We all know the big things for a healthy lifestyle or to lose body fat; exercise, sleep, nutrition, synchronized swimming, etc… But I think there is another variable that is missing in most people that have plateaued or are struggling to lose that extra body fat, or may be struggling to maintain their “losses”. Movement!
Let’s face it, most American’s sit on their butt’s way too much. Human’s evolved and adapted over time while using their bodies. Now we sit on our couch, sit in our car, sit while we work and half the time we are sitting while someone else brings us food!
Want to lose that body fat? Just eating less food isn’t going to fool your body into relinquishing its most precious asset.
Wait…my phat ass is a “precious asset”?! (see what I did there)
YOU BET! Remember, body fat is stored energy and it’s our body’s natural protection against famine. It is a protection that has been ingrained into our DNA for hundreds of thousands of years. Your body NEEDS A REASON to get rid of extra body fat and I believe that movement is one of the key factors.
Thermogenesis is the production of heat in our bodies. Heat is the byproduct of energy, energy is needed to move…thus, the more movement, the more heat produced and more energy burned!! I am not saying that you need to get a treadmill desk, but I am saying that most people need to move more.
The concept is simple, but getting into the routine is a little harder.
Let’s go over some ideas.
Going for a walk. Walk in the morning and get some sunshine to jump-start your circadian rhythm. Walk at lunch to break up the day. Walk after work to de-stress. There are approx. 2000-2500 steps in a mile and walking a mile takes approx. 20 minutes. It doesn’t take long to log several thousand steps. The average American walks around 1000-3000 steps per day. If that sounds like you, start smaller and shoot for 5000, then 7500, and onto 10,000. (I truly believe that your eventual goal for most days should be 15,000-20,000 steps.) Start with 20 minutes and maybe add five minutes per week, but after a month of walking every day, your body will need it and it won’t feel like a chore. If you want even more benefit, leave your damn phone at home and take in the outdoors!!
Sit all day for work? You burn approx. 30% more calories standing, rather than sitting…get a standing desk! (It’s also better for your posture) You don’t need to stand all day, but it is a nice way to break up the day. If your BMR is 1500 and you stand for just two hours at work instead of sit, you will burn approx. 10,000 more calories (three pounds of fat) in a year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but three pounds for doing almost nothing?
Set an activity alarm. Get your butt moving every hour. Take five minutes to walk around and maybe do some air squats. Five minutes every hour and you can add another 1500 steps. I can’t take five minutes every hour you say! Don’t give me that crap. Do you go to the bathroom (you should if you are drinking your water)? Do you check your personal email? Are you clicking onto ESPN, again?! Do you daydream about Brad Pitt being on the Bachelor and giving you a rose? Look, I just made you more productive by getting up and moving around! Body fuels the mind.
Weekend adventures. Get outside with the family every weekend. There are so many awesome parks around the Valley or within a couple hours. Make it a point to spend a few hours together hiking, biking, exploring. The kids may bitch on the way there, but once you get outside, it’s almost always a hit…you may find that you all end up getting along better. 😊 High Cliff, Mosquito Hill, Trestle Trail(Neenah), Devil’s Lake, Rib Mountain, The U.P., biking Lake Michigan, etc…
For the two of you still reading, let’s wrap this up. Your body is a product of its environment. If you want to change your body, you need to change its environment. Diamonds are created with pressure and heat, not couches and comfort.
If you are sitting all day, even while being in a caloric deficit…why would your body want to give up one of its most precious resource(stored energy)? You have to keep your foot on the gas and give your body a reason to burn more fuel. More movement could be the one thing to kick you off a plateau or jump-start your change. If nothing else, it will give you more mental clarity! Body fuels the mind, never forget that!