That’s right put in werk, move your bum, go wizzerk,
Eat your salad, no dessert, get that man you deserve.
Well, despite what judgement I may have cast here, I know a lot of people really are interested in getting into shape for summer. The weather is nice, and people are out running, biking, hiking, climbing, and all that good stuff. So I have decided to do a little segment highlighting physical activity, weight loss, and sports nutrition! Hurray! Everyone’s favorite topic! I am mostly excited to include lyrics from The Black Eyed Peas, Pink, and the Ying Yang twins that are relevant and inspirational.
Today I thought I would start out by discussing fitness and it’s health implications. As we all know a calorie is a form or expression of energy. We need to consume calories daily to maintain a balance for the calories our bodies expend each day. Our bodies expend calories in 3 areas: basal metabolism, thermic effect of food, and physical activity.
Here is a helpful pie chart to help you understand what percent of energy is used where. Basal metabolism or resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy our body needs to function. Ya know, like to allow your heart to beat, kidneys to flush, lungs to expand, liver to detox, and eyelids to blink. Typically this takes about 800-1200 calories. Thermic effect of food is the amount of calories needed to digest and break down your meals. Did you know you technically burn calories (aka use energy) to digest what you eat? Nifty! And then there is physical activity, no brainer here, you burn calories when you work out. So can you guess which area is variable? If you guessed physical activity you are correct and please message me your address to redeem your prize! This folks, is why physical activity is important when it comes to weight maintenance. If you are in the market to loose weight, or eat more delicious foods because you love it and don’t want to gain weight, then learn to expend more calories through physical activity!
Some other benefits of physical activity include:
- More restful sleep. I think more than half of people have sleep problems, so check you PA levels! (physical activity)
- Nutritional health. Obviously
- Optimal bone density and body composition
- Resistance to colds and infectious diseases
- Strong circulation and lung function
- Lower risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers
- Lower incidence and severity of depression and anxiety
- Stronger self-image
- A longer quality life!
And if that list isn’t convincing enough, do it for the endorphins. Hormones are the real drugs, let’s get high on life! But seriously, it’s amazing how many people recognize that a good work out is the cure for unhappiness, stress, and anxiety, every single time.
Please visit my favorite website that I have linked to at least 3 times on this blog : choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity to learn more and find out different types of activities from moderate to heavy. The old MyPyramid program also gave these great tips to help you achieve fitness:
EVERY DAY – Be as active as possible
- Use the stairs
- Mow grass, rake leaves, garden, shovel snow
- Walk or bike to class, work, or shops
- Scrub floors, wash windows (yeah guys, you really should be doing this everyday..)
- Walk your dog, cat, rabbit, or snake
- Wash and wax your car (again, this should be a daily routine anyway)
- Play with children
4-6 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in moderate activity
- Aerobic actives such as: running, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, dancing, power walking, jump roping, roller-blading, rowing, curling, rigorous canoeing, fencing, Insanity©
- Sports activities such as: soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, football, racquetball, softball, etc.
2-3 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in strength and flexibility activities
- Sit-ups, push-ups, curl-ups, pull-ups
- Weight lifting
- Stretching and yoga
- Leisure activities such as golfing, bowling, table tennis, horseback riding, dancing in your bedroom, and leisure canoeing
DO SELDOM- Limit sedentary activities
- Watch TV or movies
- Leisure computer time
- (Reading was not on this list, so I guess do that as often as you want…)
Good luck getting started on your fitness ventures! Consider making a SMART goal for yourself and check back often for more sports nutrition tips!