People often ask me about skipping meals as a way to lose weight and, more specifically, to lose body fat. Many people feel that they can skip a meal without even missing it. Skipping meals is a big “no-no” and here’s why:
Skipping meals actually does just the opposite of your goal and makes it harder to lose weight. Skipping meals lowers your resting metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories at rest), lowers your energy level (no fuel to burn), and makes your body think it is in a state of starvation (therefore “rationing” the fat on your body). Skipping meals also creates cravings, throws off your hormone levels, and alters the chemicals in your brain. Rather than skipping meals to lose weight, use healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, to fill in the time between meals to boost your energy levels and your body’s metabolism.
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Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. It works all of the large muscle groups in your body and is especially ideal for people who have joint problems, problems with overheating, or are too obese for weight bearing exercise yet. Make sure that you are a proficient enough swimmer to get your heart rate into its target range and swim continuously for at least 20 – 30 minutes. Some people may need stroke instruction before being able to use swimming as a fitness activity. Check with your local recreation department or a private swim club for adult lessons. Many areas have masters programs for adult swimmers that can provide stroke instruction as well as group workouts. Remember to always put safety first and never swim alone.
I often see people in the gym slinging heavy weights around very quickly without regard to form or effectiveness. When concern for, “How much do you lift?” becomes an important factor (males of a certain age are often guilty of this), then often times form goes out the window in favor of the “how much” bragging rights.
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It is an absolute fact that exercise can lower your risk of adult-onset diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes) tremendously. Study after study has shown this to be true. In one study of 41,000 women, it was found that moderate exercise (walking, biking, etc.), done four times per week, cuts the risk of diabetes in half as we get older. This is a very exciting finding! It was also found that 8% of diabetes found in inactive adults may have been prevented with moderate exercise. Although there are genetic factors involved in acquiring adult-onset diabetes, the biggest culprits in the development of the disease are inactivity and excess body fat. This research shows yet another debilitating disease that can potentially be avoided through moderate exercise.
I frequently hear questions about “spot reduction” and “love handles” are a common place where people would like to reduce their body fat.
Also common are the myths many people believe about losing body fat, especially when it comes to losing body fat off of specific areas.
You cannot “spot-reduce” any area of your body. To lose body fat off of this area (your “love handles”) you must lose body fat. Period. The areas where fat is deposited are genetically predetermined. Some people are predisposed to depositing excess fat on the buttocks and legs, some in the abdominal area, some on the sides, etc.
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Want to sleep better? Who doesn’t? It’s funny how our ancestors never had trouble sleeping. People used to walk places, work in the fields, do manual labor… Now we have machines to do all that and save us time, yet many people still say they don’t have time to exercise.
Research shows that even small increases in exercise, like a daily half-hour walk, can improve your sleep and your health. The one caveat to this is that you should not exercise close to your bed time. That will actually make it difficult to wind down and to fall asleep.
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So many people want to work out or get some exercise, but always find a reason not to because something else always comes up – I have a meeting, the kids’ soccer practices, work responsibilities, etc. Everyone is busy… So how do some people make it work? In my many years in the fitness industry I have found a way that works for everyone. Here’s how –
Continue reading “Your Workout Appointment: How to Never Miss Your Workout Again” »