Fitness Friday #7: What's Your Number?, Part 2

You thought I forgot, didn't you? NEVER -- but I am quite delayed due to employment as well as frivolity today.

I asked for Fitness Friday topic ideas and the only response I got included these questions:
  • More information on “What is a glycemic index?”
  • More information on good carbs versus bad carbs
  • Being vegetarian – where does your protein come from?

Perhaps I should direct that kind person here, where she will learn (shhhhhhhhhhhhh) I don't really know what I'm talking about!!! All of that is WAY beyond my expertise! I know just enough about each of those questions to make me dangerous.

So, I'm moving on with more numbers you should know! These fall more in the exercise range of numbers you should know:

1) How many times per week to exercise: Short answer -- optimally, 3-5 times per week. Long answer -- if you do not exercise AT ALL right now, one more time per week than you did last week. It's always a goal, right? And, ALWAYS remember: ANYTHING is better than nothing!

2) How long should you exercise: AGAIN -- ANYTHING is better than nothing, especially when you are establishing a habit. I saw a plan for a walking workout recently that took a beginning exerciser walking 15 minutes 4x/ week to walking for an hour 6x/week. That is the PERFECT plan for a retired someone who will end their 60 minute walk in the food court. For the rest of us, that is ridiculous. It also would leave a novice to think that if this 12-week program has them walking an hour/ day, an intermediate program might get you walking 2-3 hours/ day. PEOPLE -- we're trying to be healthy to live life, which includes HAVING one. We're not trying to MAKE it our life! 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at 70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) is PLENTY. Sure, you'll burn more calories if you go longer, but not enough to make it worth sweating over (in a manner of speaking).

3) Maximum heart rate = 220-(your age). Since I'm 26, my MHR is 194 (just seein' if you're still paying attention!) MHR means precisely that -- anything higher than that is dangerous level. Even approaching that number for more than about 60 seconds at a time is not an effective workout. For optimal fat-burning, those 30-45 minute workouts should be at 70% of your MHR. We remember how to take percentages, right? Multiply MHR by .7 -- you will be surprised at how LITTLE you have to do to get your heart-rate to that level. Especially if you haven't been working out!

This brings me to something I will eventually dedicate an entire Fitness Friday to: my beloved heart-rate monitor. It was a Christmas gift (that I had asked for) for Christmas 2005 and I have used it CONSTANTLY. They cost about as much as a pair of decent exercise shoes, and will last through a lot more workouts! It all goes to my "Knowledge is Power" mantra. I think it allows me to work smarter, not necessarily harder or longer, in my workouts. Besides a decent pair of shoes, this would be my number one recommendation for a fitness purchase.

Keep movin' and shakin' out there!

Know your numbers!

Knowledge is Power!

ANYTHING is better than nothing!!

You won't take care of anything you don't love!

We love fitness Friday! :-)


Roxanne said...

I walked in some WHIPPING wind today, so I think I should get some extra calories burned for the effort of keeping myself upright. :)

~Betty~ @ On the Journey to Victory said...

I just wanted to let you know that I linked to you today.

I am going to start a Fitness Friday post on my blog. However on mine I am going to record my personal weight loss journey. I don't have the fitness knowledge that you seem to have. Therefore,I will be visiting your blog to gain knowledge, information, and encouragement. Then on Fridays on my blog I will post about how my week went.

You are welcome to visit my blog and offer any suggestions or advise as I begin this journey.


Design by Deluxe Designs