour is not “vigorous exercise”.  If you aren’t breaking a sweat, it isn’t vigorous.  Adding this to the knowledge that 1 pound of body fat contains approximately 3500 Calories, then it would take 350 minutes of vigorous exercise alone to burn 1 pound of body fat if no dietary modifications were made.  This is just under 6 hours of exercise to lose a pound of body fat if you didn’t make any adjustments in your food consumption.  To some this probably sounds like a lot of exercise for only 1 pound.  Two things you need to understand from this:
1: Food control is extremely important when attempting to drop body fat!  Adding a calorie deficit to the extra calories burned can safely double the rate of body fat loss.
2: It takes time!  If you are engaged in both a regular exercise program and a calorie-restricted nutrition plan, a reasonable expectation for body fat loss is 1-2 pounds a week.  Any amount more than that means that you’ve either quit your day job and become an Olympian in training or become a monk and have taken up fasting every day.  If the package or the infomercial says “lose 5 pounds a week”, someone is trying to sell you something!


Workout #8: 60-second Circuit

The following workout is for those of you that prefer to exercise in the gym.  It can easily be adapted to home use by incorporating a set of resistance tubes instead of cables.  Here’s how it goes.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Chest Press x 60 seconds
Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunges x 60 seconds
Alternating Cable Squat + Row x 60 seconds
Alternating Twisting Crunches x 60 seconds
(Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise.  Repeat 3 times for 4 sets total)

For each exercise, perform as many repetitions as you can in the 60-second time period.  Keep track of how many repetitions you complete for each exercise so that you can compare when you do the workout later and see if you have improved.  The aim of this workout is to elevate the heart rate while boosting muscle strength and endurance, as well as kickstarting the metabolism.  Find weights that are comfortable for you.  Enjoy!


Featured Exercise: Waiter’s Bow

The Waiter’s Bow is a dynamic flexibility exercise for the hamstrings.  It is the rare individual who doesn’t need work in this area, which is why hamstring flexibility work should be a regular part of nearly everyone’s workout routine.  Dynamic flexibility refers to flexibility work usually performed at the beginning of the workout to prime the muscles for the work ahead.  The movements are performed to the maximum stretch, but only held momentarily before returning to the starting position.  Movement should be fluid and slow.  This is different than ballistic stretching, which involves vigorous, bouncing style movements at the end of a muscle’s range of motion.  This particular exercise is effective because it eliminates the lower back stretch found in conventional, toe-touch style hamstring stretches.  Dynamic flexibility work to address specific individual problem areas should be a part of everyone’s pre-workout warm-up.  Check back for more exercises in the future!


Give it Time

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them– every day begin the task anew.”  ~ Francis de Sales

Let’s play a little “word association” game.  I’m going to throw some words out at you and you are going to tell me what they all have in common.  Ready?  Microwaves.  Dishwashers.  Hair dryers.  Email.  Spray tans.  Airplanes.  Now make your guess.  If you answered “things invented to help save us time”, then pat yourself on the back.  Go on….do it.  You deserve it.  If you answered “essentials to a good vacation”, then console yourself with a pat on the back anyway.  There you go.  Now doesn’t that feel better?  All of the items listed above (ok, maybe spray tans are a stretch) help make our lives more efficient by decreasing both the time and the effort it takes to complete the required task.  In fact, we humans are continually looking for ways to streamline our lives.  We are world champion multi-taskers, able to talk on the phone, cook dinner, surf the web, and help the kids with their homework all at the same time.  Our time is valuable.  There is so much we cram into a single day that we actually get frustrated, no downright angry, when someone squeezes in front of us in traffic, leaving us 10 seconds behind schedule, or when the microwave takes longer to heat up our food than what it says on the package.  If it’s quick and easy, we’ll take it.

We treat the realm of our physical health no differently.   “Have the body you’ve always wanted in 90 days!”  “Burn fat faster with this pill!”  “Use this electronic contraption and get the effects of 1000 crunches while sitting in your chair eating Cheetos and watching “The Biggest Loser”. “  Someone is always trying to sell us a faster way to fitness.  And our time-conserving mindset makes us buyers every time.  However, this creates unrealistic expectations as to how quickly we can reasonably hope to achieve our fitness goals.  In a marriage, or a close friendship, how long does it take before we have it all down perfectly?  Always do the right thing.  Always say the right thing.  How about our relationship with the Lord?  At what point in our journey with Him do we finally “get” Him?  Where we know exactly where He is leading us at all times and why we are going there.  Does it all make sense on day 1?  Or is it a process of growth, learning a little more every day, taking a few steps forward, sometimes taking steps backward?

If there is one thing that growth requires, it is time.  And growing in understanding of our physical bodies, how they work, how they respond to exercise, and how they respond to dietary changes is no different.  Why is it that we expect to lose in 90 days what it took us 10 years to gain?  Drastic changes in a short period of time are not lifestyle changes.  They don’t last.  The honeymoon eventually ends and you are left with the reality that you are in it for the long haul.  Complete with all the food hang-ups, exercise aversions, and misplaced priorities that you always had, but managed to mask, at least for a little while.  But here’s the good news.  YOU HAVE TIME!  Don’t feel like you have to get it all together at once.  Set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself.  Build on those to bigger ones.  Start changing attitudes and the behaviors will follow.  Give yourself 6 months.  A year.  2 years.  5 years.  Whatever it takes to make true, lasting changes.  Don’t get sucked into this idea that it has to happen overnight.  You don’t set those expectations for any other area of your life.  It takes time and hard work to build a business from the ground up.  Rising through the ranks of a company is a gradual process built on successive accomplishments.  Truly getting to know someone takes a lifetime.  Embrace this journey you are on and give it time.


Question of the Week #5/ Nugget of the Day #1

Question of the Week #5:  What is a reasonable time-frame for reaching optimal physical health and fitness?  90 days?  6 months?  1 year?  More?

Nugget of the Day #1:  A pound of body fat contains approximately 3500 Calories of energy.  That means to burn 1 pound of body fat off of your body, you need to expend 3500 more calories than you consume.

I am introducing a new item to the blog called “Nugget of the Day”.  I will include little pieces of information that you can log in the brain and will help you along the way in your journey to optimal physical health.  Enjoy!