Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The challenges of a busy life

One of my biggest problems is making time to eat right and workout.  Life is busy, and if I don't make these things a priority, then they don't get done.  I haven't been able to workout so far this week, or rather, I haven't made myself workout this week.  I plan to catch up with a run tonight, and some weight training tomorrow.

I thought in my post tonight, I would share what I have learned about the importance of adding weight training to your routine if you want to be able to maintain a healthy weight.  Before we can talk about that, though, we have to talk about calorie burn.  I was reading recently about how our bodies burn calories.  What I learned I found very interesting.

Our bodies burn calories 3 ways, and only three ways:

Through basic body functions,
by processing food,
and by physical activity.

Most people think that physical activity is the most important of the three, but they couldn't be more wrong.  The first of the three ways, basic body functions, is responsible for burning about 65-70% of the calories you'll burn in a day!  This category consists of things like breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells and muscle tissue.  As your sitting here reading this blog, your body is burning calories.  This category is also known as your basal metabolistic rate, or resting metabolistic rate (RMR).

The next category is burning food.  Your body has to work harder to break down proteins than it does fats, but on average it burns about 20% of your daily burn this way.

That leaves only 10-15% of your daily burn to physical activity.  Im not saying you should quit working out.  The trick is we have to understand what we are trying to accomplish, and what activities can get the most results.  Aerobic activity burns fat, and with it, calories.  It also improves your circulatory system, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, etc.  However, your body only burns calories at a higher rate during the workout and for about 30 minutes after.  Anaerobic activity, like lifting weights, tears down muscle, which means that the body has to work harder to repair it, thus increasing basal metabolism.  This workout causes calories burn during the workout, and up to 36 hours or more after, depending on intensity.  This is like getting an exponential calorie burn!  It is estimated that for every 1 pound of new muscle you add to your body, you will burn an extra 50 calories a day doing nothing.  This is because you have increased your basal metabolism.  Add 10 pounds of muscle between now and May, and you can eat 500 calories more a day, and not gain any weight.  So, as an example, mom and dad, you should stop by the gym in your complex before or after your your walk and do a simple 15 min, full body weight session.  



  1. Wow........that's is some very good and helpful information. Where did you read it from?