- Exercise & Fitness
The Complete Body Composition Solution: 5 Keys to a Redefined Healthy Body
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." -Mark Twain
Be decisive! Get the facts, all of them. Make up your mind when weighed all the issues concerning the benefits and drawbacks of being fit and healthy. Make a decision and don't add confusion by self-debating the issue.
Procrastination won't solve the issue. Wine may get better in time, but sticking your head in the sand will not improve your health. Putting a decision off to next month or next year isn't going to prevent any problems from getting bigger. Also, once you make the decision, commit to it; don't start anything with a "I'll try it" or "maybe I will" attitude.
The decision is yours, make it! No one else can get you healthier, others can help, but the you have the final and only say in what you actually do.
What is Body Composition?
Body composition is the proportion of fat and fat-free (bone, muscle, tissue, water) mass in the body. It is common for people to gain weight and increase body fat as a result of a lack of exercise and poor nutritional habits.
- Excess body fat has been linked to various health risks, including; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Additionally, excess weight and body fat reduces one's physical performance by detracting from endurance, speed and stamina.
- Muscle is one of the fat-free components of the body. Building and toning muscle may or may not assist in losing weight, but will help in reducing body fat. Why? Exercise shapes and tones muscles. Muscles need energy. Energy sources include carbohydrates and fat. Working out regularly will increase your body's metabolic rate, the amount of energy expended, diverting energy sources from being stored to being used.
Besides the physiological advantages of gaining and maintaining a satisfactory body composition, there is a psychological affect as well, emotional well-being. Excess body fat and lack of muscle tone adversely affects physical appearance. Like it or not, many are judged by others and by themselves based on their appearance. Healthy habits can have a positive effect on self-image. Reducing excess body fat and increasing muscle tone can improve one's body image and increase self-esteem.
Key #1 - Attitude
Excuses don't reduce body fat. Excuses won't improve your physical fitness. Tomorrow doesn't help today's problems. Be a champion! True champions don't come up with excuses, they come up with solutions.
The number one reason people do not accomplish want their capable of doing is poor attitude. "I can't" really means "I won't". You can, but you will not due to your mind set. No one has every accomplish anything without first dreaming about it. So dream it, and do not let anyone, including yourself, steal your dream.
- Can-do! If John did it,so can I. If Mary does it, so can I. If I did it once, I can do it again. Can-do attitude isn't so much can, as it is will. "If there is a will, there is a way." Get the "can-do" going, shore up you will, and find a way to get it done.
- Have a sense of urgency. Tomorrow is too late. Plan for tomorrow, but do what needs to be done today, today! Cramming today for tomorrow's test never worked. Likewise, a runner starting training for next week's marathon is not going to work. Getting fit and lean for bikini season is going to be met with less-than-optimal results if you program starts on July 15th. If you want things to move forward, you have to move those things and move them today. Take action, do it now, gain momentum, and keep that momentum moving each and every day like there is no tomorrow!
- Nothing will get done without leadership. You need to lead yourself to success. Leadership is contagious, if you lead, others will follow. Be enthusiastic and take the initiative. If you don't do it, no one else can for you. Set a good example for yourself and others. Seek improvement and take responsibility for your fitness and health. You need not look further than industry and the military to understand that it all "starts at the top". You are the top of you, so take charge and get it done.
- Failure is not an option. Failure is only an option if you make it one. Do not have an "opt-out" clause in your plan. Commit to it and make it succeed.
- Persistence is about being firm regardless of what life throws at you. The Grand Canyon wasn't carved out in a day, a marathon isn't won in the first mile and Rome wasn't built in a day. Life is full of curve balls and obstacles, these aren't problems, they are situations. Every situation has a remedy. Keep your eye on the goal and your mind on the mission. Don't give up! History is full of champions and heroes that overcame situations and came out not only on top, but, way ahead.
Key #2 - Set Goals
Goal setting is an important part of any exercise program. It sets an end state which you desire to achieve and forms the basis for your plan for getting there. Use the following principles when setting goals:
- Specific. Set goals using specific and measurable criteria. "Working out" or "doing my best" are not specific. Specific and measurable goals would include being able to run three miles, bench pressing two hundred pounds, or being able to do fifty crunches in a minute.
- Challenging and realistic. Goals should be something that you will be capable of accomplishing after putting in some demanding work.
- Performance-based. Avoid pure body weight goals as they may have no impact on changing your body composition. You can take three women, all the same height and weight. One may look overweight, one underweight and one looks like an athletic goddess.
- Long- and short-term. The long-term goal is what you eventually want to achieve. A series of progressive short-term goals helps lead you to the ultimate goal by breaking it down into more immediately achievable, bit-size pieces. For instance, if the long-term goal is to be able to bench press two hundred pounds in one year, short term goals would include pressing fifty pounds in three months, one hundred in six months and one hundred fifty pounds in nine months.
