I’ve lost a lot of weight. People notice and compliment me on how good I look.
I feel like I look better than I have in over twenty years, but there is so much more to fitness than just losing weight and looking good.
It’s about health. And health is something you can’t always measure by looks or a number on the scale.
Oh sure, it’s been exciting to watch the numbers drop on the scale and the clothes sizes I buy. It’s nice to be complimented and feel more confident about how I look. But… feeling healthy, physically fit and free from my destructive eating patters is better than all the compliments and any new clothes I can buy.
Most everyone can tell you that a combination of good nutrition and exercise is the way to getting fit. Both are essential and they each played a huge role in my weight loss. Today I want to focus on the importance of physical activity.
The US surgeon general recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate/intense exercise every day. We should be clocking a minimum of 10,0o0 steps every day. Studies show that most Americans don’t even come close to half of that.
The Cooper Institute did a study were they calculated the daily steps of men and women in an Amish community (The Amish don’t use any of the modern conveniences we use today) The study showed that the average steps per day for men – 18,425. And the average steps per day for women – 14,196.
I am not suggesting that we should get rid of all of our modern conveniences. I enjoy them way too much! But, if we aren’t going to get our physical activity in the old fashion way, we need to find ways to put exercise into our lifestyle.
Other studies show that people who are not physically active are just as likely to die an early death of cardiovascular disease as a person who smokes. That’s right, this study shows that a sedentary lifestyle is just as unhealthy for your heart as smoking is. Additionally, being moderately/highly active can add 6 -9 years to your life. These facts hit home in a very personal way for me recently. My mom was only 65 years old when she died of a heart attack last month. She was at work on Monday and on Tuesday morning she was rushed to the ER and emergency heart surgery. She died only a few hours after the surgery. Heart disease is life threatening and very serious. A regular physical fitness routine can reduce the risk of heart disease dramatically.
Resting metabolism is the energy your body needs just to maintain life; heart beating, lungs breathing, stabilizing body temperature ect… Your resting metabolism counts for 40% of the total calories your burn per day. Digestion counts for 10%. The other 50% of calories burned everyday depends completely on us and how active we choose to be.
Here’s some of the ways I burned the other 50% this week…
Monday- 2 hours: Boot camp style interval training and cardio (elliptical and bike)
Tuesday – 1 hour: Treadmill workout and some strength floor exercises. (plank, ect..)
Wednesday – 1 1/2 hour: Boot camp style interval training and cardio (elliptical)
Thursday – 2 hours: Kick boxing and spin class
Friday – will be another Boot camp style interval training and cardio
We are all at different places with our physical fitness, whether we are a couch potato or a jock – it’s always good to be reminded of how very important our fitness is and then, challenge ourselves to step it up, even if it’s just a little.
Do you have fitness plans for the other 50% of calories that need to be burned in your day?