Tag Archives: fitness

What about setting fitness goals?


When you really think about it, getting ready to start an exercise program should be like starting up any serious change in your life.  If you were starting a new business, you would set goals and if you were starting a project around the house, you would set goals.  Sometimes they would be formal and written down, other times they would just be a thought process you went through in your mind.  Either way, it should be done when beginning an exercise regimen. 

Goal setting 101 teaches us to think in terms of short term goals and long term goals, and they are both important to keeping an exercise regimen going. 

First, in the short term, you could say in 30 days, I’m going to be down five pounds or my waistband will be much loser than it is today.   You need to set either a date or state the number of days, weeks or months specifically.  This way you have your ‘check in’ points along the way.  Also, you want to be more specific than saying ‘lose weight’.  You want to state the number of pounds, or a marker such as your waistband tightness.  You don’t need to think in terms of weight loss only.  You could say, since I can use the five pound dumb bells today, in 30 days I want to be strong enough to use eight pound dumb bells.

Now, once your time frame and specific goal is set, it’s time to put a plan in place on achieving that goal.  So if your plan is to lose five pounds, it’s time to set parameters on your eating habits, as well institute an aerobic routine with some resistance training for toning too.  If your goal is to increase to eight pounds dumb bells, it’s time to institute a plan for getting stronger through resistance training.

Now, at the first check point, whether it  be 30 days, or some other time frame, you take a look to see if you’ve achieved your short term goal.  If yes, it’s time to set the next goal, if no, then go back to your plan and find out why it failed.  Was it the plan or was it you not following the plan?

Second, you need to add in a long term goal.  Now thinking in terms of months and years – what do you want to be doing, or what do you want to be wearing?   This could be a wedding date, a vacation date or just that you want to be in shape to keep up with your grandchildren. 

With having that long term goal in mind, you are able to continue to set short term goals to reach it. 

Can you do this on your own?  Do you need help?  Remember I’m here to help you.


Burn Those Calories

I recently read a study which determined that just tapping your foot while sitting will burn more calories than just sitting.  In fact, a completely sedentary person burns between 800 and 1,500 calories per day, creating the energy for the daily functions of all the cells in the body. This is called our basal metabolic rate, or BMR.  Researchers also found that exercise burns calories not just while you are doing the workout, but also in the hours following the exercise.  You use energy and burn calories to bring your body back to its normal resting state.  

So that’s the good news, you burn calories when you’re not exercising and you burn calories after your exercise session is over, but, you burn the most calories while you are actually exercising. 

Researchers found that the two most important contributors to burning calories during exercise are the contracting muscles and the increased work of the heart and lungs. The frequency and power of muscle contractions are by far the major factors in determining the number of calories burned during exercise.  Faster heart rate and breathing also burn calories, but not nearly as much as movement of legs, arms, abdominal and back muscles.  In fact, moving the biggest muscles in your body – your back, legs and abs – burn the most calories.

Over time, your metabolism changes as you convert your flabby muscles into firmer and leaner muscle mass.   The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate, the higher your BMR the more calories you burn even when you’re NOT working out.

It takes resistance or strength training to get this calorie burning benefit from exercise.  However, cardio exercise will not only burn calories it will strengthen your heart muscle, the best way to avoid a heart attack.  A good exercise regimen includes both resistance training and cardio training.
You can determine how many calories you should take in on a daily basis with the following formula:

 Activity Level                           Calories per Pound 
Very light (sedentary)                14

Light (if you walk)                     15 – 17

Moderate (if you jog)                17 – 19

Heavy (if you’re a gym rat)       20 – 23
Use your “ideal” body weight, the weight you want to be, not the weight you are.

120lb X 18 (Moderate) = 2160 calories per day are needed to maintain 120 pounds of body weight daily
But choose those 2000+ calories wisely – keep this in mind:

Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram

Protein = 4 calories per gram

Fat = 9 calories per gram