Once your goals are set; place them in a conspicuously place where you will see and review them daily. These goals coupled with an exercise and nutrition plan then become your plan of action and milestones (POAM).
Key #3 - Teamwork
Surround yourself with others who share common goals and can help you achieve yours.
- Family and friends. A great place to seek support is from those who know and care for you. Develop a healthy eating and fitness plan with your family. Substitute your least favorite television show with a half-hour exercise session or watch the show while working out.
- Clubs and groups. Exercising in a group setting has evolved over the years and is very popular, coupling exercise with social interaction. There are clubs and groups for nearly every type of training you can think of; aerobics, cycling, dance, running, swimming and weight lifting. These clubs and groups can be found at community centers, local gyms and the YMCA.
Key #4 - Healthy Nutrition
Proper nutrition is a basic fundamental for maintaining a fit and healthy body. Its a garbage-in, garbage out deal. Eat incorrectly, and your body will perform in a less-than-optimal manner. Eat correctly and your body will respond positively.
- Disease prevention. Four of the top six causes of death; heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, are linked to improper nutrition. A healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of disease.
- Overweight. Being overweight also increases your chances of developing the aforementioned diseases. Obesity and being overweight is caused by eating more calories than you burn off. A balance of exercise and food intake greatly helps in maintaining a healthy body.
- Losing weight. Health and medical experts generally recommend a weight loss rate of one to two pounds weekly. In order to accomplish this, five hundred to one thousand calories per day must be removed from the current caloric intake. Rapid weight loss is not recommended as it reduces more lean tissue (muscle, water) than excess body fat.
- Nutrients. Nutrients are essential to stay healthy. The basic nutrients include; carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, vitamins and water. Carbohydrates are sugars which provide energy and are the major source of calories in the average diet. Fats are energy nutrients and are necessary in small amounts for normal body functioning. Minerals, such as calcium and iron, perform many functions and are needed by the body to work properly. Proteins are essentially for building and repairing muscles. Each of the various vitamins, which should be consumed in food, performs a specific function within the body. Water makes up approximately seventy percent of your body weight and staying hydrated is essential for its proper functioning.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov. A free website provide by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help Americans find healthy eating solutions. The site, http://www.choosemyplate.gov, includes information, resources and tools to assist in nutrition planning.
You are what you eat. A balanced diet can reduce your risk of disease while providing energy to get through exercise sessions which will transform your body composition. Get smart concerning nutrition basics which will help in choosing foods that make up a balance diet.
Key #5 - Exercise
Exercise is too powerful of a health enhancement and maintenance tool to go unused. The only way to improve your physical fitness is through exercise. Exercise improves endurance and strength while reducing excess body fat and increasing muscle tone.
- Physical fitness. The capacity to perform physical exercises which develop cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and muscular strength.
- Cardiovascular endurance. The capacity of the heart and blood vessels to deliver nutrients and oxygen to muscles and allows the body to generate energy for a sustained period of time.
- Muscular endurance. The ability of muscles and muscle groups to perform for an extended period of time.
- Muscular strength. The maximum amount of force that can be exerted by a muscle or muscle group.
- Overall wellness. Besides the physiological effects on the body, exercise also helps to; reduce the risk of disease, reduce stress and improve your mood, help you look and feel better.
If you're physically fit you'll look better, feel better and perform better. Go find a physical activity you enjoy and get out and exercise. You'll be a happier, healthy and more effective person. What more motivation could you have?
Health-related Benefits of Exercise
Also known as leanness. The percentages of fat and non-fat tissue in the body.
All physical fitness activities
Also known as cardio-respiratory endurance. The ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessesls to deliver oxygen throughout the body.
Aerobics, cycling, dancing, jogging, swimming, and walking
Also known as limberness. The range of motion present in joints.
The ability of muscles to contract repeatedly.
Calisthenics and weight lifting
The maximal force that a muscle can exert in a single effort.
Calisthenics and weight lifting
Get it done and make it stick!
Thinking or intending to eat healthily and exercise regularly will not improve physical fitness and reduce body fat. Only action will overcome inaction or disuse. Don’t look backwards…you are not going that way. Look forward…set goals…then take steps to achieve them. The five keys to success are:
- Goal setting
- Proper nutrition
It's important that you create a plan you can follow as a lifestyle. Post those goals. Plan your meals and pack you lunch. Build time into your daily activities to get and stay fit. Stay committed to this lifestyle and you will maintain a fit, healthy body including a low percentage of body fat.
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment with concerns, feedback, your progress or questions.
You have all the information you require; the rest is up to you. Be healthy and be fit!
Regardless of your personal goals, gaining a desirable body fat percent will greatly assist in promoting your health and wellness.
© 2016 Kevin P McClernon