Our grandmothers always said: “as long as we have good health, we'll manage!”
Did your Gran have some sort of secret weapon stay in shape? Did she instinctively know her metabolic rate and how many calories the human body needs to function at peak efficiency?
Did Grandmothers everywhere know to calculate body mass index and, to combat obesity, start an exercise program or take up some sport – all without any direction from a fitness specialist?
Too fatty! Too salty! Too sweet!
These constant comments describe our food supply today. Those characteristics have somehow sneaked past the extravagant indulgences normally had only while on holiday, to lodge themselves into our kitchen cupboards and our lunch boxes.
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In government pamphlets, in the grocer's aisles, in all of the controls placed on the food industry: the expressed concern is balanced nutrition.
Oatmeal for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch and a bowl of light broth for dinner: a staple diet to fight obesity, diabetes and other diseases linked to a diet rich in fat.
Such a diet is not what our grandmothers interpreted as good eating habits.
Until the next set of food guidelines are issued, let us discover how we can get fit with a nutritionally sound meal plan – without feeling like a horse in the process.
How to Calculate Your Base Metabolic Rate
The mere act of being alive, of sustaining the processes that keep our bodies functioning even when we're asleep, totals seventy percent of our daily energy expenditure.
Far from being anodyne, this number supports the theory that a base metabolic rate is defined as the number of calories needed to support bodily functions even as we rest.
Knowledge of this concept is essential when trying to lose weight and get motivated to learn fitness education.
Before making any health and nutritional recommendations, any fitness professional you engage may consult with a nutritionist, who would calculate your base metabolic rate.
This aspect of your fitness assessment takes into consideration your gender, age, height, and body mass.
Dietitians employ a standard formula for measuring your base metabolic rate, but such a calculation may not apply to everyone, of every body type, in every situation.
That just goes to show that every human is unique.
Genetic factors play a role in how your body burns calories, and so do these other characteristics:
- age-related weight loss (or weight gain)
- what you eat
- and when you eat it!
- adolescent growth spurts
- the healing of injured tissue
- your level of physical activity
- environmental factors
- ambient temperature, altitude, your stress levels, and thyroid function
Each stage of human growth – infancy, adolescence, young adulthood and maturing adults has a basic formula ascribed to its particular circumstance, used to calculate metabolic rate.
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How to Gauge Health and Fitness
Nationally, there is an estimated that 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK. Of them, approximately 2.3 million struggle with high blood pressure.
The resumption of fitness training is perhaps the most dangerous: that is when the most cardiovascular incidents strike.
Prevention rather than correction is the solution provided by fitness professionals.
That is why your personal trainer would conduct a fitness assessment: to evaluate your overall health, including your metabolism, before starting you on an exercise program.
It stands to reason that, during the course of your workout, should you feel heart palpitations and/or pressure on your chest, experience profuse sweating, have trouble catching your breath, you should run to the doctor.
On second thought, please don't run. Get yourself there quickly, though.
To avoid a cardiovascular episode altogether, your fitness instructor will take your physiology into consideration when designing an exercise program tailored to you.
Your health assessment (and subsequent exercise regimen) will include various cardio activities, either as warm ups, or as part of your individualized program design: riding a bike, running on a treadmill, and low impact aerobics.
During such a stress test, your health professional will scrutinise the your heart rate and vascular system function as intently as a cat follows a laser pointer, to detect your overall strength and fitness, as well as your sports conditioning.
S/he may also apply the Ruffier-Dickson test results to your total fitness score.
Calculating Your Optimal Calorie Intake
Exercise science defines a calorie as the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.
That being said, many athletes aver that the use of calorie counters in the course of their resistance training is indispensable.
The food industry and government regulations have jumped on that bandwagon, listing the number of calories per serving right on their products' labels.
Even select restaurants have reprinted their menus, listing the caloric value of their meals.
That doesn't mean your favorite fish'n'chips outlet is keeping your informed.
The standard portion of UK's iconic food rings in at a whopping six hundred calories!
If you are a moderately active middle-aged woman, that number represents one third of your recommended daily caloric intake.
Calculating Your Body Mass Index
According to the National Health Service, more than half of the UK's population is overweight.
The obesity epidemic is considered the greatest non-contagious health threat to the modern world – World Health Organisation.
The WHO adopted the Body Mass Index as a standard calculation of obesity just as 'overweight' became a critical problem in developed nations.
The calculation is targeted to adults, and permits a rapid evaluation of health risks associated with weight gain.
If your body mass index falls between 18.5 and 25, you have a healthy ratio of fat and muscle.
Your fitness trainer will most certainly take your body composition into consideration when formulating your nutrition plan and fitness program.
How to Know if You are Eating Healthy
Rather than constantly an obsessing over food, health clubs and fitness centers espouse sound overall alimentary habits.
Fatigue, diabetes, cardiorespiratory disease; elevated cholesterol: all of these result in part because of eating foods high in fats and sugars.
It has long been established that what you eat has a direct impact on your well-being as well as your waistline.
If your lifestyle is such that meals on the run are all that you have time for, it may be well-advised for you to review your schedule and reduce your calorie intake – and what form of calories you ingest come in.
Would you know a healthy meal if you ate one?
Therein lies the challenge. Plenty of supposedly healthy foods, such as yogurt, are actually loaded with sugar.
You can refer to apps that break down food content and give you not only its caloric value per serving, but its list of additives that are not necessarily featured on the label.
You can also take a quiz to test your knowledge of healthy eating.
Fitness and exercise go hand in hand.
If you want to work toward a stronger, healthier you, consulting with a health fitness specialist is a good place to start.
Engaging a personal fitness trainer is a good way to reach your fitness goals: lose unwanted pounds, tone your body, strengthen muscles and, most of all, develop good eating habits.
A certified personal trainer will take into account your lifestyle, past athletic activity, and sports you currently play.
He would adjust his training techniques to reflect your muscular strength and sports ability.
During your personal training sessions, your fitness management professional may even assign you corrective exercises to do on your own.
If you are a beginner athlete – and a tad on the fluffy side, your in-home personal trainer will probably recommend weight management techniques along with entry-level exercise activities.
If you prefer group fitness, your local gym most likely offers Pilates and aerobics classes, and group training for other workouts such as: weight lifting and yoga.
An added benefit to working out in the gym or in fitness clubs is that there are personal training programs available for special populations: disabled, obese and senior fitness activities.
They also have youth fitness programs.
You should know that any training program, coupled with sound nutritional habits will inevitably lead to a healthy lifestyle.
Such a fitness goal is in reach of everyone, provided s/he has the motivation and endurance to see a training program through: working out every day, eating balanced meals and maintaining an appropriate body weight.
Bear in mind that personal fitness training places accountability of sound nutritional practices squarely on you.
Your in-home exercise physiologist has personal trainer certification, meaning s/he can give counsel not just on what exercise programs are right for your body type, but also what to eat to support your fitness efforts.
That would be good advice to follow!
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