If you’ve been working out and striving for better health, chances are you have stepped on the scale to determine your success or accomplishments. If that number has moved slowly, or even increased, it can be enough to throw in the towel and give up. There is much more to gaining fitness and health than your weight. Here at The Athletic Club, a Kansas City health club, we’ve compiled these tips and tricks to help you out. Enjoy!
Change Your Focus to Change Your Body
There are several tools to track progress that incorporate you as a whole – from a physical make up to the intricacies of caloric metabolism. Following are easy calculations that give a better, more rounded picture of your health.
Body Mass Index
BMI Stands for Body Mass Index: Body Composition based on Weight and Height measurements for adult men and women. BMI uses a formula where you plug in your weight and height. This number is then referenced against a chart to determine body composition as it relates to the general population. Doctors will use BMI numbers as criteria in a person’s health. Normal BMI falls within 18.5 and 24.9. The BMI category from 25 to 29.9 is overweight. You are considered obese if your BMI is over 30, and morbidly obese if over 40.
If your BMI is out of healthy range, you can do one of two things: 1) Lie about your height, or 2) Lose weight through DIET and EXERCISE. In this calculation process, the most important thing is reducing physical pounds. HOWEVER, as mentioned above, there is more to you than your physical weight. Keep reading…
Basal Metabolic Rate
BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate: The amount of calories (energy) your body needs daily to support the basic life functions like breathing, digestion, heartbeat, tissue repair and growth, etc. BMR is used to determine how many calories you should consume to gain, maintain or lose weight through diet and/or exercise. Exercise greatly improves a person’s BMR. Calories In < Calories Out = Weight Loss. A higher BMR means more calories can be consumed before they are considered extra by the body and possibly stored as fat.
Body Fat Percentage
Body Fat Percentage is the composition of bone, muscle tissue, essential fat, and excess fat. Your body weight is a total number of all of these things. Some you can control like muscle tissue and excess fat. Others you cannot. Bone, essential fat, and organ tissue are not easily manipulated, nor should they be! There are several ways to determine body fat percentage.
The Importance of Diet and Exercise
Diet and Exercise directly impact percentages of excess fat and muscle tissue. A healthy diet which contains less calories than your BMR requires will cause weight loss, Regular cardiovascular and strength training further increase BMR (metabolism) by increasing muscle mass, and metabolic processes. Physical weight loss reduces BMI. It all ties together for a healthier you. Diet and Exercise are a dynamic partnership that put you on the fast track to your fitness goals. Here at The Athletic Club, a Kansas City Health Club, we can help you with your diet and exercise needs.
Why Consider Body Composition in Your Weight Loss Efforts?
Calories in one pound of fat = 3500; 1 lb of fat burns about 2 calories a day. To lose 1 lb of fat, you must use or lose 3500 calories, either through exercise or diet.
1 pound of Muscle burns 6-8 calories a day (some sources put this number much higher). That is 3x more calories than fat! More muscle = more calories burned doing nothing at all, increasing your metabolism by 6-7% daily with every pound of muscle built.
Muscle and Fat look and feel totally different. Muscle is dense, firm, and smooth. Fat is fluffy, bulky, and lumpy. More muscle, less fat = smaller, toned, and firmer body. 1lb is 1 lb, but better to have that one pound be firm, smooth and compact!!
Health risks are amplified by excess Body Fat. The more fat your body has, the more at risk you are for health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, certain types of cancers, and heart disease. Looking at the composition of your body allows you to get a better picture of true change and success.
Good Habits Lead to Better Health and Happiness
This New Year, take a moment to reflect on your life – all that it involves. Then take a moment to evaluate your body. It is an amazing system that begs to be treated well. Exercise, good quality nutrition, rest, and reducing stress are necessary in living a fulfilled life. You are responsible for what you do to change your life and body. Incorporate good habits, supportive friends and family, and activities you enjoy that lead to better health and happiness. Visit your local Kansas City health club to learn more about good health habits from our wellness coaches.
The Athletic Club, a Kansas City Health Club, wishes you the best for 2013! We are here for you and would love to assist you in your fitness goals.
The Athletic Club
10440 Marty Street, Overland Park, KS 66212
Check back often for more advice from your Kansas City health club, The Athletic Club.