Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lesson #20: Physical Fitness for Entrepreneurs, Part 3

Now, we’re coming to the technical part where you can figure out how to tone your body and feel comfortable in your skin. Knowing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the key to knowing how many calories you should, or should not be consuming in a day. Your BMR is simply the minimum amount of calories your body requires daily to complete its basic functions, like keeping your heart beating or regulating your internal temperature. Once you know your BMR, you can also factor in the body’s caloric use during digestion, and your daily caloric expenditure based on your activity level. This can give you an accurate representation of what your total daily caloric expenditure is.

Once you have estimated your total daily caloric expenditure, you can accurately calculate how many calories you need to eat and how much exercise you need to do every day to maintain, gain or lose weight to meet your healthy weight goals. Here, I’m going to give you the non-technical – best guess estimate - method of calculating your daily caloric expenditure.

The Best Guess Method
For every pound of body weight you carry, your body burns about 10 calories each day. Therefore, a person weighing 130 lbs would need to take in at least 1,300 calories (130 x 10 = 1,300) every day, just to meet their body’s basic needs. After you figure out your most basic caloric need, you can factor in your activity level, and digestion needs, which will get you even closer to the real number of calories that your body uses every day to support your regular activities.

  1. To find out your basic BMR, take your body weight in pounds and multiply this by 10. Let’s use an example of a person weighing 130 pounds:
    Example: 130 lbs x 10 calories/lb = 1,300 calories

  1. To factor in the amount of activity you do in a regular day, take the above number and multiply it by your Activity Level (see below):

Sedentary: 20% (Sitting most of the day)
Lightly Active: 30% (Walking here and there; daily chores)
Moderately Active: 40% (Constantly moving around; daily exercise)
Very Active: 50% (Heavy exercise for prolonged periods of time or heavy manual labor) 

Example: 1,300 calories x 0.30 = 390 calories
Then, add together your BMR and calories burned by your activity level: Example: 1,300 calories + 390 calories = 1,690 calories
  1. To factor in calories used during Digestion, which is estimated at 10% for the general population, take the last number you calculated (your BMR + activity level) and add 10% of that number to your total:
Example: 1,690 calories x 0.10 = 169 calories + 1,690 calories = 1,859 calories
Therefore, this 130 pound person burns an average of 1,859 calories every day to support their body’s most basic needs, activity level and digestion of food.
While there are great variations in people’s sizes and shapes, most people can be placed into a well defined category of body types. These include Mesomorph, Ectomorph and Endomorph. Each has a unique characteristic, and understanding these characteristics may very well establish your expectations as it relates to your physical conditioning and appearance. Of course, the first thing to consider is your genetics. What did your parents look like in their twenties? And is one parent an ectomorph while the other is a mesomorph making you a meso-ectomorph or something like that. In other words you may have the traits of two body types although one will always dominate.
            The second concept to understand is Body Composition. A weight scale will not tell you how much fat to muscle, bone mass and water weight you hold. A thin person can have excessive fat especially around the middle and butt with the misconception that being thin is healthy. The key factor is the amount of fat to muscle mass. The greater the muscle mass in relation to the reduction in fat is ideal no matter what your weight may be.
            Today, there are amazing body composition scales for home uses that work like weight scales. No longer do you need to get dunked into a tank of water and have a team of scientists figure out your composition. Tanita probably leads the field with several highly accurate scales costing from $40 to $130. If you really want to know what your internal makeup looks like, then I’d recommend getting one of these scales. Go online to Google and type in “Tanita Body Composition Scales.” 
            Two quick important notes:
  1. Don’t believe the hype you see on TV about the “fit” individual being touted on an advertisement using some gimmicky new exercise equipment guaranteed to make you look like a movie star in only 10 minutes a day. You may not have the same genetic composition or the time or the professional trainer to make you look like that “model” on TV.
  2. Body composition in itself will not complete your fitness picture. Jim Fixx, who wrote the bestselling book, The Complete Book of Running, and an avid runner, died of heart attack in 1984. He scumble while running due to a pre-existing genetic condition he wasn’t aware of. Fixx believed that exercising alone would keep him healthy. Get regular checkups!

A mesomorph (or meso, for short) is a muscular person with broad shoulders and a well-defined chest that’s larger than the waist. Meso types can increase their muscle size quickly and easily. The well-developed, rectangular shapes of mesomorphs are representative of their thick bones and muscles. The abdomen is taut and hips are generally the same width as the shoulders. The buttocks, thighs, and calves are all toned and defined. One major drawback to meso types is their inflexibility.
Mesomorphs are full of energy, are physically capable of a lot of activity, and tend to be aggressive athletically. (Usually no couch potatoes in this group.) Although mesomorphs generally store fat evenly all over their bodies, they can become overweight if they are sedentary and consume a high-fat and/or high-calorie diet.
Cardiovascular disease can be a primary threat to an overweight meso, so if you fit into that category, your best method of prevention is to maintain a healthy diet and a balanced exercise regime. Remember that your heart is a muscle, too, and the best way to keep it fit is to perform cardiovascular activities.
Mesomorphs make great athletes. They excel in sports that require great strength, short bursts of energy, and lots of power. Mesos are always popular in gym class and at the playground, because people want mesos on their teams. At the gyms, you will most likely find mesos lifting weights and avoiding the cardio equipment like step machines, Spinning bikes and treadmills, not to mention their lack of attendance in cardio and stretching classes.
Because of their leanness and a body that consists of small bones and joints, ectos have a tendency to be injured during sporting activities. So ectos are usually too fragile for contact sports like football. But this body type is naturally suited for endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling.
Just remember: balancing your activities is the key. Like mesomorphs, ectos have a tendency to stick with what they do best, and ectos excel at cardiovascular training. Ectos, however, need to balance their workouts with cardio and muscle building to achieve peak fitness and strengthen their bodies against injuries.

An endomorph body typically has the capacity for high fat storage, and unfortunately puts fat on pretty easily. Although all body types are susceptible to excessive weight gain, endos are more inclined to become obese. The majority of the body weight is either centered in the middle of the body or in the hip and buttocks regions. Endos have been called “pear-shaped.” Structurally, endos have small to medium bones, limbs that are shorter in relation to the trunk, and a muscularity that is not well defined.
A male endo (known as an android) tends to have a different fat distribution pattern from a female endo (known as a gynoid). Female endos usually collect fat in their butts, legs, and hips, while most males collect fat in their abdomen (the "spare tire" or "love handle" look). Many research studies have shown that abdominal fat deposition is much more dangerous than fat in the leg and butt area. This is primarily due to the danger of heart disease and an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, some cancers, and high blood pressure.
The main health concern for endos is maintaining a healthy body weight. Excessive amounts of body fat puts endos in jeopardy of cardiovascular disease. Remember that the risk of such disease is increased if the majority of the fat is carried in the center of your body surrounding your heart. For endos, especially those out-of-shape and carrying extra body weight, the joints of your lower body may be weak and highly susceptible to injury if involved in high impact sports.

Diets don’t work on two levels: 1) it slows down your metabolism because without a regular level of food, your body naturally slows everything down to conserve energy. This defeats your ability to burn fat calories, and 2) you are less-than-optimally fit to exercise and increase your metabolic rate.
I’ve dealt with several people who’ve told me that they tried “everything” and haven’t been able to lose any weight. For many people, a weight loss program as I’ve defined it is a total paradigm shift in their lifestyle: if you want to lose weight, you must commit to getting physically stronger – and eating smaller portions at increased intervals every day. Getting stronger will speed up your metabolic rate and burn calories from fat. Eating smaller meals more often will also increase your metabolism. A simple way to do this is understand the amount of calories your body needs to sustain itself by using the formula above or more accurately with a body composition scale. Then divide the amount of calories by six and eat six smaller meals without reducing the number of calories. Warning: you’ll be hungry more often. Just as important, however, is to reward yourself on the weekends by eating whatever you want! By allowing yourself to eat hardily on one weekend day, you’ll maintain this eating plan longer.
But don’t forget: you must couple these six meals with a strength and aerobics program that will improve your cardiovascular fitness and increase your muscularity. (A side benefit of weight training is better bone mass which for women and older adults is critical.) Studies have shown that people in their 70s and 80s have been able to gain strength through bodybuilding.
Remember: it’s not how much you weigh; it’s the ratio of fat to muscle that counts. You may find yourself weighing more, looking slimmer and holding less fat because muscles outweigh fat.
The best results will come by understanding what methods work best for you: the types of exercise and your personal motivations. Living happily and longer with full functionality should be at the top of your list!
One important word about aerobic exercise: from what I’ve seen in the gym, most people do not do enough cardio to lose weight. I was once asked by a group of middle-aged walkers who walked three times a week for one hour why they didn’t see any weight loss? The first question was what they normally ate each day and how much. By analyzing their situation, it was clear that on average, the walking only burned 350 calories while their consumption was nearly 2500 calories – 500 more than necessary and still 150 calories in excess after walking an hour!
Walking may be a great exercise but if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve got to walk faster or a great deal farther. If you add some jogging, that increases the exertion (or metabolic rate).
If you take a look at countries where people are slim – France, Japan, China many Third World nations – their diets are less fatty, less caloric and they walk a great deal more than us (or in other words, their aerobic time is far greater). In fact, on average, people in other countries walk an average of 13,000 to 15,000 steps per day. In this country, we walk less than 5,000 steps and we eat a whole lot of crap.
Next time you’re on the treadmill or step climber count the number of steps you’re taking in one minute, then multiple that by 60 and you’ll figure out your hourly quantity.

Remember: The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your physical health. And your life as an entrepreneur will be greatly enhanced by the physical fitness as it makes you smarter, attracts people and increases your optimism about life!

1 comment:

  1. In part, because the once expensive abdominal exercise machines have become more affordable to the average person, who enjoys working out at home rather than a gym.