Fitness Friday #6: What's Your Number?

As I mentioned last week, "Knowledge is Power" is my mantra for fitness. Which is too bad, because there are many times that I don't WANT knowledge -- I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that what I have been eating is healthy and my lack of exercise is not a problem. *sigh* Knowledge is not only power, it's nagging!

So, what all do you need to know for fitness?

1. Weight -- obviously. Your weight isn't the be-all, end-all of your fitness level, but it is one indicator. There are SO many theories/ ideas out there about IF you should weigh, when to weigh, how often to weigh, etc. Here's the deal: It's only a NUMBER!! It isn't yelling at you! It's a measure of your health for better or worse! It's no different than your blood pressure, cholesterol, temperature and a million other indicators that tell us about your health. I weigh every day and the number goes up and down and I figure out what makes it go up and down (chinese food = up!) and I get a fairly decent ballpark figure of what my true weight is. So I know. I can't imagine not knowing what you SHOULD weigh, but here is a chart in case you need reminding. Oh, and I do like what Dr. Phil calls your "get real" weight. For instance, I could aspire to weigh what I did when I got married, but that was 15 years and two kids ago, and I was at the thinnest I had been pretty much since I had been an adult. So, my "get real" weight is what I weighed when I was 30. It's a healthy weight and attainable.

2. Body Fat percentage -- again, just a number as an indicator of your health. This one is MUCH harder to take accurately. There are all kinds of ways to take your body fat percentage. Healthy for men is 5-15% and 15-25% for women. I have a 'body fat analyzer' scale, so it can tell me body fat (first I have to log in all kinds of info including how I voted in the last presidential election, I think). There are SO many things that make the reading fluctuate, though, that I don't take it very often. Recently I advised someone that if they get a body fat analyzer scale to take their body fat every day for a week to get a ballpark figure of where they are, then only take it once a week or once a month. It takes a LONG time to truly change your body fat percentage.

This just makes me think of a funny story that is indicative of my house. My body fat analyzer scale thinks "ideal" body fat is 25% -- so we have philosophical differences in that regard. It will also tell me, after it measures body fat, how many calories I am currently burning in an average day at my current weight, then it tells me my ideal weight (based on the fat % reading it just took) and how many calories I will burn at THAT weight. So, if my body fat % is ever UNDER 25%, my ideal weight is MORE than my current weight. So, I was telling Troy that my scale thought I needed to gain weight.
"Because it thinks I need to have a higher body fat % than I think I need."
"Of course it does."
"Which is why you are crazy about me."
"No, that's just why you are CRAZY. period."
He so doesn't buy into my obsession.

3) Calories required. Again, these are starting to get tougher. You need to know how many calories are required to keep your body movin' and shakin' in a day! There are all KIND of different formulas, tips, tricks, and hoops to jump through to try to figure this one out. THIS is the BEST calculator I have found for that. I have NO idea how accurate it is (it seems in line with most other sources) but it gives you SO much information -- how many calories, how many of what nutrient, etc. -- oh, and all of that information for if you are pregnant or lactating!

Obviously, if you know how many calories are required, you can figure out how many calories you need to lose weight (tip -- you need less), etc. Which brings us back to last week's fun post for Fitness Friday.

Other numbers that I will talk about later:
  • times per week to exercise
  • heart rate while exercising (tip -- you don't have to feel like you're dying!)
  • length of time for an effective workout (tip -- it doesn't have to take all day!)

And on and on it goes. Knowledge is power! Keep learning!

Anyone out there have any questions for the next Fitness Friday?


Ashleigh said...

Great post! Right up my alley. I mean, it's actually up John's alley, being that he's always trying to talk sense and reality into me while I talk about the thousand pounds I should lose.

I'm happy to be able to report, though, that I did lose 5 lbs this week. And I can say that it's official--not just by weighing myself at night AFTER my Chinese food on Sunday, and then again at 6am on Tuesday. :wink:

Roxanne said...

Great post. . .

Denise W said...

I'm a big believer is weighing every day! Just like you - it gives an immediate response to the food you eat. Jim and both gain 2 oz. after Manna and More. I guess that's the more....

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