20 San Diego Uptown News | April 29–May 12, 2011
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Simple Steps to Increase Your Burn FITNESS TOGETHER
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Breakfast, the meal that kick starts your day, should be your highest calorie meal. I know, you do not have time to eat breakfast, you have never eaten breakfast before, you dislike eggs, you are not hungry, you are a grab-and-go coffee type. I understand. But consider this: During nighttime sleep, your body works hard to repair itself from the previous day’s damages, and prepare for the demands of the next day. By morning your body is hungry because the last time you consumed calories was sometime before going to sleep. Whether you consumed healthy or unhealthy calories, and whether you did so early or late in the evening, your body still worked all night to prepare you for the next day. Hence why breakfast is important. It breaks the fast of no nourishment during sleep, the period when your body toils over repair and preparation. Naturally, if you skip your break-the-fast meal, your body’s metabolism will work slower, below its full capacity. This decreases your optimal caloric burn and works against you. To reintroduce breakfast into your life, consider drinking a nice shake. In the morning, before you begin your day’s journey, you can drink a shake as a perfectly healthy replacement of the traditional meal. You may do so easily and you may obtain the shake from various sources that provide a balanced combination of nutrients and calories. This is a good beginning!
If you continue to drink your morning shake for
a few weeks, you will actually find yourself hungry in the morning! Eventually you might add cereal, oatmeal or a bagel to your morning routine—and pretty soon you will be a full-fledged breakfast eater.
Your body learns and adapts to what you teach it in the gym or at the table. If you do certain exercises at the gym, you teach your body to respond to them—this gives you a particular result, depending on which muscles you worked and how often you did the exercises. The process works similarly with food; teach it to go hungry by not eating breakfast and it learns to live without morning food, functioning at a matching pace. This, however, is a practice that our bodies should not learn, because breakfast is the essential calorie booster of the day. To strengthen a healthy lifestyle, it is important to eat healthily and in frequent, small dosages. Additionally, adding regular, cardiovascular exercises to your life is an essential step to maximizing your caloric burn. When I ask people about their cardio routine, they often respond, “Well, I walk.” This is great, of course, but I always remind people that our bodies know how to walk. In other words, when we walk, we do not teach our body anything new. We are not babies. Our bodies know how to walk, so the task brings them no challenge. But what if you walked as if you were late to a meeting? As if you were going to be the last person to arrive at a large meeting, where hundreds would stare at you in silence, jaw agape, with an I-am-glad-to-not-be-you expression? Now here’s walking that you can teach your adult body! A brisk walk can accelerate your heart rate enough to give it a cardiovascular benefit. Have you ever walked backward, on uneven surfaces or sand? Give it a go and see what this type of walking tells your body. Such learned practices are all about proactive cardio change, shaking your norms to get gains.
To get started in the best direction, subtract your age from 220. The number result is your maximum heart rate (MHR). Your goal is to train in such a way that your heart rate achieves a sustained time range of 65 to 85 percent of your MHR. What does the range mean? Sixty-five percent is more in tune with fat burning, and 85 percent more with intense cardio-endurance-building. To add
use resistance training in combination with cardio. Weightlifting has cardiovascular benefits, but the combination of resistance and cardio training is powerful. It is most effective to warm up with cardio exercises, then do a weight session, and close it with a cardio segment. During weight training your body burns most of its stored energy; when you apply the post- weight cardio training, your body has to go deeper into your fat storage to get more energy.
Tara Zandvliet, MD Internal Medicine Pediatrics
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