Tuesday, February 12, 2008
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
Your BMR, or basal metabolic rate (metabolism), is the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body at rest to maintain normal bodily functions. This continual work makes up about 60-70% of the calories we use ("burn" or expend) and includes the beating of our heart, respiration, and the maintenance of body temperature. Your BMR is influenced by a number of factors, including age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, dieting, and exercise habits.
Of course this all came about because I was roped into a sales pitch by a new gym that's opening in my town in June. They are currently running pre-opening specials and I mistakenly signed up for a "free" something or other and they called me. I was moderately interested as they are a mere 5 minutes from my home, but being curious and seriously looking to plunk down money are two entirely different things. So, after my spin class this morning (which btw I burned 435 calories) I met the guy in the "trailer" they have set up to take memberships. This group is very well versed in the "art of the sale" and used just about every tactic known to sales on me, even though I let them know up front that I really wasn't dissatisfied with my current gym. When Mr. Nice wasn't sealing the deal they turned me over to the big cheese, Craig, who mistakenly tried to play bad-guy by instulting my intelligence. First, he mistakenly called me "Mary", which I corrected, then he said, "if you're a member at 4 Seasons, you don't know anything about fitness!" To which I replied, "Don't insult me." That, however didn't dissuade him from his onslought and he continued to say something along the lines of, if you think you don't need a trainer, than you don't know anything about fitness, and of course followed that up by telling me how much he knew on the subject. including throwing out that knowing my BMR was a vital tool and I better know what it is(that's what his gym's medical staff will tell me.) To which I said, "We're done here now, this meeting is over, and got up and left the trailer. So, I knew that SP figured out the BMR for us, and I had done it previously on other web-sites, but of course when someone tells me I don't know something, then I have to make sure I do know it, thus the above information. Basically, this guy couldn't sell me on all the glitz and glam of a brand spanking new gym, and was frustrated that I wasn't impressed by all of that, so he tried an alternated route...BIG MISTAKE! The bottom line is that I have been doing this for 2 years and no I haven't plateaued, and I've continued to progress in the gym and also continued to learn new methods to use, all on my own. Telling me that this gym's new and varied equipment is the thing I needed to prevent plateauing, just didn't have the affect on me that they wanted, because I know what it takes to avoid that with both weight loss, and strength training. I don't need banks of 10' TV's, or individual tv's with cable and internet access on all my cardio equipment. In fact, I actually laughed at the prospect of people distracting themselves from their workout so much, that they would need the internet. Which is so comical when you stop and think that one of the benifits of exercise it that it gives us a break from our daily stressors...who would want to bring those with them to the gym???
Whatever, I'm happy with what I'm doing, and I'm confident I can continue to progress without anyone's help!
Because of the increased activity of cells undergoing division, the younger the person, the higher (faster) the metabolism. And the taller and heavier a person is, the faster their metabolism. Because of the greater percentage of lean muscle tissue in the male body, men generally have a 10-15% faster BMR than women. Restrictive and traditional diets may cause your BMR to drop as much as 20%. People living in tropical or very cold environments generally have BMR's 5-20% higher than those living in more temperate climates. In general, depending on the intensity and duration, consistent exercise will also increase your BMR.
AMR (Active Metabolic Rate)
To maintain normal bodily functions, your body "burns" more calories throughout the day than at rest. Once you have calculated your BMR, you can enter the average minutes you spend in a variety of activities each day. This will help you calculate your AMR or Active Metabolic Rate. Your AMR is is the total amount of calories you expend through different types of activities throughout the day whether it's reading or walking, dancing or swimming. They keyword here is "active" meaning you are consciously aware of your activity.
Both in theory and practice, weight loss can be as easy as following simple physical principles. You must not ingest more calories than you expend in order to maintain or reduce your body mass. If you learn how to effectively apply this principle to your energy requirements, it is a physiological certainty that you will not gain weight.
