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Dr. Terry Simpson

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Raising MetabolismExercise Intensity
The easiest way to raise your metabolism is increasing activity, and that means exercise. The most consistent way that people keep their weight off, or get excess weight off, is to exercise. Jack Lalanne, while celebrating his 90th birthday, stated, “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom.”

Exercise to raise your metabolism

woman in robe on treadmillExercise is the easiest and best thing that you can do for yourself. Exercise, to quote the great psychiatrist, Martin Reiss, is “empowering.”

Not that exercise is fun, even Jack Lalanne says that— “You think I want to get up and leave a hot babe to do two hours of exercise?” he asks, talking about Elaine, his wife of over fifty years. “It is the results I like, results, results, results.”

Excess food is stored as fat, and exercise releases that fat storage. How quickly you use that storage depends on the intensity of the exercise. There are no shortcuts.

 Many of us may have seen machines on infomercials that promise results by using them for a few minutes every day. That is simply incorrect. The intensity of exercise determines how many calories you will burn. The heavier you are, the more weight you will lose. The longer you do an exercise, the more fat you will burn. No machine, operated for a few minutes a day, will give you a beautiful body, great abdominal muscles, tone up your thighs, or whatever they are selling—there is no quick or easy way to do that. In other words—TANSTAAFL (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch).

You can see from the chart that the more intense the exercise and the heavier you are, the more calories you will burn. Walking slowly is not the same as walking fast. Walking a mile in a half hour burns barely half the calories as walking it in 15 minutes. But do not be discouraged, you have to start somewhere, and anywhere you start is good.

Exercise & Calories for 30 min.120 lbs150 lbs175 lbs200 lbs
Walking (15 minute mile)132 cal156 cal183 cal210 cal
Running (9 minutes per mile)327 cal393 cal459 cal522 cal
High Intensity Aerobic workout285 cal345 cal402 cal459 cal
Jogging 279 cal324 cal372 cal417 cal

It's easier to lose weight by good food choices than to exercise

If one considers that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, you can calculate that it does take time to burn off a pound of fat. Sometimes it seems discouraging, but remember—small numbers over a long period of time have a large impact. If you weigh 200 pounds and walk two miles a day in 30 minutes, then in a year you would have burned off 43 pounds—and that is without a change in diet.

It becomes easier to make good food choices when people see how much they have to exercise to burn off those excess calories. To burn off a cheeseburger with fries (the small size), you will have to walk seven miles at three miles per hour (or walk for over two and a quarter hours). You will have to walk almost eight miles to burn off the calories in a standard serving of chicken and fries. You will have to walk over five miles to burn off a breakfast of pancakes with butter and syrup.

It seems overwhelming, which is why exercise is one component of losing weight, but it is not the only component. If you persist in eating junk food, you will have to work out a lot. If your eating habits change to food that is better for you, you will do much better.

There are a variety of exercise programs available to people

 You can choose the program that is best for you and your goal.

The first thing you should do is to check with your physician. There are two reasons to do this: the first is to be cleared for some exercise, and the second is to learn to check your pulse to determine your heart rate. Your physician may want to schedule you for a stress test, check some laboratory values to see how your blood count is, or your cholesterol level, or any one of a number of tests.

The next thing is to learn to do some warm up exercises. If you have not exercised in a bit you will need to stretch things out and warm up a bit. Physical therapists can help you with this, as can personal trainers who are certified to do these things.

There are a few simple terms that you should be familiar with before starting down this road:

  1. Cardio workout—these are exercises designed to increase your heart rate and give your heart a bit of a work out. They burn fat rapidly. Examples of these include bicycle riding, walking, jogging, and any rapid exercise.
  2. Strength training—these are a group of exercises that are designed to increase the muscle mass in certain areas of the body. By doing exercises on certain muscle groups your muscles will enlarge. This is sometimes called “anerobic exercises.” Push ups, chin ups, are examples of this type of exercise.
  3. Personal Trainer—Different states have different requirements as to the training of these individuals. In some states all one has to do is call themselves a personal trainer and hang up a shingle. In other states they must pass some basic tests and have a basic knowledge of physical training in order to claim this title. We prefer that your personal trainer have some basic education, including a CPR certificate. Well, mine need to know CPR because sometimes they work me to death. We also recommend you get an attractive personal trainer—makes it more fun, and it is hard to say no to a pretty face.
  4. Aerobic exercises—The American College of Sports medicine defines aerobic exercise as “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” It is a type of exercise that specifically works the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than when you are watching television. Types of aerobic exercises include fitness walking, cross-country skiing, aerobic dance, bicycling, in-line skating, swimming, and others. This is the “fat-burning” type of exercise. While strength training is also fat-burning, aerobic exercise burns fat faster and longer than other forms of exercise.

For exercise to work well, there are a variety of recommendations. We have put together a walking program in the workbook that takes you through the various levels of the program. Walking is simple, can be done anywhere, and requires a minimum of equipment. The 10,000 steps per day program is what is recommended by many sources for a starting point to your exercise.



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