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Manic Monday - Exercise Induced Metabolism

Exercise, exercise, exercise! People think exercise has to be all or nothing. With a revolving world of ever-so-busy, can't squeeze another minute into the day-way of's no wonder we think of exercise as a huge task and not a benefit. I can resonate. In college I had seen my body expand weight wise. I was like a lost puppy dog. I had been involved in athletics all through high school and then college hit.... Uh.... all-you-can al a carte. No daily sport practice. My immature brain didn't put 2 and 2 together until I took my first collegiate class in the physical education department. Well, I started seeing results from that class and my busy school and work schedule made it tough for me to squeeze in exercise time. So, I scheduled it in by registering for physical ed. classes. By the time my sophomore year ended, my advisor told me I had enough physical education and exercise physiology courses to sustain a second major ( my first being psychology). I pursued that second major and gained deep knowledge about exercise, ALL kinds of exercise. Many people know exercise can increase your metabolism momentarily (while you are actively moving and in immediate recovery). But did you know that there are other types of exercise you can perform to increase your metabolism for days? Sure, walking is one of the best and easiest activities for people to incorporate into their exercise regiment. While you are walking you are elevating your body's process of burning calories at a higher level than if you were resting. Your metabolism begins to slow back down as you recover from your activity. So we call this "temporary calorie burn." And what about the kind of high metabolism you can sustain for days? You might know it as strength training or resistance training. The old school name for this is "weight lifting." You see, when you perform an exercise that stimulates or "breaks down" the muscle, it takes recovery time to restore that muscle. It's during that recovery time that your body is busy using up energy to restore the muscle. Your metabolism can remain on high for two days after a session of strength training. This is called "long term calorie burn." For optimal metabolism regarding exercise, you should incorporate cardiovascular training AND strength training. You will have both temporary calorie burn and long term calorie burn. A weekly program that incorporates cardiovascular and strength training is ideal. There are several options and schedules to choose from. It also depends on your goals. A general weekly program might look like this: 4-5 days of cardiovascular training (walking, running, exercise classes, etc.), 3-5 sessions of strength training focusing on each muscle group 2 times each week ( dumbbells, free weights, the Magnum circuit at MVP, self weighted exercises, etc.) The time of a session for cardiovascular depends on your goals and what type of exercise you are doing. Exercising at a low to moderate heart rate should allow you to exercise for 45-90 minutes. If you are exercising at a high exercise heart rate, 20-45 minutes is adequate. Many people wear heart rate monitors and watches to asses their heart rate zones and what is appropriate for them. In regards to strength training. In order to really stimulate the muscle you have to perform some challenging work. There are generally two ways of doing this. You can either perform a repetition at a lower weight and execute a high number of repetitions or you can perform at a much higher weight and push out a lower amount of repetitions. It's whatever gets you to exhaustion of that muscle. Keep in mind, if you walk away from a strength exercise and have no feeling of being challenged, chances are your muscle has not been stimulated enough. MVP Fitness Center has resources that you can connect with to help you establish an optimal plan. Please don't hesitate to tap into your resources. There are specific ways to optimize your program to reach your goals. I have seen many people in my life get on a treadmill who walk like molasses for 15 minutes and then do a few bicep curls with pink dumbbells that weigh 3lbs..... then they ask me why they haven't reached their goals yet? (Smile) Take advantage of the wonderful resources available at your gym, MVP Fitness Center! You will learn to work smarter and not harder towards reaching that goal! Have a GREAT week and enjoy your blessings! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend

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