TRUTH or DARE?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Go with whichever you enjoy more, as you are more likely to stick with it, and thus burn more calories in the longer term.
This is an oft repeated mantra but how accurate or relevant is it to getting fit, reducing weight and ensuring constancy?
I think it is misleading and is better applied to some form of active recreation pursuit than a fitness programme. The first part of the misleading aspect is that you subordinate something which may work better for something you enjoy more. What are the things we enjoy the most, those things which we are most comfortable with doing regardless of the outcome or benefits. This unfortunately is true regardless if those comfort things are good or bad. Getting fit and overcoming a weight control problem requires us to get outside of our comfort zone in the most part if we expect to make progress.
If we do not challenge a muscle it will not improve in density, ability to contract and increase its resting metabolic rate. If we do not do some form of interval work in our cardio exercise we will not increase our lung capacity, increase our speed and our endurance. Doing umpteen repetitions of a movement with mini weights satisfies us by allowing us to claim how much time we spent doing a workout. Trudging along on a treadmill or elliptical watching TV, reading or talking on the phone for long periods only allows us to make the same type of claim. This leads us to the second misleading part of the statement, that burning calories is the key to either getting fit or controlling our weight. Since there is not accurate way to measure this of what value is having a number to record?
There is a minor truth in the statement regarding getting fit and controlling our weight and that is that we should select the challenging form of exercise which resonates with us as individuals. In the area of strength training we can select from bodyweight work, resistance bands, free weights, kettlebells or even machines in the gym, For cardio anything we can do which lends itself to some form of interval training provides us with options. Anything from walking , to running, to cycling or jumping rope will provide the challenge.
If we apply the statement to active recreation the statement is true, we will engage more in those things we enjoy, be it basketball, cycling, golf or simply taking a walk. Being fit and in control of our weight allows us to enjoy those things more and we will engage in them more often.
ï¿½Who dares winsï¿½ is the motto of the British Special Air Service, the SAS, it is also key to getting fit and controlling our weight. We have to dare to get outside of our comfort zone, to challenge ourselves to become more than we are.
The truth is to dare.