The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.
There are a lot of excuses for not exercising and we continue to wonder why we fail in our quest to make physical activity a part of our daily life. All these excuses can really boil down to one simple excuse and although it’s not really a law in physics it does have a place when put into the context of physical activity. It states that ‘Things at rest tend to stay at rest.’ This will probably explain why the toughest thing about any exercise or activity is to get started. We all know once you get moving you usually enjoy yourself and usually have the energy to complete the activity at hand. It’s just tough getting started. If there were a magic pill for longevity, quality of life and physical independence the prescription would be ‘physical activity’.
Now you wouldn’t think that the laws of physics directly effect you, but they do. Especially the law of conservation of energy and the law the thermodynamics. First lets look at the law of conservation of energy. It states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but only changes from one form to another. Food, which is energy, is generally abundant, high in calories and low in nutritional value. We eat more food than we use and generally have an inactive lifestyle. Here is how this physics law works and how it effects you. When you consume more energy then you use, the remaining energy will be converted and stored as fat. (an extra 350 calories per week over 10 weeks will add up to an extra pound of fat that you have gained … over one year this will add up to 5 pounds…and over 5 years if you continue at this rate you will have gained an extra 25 pounds).
The second law of Thermodynamics states that energy must continue to flow through a system to keep it intact or the system will degenerate. Einstein’s formula for this is E=mc2. So when the energy of the sun runs out (c=0) then there will be no light therefore energy flow will cease and E=O. What this means to you is that if energy is not continuously converted in your body, your body will degenerate. Muscle tissue will start to waste away leaving you vulnerable to injuries, bones will break more easily and your heart must work harder to pump blood. These are just a few of the effects of not properly maintaining an efficient energy flow in your body.
Now we are all unique in our ability to convert energy and the worldwide standard to measure this physical fitness level is known as your VO2 max. This is basically the amount of oxygen your cells can consume and is measured in millimetres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute. So if you had a VO2 max of 50 and weighed 60 kilograms and exercised for one minute, the maximum amount of oxygen you could use would be 3,000 ml. (VO2max(50) x weight (60) x time (1))
This doesn’t mean you should run out and get yourself tested because first of all not all fitness clubs are equipped to test your VO2 max and secondly if you do find a place that could test you, it may be expensive. Here’s some good news, in the book ‘Get Fit Stay fit’ there is a formula for finding out your VO2 max fairly accurately and it won’t cost you anything except your time.
Here are some numbers for you to know and think about. The average person consumes or burns at rest about 3.5 ml/kg/min. of oxygen and it takes about 1000 millilitres or one litre of oxygen to burn 4.85 calories. If you know your VO2 max you can now figure out several things that effect your performance.
Let’s use the previous example of a person with a VO2 max of 50 and weighing 60 kilograms. What we want to figure out is how far they can run if they are running as fast as they can for 10 minutes. We need to first find out the maximum amount of oxygen consumed. Using the previous formula of VO2 max x weight x time we plug in the numbers 50 x 60 x 10 and find that they would consume 30,000 millilitres or 30 litres of oxygen. If 1 litre of oxygen burns 4.85 calories then this person will burn 30 litres x 4.85 calories or will burn 145.5 calories while running as fast 7as they can for 10 minutes. Now it takes a person of about 60 kilograms approximately 100 calories to travel one mile. So 145.5 / 100 = 1.45 miles. In conclusion then a person with a VO2 max of 50, weighing 60 kilograms and running as fast as they can for 10 minutes will travel 1.45 miles.
You don’t need to know your VO2 max to figure out how many calories you burn at rest. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the number of calories you need to consume each day. What we are going to figure out is the number of calories you burn just breathing. The previous way to figure out your daily caloric needs should not be forgotten. Let’s do the math. We still use the previous formula of VO2 max x weight x time. This time your VO2 max is 3.5 which is the amount of oxygen you consume at rest. So 3.5ml/kg x 60 kg x 1,440 minutes (1 day) = 202,400 millilitres or approximately 202 litres of oxygen per day at total rest. You know that 1 litre burns 4.85 calories so 202 litres x 4.85 = 980 calories. So a person weighing 60 kilograms will burn approximately 980 calories per day doing absolutely nothing…just breathing.
All physical activity is beneficial and although high intensity workouts are sometimes necessary for athletes who are competing at high levels, they are not necessary for you if you are just simply trying to make physical activity a part of your daily life. A problem that often arises with beginners is burnout. They overdo themselves and quickly become tired, bored or injured and end up quitting what they so enthusiastically wanted to achieve. Knowing your VO2 max will show you your limits and help you to avoid this beginner’s pitfall.
As I mentioned earlier, you could ask your doctor or a fitness laboratory to test you for your VO2max but it could wind up being expensive. The formula in the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ is simple and fairly accurate. There are however several factors that you need to calculate. Take your time and once you calculate your VO2 max you’ll be able to calculate the physical activities that are best suited for you to achieve a lifetime of physical fitness. Also after the age of 20 your VO2 max starts to decline, partly because of a 3 to 4 percent loss of your hearts stroke volume each decade. This means your heart delivers less blood to your working muscles and less blood means less oxygen is delivered to your muscles that need it and this means energy levels will drop.
Time erodes your system leaving you less energy efficient. There is a theory that states cells can only divide a certain number of times. Once the cell is unable to replace itself it will eventually die. This may give the answer to the question to when we’re older and get injured it takes longer to recuperate. Since the damaged cells aren’t replaced by new cells, they’re replaced by non functioning scar tissue, and a little bit of function is lost as the remaining cells pick up the slack.
We may not be able to stop the aging process but there is significant proof that proper rest, nutrition and physical activity will slow the process down. Here is a list that shows the age-related declines of an average person between the ages of 30 and 75.
BODY FUNCTION PERCENTAGE DECLINE
|Blood supply to brain
|Spinal Nerve Axons
|Max Heart Rate
|Basal Metabolic Rate
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !