February 14, 2012

Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.

Rant and Tip for February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Quote: Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.
John F. Kennedy

I am not sure how President Kennedy meant this quote for us, however I can tell you my interpretation. As I ponder this statement, what comes to my mind is how exercise can not only make the body fit, but also affect your mind. One of the side effects of exercise there is an increase of blood flow to the brain, as well as a release of endorphins into the blood stream. Both of these things are great for you. With the increase of blood flow and endorphins comes for back of a better term, Mental Clarity. It has happened to me frequently where I have had a challenge in work or in my personal life and during my workout or right after there is a moment of mental clarity the helps me see things for what they are. Don’t laugh to hard here but what just came to mind was Forrest Gump getting up from his porch and running across country. Now that man got some mental clarity during his trek. OK maybe that was a reach but really it did just pop in my head. I guess, President Kennedy also may also been alluding to the additional cost in healthcare and the strain that can put on us as a nation. The more unfit we are, in many cases the more unhealthy we are, which can put a strain on society.  If we as a nation could do away with smoking and the obesity epidemic I am sure we could save a lot of money.

One of the areas I have been lacking in lately has been my cardio. I get my children off to school in the morning and do not want to leave them alone in the house while I go for a run. I just cannot do that. So I picked up a stationary bike. I also wanted to make sure it was something my children can use as well. I put it in front of the television and since it is a quiet machine, my thought is my children could use it while the watch one of their shows. I will be using it before breakfast and in the evening, before bed. All the body needs and this is in my opinion is, 30 minutes of cardio at a session. To me anything more than that does not make sense. You are over taxing your body at that point and putting it into a catabolic state. In a catabolic state you body breaks down muscle tissue. That is the last thing I want and it should be the last thing you want. If you break down muscle tissue, you will also slow down your metabolism. The less muscle you have the fewer calories you will burn when you are resting. The main point here is to get your cardio in and make it fun anyway you can. For me the bike will enable me to get the morning news in and my cardio at the same time. You may like Zumba or some other cardio program. Whatever it is make it a fun and enjoyable experience.

One of the biggest challenges I had and still have is making sure I eat enough. Before following a low carb lifestyle and cutting out all simple sugars, I was of the mindset like the rest of the country that you had to reduce calories and basically starve yourself to lose weight. Of course this never worked for me and to the best of my knowledge it only works temporarily for most. You need to learn to eat in a fashion that keeps your body satiated. When you do not eat enough you body being the efficient machine it is goes into survival mode. Your metabolism slows drastically and tries to keep the fat it has for fuel later. It gets even harder to lose body fat, with every ounce of fat you do lose. Many of us struggle with the last five pounds. We want to see our abs and be as lean as possible for our bodies. One thing I need to keep in mind it that you have to eat to lose weight. I know it sounds crazy but eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right time actually promotes weight loss. You brain sends signals to the body that it is getting enough of the right foods and is getting it often enough that it does not need to store fat anymore. Changing your mindset is a huge step to being successful n adapting this way of eating.

Tuesday is your back day.

Tuesday :
Wide grip lat pull downs - 4 sets 10
Seated rows - 4 sets 10
single arm Rows 4 sets of 10
Shrugs - 4 sets 10
Inverted flys 4 sets of ten
Weighted or not I prefer weighted hyper-extensions - 4 sets 10

Have a great workout!

Tip: If you are adopting a way of eating similar to my own it helps to set a personal alarm to make sure you are eating often enough. This not only helps me stay on track getting enough fuel, it also helps me to make sure I am not eating to soon either. I try to eat every three hours.

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