A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Shake Your Booty!
Did you know that new research indicates that in order to stay slim and fit and keep your heart healthy you need to be exercising not a half hour to an hour per day but at least 60 to 90 minutes a day? The beauty of gym equipment is that most monitor your speed and calorie consumption. Using a pedometer to count steps is a good alternative for those who prefer other activities outside the realm of a fitness facility.
One of the best ways to crank up your metabolism is through interval cardio training. This can be as simple as mixing up a routine - using an elliptical trainer for 20 minutes, changing to a bike for another 20 and finishing on a treadmill for the remaining 20 minutes. Another option is using a hydraulic circuit where you alternate simple cardio to various machines that work different parts of the body which gives the variety your body needs to stay in fat burning mode. Of course the absolute best cardio exercise is the one you will actually stick with day in and day out. Sorry, walking is not enough - unless you are speed walking.
Monitoring your progress is important. In the first month it is far more important to lose inches than weight. Often you are maintaining weight or even gaining because muscle weighs more than fat and the first month is spent gaining muscle mass. So measuring once every two weeks or once a month is important so that you are sure you are on the right track.
Did you know that there are 3500 calories in one pound of body fat? Creating a deficit of 500 calories per day for a total of 3500 calories per week is a reasonable goal. Rather than starving the body with stringent dieting, adding a cardio routine that burns 500 calories is a healthier approach - not to mention how great it is for your overall health. It is a fact that regular daily exercise promotes more energy, healthy weight, better balance and coordination and yes, even a better sex life! Exercise is known to be partially responsible in the prevention of many chronic diseases such as certain cancers, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, etc. and certainly will provide an all around better quality of life.
The average person burns about 350-400 calories using a piece of cardio equipment for 30 minutes. Are you aware that a piece of fresh apple pie is around 400 calories and that a serving of spaghetti and meat balls with garlic bread can be as high as 950 calories! Think carefully when making food choices knowing how hard you have to work to counteract these calories when sweating at the gym. And speaking of the gym, if we haven’t seen you there lately, give yourself the gift of good health and come on back - ya hear?
(Judit Rajhathy is the author of the Canadian best seller Free to Fly: a journey toward wellness and the owner of Change of Pace Fitness Center, Ajijic - 766-5800.)