Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I decided to write a quick (ha! is it ever quick?) note about fitness and nutrition.  And the first piece of advice (or soapbox, whatever) about fitness includes the fact that I am a firm believer in sweating!  Sweat is a WONDERFUL thing to produce.  It cools your body and eliminates junk (yeah, that was scientific sounding).  But its main process is to cool!  You have a built in AC unit in your body!  Why do we need to be cooled?  Because your body is working hard enough to need a cool down!  Like a fan to a hot engine, your body should be working hard enough to need to be cooled off, thus to sweat.  It is in my non-expert opinion that if you are a normal food consuming individual (say, not a rabbit) and you are consuming more than 1200 calories a day, then you should do some sort of physical activity at LEAST three times a week that produces, at the very least, a nice wet, cheek pinkening glow. 

When taking advantage of my (now former) workplace fitness center one Sunday afternoon I found an older couple "working out".  I don't want to cast stones upon anyone's fitness style or discourage a single person from getting physical exercise, but this display danced on the edge of pathetic.  The lady occupied the treadmill, and I kid you not, it was set on a speed of 1.8 mph.  That is barely moving, practically sedentary!  And after an exhausting 15 minutes, she was spent.  While the tortoise plugged away on the treadmill, her husband occupied a recumbent bike and although I didn't see his rpm's, I can assure you it was practically sedentary as well.  Plus, he was pedaling in his house shoes.  You KNOW I'm not kidding.  I couldn't even make this stuff up. 

I applaud them for getting out and working out.  I do.  And if that's the only exercise they can get, then let me be the first to high-five their non-sweaty hands, but my fear is that they go home and think, "Honey, we just worked out, now we can eat whatever we want!"  Which really couldn't be further from the truth. 

When it comes to diet and exercise, if you're trying to lose weight, maintain what you're currently working with, or gain weight, it all boils down to simple math.  Input versus Output.  Technology today on aerobic equipment has made it very convenient to calculate output.  Numerous websites also offer loads of information about caloric needs based on your specific body type.  And digital heart rate monitors quickly display calories burned.  So it's very easy to calculate how many calories your body requires to function and how many calories you're burning during exercise.  All nutritional information is posted on packaging or with a few mouse clicks is easy to research.  Within a week or so of doing all of the math, it becomes second nature to know how many calories is in 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli. 

My quick, overall point tonight (without getting into too many details) is this:  Input vs. Output.  Calculate it.  It's easy.  If you are constantly taking in too many calories, then you will gain weight.  So you either have to lower your intake or up your output.  And my point for output is this:  if you're not sweating, you're not working hard enough.  Put your body to can handle it.  It was made to work hard.  Get sweaty.  And feel good that you're doing something good for your heart, for your lungs, for so many other functions of your body that I won't even name them all (or could I), and for your waistline!!!!

So if you're working off your turkey and potatoes from Thanksgiving, surrender the house shoes, pick up a towel and use it to wipe your pretty, little, sweaty face!  I'm sure I'll have more to talk about on this subject at a later date.

Until next time.  Mwah!

1 comment:

  1. Tell Dad to take off his slippers the next time he decides to work out...:-)