Here’s a sneak-peek at a chapter in the 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide, Just Show Up: Why Movement Matters
The Silver Bullet Workout
Meet Betty. She’s doing everything right. She follows the Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio for five days a week. She watches what she eats. She nurtures herself with plenty of social activities. Yet, she’s still uncomfortable in her skin and fighting to shed some extra pounds. If she’s doing everything right, then why is it so hard for her to lose weight? Health experts like to simplify Betty’s dilemma with the axiom “calories in/calories out.” If Betty eats fewer calories than the amount she burns, then she should lose weight. Who knew math could continue to plague us in our adult years?
So far on my journey, I’ve been able to see results with the help of one, effective principle I learned in college: The Silver Bullet Workout. I call it The Silver Bullet Workout because — like graduating from algebra to statistics — it multiples the calories-out effect.
While studying Exercise Prescription in college, I learned that a longer, moderately-paced workout once a week can boost calorie burn. A general guideline of The Silver Bullet Workout principle follows. (Of course, you’re reading this after getting your doctor’s permission to exercise, right?)
Silver Bullet Guidelines
- Frequency: once per week
- Intensity: on a scale from one to ten, settle in between a five and six
- Time: duration equal to three times the length of your normal workout
How does The Silver Bullet Workout actually work? Well, there are others more educated than me who can go into the scientific details. I do know that the longer duration and moderate pace give enough time and intensity for my body to burn through my quickest energy stores, which are glucose flowing in the blood and glycogen stored in the liver. Once those reserves are spent, my metabolism goes into overdrive to convert stored fat into burn-ready glucose. Hence, the weight loss. However, its wise to remember that time can be too much of a good thing. Its best to ramp up total workout time slowly to avoid causing inflammation which can cause injury and make you retain water.
My exercise routine includes going on a long hike every Sunday with my hubby. When we first started, I couldn’t last long enough to equal three times the duration of my normal workout. When I hiked, my lower back clenched up, my thighs burned, my hips ached, and I was breathing like someone sucked all of the oxygen out of the woods. So, I had to start with what I could do while still enjoying it. That way, I’d want to get out again the next week. I’m going to keep ramping up my time until I can go an hour and a half, which opens up even more possibilities for hitting adventurous trails where surprise springs gurgle in hidden forests and refreshing waterfalls sound like wind gliding through the trees. Who knows, maybe one of these Sundays, I will even meet Betty on the trail.
There’s more juicy details and insightful ideas in Just Show Up: Why Movement Matters. Read along with someone who started from zero on the couch and made her way to hiking mountain peaks. Most exercise plans start out demanding too much effort or too much time. I need a plan that fits me, a work out that actually works for me, not the other way around. To my delight, I found the power in starting simple and getting creative as obstacles came up. Learn why movement matters and how you can design your own yellow-brick road to fitness. $2.99
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