Saturday, August 30, 2008

Give Your Body a Reason to Change

Two weeks down and two weeks to go at Fitness Ridge (now The Biggest Loser Resort) in Utah! Once a week, we take a class called Treading. It is the class people fear the most. Why? Because the goal is to have you challenge your body to the point where you can hardly breathe, can't go another second, and if you throw up - that's a bonus.

It's an interval training class where you take your heart rate beyond your fat burning stage and into your anaerobic state. Here's a quick explanation:

The words aerobic and anaerobic refer to energy pathways that are utilized during exercise. Aerobic means "with oxygen" and anaerobic means "without oxygen".

Fat needs oxygen to burn completely so in order to burn fat during an exercise we need to move slowly and smoothly. This enables muscle cells to be supplied with enough oxygen to continue with its aerobic capacity and utilize fat as the main energy source.

Anaerobic exercise requires moving at an increased pace or with greater effort. Exercising this way burns more calories but results in a greater demand for oxygen which cannot be delivered in sufficient quantities to allow cells to continue burning fat. When we breathe heavy we start to develop an oxygen debt and muscle cells switch to burning mainly carbohydrates, this fuel burns quickly and does not require oxygen.

So, basically, we were asked to take our bodies to the limit in intervals. How did we know when we reached our limit? We shouldn't have been able to breathe through our nose, we should not have been able to talk, and when it was time to recover, we should be gasping for air.

For 5 minutes, you go all out. If you are use to running on the treadmill at 6.0, you should run at 7 or 8 and, oh, by the way add an incline. Then, you recover for 5 minutes. Go hard for 4 minutes, recover 4. All the way down to one minute.

During the class, Michelle, one of the owners and the instructor, kept challenging us to push harder - "giving our bodies a reason to change".

I thought more and more about that phrase, and realized that we all need to give our bodies a reason to change. Why? Because most of us have been lying to our bodies and now it wants evidence before it responds to you. What do I mean?

How many of you have said any of the following:

"On Monday, I'm starting my diet."
"Starting next week, I'm going to work out 5 days a week."
"I'm going to start cooking healthier."
"I'm going to cut back, soda, alcohol, smoking."
"I'm not going to eat out so much."
"I'm going to cut back my sugar intake."
"I'm going to walk for an hour everyday."

I know I've been guilty of saying those things. It's like crying wolf and your body no longer believes you. Your body now wants evidence that you really want to be healthy and fit, no longer just taking your word for it. Once you give it that evidence - by what you eat and how you exercise - it will begin to respond to you. Your endurance will increase, your heart will become stronger, your internal organs will work at the optimal level, and, oh yeah, you'll lose weight.

If leading a healthy lifestyle is on your list of things to do, then you have to give your body a reason to believe you this time...a reason to change.

By the way, I made it through the class - barely. I didn't throw up, but on every recovery, I was leaning on the treadmill as if my life depended on it! And if you're wondering about my'll have to stay tuned. I won't reveal the numbers until the end of my 4 weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment