Thursday, April 29, 2010

30 Day Fitness Experiment (health and fitness)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: 30 Day Fitness Experiment


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Creating a new, healthy habit can take around 30 days.
Step 1: Decide on 1 or 2 small changes.
Step 2: Implement those changes for 30 days.
Step 3: Repeat

MY REVIEW: Losing weight is simultaneously very easy and very difficult. It's very easy because there is absolutely no mystery about it. Burn more calories than you consume, and you lose weight. It's very difficult because way too many people eat more calories than they consume...because they find it difficult to control their appetite.

Learn how to control your appetite... problem solved. (And I'm not talking about anorexics - they dont' control their appetites, they starve themselves to death!)

I have long been interested in helping people lose weight - and what is even more difficult.... keep that weight off once they lose it, and as a result I am infuriated more often than not when I read today's headlines about the "obesity epidemic" and how kids are fatter than ever, ya da ya da. Dangerous propaganda! may be obese.... you know which ones (if any)? The boys! Girls aren't obese, 4 out of 5 of em go on diets by the time they are 10 and never get off. It's the eatiing disorder epidemic they have to worry about, and that's going to skyrocket now that the government is mandating what schools have to do to make sure their little charges don't eat fattening foods, and get their 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Then there's the mass media. The makeup commercials which tell girls they have to hide those "flaws" in their skin, the weight loss commercials that promise great things (and in teeny tiny print at the bottom say, Results not typical), the movies that have pot-bellied, coarse young men scoring at will with beautiful, slender young things (but never plain girls with handsome guys. Never that.)

So, now we come to 30-Day Fitness Experiment. (Sorry for the rant. I just do rant a lot when the subject of weight loss comes up...) This author, Sarita Johnson, appears to be on the right track. Eat healthy foods, don't starve yourself, and exercise.

Sample post:
Six Ways to Measure Your Progress Without a Bathroom Scale

I gained .5 pounds this week. Yep, I’m half a pound heavier. Documenting this (and not feeling sad about it) got me thinking about metrics: what is the best way to measure progress?

That depends partly on what your goals are. If you’re in a body building program, you probably expect to gain weight.

In this project, I’ve stated my starting weight and measurements. I’ve also stated my basic, loose goal: Lose 100 pounds. Here’s how I got that number: I did not enter my height, sex, and age into an “ideal body weight” chart. I did not wake up one day and shriek: “Oh no, I’m fat! I’d better lose 100 pounds!” I did not research a celebrity, find out her weight, and make that my goal.

What I did was this: I thought back to the time in my life when I was most fit. I tried to remember what my lifestyle was. I’ve never gone on a diet or been involved in a sport, so what I came up with was this: I was physically active, I avoided fast food and junk food, and I ate lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The physical activity I participated in so regularly was using my two legs to get me places. That’s it. At that time, I weighed about 100 pounds less than I did at the beginning of this project.

That’s why I’m using 100 pounds as a basic gauge. If, however, I find myself physically fit and active but over 120 pounds, I am not going to take extreme measures to get myself to weigh less. See, the pounds in themselves are not the measure of my progress.

Six Ways to Measure Fitness and Weight Loss Without a Bathroom Scale:
Waist to Hip Ratio: This is a measurement of the distribution of your body fat. People with a lot of abdominal fat are at higher risk for heart disease and other maladies. How to do it: Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. For women, the number should be 0.8 or lower. For men, 1.0 or lower.

Vital Signs: Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels speak volumes about your health, including your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Resting Heart Rate: The fitter you are, the more efficient your heart becomes. To calculate your resting heart rate (RHR), count your pulse for one minute, before getting out of bed in the morning. Take an average over three days. The normal range is between 60-80 beats per minute, but the average rate steadily declines among people who are more physically active.

Endurance: The more you exercise, the easier it becomes. Find a way to log your mileage if you walk or bike. Compare what you can do at the beginning of the month with what you can do at the end of the month.

Body Composition: Your body composition can be measured by a doctor, or at a gym or university. There are several methods of testing. What it tells you: A body composition test tells you what percentage of your body is composed of fat. 32% is considered obese for women; 26% is considered obese for men.

Clothing Size: The good ol’ dress size test. If you can fit into clothes you couldn’t before, you’ve improved your body. You don’t need a bathroom scale to tell you that.

--Six Ways to Measure Your Progress Without a Bathroom Scale
--Beginner’s Guide to a Car-Less Commute
--Making Physical Activity a Family Affair
--Three “Eating Away From Home” Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
--Simple Living Sunday 25 April 2010
Ms. Cairo writes two blogs of her own:
Winged Victory: Women in Aviation
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters