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Outdoor Exercise for Fitness

Many exercise physiologists believe that resistance exercise is more effective than cardio-exercise for getting a fit lean body. When you build muscle you have more cells to burn fat. Muscle cells consume many times more calories than fat cells. People at the gym who lift weights for fitness can spend less time than those on a treadmill who are just using more calories.
Go outdoors. Get both resistance exercise and cardio-exercise by hiking hills. You don’t need weights for resistance. Your body weight, working against gravity, either going uphill or downhill provides resistance. A back-pack and heavy boots add more resistance. When going uphill you improve your heart and lungs and burn extra calories.
Hiking gives the legs a work-out, but you need resistance exercises for your upper body. Push-ups are ideal for the younger set. I do modified push-ups by leaning with a straight torso on to the back of the couch in front of my fireplace.
Kayaking can also provide both cardio-exercise and resistance exercise for the upper body. While straight paddling is like walking on the level, you can feel resistance when paddling against a current or against the wind. Getting a kayak on or off a car uses a variety of muscles.
Exercise out in nature a few hours a week improves your mental outlook as well.

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Avoiding Fat Can Cause Obesity

Counting calories rarely works in long term weight loss. Your body is not a machine like the one used to measure calories. What you eat gets changed by your digestive system and by intracellular enzymes. Sugars or fats stimulate hormones that affect how you feel and react to further eating.
Fat is not just a passive storehouse of energy. It is a more efficient fuel for the body than carbohydrates. Dietary fat even bypasses the liver to go directly to the heart. The heart and other muscles prefer to burn fat. The brain is the one organ that requires glucose. A person on a low calorie diet quickly uses up body glycogen to nourish his brain. When that’s gone the person’s muscles break down to make amino acids to form blood sugars. Though proteins are inefficient energy foods they are necessary to build muscle, make enzymes and help the immune system.
Eating fat causes hormones that keep you satisfied for hours. This prevents you from eating too many carbohydrates that raise your insulin. Insulin opens the gates of all cells, including fat cells, to absorb sugar.
Eating fat increases the fat-burning enzymes in your liver and other cells. These are necessary to burn your body fat. With a low fat diet the fat-burning enzymes decrease while the enzymes that turn sugars into fat increase tremendously. . The fat in your hamburger may keep your heart pumping while the fat made from the sugars in a big soft drink leads to obesity.
Humans have eaten saturated fat for millennia without metabolic diseases. In the 20th century Americans have been eating less animal fat but hundreds of pounds of sugar. This correlates with increased obesity since 1970 when low-fat foods became popular.
Fat should be considered an energy food, but make sure it’s organic. Fat from animals grown in factory farms can contain insecticides, antibiotics, herbicides and other toxins. This is the fat to avoid. I eat lots of cheese from Ireland and local organic lamb. A true Mediterranean diet always included cheese.
Dr. Mary Enig, who first warned against trans-fats, says “Eat fat to lose fat”. She advises using coconut oil since, like other saturated fats, it’s stable and not prone to oxidation or forming dangerous free radicals.
You need to eat fat to produce the enzymes that burn body fat.

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