Tag Archives: muscle

Determining Your Fitness Level

Author: Steven Stratton1492fitness

You made your resolution to get in shape, you have even found an exercise program that you like, but where exactly do you start? One of the first things that you should do is to find out what your current fitness level is. This is important, because you want to make sure that you increase at a healthy rate to prevent injury. There are several ways to test your fitness level.

Upper Body Strength
A great way to test upper body strength is by using the push-up. Men should use the traditional military style push-up, while women can use the bent-knee position. To perform the test, do as many push-ups as you can, and count them as you are going. The average number of push-ups is listed below:
Age 20-29: 17-33Age 20-29: 35-44
Age 30-39: 12-24Age 30-39: 24-34
Age 40-49: 8-19Age 40-49: 20-29
Age 50-59: 6-14Age 50-59: 15-24
Age 60+:   3-4    Age 60+:   10-19

Aerobic Activity
A great way to test your aerobic fitness level is the 12 minute test. To perform this test, warm up properly then cover as much distance as you can in 12 minutes. You may walk, run, or jog. When your 12 minutes are up, record your distance. Below are the average results for the number of miles covered:
Age 20-29: 1.33Age 20-29: 1.54
Age 30-39: 1.27Age 30-39: 1.49
Age 40-49: 1.21Age 40-49: 1.42
Age 50-59: 1.13Age 50-59: 1.33
Age 60+:   1.07Age 60+:   1.24

There are several other tests to check your fitness level, some of which can be performed by a trainer or physician. If your numbers are below the averages above, set your goal to the average and work towards that. When you have reached that goal, move to a higher one. Goal setting is so important when making that decision to get into shape, you do not want to make unrealistic goals, but you also want to make sure that the goals you are setting are will challenge you. Once you achieve the goal that you set, you feel incredible. Then comes the choice to set another goal or try to maintain the current level of fitness that you just achieved. Another way to help you determine your fitness goals is to find out what your body fat percentage is. You can do this a couple ways, you can go to the gym or a physician and get your body fat measured by a personal trainer or a doctor, or you can buy a body fat measure with a fat measurement guide. Body Fat measurers are simple to use and pretty accurate, and you can check your progress anytime you want. Seeing progress is so important, because it helps to motivate you to conquer your goals. Another reason why body fat measurers are great is because not everyone is trying to lose weight. If you are trying to pack on more muscle, you might not see a difference on a scale, in fact you might actually gain weight, but having a body fat monitor will you help you see that you are decreasing your body fat.

Getting Back in Shape: 32 Workout Programs for Lifelong Fitness

What exactly is ‘metabolism’?

Author: Liam Taylormiley-cyrus-justin-gaston-running

Most people think they have a slow one.  We all wish ours was a lot faster.  The slimming industry has made a fortune selling pills that supposedly boost it… Even my local curry house is claiming that eating spicy food will make it sky rocket!

But what exactly is ‘ metabolism ‘?  Why is it important for weight loss? And how can it help us in our quest to fit back into our favourite jeans?

Your body is a made up of trillions of cells.  Within each of those cells are chemical reactions that burn up the calories in the food you eat.  The name given to all of these calorie burning reactions is ‘metabolism’, and the speed at which this process happens is called your ‘metabolic rate’.  The faster a person’s metabolic rate, the more calories they burn each day.

Try to think of your metabolism like an engine burning up the fuel you consume.  Put in more fuel than your metabolism can burn, and the excess gets stored as fat.  Put in less fuel than your metabolism burns and you will burn off your fat stores to make up for the shortage.  Long term fat loss only occurs when you eat less calories than your metabolism burns.

So if your metabolism is like an engine, how much fuel do you need each day to run it? The government recommends 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men, but this is guesswork.  To find the real figure we need to look at the three factors that make up your metabolism -   Resting metabolism, Movement and Digestion.

• Resting metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns at rest.  It is the energy required to sustain your organs and muscle tissue, even while you are sleeping.  The bigger you are, and the more active muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest.  Someone with lots of muscle will have a faster resting metabolism than a skinny person.

• Movement metabolism is the amount of calories your muscles burn when they are working, that is if they are working at all!  The more you move the more calories your body burns, so even chewing gum or fidgeting is proven to increase the amount of calories you burn each day, albeit not much!  Someone who exercises daily will have a faster movement metabolism than someone who is sedentary.

• Digestion metabolism is the amount of calories it takes for the food you eat to be broken down and pushed from your mouth to your backside.  High protein, unrefined foods require more energy to digest than high sugar, refined carbs.   Someone who eats healthy food little and often will have a faster digestion metabolism than someone who binges on junk food.

The internet is swamped with slimming and weight loss pills that claim to speed up metabolism.  I’ll make this simple.   There are only three ways to speed up your metabolism – increase your resting metabolism, increase your movement metabolism, or increase your digestion metabolism.  If you want a faster metabolic rate, you have to either 1) build more muscle to increase your resting metabolism, 2) exercise more to increase your movement metabolism, 3) eat better quality meals to increase your digestion metabolism.

No slimming or diet pills can do this for you, so it’s time to put an end to that little fantasy!  To boost your metabolism you have to start eating healthier and moving more, but you knew that already.