Heart Choices: Fitness Friday ~ Fitness Basics -->

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Fitness Friday ~ Fitness Basics

On this Fitness Friday, Sandy of God Speaks Today and I will be sharing some basics about getting in shape and establishing a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, it's not about a diet or quick weight loss formula. It's about beginning to establish healthy lifestyle habits that you can live with from now on.

This takes time but ...it's well worth the effort.

I guarantee that you'll feel better, have more energy and your clothes will fit and look so much better. And that's a good thing!

Sometimes it's just good to review a few basics.

An exercise program should include:

5-10 minutes of warm-up exercise like stretching
  • 30-60 minute aerobic (cardio) that might include an activity like running, walking, bicycling or swimming.

  • 5-10 minutes of cooling down such as stretching

  • Strength training exercises at least three times a week
Here are a few key points to remember:
  • Endurance exercise is the best type of exercise to get your body burning fat. As your fitness level improves, your body is able to burn greater amounts of fat.

  • Exercise burns calories. If you walked 40-60 minutes or jogged 30 minutes you would burn about 300-500 calories. If you did this three times a week, you would lose about a pound of fat in three weeks simply by exercising.

  • If you combine exercise with a reduction in calories you will lose weight quicker. By only cutting out 100 calories (one cookie) and exercising three times a week, you could lose one pound in two weeks or 20-30 pounds a year.

  • Exercising before a meal will help decrease your appetite.

  • Don't eat before exercising. After you eat, blood is diverted to your stomach to digest your food. That reduces the amount of blood and oxygen that's available to other muscles. The exception would be a diabetic who might have a small snack since exercise reduces the blood sugar.

  • Drink lots of water! Living in Phoenix, Arizona I've learned about this. We have to drink even more water than other parts of the country because of the desert and no humidity. Drink water before, during and even after exercising.

  • Wear the right clothes when you exercise. Wear loose fitting clothing in hot weather. In cold temperatures, be sure to protect your head to help contain body heat. Layered clothing is great because then you can peel off layers after warming up.

  • To get the most benefit, exercise on a regular basis. Did you know that once you stop exercising consistently, half of your endurance improvement is lost within 12 weeks? After all that hard work, don't lose the benefits you've gained.

So, hang in there and let's encourage one another as we focus on the goal. Establishing habits that you can live with for the long term is so important.

If you have any other pointers or simply want to offer encouragement, I hope you'll leave a comment.

And don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today. Sandy's the originator of Fitness Friday's and she's going to offer you a challenge. She also has a few tips to help you establish exercise as a habit.

Debbie Petras
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  1. With self awareness and attention to what your body and mind are really telling you, you can prevent yourself from eating for the wrong reasons.And that is one step closer to achieving quick weight loss the sensible way.

  2. Debbie:

    Love your tips. Basics are so very important. The only thing I would add is that you want to warm up your muscles a bit before you stretch. I like to do about 5 minutes of cardio, then stretch, then do my real work out. This will minimize injuries. There's nothing worse than getting all geared up to finally work out and then pulling a muscle. :)

    Have a fabulous day!!

  3. Debbie,
    You are right on when you said that health is establishing a set of good habits that you can live with. You always give sage advice and this post is a great example. Thanks. OX

  4. Thanks for the reminder of the basics.

    You know I am going to be thinking about you today!!!

  5. Thanks Debbie..
    I am always hungry and tired after exercising..why is that?? I do drink as I go. Water that is. Sometimes I like to have a protein shake w/in an hour after a work out. Helps in building muscles.

  6. Dear Debbie,
    I am struggling with my overweight.
    15-20 pounds (10 kilos). They clings to my body like a scared child. They will not leave.
    I do not exercise hard, but I exercise long..That is when I'm out hiking, I'm usually outdoors for four hours.
    I use olive oil instead of fat, (have done so for 15 years),I hardly use white sugar at all.
    I do however chew a lot of Wrigley's Extra with artificial sweetening, xylitiol, sorbitol and more.
    Can this be the reason why these pounds will not go??
    I started chewing gum when I stopped smoking some twelve years ago. (Might be longer, I actually don't remember).
    My doc said something about nicotine having had an influence on the metabolism.
    I would so like a formula to get rid of the overweight.

    Yours truly Felisol

  7. Thank you Debbie for reminding us that good state of mind needs good health!

  8. Felisol:

    I wanted to comment on your question to Debbie...though I'm sure she will have a more wonderful response than this. :)

    First, I would suggest you keep a food log for a week to reveal exactly what you are eating. I find that I often eat more calories than what I realize in a day. Every bite counts. And some foods like nuts and oil are very high in calories. That isn't bad. It just means we need to eat less to create a calorie deficit.

    Next, I wondered if you do any type of strength training (weight lifting or pilates, etc.) This will boost your metabolism to help you burn your calories more effectively all day long, even while you sleep.

    I don't think you'd be holding on to an extra 10-20 pounds because of sugar free gum. I'd try some of these other things before you eliminate that.

    Hope this helps!!!

  9. Felisol- I do agree with Sandy's advice. I would also add that it's best to eat small, frequent meals. It actually helps increase your metabolism instead of three larger meals. When you get to our age, the old metabolism slows down and it's harder to lose it. So, we have to know all the tricks too.
    Alyce- We communicated by email about your question but I'd like to post something here too in case others had a similar question. I always get hungry after I exercise too. But if you haven't eaten for two hours before exercise, you should be hungry. As I mentioned above to Felisol, it's actually better to eat small, frequent meals. And if you do that, you'll be hungry every three hours.

  10. Dear Debbie and Sandy,
    I shall start first thing in the morning, Sunday to keep a food log.
    I know I can do that much.
    Perhaps I'm in for a surprise, but then again I'll be on the right track and take the challenge from there..
    Maybe I'll be back for more questions next Friday.
    You know, this was kind of inspiring.

    My physiotherapist, with whom I work (that's an exaggeration; have a therapy lesson), she also teach Pilates. When I'm better at it with the Feldenkrais therapy, I plan to join her Pilates group.
    Fro now I enjoy Feldenkrais. I've regained the curves in my back and the use of my toes.
    It feels marvelous.

    From Felisol


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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