I’d like to recommend an excellent book about habits: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin.
It’s a highly readable book chronicling the author’s exploration as to why habits are useful, how to create habits, how we sabotage our efforts, and how the strategies differ for different personality types.
There’s nothing ground-breaking here, but it’s an excellent summary of research you may have read previously, presented all in one place, in an easy-to-read style. You will doubtless pick up a tip or two that you hadn't considered---and wonder how you could have overlooked such a simple technique.
The book's content applies to all habits: cleaning your office, managing your work day, eating, and, of course, exercise.
My only caveat: the author is a no-carbs fanatic. She doesn’t discriminate between simple ("bad") carbs, like cookies and complex ("good") carbs, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So ignore that part and enjoy the rest.
3500 kcal = 1 lb ???
I was taught this formula at many workshops and in numerous publications. You probably have seen it, too.
For nearly 60 years, we were taught, through more than 35,000 textbooks, that to lose a pound of fat you needed to create a deficit of 3500 calories, through a combination of diet and exercise.
The diet and exercise part is still true, and it's still mostly diet that affects weight loss or gain. But that "magic" number of 3500 calories? No, it's not that straightforward. The number of calories in a pound of adipose tissue can range from 4000-9000 calories, depending on the contents (fat, cholesterol, triglicerides, water, and some other stuff) in a person's adipose tissue.
How did the number come about? An oversimplification of the science. If you want to read the geeky details, ask in the comments section and I'll provide references.
If you've been following the 3500-calorie rule and it hasn't worked for you, it's not your fault! You may need to take in fewer (and/or burn more) calories than 3500 to lose a pound.
So, how do you reach a healthy weight?
Use these tools:
Hint: The supertracker works better on desktop or laptop computers than on mobile devices, including tablets.
"People are not fat because they exercise too little. They are fat because they eat too much."
World Health Organization, 2012.
These reasons are all supported by research.
5. Better job performance
4. Workplace happiness
3. More brain power
2. Creative stimulation
1. Better paycheck: studies show those who exercise regularly earn 6-10% more and those who exercise the most, earn the most
Physical activity, such as a brisk walk, reduces mortality.
Here are some stats on lifespan and exercise:
Having a normal weight but being inactive: -3.1 years.
Having a normal weight and being active: +7.2 years.
Walking at least 150 minutes a week: +3.4-4.5 years.
Even low amounts of activity, such as 75 minutes of walking a week, adds 1.8 years.
Bottom line: maintaining a normal weight and being active adds the most years to your life, but even some activity is better than none.
Ever wonder how the dumbbell got its name? I'm going to tell you anyway.
The dumbbell was at first an apparatus for swinging a church bell. Since it rang the bell, but wasn’t the bell itself, it was noiseless or dumb. Moving the dumbbell was hard physical work, and it took practice to develop the strength and skill to ring the heavy church bell. So bars made of metal or wood with a rounded knob at each end were swung as practice for ringing church bells. Later, dumbbells were used for general exercise.
You don't have to be a dumbbell to use a dumbbell.
February is designated by the American Heart Association as heart month.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, but is highly preventable.
You can help prevent heart disease with 4 ongoing actions:
A personal trainer can help with all these, starting with exercise. Exercise helps with maintaining a healthy weight and lowering blood pressure.
Some people pride themselves on doing their pushups and crunches every day. Bad idea.
You don’t get strong during your workout. You get strong during the recovery period afterwards. Without rest, your body cannot recover, so without rest you don’t get stronger.
One sign of overtraining is lack of progress. The more you do, the worse your results. This is your body’s way of saying take a rest.
You should not do strength training on the same muscle group on consecutive days. Depending on the intensity of your workouts and your own body, you might need 2 or 3 days of rest.
You should also take a day off from cardio. Spend one day a week resting your body. And it will get stronger as a result.
If you’re like most people, you’ve made a resolution to exercise more in the new year.
By next week, you’ll be struggling to keep this resolution.
How you can stay motivated:
Happy New Year!
Many people make resolutions that they will get fit but then don’t stick with those resolutions.
"Getting fit" or "losing weight" are not resolutions; they are wishes. You can’t wish yourself thin or strong any more than you can wish yourself wealthy or tall.
A good resolution is a change in behavior that you can control, such as these:
Happy New Year! And good luck making and keeping your resolutions.
Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor since 1998.