What is Your Ideal Body Weight?

Okay, so what is my ideal weight?  I have an IDEA of what I think it should be but I thought I’d look around the internet. 

First of all, I’ve been spending WAY too much time trying to find a good tool.  I’m learning that the vast majority of the internet refers to the old 1943 Metropolitan Life Insurance table that does not take into consideration your age, definition of size frame  and are just way off for short and tall people. 

I finally ran across a site that was written by a doctor that addresses all those areas.  So for me, I put in my stats:  5’9″, 165 pounds, age 42, Female.  The first thing it did was tell me what other people with my age, weight, gender and height would describe as their ideal weight:  149!  Okay, that’s pretty cool.  That just so happens to be what I would ideally like to be at.

It also told me that people of my height are in a normal range if they are between 129-169.  I was told that my BMI index is 24.4 (the “healthy” range is 19-25).  To learn more about what BMI index is, click here.

But then it said if I was to subscribe to the “Robinson” formula then my ideas weight would be at 142!    If you want to learn more about this (and this history of weight charts), click here. 

Basically what it boils down to is put in your information and you will get your ideal weight.  I’m shooting for 149.

To calculate your ideal weight, click HERE. 

Posted in Diet | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What does BMI mean?

BMI stands for “Body Mass Index”.  It provides a range of numbers in which if your BMI falls in that range, you are in a certain type of category in regards to your weight. 

It’s basically a simple way to analyze data.  Numerous studies have confirmed that having a BMI over 25 you are associated with an increased risk of disease (like diabetes, blood pressure, heart attacks, etc. ) and of course, a shortened life span. 

There are many websites that offer a simple BMI calculator function.  Most of them do not compensate for gender, kids, and ages of adults.  I have found a site that takes all that into consideration.  Click HERE .

My personal BMI index is 24.4 which is in the normal range (19.1 – 25.8). 

I want my BMI index to be lower.  But most importantly, I want to fit into those hip hugger jeans, size 8, sitting on my shelf

Cheers!

Posted in Diet | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Benefits of Spinning Class

Spinning is a cardiovascular cycling workout on a stationary bike on which the tension can be increased, decreased, mileage and lapsed time is kept by a small computer, and calories burned and heart rate can be tracked by using an inexpensive additional heart monitor. Unlike stationary bikes of old, spinning developed as a class in which certified spinners taught routines ranging from strength and endurance training to calorie burners.

Some spinning classes today still have live trainers to encourage spinners and lead them through a heart-healthy workout. Other spinning programs follow video instruction.

When I consider the benefits of spinning on my health and lifestyle there are at least ten benefits to take up spinning as an exercise. 

#1 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Burn, Burn, Burn Calories

I wasn’t fond of spinning when I started because it was hard on my lazy legs. However, as I began to get accustomed to the work out and saw the pounds begin to melt away faster than they had when I worked out on any other cardio equipment I was hooked.

A good thirty minute workout on a Spinning Cycle can burn as much as 500 calories. Even at challenging levels other cardio equipment couldn’t burn that many calories in such a short time. I usually do a workout that is 50 minutes to an hour long. Longer workouts burn from 800 to 1,000 calories. 

#2  Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Cardiovascular Health

Spinning is primarily an anaerobic exercise, pulling energy from your reserves and building up your muscular endurance over an extended period of time. However, there are also aerobic benefits of Spinning. Planned Spinning programs include both endurance and cardiovascular training during the workout. At several points you may be required to break your steady pace and speed up to increase your heart rate.

Heart health is an obvious benefit, as is lung capacity. As you work harder during your Spinning workout you will learn to work on controlled breathing, as well. This may help you with anxiety and physical exertion begins to take your breath away.

#3 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Progress at Your Own Pace

Whether following a live instructor or video, the amount of resistance you apply, as you gain strength and endurance is up to you. Each spinning bike has a resistance control knob within easy reach of the handle bars. It works something like switching gears.

While instructors recommend an RPM, as you work toward increasing your RPM and maintaining a steady pace you can’t fall behind the rest of the class. You don’t feel out of place for not knowing an aerobic or step routine. No one really knows what level at which you are working, so you are free to progress at your own pace.

I was glad of that when I began spinning and ran the entire class with little to no resistance. I’m glad I can progress at my own pace now, because some days I want to add more resistance and work out harder. 

#4 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Time Flies

Have you ever walked or ran on a treadmill for an hour only to discover you burned around 400 calories? Did you enjoy the time on the treadmill? The treadmills at the gym where I am a member have a personal television mounted to help you pass the time. I still find it irritating to walk or run in place for thirty minutes to an hour. For me, the television makes it worse. It slows me down and annoys me to work out with the T.V. on. Time, when I’m on the treadmill, creeps by very slowly.

On the spinning bike, the challenge is constantly changing. As I work through each level I tend to lose track of time. There are training videos that take you along with a group of riders through Las Vegas or Colorado. The scenery is beautiful and also helps distract me as time passes. When I’m in a more contemplative move, I can close my eyes on the bike and think.

#4 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Low Impact

I have several friends who avoid the treadmill, elliptical, and stair stepper because of the traumatic impact on their knees or feet. Spinning keeps the pressure off of your knees and feet. You are able to work out hard on a Spinning bike without hurting your knees and feet. It is also a good workout for those who cannot use the treadmill or elliptical because of arthritis. I have friends who are able to join a Spinning workout who simply cannot stand the pain of high impact cardiovascular workouts. 

#6 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Shapely Legs

It will not take long for your efforts on a spinning bike to show up as weight loss, but there is another great benefit to Spinning. Spinning uses large muscle groups in your legs. It does not take long before your thighs, hamstrings, and calves begin to take shape. Three spinning workouts a week will make a difference in the shapely appearance of your leg.

#7 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Lower Your Body’s Workout Breaking Point

As you learn to work harder on the spinning bike you will begin to find that the breaking point, at which you begin to feel the workout, will become lower the harder you work. For me, the benefit is that once I reach a breaking point and work through it, I get the natural endorphin kick that most athletes enjoy.

The great thing about working your body into this kind of shape is that you feel better without the use of drugs. You feel better throughout the day following a workout and you have more energy. You are simply training your body to work more efficiently.

#8 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Get an Ab workout while You Spin

Spinning instructors never give up when it comes to talking about technique and posture. Correct posture is important to working the right muscle groups. In addition to the major leg muscles worked during a Spinning routine, the abdominal muscles get a workout, as well.

As you spin, unlike racing a bike on the road, you get an upper body rhythm going that helps you keep your leg rhythm. The movement from a slightly bent position and side to side works both the central abdominal muscles and those along the side of your abdomens.

You may not see immediate results of your abdominal work, but over time you will feel your entire body begin to tone up, including your abs.

#9 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Ride Together

Regardless of your fitness level riding Spinning bikes keeps everyone together. This goes beyond sitting in the same spinning class, but each individual works equally as hard at their own level. It is amazing how you can feed off of the energy of other riders when you begin to fatigue and start thinking you might want to quit.

Riding together also gives you the opportunity to encourage others. You can inspire those who have not yet reached your level of fitness, while those stronger than you inspire you. Working together, everyone who spins can reach their goals.

#10 Reason To Mount a Spinning Bike: Mental Strength

I’ve found Spinning does two things for me mentally. First, the warm up and cool down are great ways to relax. Before and after putting my body through a strenuous Spinning workout I can close my eyes, work just a little, and allow the physical exertion to become a catharsis for releasing pent-up emotions.

Spinning also builds mental strength. When you spin, there are good days and bad. The important thing is that you carry through with your regular Spinning routine. Push through difficult times. Push up hill climbs and push through endurance training.

Self discipline of the mind gained in spinning can be applied to all areas of life. I have found it most beneficial in areas of self-control and confidence. Spinning helps develop a positive, “can do” attitude.

Trainers recommend Spinning no more than three days a week. In addition to Spinning, strength training is recommended so that Spinning does not burn away muscle, but burns the fat you want to get rid of.

