Cardiovascular Health

Eliminating the Confusion – Everyday fitness definitions for beginners

Metabolism – The sum of all physiological processes in which matter is produced, maintained, and destroyed. The ability to burn and utilize energy (calories) is a factor of metabolism.

Calorie Deficit – The difference between the amount of calories you take in and the amount of calories you burn. If you create a daily deficit of 500 calories, you are on track to lose one pound of body fat per week.

Body Mass Index – A comparison of weight to height used to estimate body fatness. It does not, however, distinguish between fat and fat free mass (muscle). Thus, someone with lots of muscle may be falsely represented as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’.

Basal or Resting Metabolic Rate – The amount of energy you expend just functioning from day-to-day. This number does not reflect any type of physical activity whatsoever. It is generally represented in calories.

Strength Training – Using an external load while isolating different areas of the body, to evoke a muscle response and adaptation over time.

Interval Training – Strength and conditioning using intervals of time rather than a set number of repetitions. A great way to mix in cardio with your strength training!

Repetitions – A rep is a single isolated movement from start to finish. Generally, any given number of repetitions forms a set.

Compound Set – Performing two exercises within the same muscle group with little or no rest in between.

Superset – Performing two exercises of opposing muscle groups with little or no rest in between.



Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

To lose weight properly, the kind of weight loss that is long-lasting, you need to exercise.

Diets alone that severely restrict energy intake (which most do) trigger compensatory mechanisms that slow the metabolism and increase appetite.Your body wants and needs fuel. If it’s unsure when the next meal will come, it will look to conserve everything.

A recent study by the University of Copenhagen revealed that in groups of sedentary men, there was a significant advantage to incorporating moderate aerobic activity into the daily routine (just 30 minutes or about 300 calories). Interestingly enough, a similar compensatory mechanism was exhibited by those who exercised at a higher intensity (60 minutes/600 calories).

The group that exercised twice as long actually lost less weight than those who were placed on the moderate intensity regime, even though they burned significantly more calories.

Hmm. The problem is that these previously sedentary men now became too active for their own good.

How is that possible? Without an adjustment period, these new stressors place a significant toll on the body. It’s reluctant to break down too much, too quickly, and compensates by slowly putting the brakes on these processes.

In time, you can burn out, get sick, risk injury, or lose motivation. No one wants to feel physically and mentally depleted. Finding a new exercise routine can be invigorating…finding a way to utilize it in a way that makes sense for you is the challenge.