How Much Exercise Is Enough?

The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember, however you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day.

Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories, such as climbing stairs or playing sports. Aerobic exercises benefit your heart, such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking. Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility.

The simplest, positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health is to start walking. It’s enjoyable, free, easy, social and great exercise. A walking program is flexible and boasts high success rates because people can stick with it. It’s easy for walking to become a regular and satisfying part of life.

The following chart represents an estimate of caloric expenditure during specific physical activity. Listed are 4 different weight categories. Caloric expenditure is influenced by intensity, mode of exercise, one’s level of conditioning, metabolism, and body weight. Try to do at least three of these activities during your training week. This might help to keep you from getting bored with your weekly schedule and will help to make you a more well-rounded fitness enthuseist. You might even find a new mode of exercise to enjoy. My top two exercises are jump rope and fast-paced calisthenics. My new favorite that’s been around for years… the rowing machine.

caloric-expenditure

I Challenge You To This Quick Work-Out!

 

I meet several people in any given week that want exercise advise. The number one question I get is, “What’s the best exercise?” My response is always, “There is no best exercise, any exercise is great if you do it consistently.” If you have read my other blogs, then you know that I believe consistency with exercise and eating a healthy diet throughout your life is most important. So, be consistent with this following work-out and you’ll be sure to shed pounds (if you need to), increase strength, and improve your cardiovascular conditioning (including the other 9  components of physical fitness)…

Be sure to do a 10 minute warm-up before performing this work-out (i.e. walking, climbing stairs, elliptical machine). As always, consult with your physician before doing any exercise program and always monitor your heart rate to keep it within your target heart rate zone.

This is a HIGH-INTENSITY short work-out that should only take 15 minutes for beginners and less than 8 minutes for more advanced. The only equipment you need is your body weight!

READY!? Begin,

1. 10 Jumping Jacks

2. 5 Push-Ups (do all with trying to get your nose to the floor)

Be sure to get a full-range of motion on all push-ups!

Be sure to get a full-range of motion on all push-ups!

3. 20 Mountain Climbers

4. 5 Burpees/Squat Thrusts

5. 10 Body Weight Squats (do all with your hands behind your head)

6. 20 Jumping Jacks

7. 10 Push-Ups

8. 40 Mountain Climbers

9. 10 Burpees/Squat Thrusts

10. 20 Body Weight Squats

11. 30 Jumping Jacks

12. 15 Push-Ups

13. 60 Mountain Climbers

14. 15 Burpees/Squat Thrusts

15. 30 Body Weight Squats

THAT’S IT! If you completed this in 10 minutes or less and kept your heart rate in your target heart rate zone, then you are in excellent shape (my first time doing this quick circuit was 6 minutes 47 seconds)! If you found this challenging and went over the 15 minutes, that’s o.k.! Keep working at it. Do this work-out every other day for 4 weeks and you’ll certainly see improvements in your fitness level.

 

Tips for Quick Weight Loss

 

The following tips are just a few ways to shed pounds within a few weeks. However, following these tips alone is not enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to these tips,  you must exercise regularly. Consistent healthy eating, decreased daily calorie intake, and daily exercise will certainly help you to lose body fat, decrease your overall body weight, and firm up your muscles. When exercising, be sure to incorporate all components of physical fitness into your workout. Not only will these components of physical fitness help you to lose weight, they will help you to get through your daily activities without being exhausted at the end of the day.

Weight loss

  1. Portion Control – Try eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. This may help to keep your metabolism higher. Three large meals in a day can be higher in calories and can be more difficult for your body to burn these calories up.
  2. Do not starve yourself – Your body can actually hold on to fat and go into “starvation mode”.
  3. Eat food slowly – This can have the effect of making you feel satisfied sooner, helping to consume less food and fewer calories.
  4. Reduce your intake of refined sugar and refined flour products – Substitute these with whole grain and multi-grain products.
  5. Limit use of sauces, dressings, and creams – Always ask for it “on the side”.
  6. Do not go grocery shopping when hungry – People tend to buy junkie snacks and unhealthy foods when they are wanting to eat.
  7. Avoid eating fried foods – Instead of frying foods when cooking, try to bake, broil, or grill.
  8. Try to cook without adding butter, margarine, or oils – These can add a lot of unwanted calories.
  9. Always start the day with a healthy breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates and lean protein Breakfast will boost your metabolism and keep your energy high and hunger low throughout the day.
  10. If trying to loose weight/body fat, try reducing your caloric intake by 500 kcal per day – 3,500 kcal equals one pound of fat. So if you cut out 500 kcal every day for 7 days, you can loose one pound in one week.
  11. Keeping a food diary can help to reduce your weight – Keeping track of calorie consumption has been proven to be effective in weight reduction and loss of body fat.
  12. Have a support group – Talk to close friends and family about your plans for losing weight. They will be there for you!
  13. Water is best – Avoid soft drinks and juice. These are high in calories and sugar. Your body is approximately 80% water. Drink up.
  14. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and interferes with proper physiological functions of the body. Drink alcohol in moderation or preferably cut it out until you reach your goal.
  15. A positive lifestyle change rather than a crash diet is most successful in losing weight. Exercise, healthy eating, and motivation will help you reach your goals.

Change is Good

JEFF3AGL2016

I could not have done this push-up 20 years ago!

 

Summer is almost over and it’s time to start thinking about fall weather, school starting, and, dare I say it, the Holidays. My youngest son, Will, is starting kindergarten at a new elementary school this year. This is going to be a big change for him and my wife and I. Our little Stinky is getting big! It’s time for both of my boys to go back to school. This summer has been full of traveling, staying up late, fishing, and just general craziness. They need a change in their daily schedule. A change that has more structure and discipline. They will certainly benefit from this change from summer fun to a structured school routine. As with my kids, I need to change my routine now. My exercise routine.

I’ve found myself getting into the same old exercise routine. A routine that has gotten a bit boring and mind numbing. I always use this time of the year to analyze my workouts and see where I need to make changes. I’ve really gotten into High-Intensity Circuit Training for the past 5 months and have neglected standard weight-lifiting. The circuit training has certainly kept me at a top physical fitness level and has kept off the unwanted pounds that so many people put on towards the end of summer. I also like to eat an occasional cheeseburger and drink a glass of wine or 2 (or 3).

Yesterday was my first day of change in my daily exercise routine. I got back into lifting weights or strength training. I am SO sore today. Pull-ups, chest presses, and flyes. Heavy weights. Circuit training is definitely a great way to stay in shape, but so is standard strength training. My body has gotten use to being beat up by circuit training. I had reached a plateau. Changing my exercise program to something a little different will certainly change my body for the better and progress me to an even higher level of fitness.

When working out, I don’t compare myself to others on the fitness floor. I compare myself to me when I was in the Marine Corps 20 years ago. I’ve found that consistently changing my exercise routine over these last 20 years has made me leaner and stronger. My cardiovascular endurance is equivalent, maybe even a little better, than when I was 21 years old. My balance and coordination have improved immensely since being consistent with changes in exercises. As a matter of fact, all 11 components of physical fitness have only improved over these many years of exercise and consistent change in my work-outs. There’s no reason to believe your body diminishes as you get older!

I’m 44 years old now. Making changes in my exercise routine along with consistency and healthy eating has kept me at the same weight I was in 1994 when I left the Marines. So don’t get stuck in the same pattern of exercise. Try to mix it up now. Get that body you had 20 years ago. It will take hard work and discipline, but so does everything else in life. Stay focused on your new exercise program and be consistent with healthy eating. Because the change you make in your daily exercise routine today will change your body and the way you feel about yourself for the rest of your life. Change is Good!

Find Time to Increase Your Physical Fitness Level!

 

Physical fitness has been defined in many ways. I believe that physical fitness can be defined as one’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities without physical exhaustion and injuries and to maintain high levels of energy to accomplish daily tasks. I know that by the end of my 11 to 12 hour work day and after training 10 to 12 clients I am extremely tired and my energy levels have diminished. However, at the end of the day, I still feel capable to play with my sons, read books with my youngest, and help Stacie tuck the boys into bed. As my clientele base has steadily grown and my business demands more hours than I’m humanly capable, I’ve found myself losing time to work-out and less inclined to keep myself in shape. Sometimes I think some of my clients are in better shape than me. These clients have regularly set time aside in their busy schedules to train witbih-joggingh me or on their own. That’s what it comes down to, time.

We must set aside the time to exercise or incorporate physical activities into our daily routine in order to improve our physical fitness levels and be healthy. I’ve found that even a little bit of time devoted to a light work-out or high intensity work-out helps to keep me healthy and at a high level of physical fitness. Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to walk outside or on a treadmill is certainly a good way to increase your physical fitness levels. I recommend this to a long-time client of mine at least every other week. He routinely asks, “Is that enough?’ My response is always, “YES! Fifteen minutes is better than doing nothing at all.” Studies have shown that small bouts of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, can decrease blood pressure, reduce your risk of strokes and heart disease, and pro-long life (along with several other positive changes).

Our lives have become overwhelmed with work, school, family, social events, and sports for the kids. Finding the time to take care of my health is a major priority in my life. It should be for you as well. So, make time in your busy lives to exercise daily, even if it’s for just a little bit, 15 minutes, even 10 minutes. A little bit adds up to be a lot in the long run. That little bit of time spent getting your heart rate up will help to increase your energy levels, lift your mood, and, overtime, will increase your physical fitness level. Make your health a priority and get moving. Find the time!

11 Components of Physical Fitness in Action

 

Ladies, being physically fit is not just about looking good in a bikini or having a tight backside or not having fat dangling from your arms when waving. Gentlemen, being physically fit is not about how much weight you can bench press, how big your biceps are or weather you have a four pack or a six pack for abs. Believe me, this is all good stuff.  However, everyone should consider all aspects of physical fitness in order to be defined as a physically fit individual.

There are 11 components of physical fitness. If you are not incorporating all components of physical fitness into your daily exercise program, then you are not doing enough to improve your fitness level and overall health.

The 11 Components of Physical  Fitness include:

  1. Agility
  2. Balance
  3. Body Composition
  4. Cardiovascular Endurance
  5. Coordination
  6. Flexibility
  7. Muscular Endurance
  8. Muscular Strength
  9. Power
  10. Reaction Time
  11. Speed

All 11 components of fitness are present in everyone’s daily lives. You just may not realize it. For instance, you use agility when walking quickly through a crowd during Christmas shopping at the mall. Muscular strength and endurance is being used when unloading a carload of groceries from Costco. Your reaction time is being challenged every day you drive your car to work or drive the kids to school. Your body composition is stagnating every time you choose not to go for a long walk outside and instead sit on the couch watching Real Housewives or your favorite sports team.

Trying to incorporate 10 of the 11 components into one workout may seem impossible.  (I say 10 because while body composition is impacted by exercise it is not an actionable part of a work-out). But, take some time and consider a training session that utilizes an exercise step or BOSU, some dumbbells, a medicine ball, and your body.  You will find you can incorporate the 10 components into one workout.

I’m not going to bore you with written details as how to set up a circuit of exercises that mix in all the components of physical fitness. The best way to do this is by showing you. My YouTube videos demonstrate some of the best, most efficient ways to include a number of exercises that will challenge you in all areas of physical fitness. These videos are just demonstrations that may educate you and hopefully make you sweat a bit.

Knowing all 11 components of physical fitness will help you to be stronger, leaner, and will increase your fitness level at any age. These components should not be forgotten when heading off to the gym or when heading out for an evening walk. You may find yourself doing an extra push-up or picking up your pace and starting into a light jog. Enjoy your training and have fun!

Short on Time? Cardio or Weights?

 

Every week I hear from a client, “I don’t have enough time to get in my cardio and weight training this week, which one should I skip, which one is most important?” My response, “Don’t skip either, both are important and need to be done with consistency.”

If you are on a mission to lose weight, the cardio is going to help you burn off that stored energy, otherwise known as body fat. The strength training can’t be skipped either, your muscles need to be stimulated weekly in order to promote proper growth and development so your muscles become stronger and shapelier.

When you are short on time, the best way to get in your cardio and strength training is through what I call High Intensity Circuit Training (HICT). This type of circuit training involves high intensity cardio bouts mixed in with weight training. What makes this type of training great for people with little time, which is most of us, is that you combine your cardiovascular conditioning with resistance training. This will give you a total body workout. You’re not only burning calories and body fat, but you are also strengthening your heart and improving your muscular strength and endurance. High Intensity Circuit Training can be accomplished many ways with no equipment, minimal equipment, or with a fully loaded gym.

My favorite way to train clients is by incorporating basic calesthetics with strength training. You must first get your heart rate up high, at the upper end of your target heart rate zone, in a short period of time, usually 45-60 seconds. Once the heart rate is up, continue on to a 3 to 4 exercise strength training circuit. For example, do 60 seconds of jumping jacks, then, with no rest, move on to 15 push-ups, then on to 20 jump squats, then on to 15 ball push-ups, then do 20 lunges. Repeat the circuit 2 more times. Now this is just a very basic example of HICT, but nevertheless you are accomplishing your cardio and strength training in a short, very intense period of time. I have several of my advanced clients doing up to 16 different exercises in one circuit and burning over 700 calories in 60 minutes (I typically have clients do three sets for each circuit).

When choosing high intensity cardio bouts, you can’t go wrong with calesthetics such as jumping jacks, scissor jumps with jabs, squat thrusts, or mountain climbers. All of these will get your heart rate up very high in a very short period of time. The cardio bouts don’t have to be calesthetics. You can also incorporate cardio equipment such as the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. However, I find that a high intensity cardio bout on a piece of equipment takes a little more time to get the heart rate up. So you might want to increase the time to 2-3 minutes rather than 45-60 seconds. You must be going as fast and as hard as you can on the piece of equipment you choose at the time.

The weight training circuit following the cardio bout can be set up in a variety of ways. This is where you have to be creative and piece together a total body circuit, or just lower or upper body combinations or super sets. If you want to view some great examples of this, go to my YouTube Channel. There are currently 4 circuits posted that will guide you through a variety of High Intensity Circuit Training.

High Intensity Circuit Training may not be for everyone. This is an option for more intermediate to advanced trainees that are short on time. However, beginners can go slow and at a lower intensity to accomplish such training. Remember to always check with a doctor or fitness professional to be sure this type of training is right for you.

Your options are endless when it comes to High Intensity Circuit Training. The combinations of exercises for your entire body will continue to grow if you are thoughtful in setting up your circuits. So, don’t skip weights or cardio when you have a busy schedule. Take advantage of what little time you have to exercise and maximize every minute of your workout by doing High Intensity Circuit Training.