See you at the next class!

Posted in Exercise | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Compound Exercises – Pressed For Time?

 Are you pressed for time? Most people who don’t exercise often state lack of time as the reason for not starting a regular fitness program. So, is it still possible for people to juggle busy lives and still find time for a quality workout?

The answer is yes, it is possible to get a superior workout without spending hours in the gym. The key is in learning how to build a program composed of compound exercises. Compound exercises can help you make the most of your time in the gym and provide you with a powerful workout for a fraction of the time!Compound Exercises Can Help You Make The Most Of Your Time In The Gym.

Compound Exercises Can Help You
Make The Most Of Your Time In The Gym.

 dot
Compound Vs Isolation Exercises
dot

Exercises can be classified either as compound, which are exercises that involve more than one muscle group, or isolation exercises, which are exercises that isolate a muscle group by concentrating on that one group of muscles.

For the most time-efficient workouts, compound exercises are recommended because 8-10 exercises can stimulate all the major muscles in the body and create the greatest change in body composition in the shortest time. As an added bonus, compound exercises help develop the body proportionately.

Compound exercises are movements that use multiple joints at one time. When you perform compound exercises, more muscle groups are recruited and used per exercise.

For example, a bench press is a multi-joint exercise because both the shoulder and elbow joints are working to execute the movement. In turn, the bench press works several muscle groups, including the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

On the other hand, the biceps curl is a single-joint exercise since only the elbow joint is moving. The biceps curl only works the biceps muscle and is more of an isolated exercise.

So, when you are looking for a quality workout that hits lots of muscles, compound exercises help you do more in less time. By working several muscle groups at the same time, you can perform fewer exercises and reduce the total amount of time you spend in the gym.

When You Are Looking For A Quality Workout, Compound Exercises Help You Do More In Less Time.

When You Are Looking For A Quality Workout,
Compound Exercises Help You Do More In Less Time.

 Compound exercises also increase strength and size far more effectively than single-joint, isolation exercises. This doesn’t mean that single-joint exercises are ineffective. Exercises that isolate certain muscles and muscle groups do have an important role in fitness, especially for advanced lifters. However, if your schedule calls for reduced exercise time, compound exercises are the way to go.

As an added bonus, they are more functional since virtually every movement in everyday activities, such as sitting or kneeling, and in sports like basketball or baseball, involve moving multiple joints.

dot
Compound Exercises For Huge Results
dot

Afraid of looking like The Hulk? Most people do not have to worry about getting too big when training with weights, especially women, who do not naturally possess the male hormone, testosterone, to build large, bulky muscles.

For a powerful workout, consider incorporating this royal group of tried and true compound exercises into your routine to get you in shape and give you lots of energy to keep you ready to be on the go!

  • Squat: The king of exercises for the lower body, the squat is at the top of the list as one of the best compound exercises. The squat works all the major muscles including your butt, thighs, and calves. The squat will also strengthen your stomach and back muscles since you are using them for balance. 
Barbell Squat
Barbell Squat
Barbell Squat
 Lunges: Along with squats, lunges hold court at ruling lower body development. Lunges are another excellent multi-joint exercise and are particularly more functional for sports and daily activities than isolation exercises like leg extensions or leg curls. Lunges also work all your lower body muscles, abs, back, and especially shape the glutes (buttocks muscle) and hamstrings. 
Dumbbell Lunges
Dumbbell Lunges
Dumbbell Lunges
 
Bench Press: When it comes to the upper body, the good old-fashioned bench press reigns supreme. This exercise is a staple of chest development and works all the major muscles in your chest and many more muscles in your shoulders and arms. 
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip
 
 Lat Pulldowns: Watch the muscles of your back develop and take shape in no time at all with this granddaddy of exercises for the back. You will also be impressed with how toned your arms will become without doing even one bicep curl! 
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
 One-Arm Dumbbell Row: At center stage to work upper and mid-back muscles and the rear head of the shoulders is the one-arm dumbbell row. It is also great at biceps and forearm development! 
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
 
