Category: Fitness

Crush Your Weight Loss Goals!

 

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Set Your Goals

Before we can begin to pursue a goal, it’s necessary to determine what those goals are. So often, people live for years just wanting to lose weight. They may have an unrealistic goal in mind. It could be to wear clothes that they wore when they were in high school or to be a size that is absurd for their frame. In recent years the Size 0 got to be a fad. In real life, there are very few people who actually should be a Size 0. A few years later the “thigh gap” craze began. With rare exception, no woman at a healthy weight should have a gap at her upper thighs. When we are setting goals it’s imperative that we are realistic. This does not mean to settle for less than your best body.

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It means to set the goal of making YOUR body the very best that it can be with the genetics that you have. All body types can be healthy and good-looking. Just because you find a picture that you like on Instagram that does not mean that is the best look for you. I am in pursuit of an athletic V-taper. Being a natural hourglass, I must accept the fact that my V-taper will be modified by curves. To try to change the very foundation of who I am is both absurd and pointless. It would lead to a life of endless, futile struggling and low self-esteem. I quit indulging in low self-esteem years ago

While I work long and hard at the iron, and other exercise, and stay within my caloric allowance every day, I am not in a struggle of futility. I have accepted my hourglass shape with appreciation that I can be both athletic and curvy at the same time. There are good points about every body type. Learn to enhance the body that you were given. Don’t ever fall into the thinking that one type is “better” than another. Unless you are a bodybuilding competitor, where a specific shape is the standard, that’s nonsense.

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Do Your Weight Loss Research

Weight loss is simple. Eat less than you burn. It’s staggering when you consider the simplicity of the science involved and then note that there are infinite entities to help you do that. If a plan or program costs money other than the basic cost of whole, healthy food and a pair of good walking shoes, it’s possibly a money making plan. It may not be a weight loss plan. I know of such a company whose primary objective is merely to keep people coming back. That’s where they make their money, repeat business. If that is the business plan, then you may not lose weight and keep it off.

Another tactic is the prepackaged food programs. While we all might buy convenience foods from time to time, a steady stream of prepackaged foods is neither healthy or practical. Sooner or later you will tire of the salt and preservatives and stale, artificial quality of these meals and binge on food that tastes good. The feeling of shame and failure that accompanies “getting off of your diet” will most likely cause a downward spiral that will end in excess pounds. You very well may even gain more weight than you lost. In that case, the money that you lost will be part of the tragedy.

Fad Diets for Weight Loss

There are many fad diets that come and go. Many people think that keto is a new thing. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination! When I was 13 years old, my mother put me on what she called a “Low Carbohydrate Diet”. The idea was to eat as few carbs as possible. Believe me, I ate very few. I was also limited in calories, much unlike the keto of today. I averaged about 20-30 grams of carbs a day and about 1000 calories.

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Twilight Zone

By the third day, my ears were ringing and I could barely hear. Maybe I could hear but it didn’t seem like I could. Nothing made any sense. I had NO energy and could barely study. Since I was in the 8th grade and expected to make good grades, that was a horrible experience. There’s the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Air Force Diet and on and on… While you will lose weight on all of these diets, I can assure you, you won’t keep it off.

At David’s Way we merely supply you with the knowledge that you need to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off. We charge nothing. There is no hidden cost. We encourage you to be the best YOU that you can be. Part of our methodology is to have a complete, fulfilling, healthy life all around. In the hectic, sometimes scary world that we live in, having a strong, healthy body, and a life that we have created with forethought, is an island of calm.

Commit To Weight Loss

So many times people misunderstand what a commitment is. It is a binding, such as in a contractual relationship. It is something that you agree to do, without waver. Oftentimes, at the commitment stage of a positive life change, the change is treated more like a suggestion. If we view weight loss merely as a suggestion or a good idea, when it seems tough, we will forget all about it. If we have determined in our heart that we will do this thing, there is no room for quibbling. Once a true commitment is made, we will find a way to execute our plan. At this stage, our motive is the most important element of implementing our plan. When it comes to weight loss, good health and mobility and being able to care for ourselves should be a strong motivation. Living independently in good health is it’s own reward.

Establish a Schedule

Goals are more easily realized when we work towards them on a regular schedule. Since I am a strength trainer, this is front and center for me. When we are building strength, programming is critical. I have to have a regular workout schedule. If I work out randomly, whenever I “feel like it”, I would never progress. Have a regular time for your meals as much as possible. Decide how many days you are going to work out and do it. Don’t look for excuses to deviate. Remember your reasons to commit. It’s okay to change the workout days within the week but make sure to exercise the number of times that you have committed to do.

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Make Your World Small

Remove hindrances to your program, whether they are people who try to undermine you, or clutter in your workout room. Get what you need to be healthy. It may be good, healthy food or shoes. Whatever it is, get it. Don’t over buy thinking that if you spend enough money, that will do the trick. It won’t. You have to use what you buy in accordance with your programming. The $2000.00 treadmill that turns into a clothes rack won’t help you at all. A $40 pair of athletic shoes that you use on the walking track will work much better!

Check-Points

There is probably nothing more important to an ongoing healthy lifestyle than periodic evaluation. I weigh, measure and compare pictures from different times to assess my progress. I have found out that I need to do that at least every three months. As I begin bodybuilding as opposed to power lifting, I will be doing that monthly. When we are committed to a lifetime of healthy choices, occasional assessment helps us to make minor or major changes when we see trends either positive or negative. Without reassessment, we can get way off track before we realize that we have a problem. If we see that a change we made at our last assessment has had positive effects, we will know to keep it up.

Never underestimate what you are capable of doing. Achievement is possible only if you first believe that you can do it. Plan your work and work your plan. You are more than capable of crushing your weight loss goals.

Commit To Lose the Weight This Time

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Understanding Hydration

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Spring has now arrived and many of us physical fitness buffs will be taking our activities outside where we can enjoy nature as we go at our favorite outside recreational activities. Some will go for walks, while a good many of us will go at our activity vigorously enough to raise a sweat along with our heart rates. While it is my personal opinion that outside exercise is great for everyone, we have to be quite vigilant about our level of hydration as dehydration can not only hurt us, it can kill us. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

Hydration might seem a boring topic, yet it is an important one as there are people who really do not understand the implications of both dehydration, nor the ill effects of over hydrating. It was through my following of Weight Watchers social media Connect where I really became aware of some of the crazy ideas which proliferate the internet, ideas which range from being mildly ill informed to down right dangerous. The mildly ill informed crowd would be the folks who make it a point to drink one to two gallons of water per day with no solid scientific evidence to back up their reasoning, it was just something they read on the internet they should do in order to lose weight easier. For most people, the worst aspect of this would be never being able to get too far away from a bathroom during the day as they will be urinating on a frequent basis. When this practice becomes harmful is if the individual drinks enough to suffer a condition called hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Water intoxication is a result of drinking an extreme amount of water in a short time which will cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. This situation is serious and can be fatal.

 A downright dangerous idea I saw perpetuated on Connect was by a very popular male “Connector” who appears to have little else to do with his day than to flex his muscles for selfie pictures which he constantly posts every day. Many people who are struggling with weight loss and are new to physical fitness hang on every word this gentleman writes on his page. This fellow who is a huge influence to a great many people once wrote about how he likes to workout while dehydrated. This is an old body builder trick for just before competition in order to make their muscles appear more “cut”, or to have a clear separation between each muscle group. While this ignorant practice might be good for him, it is beyond the pale, that he would put this word out to people who for the most part do not know better than to workout while dehydrated. I called him out on this and was blocked not long afterwards. I sure hope this individual never put out dangerous word like that ever again.

Friends, before I get further into dehydration, refer to the chart below and remember this as a rule of thumb in regards to hydration; there is no magic amount of water you need to drink each day for your health. The amount you need is going to be unique to each individual based on not only how much water is consumed, but how much water is taken in through other sources of liquid, including food. Look at the simple chart below and use that as a hydration guide. By the color of your urine, you can know if you are taking in too little or too much water. Note, the upper color is a light straw and does not represent entirely clear, like water, urine. If your urine can pass for drinking water, you have likely depleted a good amount of your body’s electrolytes and you will need to replenish them before partaking in vigorous exercise.

To get more into science of this topic, did you know that the human body is made up of about 60% water?

Adequate hydration for healthy digestion of our foods, proper breathing, and just about every basic function. When you are not taking in enough water, dehydration will happen which can lead into less than favorable side effects. Unfortunately, more than 70% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration according to doctors (1). And because it can come in the form of several different symptoms, many people fail to notice that they are dehydrated.

What is dehydration?

Your body requires adequate water intake for every function it performs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, severe, or chronic depending on how much fluid your body is missing.

  • Dehydration is your body’s negative reaction to having a water deficiency.
  • Chronic dehydration is a condition where dehydration lasts for longer periods of time.

Again, without sufficient hydration, your body cannot perform its basic functions properly. No matter your age, dehydration can occur for several reasons. Babies and elderly people are more prone to fluid deficiencies than adolescents and adults.

Young children are most likely to experience diarrhea and vomiting which purges both electrolytes and water, which increase the chances of dehydration. Babies also do not have fully developed kidneys. This means they will retain less water than they store in their tiny little bodies.

Older adults naturally have less water in their bodies and often times will not realize they are thirsty until dehydration has already set in. Additionally, elderly people are more susceptible to dehydration if they take certain medications like diuretics.

Causes of dehydration

The causes of dehydration can vary per individual depending on certain lifestyles, genetic and environmental factors. Most people are prone to dehydration under specific circumstances such as exercising frequently, illness and exposure to heat.

Your body loses water every day just through breathing, sweating, going to the bathroom and through saliva. If you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you are excreting additional fluids that can worsen dehydration. People who are active, exercise frequently, and sweat a lot also have an increased risk of fluid deficiencies.

In addition, some digestive tract issues can make you more prone to diarrhea which is linked to dehydration. Some of these conditions include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gluten sensitivity

Always, make it a habit to increase your water intake when you are releasing more water than you normally would.

Signs you are dehydrated:

  • Not urinating enough, or your urine is dark yellow. A simple way to determine if you are dehydrated is by checking the frequency of your bathroom trips as well as the color of your urine. If you are not urinating frequently, and when you do it is a darker color of yellow, chances are you have moderate dehydration. The darker it is, and the less frequent you do urinate, the more likely it is you are dehydrated, period. Start drinking more water as soon as you see that your pee is a darker yellow.
  • Dry skin. Research shows that your skin contains 30% water which is responsible for elasticity and plumpness. Many people who show signs of dehydrating may sometimes appear sweaty but as you go through the stages of dehydration, from mild to severe, your skin will become drier. Your skin may also appear red and flushed if you are dehydrated. Applying moisturizing lotion can alleviate some skin problems externally, but drinking more water will help your internal bodily functions to maintain healthy, supple skin.
  • Bad breath comes from dehydration when you are prevented from creating enough saliva. And since saliva has antibacterial properties, the lack of production can cause bacteria growth in your mouth that can lead to bad breath. If you have “zoo breath” reaching for a glass of water may be more effective than a piece of gum.
  • Experiencing muscle cramps! Refer back to the idiot telling people he likes to be dehydrated when working out, and the harm this can cause people. Exercising frequently, or working in hot weather can make you dehydrated and cause muscle cramps. As your muscles work harder, they will stop functioning properly, especially in a hot environment. Excessive sweating from exercise or heat worsens dehydration and also causes you to excrete vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, consider bringing a sugar free electrolyte drink as well as a water bottle and sipping on both throughout your day.
  • Fever like symptoms, having the chills and other flu like symptoms is commonly associated with infection. But dehydration is another culprit to having fever. When your body does not have adequate fluid levels, it becomes difficult for your body to maintain a stable body temperature which can lead to hyperthermia and fever symptoms. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, immediately stop all physical activity you are doing and drink more fluids as well as electrolytes while you rest.
  • Not consuming enough water may result in fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Your brain is composed of more than 70% water so it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal brain and body functioning. Severe dehydration can come in the form of confusion and feeling like you may pass out any second. If this occurs, take a seat, slowly drink water and give your body a rest before attempting any physical activity. Ensure you consume a source of essential vitamins and minerals from water filled fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, apples and watermelon.
  • Craving sweets and sugary treats. When you are dehydrated, it is difficult for your body to release glycogen (which uses water) as your main source of energy. If you are experiencing sudden hunger cravings for something sweet or salty, there is a good chance that dehydration is making it difficult for your body to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as a fuel source. Instead of giving into this craving, drink a glass of water or two.

How to avoid dehydration and rejuvenate your body.

Here are some tips for bouncing back from dehydration and restoring your body’s proper fluid levels. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

  • Keep a water bottle next to you at al times. If water is constantly in front of you and readily accessible, you will most likely get in the habit of sipping throughout the day without even noticing.
  • Add flavoring to your water if you do not like the blandness of water. Consider getting a zero calorie sweetener to satisfy your thirst and taste buds.
  • Eat more vegetables. Aim for large servings of vegetables in each one of your meals. Some fruits and vegetables are made up of 90% water such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini and lettuce.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Both increase the frequency of your bathroom trips, resulting in a higher chance of dehydration.
  • Drink unsweetened tea. If you like tea, a few cups a day can help you reach proper fluid levels while benefiting from antioxidants. Avoid sweetened tea as the added sugar can worsen dehydration.
  • Workout less during extreme heat. It is hard enough to maintain proper hydration when you are working out in an air conditioned gym. If you are experiencing chronic dehydration, consider less intense exercises while it is hot out.
  • Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning. When you are asleep, your body is still excreting fluids. More often than not, you are slightly dehydrated after a full nights rest. Drinking at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up is a great way to restore proper fluid levels.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise. Whether you are a beginner, or advanced in fitness, water intake should be one of your top priorities. We encourage drinking at least a glass of water three hours before exercise, sip on a bottle of water during your workout, and immediately after you finish.

Staying hydrated is key for optimal health and longevity.

Drinking enough water for optimum hydration can be a struggle for many people. Ranging from babies to older adults, dehydration can negatively impact your health at any age.

Putting conscious effort towards maintaining proper fluid levels will help you stay healthy and prevent dehydration from rearing it’s ugly head. If you are experiencing any of the tell tale signs mentioned above, consider adopting a few strategies above into your daily activity. Whether you are an athlete, construction worker, or live a sedentary lifestyle, drinking more water can help you improve your health and well being.

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How Much Water Do I Need?

(1) Claire Riley, AFPA Health, Nutrition & Fitness

Focus in Attaining Goals

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Upgrade

Focus makes everything easier. The rough, dangerous, annoying road to a local walking track that has been under construction, has “suddenly” been transformed into a magic carpet ride, smooth as silk.  The borders of the road are clearly defined with new paint and color.  It’s not only easy to traverse, but pleasant. This clearly defined pathway represents focus.

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Focus Changes Everything

As we navigate our lives we often lose focus on our goals.  This is the danger zone for our health initiatives.  As we become encumbered with the tasks and trials of daily existence, our lofty ideals of health and wellness can easily be pushed aside for more “necessary” tasks.  Our days become like the road under construction.  We can get through, but it’s a difficult task.  It’s frequently dangerous as we push ourselves to our limits without focus. We don’t enjoy it and the entire experience just wears us out.  How often do we skip a workout to manage the equivalent of a pothole in the road?  We tend to exhaust ourselves on distracting details.  We will arrive at our destination sooner if we keep our eyes on the goal.

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Make It Your Job with Focus!

The most important part of setting a goal is to be clear, detailed and focused. (1) Without this step, our minds wander and everything in the world distracts us from what is truly important.  Saying “I really need to do better.” will not give us the same results as “I will work out like it’s my job, every scheduled day.”   Everything in our lives should revolve around specific goals.

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Be Specific!

In my case, I lift weights four times per week.  My life revolves around that fact.  It is my job. Although I don’t get paid for working out, it is my first commitment, therefore it is my job.  My workouts get done by prioritizing them. There have been scheduling problems when I had to change which days I worked out.  I have not failed to work out the number of times scheduled since I made the decision to be specific.  It’s not always easy.  You would be stunned that I make this happen if you knew more about my life.  At first glance, it seems impossible.

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Without focus, we will fail.  It is not a question of whether we will or not. We will.  When we focus the journey is smoother.  We may go through hard times and dangerous places but focus redefines the pathway.  Suddenly, we know exactly what we have to do.  Then there are fewer distractions because the focus has expedited our journey.  Those unnecessary jolts, jars and potholes just don’t have a hold on us anymore.  We take note of them, but we are on a pre-determined path. With this path clearly in focus, our journey will deliver us to the doorstep of our ultimate goal.

10 Ways To Stay Focused During Stressful Times

Go ahead.  Set that goal and make it detailed.  Make it realistic.  Get committed to yourself. Focus on your goal and make it happen!

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¹www.pediatricservices.com/prof/prof-45.htm

Fitness Trackers, Fitbit or No Fitbit?

I get asked fairly often do I think Fitbits and other fitness trackers are worth the money. These questions come almost exclusively from folks who are new to physical fitness. Maybe they have begun a new exercise regimen. Or, they may still be in the contemplation stage, trying to gather all the information they need for success. I have mixed emotions about if I think Fitbits are worth the money for anyone and will get into that.  But first, I will address what a Fitbit is and how  they are utilized by fitness enthusiasts.

What is a Fitbit?

Fitbit is a brand name for what is essentially a glorified pedometer. You can find many of these  on the market available from different manufacturers. These devices when combined with apps work together to deliver a complete, connected and fun experience that’s available at any time. With these fitness trackers, you can track your activity, exercise, food, weight, sleep, heart rate and more for real-time information, day and night. That is pretty handy to say the least. The question is, are these devices accurate with their data? Common sense would say that accuracy is going to all depend on the quality of your tracker.

What you will find is they are usually pretty good for counting steps, but when it comes to distance, some are more accurate than others. You could believe you are walking or jogging, lets say three miles by your fitness tracker data, and then discover that you are actually only doing two and a half miles. Conversely, you could find yourself going even farther than your target of three miles.

Another issue with fitness trackers comes from tracking you caloric burn. Some are going to be fairly accurate while others are wildly off. If you are one who likes to eat extra calories based on the calories your fitness tracker said you burned, you could very easily find yourself not losing weight. In fact, if your caloric burn is not accurately reflected, you could even find yourself gaining weight if you eat the extra calories.

If you are in weight loss mode, you really need to know exactly how many calories a day you need to consume in order to lose body fat and really consider going easy on consuming more based on what you believe you may have burned extra through exercise. It is my observation that many people will underestimate the amount of calories they eat, and greatly over rate the amount of calories they believe they have burned each day.

The bottom line is, based on your gender, age, weight, and activity level, you require a certain amount of calories each day in order to maintain your weight. If you desire to lose one pound per week, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, or 3500 calories per week in order to achieve that amount of weight loss. Your fitness tracker can hurt your weight loss effort if the data it gives you is not accurate.

A lot of today’s fitness trackers will monitor your heart rate, which is good if, once again, if the data is accurate. They are usually most accurate when you are at rest, and lose accuracy once your heart rate elevates during exercise. While there may be a legitimate benefit to monitoring your heart rate with a fitness device, know that this data is not accurate enough for medical purposes.

These devices are probably good enough to inform the user of general trends in their heart rate, but it is important to have more accurate information when physicians are relying on this data to make decisions on medications or other tests and treatments. Also, where this applies to you, the end user, is if you have or had heart problems, bad data can give you a false sense of confidence in your physical capabilities. You could believe your heart is healthier than it may actually be. A released study by the American College of Cardiology showed these devices can be off by up to 34 beats per minute. All this being said, I do not believe that any of the manufactures market their products as a medical device.

The prices of fitness trackers range from as low as $25 to upwards of a couple hundred dollars. Are they worth the money? Well, that is all dependent on the quality of the device you purchase and it’s accuracy. Just my humble opinion, but if a device is not accurate, then it is not worth a penny in my book. But, you might find them to be really useful for your purposes. Their value is entirely subjective to the individual wearing it and what they hope to achieve by using the data they collect from their device. My advice to anyone considering buying a fitness tracker whom may also be tight on funds is to ask yourself a few questions;

  1. Have I been at an exercise regimen long enough to know that I am in it for the long haul and will not quit when the going gets tough?
  2. What do I hope to achieve by using a fitness tracker?
  3. How useful is the information really going to be for me? Is the data going to help me run farther and faster. Is it going to be the holy grail that gets me into good physical condition?
  4. Instead of a fitness tracker, would I be better off spending that money on a good pair of shoes? This question really is pretty important to consider as a cheap pair of shoes can derail you from your efforts before you truly even get started. If you are heavy, then a cheap pair of shoes is going to be your worse enemy as proper arch support and cushion is a prerequisite towards becoming a runner. Poor arch support can lead to Plantar Fasciitis. This condition comes from the numerous complex tissues, muscles and bones that can become damaged quite easily if your feet are not properly protected when you run. The foot has a thick, fibrous band of tissue called the fascia that reaches from the heel to the toes and provides support to the muscles and arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes overly stretched, tiny tears can occur on the surface, resulting in pain and severe discomfort. Trust me, if you do not care for your feet, that fitness tracker is not gong to do a thing for you while you are recuperating.
  5. Another issue to consider when deciding on a fitness tracker over a quality pair of shoes is a fitness tracker will no more prevent you from getting Shin Splints than it will Plantar Fasciitis. Shin Splints are also referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. The cause is stress on your shinbone and the connective tissues that attach the muscles to your bones. They get inflamed and very painful. Shin Splints can happen from flat feet, or over pronation, when the impact of a step makes your foot’s arch collapse. They can be cause by shoes that do not fit well or provide good support and by weak ankles, hips or core muscles. Another preventive measure is to ensure you warm up before and cool down after exercise. Know that your fitness tracker does nothing to help this. It will give you no warning that your legs or feet are about to be in terrible pain. You are better off in having good shoes over any fitness tracker on the market.

But, I really like to know my heart rate when running in order to get maximum fat burning benefits….

Note:

Always be sure that your doctor has cleared you before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Heart rate training can benefit almost everyone who exercises. The key is to exercise at a rate where you elevate your heart rate into the optimum training zone. You really do not need a fitness tracker. Here are seven easy steps that will help you to calculate your ideal heart rate training zone.

  1. Calculate your maximum heart rate with a simple paper and pencil calculation. Simply subtract your age from 220. This result is an age predicted maximum beats per minute. Note, this method does not take in account your fitness level or inherited genes. This can make your true maximum rate 10 to 20 beats higher or lower than the age predicted number. Your best heart rate can actually be detected by our ability to speak during a run or jog. If you can barely, or not speak, your heart rate is too high. Slow yourself down. If you can speak easy, your heart rate is too low. Step up your pace until you can have a labored conversation.
  2. Determine your resting heart rate. Take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning. Do this for several days in a row to get consistent readings.
  3. Calculate your heart rate reserve. Subtract your heart’s resting rate from your maximum rate. For example, if you are 40 years old, then subtract that number from 220, your max heart rate is 180 beats per minute. Next, subtract your resting rate or 80 as an example. Your heart rate reserve is 100 beats per minute. This heart rate reserve represents the cushion-heartbeats available for exercise.
  4. Calculate your aerobic training heart rate for fat burning. This fat burning range is between 50 and 75% of your heart rate reserve.
  5. Calculate your aerobic training heart rate for fitness. This range, required to improve aerobic endurance is higher than that needed for fat burning. It ranges between 75 and 85% of your heart rate reserve.
  6. Calculate your aerobic-anaerobic threshold heart rate range. This range represents the upper limits of aerobic exercise. Or, the point just before you push yourself into exhaustive anaerobic work. Exercising at this intensity is usually done to improve athletic performance. It is not recommended for weight loss. The range to get to this point is between 85 and 90% of your heart rate reserve. Know also that operating at this intensity level will not burn body fat. It becomes a carbohydrate (muscle-glycogen) burning exercise.
  7. Calculate your anaerobic training heart rate range. This is an all out effort and represents 90 to 100% of the cushion of your heart rate reserve. The goal here is to go as fast as you can for as long as you can. At this level you are achieving a pure anaerobic, carbohydrate burning, exhaustive, lactic acid producing exercise. This is truly no pain-no gain type training.

Whether you feel the need or not to buy a Fitbit or any other fitness tracker, do so with knowledge. Fitness trackers have their utility for a lot of people. However, do not put off beginning a new exercise program because you do not have one. If your money situation is tight, consider investing in a quality pair of shoes first. Get into a good routine for a few months to where you know if you will stick with it.  Then save your money in order to buy a quality fitness tracker at a later date. Your feet and legs will appreciate this, I guarantee.

Check out our  plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all, and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
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Easy Weight Loss

 

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Small Steps

Small steps are the pathway to big goals! Many years ago in nursing school,  I realized that I wanted to lose 80 pounds. Mind you, I didn’t need to lose that much weight but I wanted to be skinny. In contrast, I needed to lose about 50. Eighty pounds or fifty, they were both overwhelming. I decided to focus on losing 5 pounds and discovered the first tenet of easy weight loss, small steps. I knew that I could do that. The pounds began coming off easier than I ever imagined. The power of small steps had changed my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t maintain  that weight loss. I never gave up the foods that I was addicted to, specifically sugar. Since I still craved sugar and it gave me other cravings, the weight that I so meticulously peeled away 5 pounds at a time, came right back on.

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Frequent Weight Loss Success!

When we begin a weight loss program, initially we feel empowered. Shortly afterward when we begin making behavior changes, doubt creeps into our minds. By setting small goals that we can attain more often, we see progress and feel successful sooner. As we begin to feel successful, we build on that momentum more easily. Weight loss becomes our new normal as we conquer each small goal. If you want to lose a large amount of weight, you might set five pound goals along the way like I did. Read this article here for tips to help you get started.

Make Losing Weight Easier – David’s Way to Health and Fitness

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Easy Does It!

When I began living David’s Way I started strength training with heavy weight as a goal. Starting Strength, a program for beginners got me interested in lifting, without demanding more than I was capable of doing. Since I had gotten weak while I was working for a major weight loss company due to all the driving, I started with pretty light weights. If I had tried to lift too much weight early in the program, I would have quickly gotten discouraged. Discouragement can cause many people to quit. The same idea applies to weight loss. Keep it simple. Start small and be proud of every victory! When I add weight, I add small increments. It empowers me when I conquer those new weights!

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Stay Flexible

Be willing to make changes in your goals. Grandiose ideas of what we want to accomplish will make sticking to our program harder. Instagram is a huge influence on a lot of people. If we set a goal of looking like an Instagram model, we may want to abandon the whole idea of weight loss. I read a lot of what the IG models put on their pages and there is a theme that is recurring. The more honest, down-to-earth models frequently write, “Don’t worry about looking like an Instagram model. We don’t look like that either.”

One very famous fitness model has elaborated on the length of time those pictures take to shoot. She talks about the hundreds of images that are destroyed before the perfect image is chosen. This 23 year old girl has had multiple surgeries and advocates the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. If we set our goals based on artificial images, we will get discouraged unless we reconsider the reality of that. It’s necessary to change goals and methods of accomplishing them as we become more knowledgeable about our health and fitness.

The Golden Rule of Weight Loss

Cravings are the main reason that most people give up on weight loss. Hunger is easy to satisfy with good nutrition based on whole foods. Cravings call out for specific flavors and textures and are never satisfied. Added sugar causes cravings because you release insulin to metabolize it. As the insulin does it’s job of lowering your blood sugar, even the slightest bit too low will set off cravings again. While sugar is usually what most people crave, we will crave a wide variety of calorie dense foods until our blood sugar rises enough to offset the insulin.

This cycle repeats itself continually as long as we eat added sugars. Weight loss is almost impossible when we’re lost in this repetitive cycle. The answer to this dilemma is obvious. Don’t eat added sugars. Remember, it’s an addictive white powder that causes inflammation throughout your body. No good can possibly come from eating sugar. Almost every disease known to man begins with inflammation.

Photo by C Drying on Unsplash

Weight Loss Tactics Simplified

1-Set small goals.

2-Be proud of every small victory.

3-Take your time.

4-Don’t eat sugar.

and ALWAYS remember David’s wise advice when I asked him how long will this take. His answer? “The rest of your life.” Health and fitness are an ongoing process. David also says, “We don’t own our present level of fitness. We’re only paying rent.” As you work towards your health and fitness goals, remember, there is no endpoint. In order to get and remain healthy, you must consistently live a healthy lifestyle. Look at this worthy process as a new life rather than a temporary, self-inflicted torture.

My habits were once as bad as anyone’s. I wore a size 22. Now I live a healthy lifestyle that keeps me working full-time at age 64, in a size 8 at 5’6″. I also care for a special needs family member alone. I train hard four days a week and have worked my way to the Elite level in Strength Standards in my age group for the deadlift by adhering to the simple teachings of David’s Way.

Believe me, you can change.

 

 

 

Fasted Exercise for Weight Loss

Fasted exercise being better for weight loss is a misguided belief. You will find this misguided notion on the plethora of different social media forums for losing weight.

Fasted exercise is not better for weight loss than exercising after you have broken your fast!

In fact, fasted exercise is counterproductive to your efforts at losing weight. Successful weight loss comes from eating fewer calories than you are burning. You need to understand that it does not matter when you eat those calories. Losing weight always has been, and always will be a matter of calories consumed vs calories burned. Fasted exercise is a hack. The problem with hacks are they may show temporary results, but that does not mean the results are going to be effective or long lasting.

Why do people believe fasted exercise is best for weight loss?

The belief is that when you exercise first thing in the morning before eating, you will begin burning fat sooner than otherwise. You will work a little quicker through your glycogen stores before burning fat than you would otherwise. People believe this will cause them to be more effective at working off their body fat. The problem is, fasted exercise will only make you weak earlier in your exercise session than you would be if you had eaten first. It is undeniable that you will be more effective at burning fat if you are well nourished. Being well nourished will allow you to perform at a higher intensity for a longer amount of time than if you are fasted. I will guarantee you have never seen an athlete competing on an empty stomach for this very reason.

Fasted exercise worked well for me!

You also realized gains in performance too, right?

There is a reason that despite performing fasted exercise you saw gains in your performance. The increase in your performance are what is referred to as “Newbie” gains. Everyone who is new to exercise of any type will see an increase in their ability to get through their session with greater ease. This does not mean that those gains are as good as they could be otherwise. It also does not mean those newfound gains are going to be as sustainable over the course of time either. The result of fasted exercise for the beginner is you will plateau sooner than you would have. Your weight loss from exercise will always be more effective when you can increase your duration and intensity. Fasted exercise will not allow you to do this as long as fed exercise.

It is true that fasted training increases fat oxidation, but this doesn’t translate to increased (body) fat loss.

This is where a lot of the confusion stems from, so let’s understand what fat oxidation actually is.

Fat oxidation is just a fancy word for ‘fat burning’ and consists of two steps:

    • Lipolysis: This is when stored fat is broken down into fatty acids.
    • Oxidation:  Is when your body uses these fatty acids for energy.

Your body is constantly storing and oxidizing (burning) fat throughout the day. When you wake up in the morning, skip breakfast, and go to work, your body is oxidizing stored fat for energy. Once you eat lunch, your body stops oxidizing stored fat and now uses calories from your lunch as energy. You will be back in a fasted state once your lunch has been digested, therefore your body will begin oxidizing fat stores once again until you eat supper and the cycle repeats until breakfast.

Our body’s ability to do this is why we don’t end up incapacitated half-way through the day if we haven’t eaten for a while. Because of this fact, people assume if they train fasted they’ll burn more fat by forcing the body to use its own stored energy. The problem with this idea is that short-term fat oxidation (burning) doesn’t mean much for fat loss. It is the long term balance over days and weeks that will dictate whether you’re losing or gaining body fat.

If the amount of fat you burn stays the same as the amount of fat you store, body fat remains the same. You have to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight even if you do fasted exercise!

What’s The Difference in Burning Calories and Fat?

Morning exercise can be a consistent and positive way to start the day.

It does have many benefits such as eliminating excuses for skipping your workout later in the day and improving your mood and energy by getting endorphins circulating throughout your body. But it’s not necessarily the best time of day to exercise. Morning exercise is not superior to evening exercise when it comes to weight loss. Losing weight always comes down to burning more calories than you consume.

 While there is some evidence that fasted exercise may contribute to burning stubborn fat. The truth is, 98% of you don’t have a stubborn fat problem. You just have a fat problem. Instead of worrying about fancy protocols and weight loss hacks, get your diet and exercise in check and focus on reducing total body fat.

Check out our  plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all, and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
We also have a a page on Facebook where you can also follow along with David’s Way to Health and Fitness. Give us a like and a follow if you like what you see!

Making the Most Out of Exercise

woman exercising for health and fitness

Obviously, exercise is an important part of a weight loss journey, but are you going to do it? If you are the type who views exercise as a chore to get through, you have already placed yourself at a disadvantage.

So, how do you change that mind set?

You simply should find an exercise that you can do, and also one that you will enjoy. Otherwise, you will never stick with it if you find no sense of enjoyment while trying to perform an exercise regimen that might be beyond your current capabilities. Never lose sight that the best exercise is the one you will do, the one that brings satisfaction to you. Never mind what others believe the best form of exercise might be. Their opinion carries little significance if what they view as the best is of no interest to you, or you might not be capable of doing it. You need to know that if you are not capable of doing an exercise, your mind might demand that you do the exercise. However, your body will eventually exercise it’s veto power.

You simply will not stay at something that is too tough.

You will not stick with something that is just too difficult for your level of fitness.

Many people select a workout based on a means-to-an-end quotient of the goal they want to achieve. This is a valid thought process to be sure, but a better way to choose the best exercise is to take an honest assessment of yourself and what is going to nourish your body the best over the long run. The bottom line with exercise is that it should be like a great life partner. Not an adversarial relationship, but a complementary one. To choose the best exercise program for you, look closely at your personality traits and find a way to move your body that mirrors that.

Pick an exercise that you will enjoy.

This cannot be said enough. If an exercise bores you to tears, you are not likely to stick with it. When an exercise brings too much pain for your level of tolerance, it is not going to be a good fit for you. You need to start lightly, and then work your way up. In fact, I always recommend those who are new to exercise to begin easier than they believe necessary, and work their way to higher intensity levels.

Pick more than one type of exercise.  

By doing different exercise sessions you will add variety, and by working different muscles on different days, it will help reduce the risk of injury, as well as preventing monotony.

Vary the intensity of your exercise.

If you are new to exercise, go a little harder on some days, and then a little easier on others. When you go all out with high intensity with every exercise session, you will only burn out sometime in the near future. A variety of intensity will help you to avoid injury and will allow your muscles time to recover from hard work.

Choose exercise that fits your lifestyle.

While we teach people to create a new lifestyle for themselves to create a fitter and healthier version of themselves, there are some things that must still be taken into consideration such as children and jobs. Therefore, it will do you absolutely no good to choose an exercise that will not fit into your schedule. I would encourage you to find a way, it is almost always possible. However, it does no good to sign up for a exercise class at 9:00 am when you must be at work or caring for your children at this time of day.

Join a class or social sports team.

You might enjoy the discipline of attending a regular class or course. You may also get great benefit by joining a social sports team such as softball for example. By doing either of these options, it will help you to exercise regularly. Community centers and adult education colleges often offer classes in activities such as dance, yoga or Pilates, as well as classes for the older exerciser. Personal trainers will offer a variety of group and individual sessions that can be matched to your needs.

Set aside a time for your daily exercise.

Setting aside a dedicated exercise time each day can help to turn regular exercise into a habit, much like washing your hair or making your bed. In this way, you’ll find you are less likely to ponder whether or not to go for a walk or run. Before you know it you’ll be out there pounding the pavement just because that’s what you do at that time of day! Equally, don’t be inflexible about exercise: if you do miss exercising at your preferred time, and the opportunity presents itself at another time during the day, take the opportunity and enjoy it.

Lastly, this is HUGE!

Pick an exercise that accommodates any health problems you may have!

If you are new to exercising, are overweight, or you have been inactive for a long time, have existing health problems, or old or recent muscle, bone or joint injuries, see your doctor before starting or re-commencing regular exercise. Being unwell or having an injury does not usually rule out exercise, in fact, it is often a vital part of rehabilitation. However, exercise in this context may mean you need to amend the details of your physical activity program, under guidance from your doctor or other healthcare professional.

For example, many people with asthma find they can achieve high levels of fitness through swimming, as the air they are breathing during this exercise is warm and moist and less likely than cold, dry air to trigger an asthma attack. Long-term conditions such as high blood pressure can be improved by appropriate amounts of daily exercise, while the risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes or osteoporosis can be reduced. People with arthritis are often suited to exercising in a swimming pool as the buoyancy of the water avoids weight-bearing stress being placed on inflamed joints. Weak upper leg muscles and poor balance in some older people can mean that a recumbent stationary bicycle is particularly suited to encouraging exercise without causing discomfort or risking injury.

Whichever exercise options you choose, and whichever strategies you use to keep motivated, remember to start off slowly and build up gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast: progression in fitness occurs over weeks and months, not days.

Out Exercise a Bad Diet? You’re Funny

 

Lumen Metabolism Tracker Review

Have you seen the Lumen Metabolism Tracker and thought it might be something that would come in handy with your weight loss journey? Do you have an extra $300 US to burn on useless gimmicks that promise to help you optimize your metabolism for fat burning? If you are like most people during this age of the Covid-19 pandemic, you probably don’t.

Scientifically, I am sure this gimmick works as advertised. However…

this is not going to get you to your goals in weight loss!

Yes, you can control your metabolism to a small degree by losing weight and gaining lean muscle mass. You do have some control over your metabolism by making small lifestyle changes by watching what, and how much you eat and exercise. But unless you are doing these things this tracker is NOT going to help you change your metabolism. Additionally, you need to know that any changes you do make to your metabolism are not going to be huge, and the changes will not be enough to allow you to consume as much food as you might desire.

I maintain a very lean body through my nutrition, hard work, and regular exercise that includes  8 hours of strength training and about 3 hours of cardiovascular training each week. You might think just by looking at me that I have a high metabolism, but what you cannot see is the fact I actually do not have a high metabolism. I consume an average of 2,270 calories a day to maintain my current level of body fat and weight. If I increase this by 500 calories per day, I will gain fat on 2,770 calories per day. I know this with absolute certainty simply because I have tried to increase my caloric intake to see what happens. For someone with a very physical job, and who exercises religiously, I have a low metabolism that I cannot manipulate to any great, long lasting degree.

Let me tell you a simple and blunt truth. If you are struggling with your weight and appetite, knowing what your body is burning for energy is not going to help you in any way, shape or form. If you are not struggling with your weight or appetite, this information is not even going to be relevant to you. You have to be willing to make permanent lifestyle choices in order to take off those extra pounds and to be successful at keeping them off. You do not need any gimmicky devices to do this. In order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit, meaning that you either must reduce your caloric intake below your total daily energy expenditure or increase your total daily energy expenditure through physical activity.

No matter your body type, the number of calories you need just for your body to function is called your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. If you know your BMR, you can better determine your caloric needs for healthy weight loss.

You burn most of your daily calories with zero effort, movement, or even thinking. Whether you’re sleeping, talking on the phone, working at a keyboard, or simply watching TV, your body is burning calories to keep your organs functioning such as your heart pumping and your lungs breathing. The calories used to maintain these basic bodily functions add up to your BMR.

BMR is one of many factors in the total number of calories you burn in a given day, also called your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It accounts for roughly 65 to 70 percent of your TDEE, which is determined by genetics, biological sex, age, body size, and lean body mass. While many people blame a slow metabolism (they mean BMR) on weight gain, it’s actually true that increases in body size result in an increase in BMR. The bigger you are, the more calories you are going to need to maintain your weight. The thing is, this is true no matter if you are morbidly obese or muscle bound with little fat. The process to lose body fat is the same for the morbidly obese as it is for one who is just a little over weight. Both individuals will need to reduce their daily caloric intake by 500 in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. This can be done by reducing your food intake, or through exercise, or a combination of these two factors.

At rest, a pound of fat burns roughly two calories per day and a pound of muscle burns roughly six calories, however there are a few things you must realize about this. One of the things people do not consider about metabolism is how active a person is, even when they are at rest affects how much they can consume. Fidgety people are constantly moving their body in some manner. Some people are constantly moving during the day, while some are perfectly capable of sitting still while relaxing. The point is, unless you are naturally fidgety, or one to be moving all the time, odds are, you will not become that type of individual just because it will help you to increase your metabolism in order to keep the pounds off of your body. Trying to boost your metabolism probably won’t lead to weight loss, at least not to the degree that changing your diet and lifestyle habits will.

How much you weigh depends on the choices you make about food and how much physical activity you get.

To lose weight, focus on the factors you can control.

  • Calories. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. There are several ways to reduce the number of calories you eat, including reducing portion sizes; eliminating added sugars and saturated and trans fats. Begin choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats instead of processed foods for your daily nutrition. And keep in mind that as you age, you may need to eat even fewer calories. This is because the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease as you get older. Your muscle mass affects how many calories you need because muscle tissue burns calories, even at rest. So having less muscle decreases your calorie needs by decreasing your basal metabolic rate, while having more muscle increases your calorie needs by increasing your basal metabolic rate.
  • Activity. Exercise helps you burn calories, and build and maintain muscle mass. Any physical activity is better than none. Start slow, and gradually work your way up to incorporating both aerobic exercise and strength training into your routine.

Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we can help you to learn all that you need to know about successful weight loss and management.

As with any new lifestyle change that includes diet and exercise, be sure to consult your physician before doing so.

Losing IQ Points, Fat Freezing Belt Review

Have you ever felt dumber just by reading something that got your attention? I’m reasonably sure I lost a few IQ points by checking out this advertisement for the Fat Freezing Belt.

Look, I will admit to not being a rocket scientist, nor an astrophysicist, but I do have a pretty good knowledge of nutrition, physical fitness and how to successfully and permanently remove body fat. And I guarantee you, this stupid belt is not going to do it for you. I am still trying to cypher which is the bigger con, magic powders that promise to increase your metabolism, or this damn belt. It is pretty much a  coin toss when it comes to how ludicrous these things are.

How this belt allegedly works.

They have ice packs that you place in your freezer until they are completely frozen, then you place these ice packs in the belt and put it on your body. If you really want to try this for yourself before buying one of these worthless belts, simply make a few ice packs to wear from things you already have in your freezer. Notice how they are vague in answering the question?

Typically, spot reduction of fat is not possible. However, if you have a medical procedure that will actually do this, you should consider that your overall body fat is still going to be an issue for you. For instance, if you are working on a little tummy bulge, is it going to help your appearance to also neglect your butt?

 While it is true there has been some buzz about procedures called CoolScultping, or cryolipolysis, this product which basically claims to do the same thing is not the same thing when you are attempting to freeze your body fat at home with ice packs in a belt. What you need to know is that if you are more than a little bit over weight, this procedure is not for you. The ideal candidate is already close to their ideal body weight, but has stubborn, pinchable areas of fat that are difficult to get rid of with diet and exercise alone. Cryolipolysis also doesn’t target visceral fat, so it won’t improve your overall health, and neither will this “Fat Freezing” belt.  At best, this product might be something a professional bodybuilder might find limited use from. But face it, most people are not pro bodybuilders, and have far too much bodyfat for this waste of money to be of any use.

Attempting CoolSculpting at home is not only ineffective, but also potentially dangerous. Do it yourself cryolipolysis often involves ice cubes or other frozen materials in an effort to freeze fat cells. However, applying ice packs at home leaves you with the risk of only freezing your skin and doesn’t get rid of any fat cells. Seriously, if you want to know if cryolipolysis is right for you, go see a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon for a free consultation. It’s also important to note that this procedure isn’t a substitute for healthy lifestyle habits. Cryolipolysis only gets rid of targeted areas of fat that haven’t responded to diet and exercise.

Water Exercise

Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is a full-body, no impact workout that almost everyone can do. It’s great for relaxation and mood enhancement and torches calories at about 225 for 30 minutes for a 155 pound person. (1) That can be more depending on the stroke that you use. Swimming is easy on the bones and joints and is one of few activities where you can get a great workout without being aware of sweating or being hot. It also boosts your energy levels by boosting your metabolic rate if you swim only 30 minutes, 3 times per week. (2)

My Happy Place!

I remember when I was a child, growing up in rural Alabama on a chirt road, swimming was the illusive summer joy that I rarely had the opportunity to enjoy. Every summer we went to Panama City Beach and my daddy would try to teach me to swim in the Gulf of Mexico. That was almost impossible! The waves were strong and frequent and I was forever getting a face-full of salty water in my eyes, nose and throat. I would fight him endlessly and he would finally give up for the day, tired, sunburned and salty. Even so, those vacations were paradise!

Local 

Other people in the community where we lived  would go to local creeks for a dip on a hot summer day but we did not. Occasionally you would hear of someone being bitten by a Cottonmouth snake and those bites can be fatal. Most of the creeks where people swam were “hang-outs” and my proper Southern mother was not about to be seen in those places. The truth is, swimming in these creeks was sometimes little more than playing in the water because of the landscape.

DANGER ZONE!

There was also a large “River Culture” in the South. The rivers were huge, fast and treacherous! Because we are so close to the ocean, they run deep with strong currents. I found myself in one of those currents one time and although I’m a strong swimmer, except by the Grace of God, I would have surely died that day. I went so deep into the blackness that I could only see a pinprick of light and a voice in my mind said, “SWIM TO THE LIGHT!” and I did. As I exploded onto the surface with my very last bit of oxygen running out, I swam fiercely towards the docks and again, barely made it to safety before total exhaustion set in. The culture on most rivers was a party culture and again, I was raised to stay away. That’s one time I should have surely listened. The waters of the rivers were rumored to be polluted with sewage and that didn’t add to the attraction of swimming there.

Nirvana

I knew that I loved swimming pools because as I got a little older, our family vacations upgraded to include motels with pools! I was in Heaven! I was sad to leave those magical places, saying goodbye for another year. At age 9, we moved into  a small town in South Alabama, directly across the street from the City Pool. I had surely entered into the Pearly Gates. This was too good to be true! My parents paid for me to have Red Cross Swimming Lessons and life was good. We lived there a couple of years and moved away. I didn’t have access to another pool for many years until as an adult, I joined the local YMCA. I spent endless hours swimming laps in that pool for 10 years. I would swim the American Crawl for 30 minutes, use the fins for 30 minutes, swimming like a dolphin, pull the swim block for 30 minutes, isolating my upper body to do all the work and cool down with 30 minutes on my back. Now as a heavy lifter, I do not have the time to swim and swimming laps would impact my lifting because it requires so much energy. Now, after finding my first love, lifting, I don’t miss it. I did find out a lot in those years,  however.

More Than Laps

Although I swam laps almost exclusively, I was invited to a water aerobics class one time and reluctantly, I went. I expected a wimpy workout. Mind you that at that time I was running, lifting light weights, bowling and swimming laps. I slid into the water while “Barbie” “worked me out” and thought I had missed my workout for the day. I felt nothing. Normally muscle soreness will set in about 48 hours after strenuous exercise but the next morning when I jumped out of bed, I almost hit the floor! I was WRECKED. If you decide to try water aerobics, remember, it’s great exercise and you  won’t feel like you’re working out. If you are not very active before you go to your first class, go easy if you want to walk the next day. It’s fun and easy and has great cardiovascular and strength benefits. It’s also quite inexpensive compared to joining the gym overall. Most pools have low fees for classes and do not require gym membership. I would advise wearing a one-piece swimsuit made for exercise rather than the showboat bikini designed to get attention. You might lose it. The classes are made up of all kinds of people and everyone can feel comfortable in that atmosphere. You don’t have to be an Olympian or a swimsuit model to fit in.

BE(A)WARE!

There are a few things that only experience can teach you about swimming as your main form of exercise. Regardless of the suit that you wear, if you go into a highly chlorinated pool, it might go see-through before you get out! Yep, it just might. I’m very light skinned and I’ll never forget walking into the dressing room after a long, relaxing swim one hot summer afternoon and catching a glimpse of my entire derriere in the mirror, shining right through my black swimsuit that was so carefully chosen to make me look slim and sexy…smooth move! If your pool is not overly chlorinated, this won’t happen but if the smell of chlorine is intense, get ready to shine. I strongly advise wearing a suit for function rather than looks. I chose my suits for both but whatever you do, don’t get one that is too skimpy. People think that you’re an idiot if you do that at a pool that is meant for fitness and you may lose the suit in the water if you really work out.

I stayed in a heavily chlorinated pool for too long one time and the entire whites of my eyes turned beet red and my vision got blurry for a few hours. Use some common sense. I believe that chlorine is necessary in a public pool but again, if it smells strong, adjust your behavior accordingly. Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant. Excessive chlorine exposure can cause problems with your skin, hair and nails. There are swimmer’s lotions to protect your skin. Remember to buy good goggles and replace them when they become  foggy or dirty. You need to be able to see in the water. Use a swim cap. It will protect your hair. Wet your hair and comb conditioner through it before putting it under the swim cap. This will keep your hair from absorbing the chlorine that will seep in and also make the swim cap MUCH easier to put on. Get a SILICONE cap. I cannot tell you how much easier they are to put on and take off and how much better they are for your hair! I tried all of them. I got most of my swim supplies from http://www.kiefer.com They have everything. If there’s any chance of swimming outdoors, get a lightning detector. Kiefer has those too. Get under the shower in your suit before going into the pool to saturate your suit with cool tap water. It will absorb less chlorine. As soon as you get out of the pool, rinse your suit in cold water. DON’T put detergent on it. It will destroy the fiber. Carry moisturizers, shampoo and conditioners and wear open shoes to allow your feet to dry. Whatever you do, make sure to wear flip-flops in the shower! Even the cleanest facilities can be harboring athletes foot in those areas that stay wet all the time.

Swimming is one of the best exercises for the entire body. Allow plenty of time for going to the pool, the ritual of getting in, swimming and taking care of yourself when you get out. In cold weather have a hot drink and a light snack before leaving the gym to bring up your core temperature and bundle up before hitting the door. Be careful to stay within your calorie allowance because swimming lowers your core temperature and you will get hungry to try to raise it back up to normal. For all of the benefits of swimming, I have actually GAINED weight swimming frequently because I did not stay within my calorie allowance.

Swimming was my salvation when I had injured myself jumping rope on hard packed clay. The lack of impact,  great relaxation and good full-body exercise was just what I needed. I have always had a love affair with the water. It’s magic.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities

(2) https://www.swimming.org/justswim/8-benefits-of-swimming/