At Hatha Yoga and Fitness x Hada Cosmetic Medicine we say exercise is going to translate into health for all your body parts, and ultimately end up with the right amount of fitness, the ideal weight range, and your healthiest body shaping while maintaining healthy bones, joints, skin, muscles, breasts, waist, energy, and spirit. Lofty goals yes, and not in one step. Shape, spirit, skin and fitness goals are often in concert, but some fine tuning may be necessary! If you suffer injury, or are slow to recover, need to improve nutrition, you need additional adjustment to fitness. Your health provider’s exercise goals for you may be quite extensive, whether you have discussed or not!
Fitness program goals should think about:
- to maintain enough exercise to be vigorous,
- improve strength,
- improve flexibility,
- have better cardiovascular health,
- breathe better
- to lessen risks of strokes and blood clots,
- think better, to sleep, to have better sex, to feel better,
- keep your weight in the healthiest range it can be,
- prevent obesity,
- improve sleep,
- think faster, clearer
- have some fun including better sex
- and finally perhaps to look better!
While all those benefits, and more, can be obtained, for long term sustaining of those benefits you have to look at exactly the relationship between exercise, breath work, fitness level, and nutrition to realize the weight loss and body shaping benefits. Here are some tips, from a health perspective, to help you improve your exercise routine.
1. First for the women: Breast health with exercise means wear enough support to prevent jostling, and enough padding to prevent bruising. We never suggest you exercise without a bra, the more you go without a supportive bra the more breast sagging you will get.
2. Remember to balance that extra energy expenditure of exercise against calorie intake because you are hungrier. Are you eating more just because you exercise? Are you shifting to more sugar and carbs as recovery desires fuel your post workout choices? Those hidden calories when cooking, shopping or snacking. For those trying to lose weight, you still have to cut your calories when you exercise unless you dramatically increase your exercise. You will burn more calories in a day with additional muscle, so there are weight benefits to any exercise.
3. Bone health maintenance cannot be taken for granted, you need to be sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium for your bones. For women in menopause, they may in fact need medication with the exercise and vitamins. Meal plans heavily leaning towards severe calorie restrictions or too much protein by food percentage have been associated with bone losses of up to 10%, even over a relatively short amount of time. Bone loss may be difficult to regain if you have to keep your calories low. Get a consultation, bone turnover can be determined with testing.
4. Adding muscle will get you many of your ‘shape goals.’ Some overall weight changes can have to do with the body composition. Fat weighs less than muscle, and if you are not losing on the scale, but your clothing is fitting better you can possibly be gaining muscle faster than you are losing fat. You can miss estimate how much body fat you have if you are just judging by your look, or your outfits or even with over the counter pinch tests. Only accurate measurements of your fat and muscle mass will tell you that, and if you go by the scale or inaccurate measurements you may have been just plain dehydrated when you weighed? We recommend Body Composition study with DXA at Women’s Health Practice. You may have lots of health benefits of exercise beyond your bathroom scale. You may be gaining weight but decreasing fat! You therefore may also measure your success in inches lost.
5. Are you improving your body composition with muscle and the right sort of muscle for your preferred sport or exercise? The type of exercise you do will affect if you are actually able to make the changes mentioned above, so you may have to switch up the routine. And hidden muscle imbalances, like your right being stronger than your left, that should be corrected.
6. It is possible to get in a rut, get imbalances in muscle distribution, and won’t necessarily work out every muscle group. If you only swim, or only bike, or only lift. Do switch up your exercise routine so that you are getting the most benefit, like everything else, once we get used to a routine we probably are able to accomplish it more efficiently, but in this case efficiently means with fewer calories being burned.
7. Many people overestimate calories burned during exercise and underestimate their calories consumed. Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you consume. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories for some, but 4000-7000 calories for others. To lose one pound, one must burn 3500 (4000-7000) more calories than consumed. That means cutting at least 500 calories per day to lose one pound per week. Be patient! If weight loss is your goal, recognize the weight loss probably won’t come off with exercise alone. Try keeping a food diary to keep track of what goes in, it may surprise you! Keeping your metabolism up is also something you can do with nutritional adjustment.
8. Running can be hard on joints especially knees. Make sure you have good technique with a smooth gait, proper shoes with a good sole, and during the day good posture, and the right amount of stretching after you train.
9. Use measurements as much as the scale. Healthy weight means healthy waist to hip ratios. Men should be under 1 and women under 0.8 to have the ideal waist to hip ration.
10. Even though the scale may show a higher number, building muscle increases metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day. If you would like to see more results with weight loss, continue strengthening exercises to build muscle while increasing your aerobic exercise to burn more calories.
11. Resistance training alone will not firm underarms but there are treatments that can work such as the Venus Legacy, the CoolSculpting or PelleFirm Body Treatment at Hada Cosmetic Medicine. If you also want to have healthier tighter skin on your arms you can benefit from lasers as well. When it comes to the last few pounds Coolsculpting is for diet and exercise reduced fat and may help achieve six-pack definition in your abs and slimmer thighs than you will ever achieve with diet and exercise if genetically you always keep a few pounds there.
12. We can not measure the success of our exercise program through the results seen on the bathroom scales. Don’t let the scale dictate how good you feel about exercising. If you are looking for additional measurements of success, beyond even testing body fat composition, look at the physiological measures of blood pressure, blood sugar, your cholesterol, and your pulse rate. Don’t be too hard on yourself and stay objective about the changes in your body and the benefits exercising has on your bone density, cardiovascular system, mood, and body composition.
13. Our bodies become more efficient at a particular activity the more we do it. This may mean the same activity will burn fewer calories after your body has adapted to it. Try switching up your routine to continue gain fitness, lose weight, and keep your exercise regimen fun.
14. Plan your program. Are you dieting, training for 10K, competing in lifting, there are differences in what you need to do. Exercise amount per week guidelines vary if you are trying to be fit, trying to be an athlete, trying to be strong, trying to lose weight or trying to prevent obesity, which is why when we discuss how much exercise to get, it will seem like you are always reading something new.
The 2008 Federal Guidelines for exercise is at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. The Institute of Medicine suggests 60 minutes a day which is 420 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity is the only way to prevent obesity! Harvard School of Medicine broke the tie with a 2010 JAMA publication stating that while the Feds are on the right track to prevent chronic diseases, the IOM guidelines were best for weight control.
And to add to your look and fun levels, at Hatha Yoga and Fitness, we just might have the right outfit for you to hit the mat with. So come visit. 15 minute fitness consultations are free!