Many people concerned about weight loss become overly preoccupied about the types of foods they eat. Although it is more beneficial for your long-term health to maintain a healthy balanced diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats/fish and complex carbohydrates, your body does not differentiate between these foods when comes to storing extra calories as fat. If you maintain a daily calorie surplus, that is, if you ingest more calories than you expend, you will gain weight regardless of the types of calories you ingest.
By calculating your total energy requirement (BMR + AMR) you will be able to roughly assess your daily calorie expenditure and calculate the amount of calories you require to maintain a daily calorie deficit. A daily calorie deficit, that is, expending more calories than you ingest, will allow you to lose weight regardless of the type of calories. Most experts agree that a 300-500 calorie daily deficit is safe and will allow for permanent weight loss provided a daily modest daily exercise program is followed.
If you find yourself ingesting more calories than your daily total energy requirement, you need to either reduce the amount of calories, increase the amount of daily physical activity, or preferably both. Both are preferential because increasing your BMR through daily physical activity will effectually allow you to burn more calories in the long-term. If you consistently decrease your calorie intake (through dieting) without increasing your physical activity levels, you risk reducing your BMR levels, forcing your body to burn less calories, which may eventually lead to further long-term weight gain and make it more difficult to lose the weight you've gained. Unfortunately, this is the scenario that most dieters face as they continue their desperate attempts to lose weight through dieting without physical activity. As we age, those who solely depend on dieting as a method of weight loss become even more frustrated since BMR levels naturally decline as we get older.
So how do you avoid falling into this vicious cycle? If your between 20 - 55 years of age, your AMR should consist of at least 120 - 200 minutes of moderate or heavy physical activity weekly. To prevent injuries and enhance recovery, the older you are, the more you will have to stay in the lower end of this range. If you're 55+, you should seek the guidance of an Exercise Specialist and your Physician for an appropriate guideline according to your health and fitness level.
Building muscle via strength conditioning is probably the easiest way to naturally increase your BMR. By incorporating weight training in your fitness regimen, your body will maintain or build more muscle which will burn more calories at rest, increasing your total daily energy expenditure. Cardiovascular exercise, eating small portions more frequently, supplementation, increasing protein intake, moving to a warmer climate, and adequate sleep are other ways to increase your BMR.
There are no quick fixes, pills or easy one-step diet solutions that will keep you fit and at a healthy weight. It's a lifestyle and requires programming, hard work and dedication. Inevitably, those who don't have time for such a lifestyle will soon have to make time for mental and physical illness. Prevention works and your health depends on it!
Found this to be very informative so I wanted to keep it for future reference. My BMR is 1381 - 1874(combined with AMR), which is very similar to the SP calculations. I would never get in the 1800 calorie range, but it is interesting to note that with 60 minutes of vigerous exercise, that's how many calories I need to maintain my current weight. In theory, subtracting 500 calories a day from the first number will allow for a 1 puond a week loss.
Every season in life is full of learning experiences. One step leads to the next and we can draw on the past and walk confidently through trials as our wisdom grows. Our thoughts eventually turn into our habits, which determine where our lives go. Put your dreams in capable hands--your own. Don't let the "wisdom of the world" become the internal voice that guides you.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Well, Weigh-in day again. I was pleasantly surprised to see another 1.3 pounds lost. I now weigh 152.3 pounds and I'm thrilled to see the scale moving consistently again. That's proof that consistent habits of tracking food and exercise, will really make it happen. The program I'm using for weights right now, says that by doing the combination of heavy weight low reps/lighter wt higher reps will cause your body to do two things: 1. the heavy/low reps will keep your body's metabolism up well after lifting and thus continue to burn calories. 2. The lighter/higher reps makes your body burn more fat/calories while your exercising. So, it makes good sense to do this type of program and of course don't get into a stagnet pattern where you are just lifting the same weight/same reps and the same program over and over. Here is the lift I did today...Monday's seem to be the toughest and they really drain me. Today, I had to drop a few pounds from my incline chest press, not sure why, I started at 80 lb and could only do one rep, so I dropped it down but couldn't get the 4th rep in at 75 pounds, so I had to drop it to 70 and then the same thing happened at 70 (only 3 reps) so I dropped it to 65 lbs and couldn't get the wt re-racked and had to go all the way down to 50lb for the 2 sets of 12. I also did something completely out of character for me by asking one of the trainers what exercise I could do to replace the "reverse pec-dec flye that is part of this lift. She suggested using the incline bench, face backward and do a chest flye that way, which targets the shoulder rather than the back...so I did...
Dumbbell bench press 4 x4 30 lb
Dumbbell bench press 2 x12 25 lb
incline chest press 2x 12 50 lb
incline chest press 4 x4 70 lb
Pec Deck flye 2 x4 75 lb
Pec Deck flye 2 x12 65 lb
overhead barbell press 4 x4 45 lb
overhead barbell press 2 x12 35 lb
lateral raise 3x 4 55 lb
lateral raise 2x 12 30 lb
reverse pec flye 3x 4 15 lb
reverse pec flye 2 x12 10 lb
tricep pushdown 4 x4 70 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 4 x4 35 lb
tricep pushdown 2 x12 55 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 2 x12 25 lb
kickbacks 2 x12 10 lb
kickbacks 2x12 10lb
60 minutes of spinning today-total calories burned 535
Today's thoughts center around what I find to be an accepted attitude that we are all doomed to fail at our attempts at healthy eating. It doesn't matter what magazine/newspaper/tv program giving out diet/exercise advice that I read, they always have a blurb saying something to the effect "build in some cheats" or "don't expect to be perfect all the time" or some other phrase suggesting that we are somehow victims of our food and that we can't be expected to eat healthy all the time. Well I say that's BS! For two years, I have eaten healthy food, no junk or fast food, no desserts, no McDonald's or pizza, and guess what, I don't want it! I believe, however, that if I allowed myself "the reasonable portion" that many of these articles suggest, that I would then crave more of that particular food. In my mind, I see it as "what I don't know, can't hurt me" so to speak. By that I mean, if I haven't eaten or tasted something for 2 years, than I can't adequately assess what that food would taste like, but if I took just a bite, or small piece, than my tastebuds might be reminded of what it used to like, and require more of that food to satisfy it...now of course there's nothing scientific to prove or disprove this point, but for me it's something that has worked. I don't believe in willpower, but instead think this is about re-training our tastebuds to like healthy food, and in order to do that we have to make them forget the unhealthy stuff...that's worked for me so far, and I don't believe I am so weak or incapable that I "must" give myself food as a "treat" and therefore, I have no plans to do any such thing.
In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying "yes" when you want to say "no" and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out.
It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked.
- B.J. Palmer, father of chiropractic
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Well, it's Sunday, and I don't have any cardio scheduled for today, however, I am going for a walk later so that makes me feel very good. I didn't practice those dance steps last night, so tonight I'm definately going to do that...hopefully I'll learn some new dances before Wednesday night.
I've been thinking so much lately about the "what" of it all. What made this time the right time? What did I do differently that made the difference between continuing on, and getting complacent? What finally clicked and made me get so focused? I know it started with my husband's diabetes, and then there was my daughter's engagement(but that was broken only months into my attempt to lose weight and get healthy)and then eventually there was my son's wedding, but after all those things, I still kept going, so why? I may never know the exact reason, and maybe it was just my time, but while reading today's healthy reflection I came across this:
Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.Simone Weil
Trying and persevering--but failing--to see your goals realized can be frustrating. Margaret Thatcher once said "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it," and she was absolutely right. You''ve got to believe that you will succeed! Never admit defeat as long as time and effort remain. Our greatest asset is patience; our greatest weakness is throwing in the towel. Banish discouragement and feelings of impossibility by working hard, doing more, and not giving in! A diamond was only made beautiful after hundreds of years as a lump of coal.
I think that my answer can be found in the line that says "You've got to believe that you will succeed! I never once thought, that I wouldn't or couldn't do this. I also did have much patience, as was shown by my little notebook with 2 years of Monday weigh-in dates written out. And though I really don't remember ever getting discouraged, quitting was never an option! Though I might never be that perfect diamond, I will never quit trying to get there.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
So, it's Saturday and I've got a lot of energy today. I guess my weekday routing is taking a toll, but at least, I've recovered today. My son stopped by with his little dog, and she and I took a 4 mile walk/run, it was very invigorating, though quite cold out.
I'm currently trying my very best to combat the two sickies that are spreading their germs throughout the house. My poor husband and daughter are both suffering with terrible upper respiratory bugs, and though I feel quite badly for them both, I really don't want to catch what they have. So, I'm washing the skin off my hands and spraying/wiping everything down with disinfectant. Hopefully, that will work.
It's been kind of quiet around here today, as my other son, stayed up at school this weekend. I miss him, but we'll see him tomorrow at the college as his football team has their year-end banquet. It is going to be very cold tomorrow, and we also have promised a friend and his son that we'll give them a tour of the campus, as his son recently was accepted to the school. That should be quite a task, with the predicted weather! But, every little bit of exercise counts!
So, today I was reading the Self magazine article about body image and our "happy" weight (I mentioned it before) and thought it might be something good to share so here goes:
Give your body a break!
Imagine if your self-esteem wasn't dependent on your weight. Think of all the energy yu could use for more fun (and productive) pursuits -- seeing pals, brainstroming ideas for world peace. That's not to say that if yo need to lose weight for health reasons, , you shouldn't. But you should consider ditching diet obsession and try looking at your body with equal parts realism and compassion -- in other words, adopt a happy weight mind-set! In a Self.com survey, 54% of women say the scale has a major impact on their confidence, so, we shoudl all try appreciateing our bodies and all they can do, whatever we weigh. When it comes to weight, many women strive for the unattainable--a setup for unhealthy yo-yo dieting. It pays to get real. Women who set reachable goals are more content with their shape--which studies suggest is linked to successful weight loss, the International Journal of Obesity reports. So refocus your attention on the passions that matter to you. We bet you're feeling happier already!
Calculate your happy weight:
Eighty-seven percent of normal-weight women wish they weighed less. Stop aiming for an unrealistic goal and use this formula to get your ideal digits.
Grab a tape measure and calculator. Multiply your height in inches by itself, then by 0.031. This is your weight at a bodymass index of 22, in the middle of the healthy range, so it's a good place to start. (Always aim to keep your BMI under 25.) But there are many different factors that can contribute to your happy weight. So keep calculating.
Multiply the number above by 0.95 if you have a small frame; leave it unchanged if you have a medium frame; multiply by 1.05 if you have a large frame. To measure your frame wrap a tape measure around your wrist and consult this chart:
5'2" and under small frame is wrist size less than 5.5, Medium 5.5-5.75" and Large frame is more than 5.75"
5'2" - 5'5" small frame is: less than 6" around wrist, Medium is 6"-6.25" and large frame is more than 6.25"
Over 5'5" small frame is less than 6.25" medium frame is 6.25"-6.5" and large frame is more than 6.5"
Add 1 pound if a sibling or parent is obese. This makes you two to three times more likely to be overweight.
Add 2 pounds for each decade you are over age 20. Although women begin to lose 1/3 to 1/2 pound of muscle each year and gain at least that much in body fat as they age, it's possible to prevent some of this weight gain by exercising and eating porperly.
Add 5 pounds if you've had any children. Pregnancy results in a 4 to 7 pound weight gain, on average, according to a study in Th Journal of the American Medical Association.
Subtract 1 pound if you exercise and weight train once a week, subtract 2 pounds if you do it three times a week and subtract 3 pounds for five or more times a week. The muscle you build by strength training increases your metabolic rate, so you'll burn more calories.
Add 4 pounds if you smoked at least a pac a day for a year or more and have quit. Most quitters gain weight, but the health benefits are well worth it.
Add 1 pound if you allow yourself a treat now and then. "Occasionally indulging can be healthy says Shiri Morgan, R.D., a dietitian at the UCLA Diabetes Gonda Center in Los Angeles. You'll feel happier if you cut yourself some slack.
Add the numbers and you'll have your happy weight.
I may not agree entirley with this philosophy, but it is important to be real about where our bodies will stay fit and healthy. I also agree that working on "measuring" our bodies by more than the scale/tape measure and appreciating all the miraculous things it does for us is part of the "journey".
Still thinking about the scale?Look at all the gazillion things the average woman's body achieves over her lifetime:
3,025 hours volunteered, 535,455,000 breaths taken 6,7;60 hours spent exercising 49,628 miles walked 29,768 sunsets seen 2 babies birthed 4 sexual partners enjoyed
30% of women have never been ok with their weight
25% of women would prefer to lose 5 pounds than live 5 years longer
70% of women agree that "the less they weigh, the happier they are"
92% of women say weight greatly affected how happy they felt the first time they had sex.
So, although we are all here to get fit and healthy we need to keep it in perspective and not set unattainable goals. We all should start embracing the skin we're in and stop obsessing about our bodies, beyond getting healhty of course.
Friday, February 08, 2008
I'm really fatigued! My legs feel weak, and I'm just generally tired! I know I've been pushing myself pretty hard for the past 3 weeks so I'm thinking of just taking it easy for tomorrow and Sunday. Maybe just some general walking and practice some dancing, but no running. Here's what today's workout consisted of:
Deadlift 4 X 6 75 lb 2 X 15 56
lat pulldown 3X 6 75 lbs 2 X 15 65 lbs
SEated Cable Row 3x6 90 lbs 2x15 80lbs
dumbbell shrug 3x6 45 lbs 2x15 35lbs
barbell curl 4x6 40lbs 2x15 30lbs
incline dumbbell curl 3x6 15lbs 2x15 10lbs
bicep reverse curl 2x6 35lbs 2x15 25lbs
60 minutes of spin class
4 reasons your workout feels tougher today
1. You have an exercise hangover.Hitting it harder than usual yesterday can have the unfortunate side effect of making you feel weaker today. Increase your rest time or decrease the intensity of your routine following a super-challenging sweat session.
2. Shut-eye hasn't been coming easily. Sleep deprivation can zap your energy in the gym. Get seven to eight hours of rest per night, upping your snooze time after extre-tough workouts.
3. You skipped lunch. Food powers your brain and your muscles; without it, you'll fizzle sooner. If you missed a midday meal, eat a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of whole wheat crackers before you head to the gym.
4. A big presentation is looming. Stress can make you feel tired, but don't use anxiety as a pass to sit it out. Instead, do something that doesn't require much concentration such as riding a stationary bike or walking on the treadmill.
Just found this article and it would seem that my problem is #2. I've had two nights in a row where I haven't gotten to bed until well after midnight...that's very unlike me and I'll have to be more diligent about that in the future...I feel like a wet washrag today!
Q: I use the elliptical trainer 45 minutes at least 4 days a week, but I haven't dropped an ounce or gotten more toned. What am I doing wrong?
A. The main reason people don't lose weight with cardio is that they don't workout at a high enough intensity or for as long as they should, says NYC trainer Eric Von Frolich. In this case it sounds as if intensity is the problem, so crank your heart rate up by increasing your pace or resistance-or both. On a scale of 1 (barely moving) to 10 (an all-out sprint), aim to do most of your workouts at a 6 or 7. At this level, you're breathing heavily but not gasping for air. Work up to it gradually if necessary. If you're still not breathing hard, incorporate 30-to 60 second sprints every 2 to 5 minutes. Also, watch your diet. "A lot of people reward themselves for a good cardio workout by eating more," says Von Frolich. That can cancel out all the calories you burn. As for getting toned, while cardio will burn fat, it usually won't build a ton of muscle.
Challenge yourself during your workout and you'll get results.
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