My Journey Through a 6-Week Fitness Challenge: Week 4
Trainer & Nutritionist Tips:
Although most people find staying on a healthy track doable for at least a set period of time (like a 6-Week Fitness Challenge), if you truly hope to make changes that will last beyond that, make sure the changes are reasonable and sustainable. This might mean taking a day off from exercise to rest. Or allowing yourself a favorite food from time to time. If you don’t enjoy the things you’ve been trying to incorporate, you will give up eventually. Find exercises and healthy recipes you enjoy – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
If you are following along with your own fitness challenge, you may have struggled with getting a bit off track by now. What is something you can do to stay or get yourself back in a good mode? Maybe make a trip to the grocery store, to re-stock on healthy foods? Try out a yoga class to relax and de-stress? Keep a food diary for 1 or 2 days, to increase awareness of where you could make some beneficial changes? Focusing on just one small change might be all you need to move forward.
On the Fitness side, what is EPOC and can it cause weight loss? Metabolic rate is not static; it varies throughout the day based on food intake, time of day, and physical activity. Your recovery period after exercise typically has two phases: an initial recovery period lasting 10 seconds up to several minutes, and a second slow phase that may last up to several hours. During this time, oxygen consumption is elevated, and this increased oxygen consumption has been termed “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC). EPOC, and the added calories used that accompanies the post-exercise increase in metabolism, has been proposed as a potentially important factor in weight loss.
There are factors which affect EPOC, like manipulating variables such as intensity and duration during your workouts. EPOC value has been seen to more than double when increasing intensity from 55 to 95% of VO2 max for two-minute intervals. Compared to continuous, lower intensity activity, sprint intervals create a significantly greater increase in EPOC, which supports the idea of why circuit training is so effective.
How my week went:
Still no weight loss, but I am noticing my clothes fitting better. I’m going to take this as a win, and try and stay focused!
It is getting a little harder now that I’m one month in to the challenge to stay motivated – as far as pushing myself to workout harder, and more often, than I usually do. It feels so amazing when I do, though! I’m energized, and can definitely feel the mood elevation burst afterwards. When I feel hungry, it’s because I’ve EARNED it… I can feel my body is expending energy, and needing more energy to replace it. It’s a healthy, strong feeling that I love.
About the Author
Tami Mittan aka The Colorado Mountain Mom, lives in the high mountain desert area of Western Colorado with her two young kids, where she and her husband encourage their children to have fun in the “free” outdoors. She splits her time between full-time work as a system engineer and being a mom-at-home. While her life is busy, she prioritizes staying active. “Being healthy and active leaves me with that great feeling of being a strong, confident woman,” she says. “Also, when I’m living an active life, I cope better with its challenges and get more fun out of my days!” Her favorite activities and sports include hiking, biking, jet skiing, waterskiing, horseback riding, golf, camping, traveling, exploring, baking, scrapbooking, and reading.
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