Wednesday, May 2, 2012

When Little Things Add Up In The Fitness Realm

Odd, random things I did yesterday that I wrote about in the book: I had an intermittent fast; 17 hours between meals and 14 hours without any eating; I used an equation to estimate a repetition maximum, based on a sub-maximal weight (see below).

Woody Allen has a line in Annie Hall that goes something like "a relationship is like a shark – it has to keep moving forward or it will die." I have to keep moving too; I'm like that shark (although I hope not tempermentally). I've always had trouble with office settings for any length of time. After a while I feel like a caged animal, and have to get up, move around, leave the room, go outside.

I'm also pretty good at not moving (I try to sleep a lot). The difference, however, between being stationary and motorized (living out of your car) as opposed to active can be quite profound in the longterm. It's an example of how little things add up for your fitness.

Someone who expends 200 calories per day more than another, simply because they take one moderate-sized walk and are fidgety throughout the day (they accumulate more steps) burns 24 more pounds in a year (two pounds a month) than that other person. And that doesn't involve any dietary changes (although it would help if the diet focused on real food) or formal physical training. It might involve more playing, however, like tubing and running back up the snow hill.

This study also points out that getting up and walking every 20 minutes makes a rather substantial difference for the all-important glucose and insulin metabolism: "Interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light- or moderate-intensity walking lowers postprandial glucose and insulin levels in overweight/obese adults."

Lots of things, you find, fall into that "seems innocuous at the moment but may make a significant health difference longterm" category, like cold-water exposure. The moral of the story is – be fidgety; keep an open mind, try new things, even if they seem kooky.

Repetition Max

The repetition max is the most weight you can lift for an exercise like the bench press. This is a sometimes dangerous thing to test on your own if you're not properly spotted by another person. Therefore, you can estimate your RM using a fairly accurate equation: (# of reps / 30) + 1 * weight lifted. So if someone did 6 reps of 175 pounds, then their RM would be about 210 pounds (see Chapter 8 of the book).

No comments:

Post a Comment