March this year did come in like a lion and surprisingly it did go out like a lamb. So there is a lot to be said for those old sayings that we grew up with! Now that it’s the beginning of April, spring is finally making itself felt. We can be pretty confident that the snow squalls that we had to deal with are now behind us, (We sure hope so!). At least the warmer weather is starting to make itself felt, and along with the daylight lasting a bit longer, most of us have that urge to get out and do something to take advantage of what the spring has to offer.
For fitness enthusiasts, this is a great time to get yourself motivated to embrace your health programs because with the sun going down later, we find ourselves with more time at the end of the day to help meet our requirement for physical activity. This is good news for someone just starting a new program or a veteran turning up the heat on an already existing one.
With the days lasting a bit longer, it's now easier to schedule a walking program to end your day with. Now, this also depends on the work/life schedule you keep. For some, me for instance, I do better getting my walking in early in the morning, usually, before the sun comes up at around 5:15 AM. Yes, I’m an early bird, but because of my habits, I find getting my walking done early in the morning gets my day started on a positive note. And because of my work schedule, my actual quitting time can vary so I don’t have to worry about the stress if I get home later and then have to work in my walk or jog after a later than normal quitting time.
Whatever time of day you elect to get physical is completely up to you. The main thing is that you DO COMMIT to being more active so that your making strides in your overall goal of getting in better shape. We know that obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Over 50% of American adults are considered overweight. And it makes sense that most who start an exercise program would like to lose weight or change their body composition.
Most people who start an exercise program would like to lose weight or change their body composition. After all, what better motivation do you have than making a goal to not only be healthier but to lose some of that excess baggage that you may have been carrying around with you for the past several years?
Body composition is defined as the relative percentages of fat mass and lean body mass that make up your total body weight. There are a number of factors that influence body composition. Some factors are uncontrollable such as genetics, age, and gender. Others, like diet and exercise, are controllable.
In general, a healthy body composition may be obtained through a sensible diet and regular physical activity. In most cases, our goal is to have our fat mass decrease and lean body mass increase to produce a favorable percentage of body fat. Decreased body fat and body weight are achieved when a negative energy balance is maintained. A negative energy balance is achieved when daily energy expenditure exceeds daily caloric intake. This energy is expressed in calories. A calorie is a unit of heat energy. And that’s about as scientific as I’m going to be with this post.
The main point that I wanted to address is that eating a healthy combination of clean, pesticide-free foods, with the right balance of good carbs, fats and proteins’ will go a long way to slimming you down, with the caveat of you adding the right amount of physical exercise into the equation! In keeping with your desire of wanting to slim down, naturally the best advice we can give you is to first consult with your family doctor. Get yourself checked out to make sure that you can begin a good physical workout, with the ultimate goal of losing weight and getting yourself healthy. Better to know up front if you have any medical complications that you need to be aware of. This way, your doctor knows what you are doing and if you are capable of doing it correctly. And he/she will be in a better position to monitor your progress as you undergo your quest to be healthier and slimmer you, this spring season.
And since spring for most of us means a time for new beginnings, it's also the perfect time to start that walking regimen that you’ve put off for too long. Waking is probably one of the eases things you can do in order to jumpstart your body, so it begins to burn off those extra calories. But make no mistake, no amount of walking will help you get in shape unless you change your diet from junk to healthy food. Once you make that wise choice, the rest will follow. A study from the University of Utah basically proved that people are made to walk. Researchers had different athletes run in different styles while measuring their oxygen levels at all times. The result was that walking – not running – was the most efficient way to stay in shape and lose weight while being easiest on your body.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. Mathematically, that’s 22 minutes a day or 30 minutes five days a week. This is the minimum amount of time you should brisk walk if your goal is to maintain your weight. The new minimum is 250 minutes a week if you want to lose a few extra pounds. Walk for half an hour a day for maximum effect. As is the case with every workout, your body will adapt. You will eventually need to increase the intensity or mileage to achieve the same or better results.
And keeping track of your daily progress can go a long way in helping you to stay motivated and see just how far you need to go in order to meet the daily, weekly and monthly goals you’ve set for yourself as far as distance traveled and steps taken, along with the number of calories burned. What you need is a good, reliable Pedometer like the Omron HJ322U Activity Monitor This pedometer accurately counts steps when the unit is flat, vertical, or horizontal. So, there is no wrong way to carry it with you. It will keep an accurate track of how far you travel and how many steps it took you to get there. It also tracks "brisk steps" separately from regular steps along with distance and calories burned. To make it easy to evaluate just how well you’re doing with your walking program the data is viewable on PC & Mac laptops/desktops and is viewable on tablets and smartphones. When you connect the HJ-322U to Omronfitness.com, you'll be able to view your trends, track your goals and stay motivated as you improve your personal fitness.
So, with the right combination of goals set in place, the commitment on your part to take advantage of these longer, daylit hours, and eating a proper healthier diet, there is no reason why you can’t begin to see a smaller version of YOU as you continue to
Walk Your Way Towards Being Fit This Spring!