Shoulder Press: The overhead shoulder press is excellent for developing the shoulders, upper back, neck, and toning the back of the arms. 
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
 
 Abdominal Bicycle: This abdominal exercise, done on the floor, is one of the best moves to target the whole abdominal muscle, including the upper, lower, and side regions.
Air Bike
Air Bike
Air Bike

 

Make an effort to do these exercises for at least eight weeks. For optimal results and to reduce your chance for injury, have a fitness professional show you the proper form or refer to a good exercise book or manual to do these exercises correctly and safely.
dot
How Many Sets Should You Do?
dot

Generally, one set reaching muscle fatigue between 8-12 repetitions is enough. Muscle fatigue means that the last few reps should be challenging, but doesn’t compromise your form. These last few repetitions are what will create a training effect and make changes in the muscle in the shortest period of time.

Extra sets may add some more benefits, but one is generally plenty to see results, especially if you are just starting a fitness routine.

Muscle Fatigue Means That The Last Few Reps Should Be Challenging, But Doesn't Compromise Your Form.
Muscle Fatigue Means That The Last Few Reps
Should Be Challenging, But Doesn’t Compromise Your Form.

In the beginning, don’t worry if it takes a few workouts to get the feel for the right weight. Learning how to perform the exercises properly is your main objective.

Use this time to create good habits – it beats having to go back later and correct bad ones. As you progress and you can easily reach 12 repetitions with good form, then you should consider increasing your weights for the next workout. Perform this workout on alternating days like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to give your muscles a chance to rest and recover.Another way to keep stimulating your muscles is to occasionally change your hand position (such as wider or narrower grips), your feet position (use a wider or narrower stance or keep toes pointed straight ahead or pointed out) or change your body angle (try an incline bench press instead of a flat bench press). This also helps to keep your program interesting and prevent staleness in your routine.

Compound exercises are proven, time-efficient muscle builders. Before you lift, don’t forget to warm up your muscles by performing a few minutes of walking on the treadmill or simply doing some jumping jacks. And yes, you still have to stretch after you exercise!

dot
Warming Up And Cooling Down
dot

Warming up and cool down activities should be an essential part of any exercise program. The purpose of warming up is to prepare the body for the conditioning or stimulus of the exercise session by increasing blood flow to the heart and to the exercising muscles which serves to warm up and loosen up muscles.

Skipping the warm-up before starting to exercise can limit muscle function and increase the risk of injury. Taking a few minutes to prep the muscles for the extra demands of exercise can save a lot of heartaches, or injuries, later.

Too often people head straight to the shower after their last rep and neglect to properly cool down. However, cooling down is a very important part of the exercise process. Cooling down will return the body to pre-exercise conditions and reduce muscle soreness.

The cool-down assures that venous return to the heart is maintained. This is important because much of the blood was previously going to the working muscles. Take the time to lower your heart rate through walking at a slow pace for about five minutes and then perform stretches.

Take The Time To Lower Your Heart Rate Through Walking At A Slow Pace For About Five Minutes And Then Perform Stretches.
Take The Time To Lower Your Heart Rate Through Walking
At A Slow Pace For About Five Minutes And Then Perform Stretches.

Stretching improves flexibility, helps to disperse lactic acid that can build up during the exercise session (so you are less sore) and helps to prepare the body for the next workout. An often neglected fitness component is stretching. That neglect is regrettable, because regular stretching helps to elongate muscles and helps them to maintain a wide range of motion.

Stretching should be felt in the muscle, not in the joint. Move into the stretch just until you can feel muscle stretch, and hold this position for about 10-20 seconds. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, so if it hurts or if you feel pain in the joint, stop and reposition yourself in a more comfortable position.

dot
Conclusion
dot

So, the next time you are tempted to back out of your workout because you are pressed for time, remember you can work smarter, not longer, by taking advantage of these compound exercises.

Combined with plenty of sleep, clean eating principles, and a positive attitude, you will see huge improvements in your fitness level!

See you at the gym! 

 

Posted in Exercise | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment