I wanted to revisit all the Fitness tools and Calculators included on this site. I had mixed results but the bottom line is that my tummy must be trimmed down. Stepping through the main page, we have the:
Body Fat Calculator from http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/bf/ The formula provided will not calculate your exact body fat percentage but should give you a consistent measurement you can use as a guideline and determine if you’re losing body fat and/or muscle. Oddly, the calculation says I have body fat percentage is 27.4%. My scale tells me it is 39%. I think I’m measuring something incorrectly.
Looking at this photo, I’m sadly inclined to believe my scale.
How much should you weigh? Inputting 39% body fat into the Fat 2 Fit Tool, the ideal weight for my age with 35% body fat is 168 pounds. That seems doable.
Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – Fat 2 Fit Tools advocates eating like the thin, healthy person that you want to become. The calorie levels in the chart are not extreme, but create that all important caloric deficit that is required to get you to your goal weight in a safe manner. Based on my goal weight of 168 and assuming light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week, the tool suggests a daily caloric intake of 2005! As I get closer to my goal weight, my weight loss will start to slow down. It is OK to eat a few hundred calories less per day (200-300) to speed up your weight loss at this point.
Covert Bailey Body Fat Calculation – The formulas in this body fat calculation are based on the Covert Bailey book The Ultimate Fit or Fat. The formula does not calculate your exact body fat percentage but should give you a consistent measurement you can use as a guideline and determine if you’re losing body fat and/or muscle. Again, this weirdly gave me a body fat percentage of 27.8%. This is not right.
Waist to Hip Ratio– Carrying extra weight around your middle, indicated by a high waist to hip ratio, increases health risks associated with obesity. This tool tells me my Waist to Hip ratio is: 0.93. Anything over 0.85 signifies a high health risk!
Waist to Height Ratio – The waist to height ratio is the best predictor of cardiovascular risk and mortality. My Waist to Height Ratio is 58.3%. According to the tool, a ratio 54 to 58 means “Seriously Overweight” and a ratio over 58 means “Highly Obese“. That’s not good.
Time to retest baseline fitness! (It’s been a crazy couple of years so I did not have high expectations.) I used the tests outlined on The TopEnd Sports Page. These are tests that can be done at home with minimal or no equipment. The tests are designed to quickly gauge a person’s general fitness level and to act as a benchmark for future testing. After taking the test, you may wish to train for a few months. Then, take the test again and compare the results.
Although there are six tests, I did only the first three — Push ups, Sit ups and Squats.
Push Ups: I did the modified push up with a “bent knee” position. (To do this, kneel on the floor, hands on either side of the chest and keep your back straight. Lower the chest down towards the floor, always to the same level each time, either till your elbows are at right angles or your chest touches the ground.) I was able to complete 35 push ups vs the 25 expected for my age group. Woo Hoo!
Sit Ups: You must count the number of sit ups you can do within one minute. The sit ups required that you (a) squeeze your stomach, (b) push your back flat and (c) raise high enough for your hands to slide along your thighs to touch the tops of your knees. I was able to do 45 sit ups versus the 27 expected for my age group. Again, I was cooking with gas.
Squats: The test has you stand in front of a chair or bench with your feet at shoulder’s width apart, facing away from it. Placing your hands on your hips, you squat down and lightly touch the chair before standing back up. A good sized chair is one that makes your knees at right angles when you are sitting. You keep doing this until you’re fatigued. I was able to complete 20 squats which is the level appropriate for my age group but I have to admit that I was not lightly touching the chair before standing back up. My knees were making a racket as well. I will stay away from squats for the time being.
Listening to old episodes of Fat2Fit radio (still my favorite although they’ve stopped recording), I remembered that I have to do weight training so I get my metabolism at a higher rate. I think it’s great that I can do some light weight training at home or while traveling with little or no equipment. Good luck with your training everyone!
75 minutes of Anusara yoga this morning with Ursula before running all my errands! The Crunch gym description says:
Based on the teachings of John Friend. This class balances an opening to grace and the higher self with strong attention to alignment. The result is a strong synthesis between mind body and spirit. Taught in the Vinyasa style, Anusara Yoga is open to all levels.
The class went really well so I expect to continue with the yoga classes at least twice a week. With two to three kickboxing classes a week and walks/runs in the park, I will have a full weekly workout schedule.
After dinner with two old friends, I now possess the name and address of an acupuncturist and a chiropractor. On my list of to-dos is to make an appointment to see them.
Sadly, I weighed in this morning a half pound heavier than yesterday. Yes, I know I’ve already written that a person should not weigh herself on a daily basis but I can’t help myself. I’m not sure why it happened but I think it may relate to under-eating again. The Fat2FitRadio.com pod casts repeated noted that under-eating would result in the body going into starvation mode and holding on to calories. For the second time this week, I dropped under the calorie limits suggested by the Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator. I ate a little over 1600 calories yesterday, so I consumed at least my BMR of 1430 calories. However, I didn’t eat enough. 🙁 According to the calculator, I should eat between 1907 calories for a Lightly Active woman (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) to 2150 calories for a Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk).
Today’s workout with John was lighter in deference to my knee and because I am fighting off a flu. We spent a lot of time doing kickboxing strength exercises and drills. I was still soaked in sweat but happy.
I found this video on how to do a Back Leg Roundhouse Kick on the ehow.com site.
Despite coming down with a bug, I worked out with John Salgado today and did pretty well. Because we’re still working around my cranky knee, we started out doing some drill on the Bosu Ball: jogging on it, Dome Toe Taps [you can watch the video below but I can say she’s a lot better at it than I am LOL], side squats [again, very small movements because of my knee], and squat thrusts.
Other exercises for today included wall squats with a stability ball and a 10 lb ball. A new item for today was assisted dips. We rounded out the work out with punching and kicking combinations on the bag.
The good news on weight loss and nutrition is that I am still within my recommended calorie intake for my BMR. I must confess that I had vanilla ice cream with blueberries last night [yes, I entered it into the SparkPeople.com Nutrition Tracker and I remain in calorie range :-)] I’m down another half pound but that could be just water weight.
It’s been raining but I still made it to Crunch to work out with Frank. We had another light strength workout in deference to my bad knee. My warm ups comprised running sideways back and forth. We then did a series of modified inchworms; modified planks, leg extensions [using the wall]; and standing abductions. As I enter my workouts into the SparkPeople.com fitness tracker, I can see how much less I do at Crunch but I don’t mind as I’m feeling really tired and it’s about as much as I want to do today. It’s still 100 percent more than I would do without Frank. 🙂
Nutritionally, I am staying within the recommended calorie range for my BMR. Breakfast included my favorite fruit protein shake. Dinner included a lovely spinach and feta cheese salad. My weight continues to creep down. Hooray!
Despite the rain, I made it to the gym this afternoon. My knee was especially creaky today so we tried some modified one-leg-squat exercises. I did the easiest variation: John had me sit on a chair, extend one leg and arms in front and stand up on one leg. I then sat down on the chair while standing on one leg. I still had to support the weak knee but it’s a start to try to rebuild leg strength.
Here’s a video link demonstrating the modified one-leg-squat exercises from eHow.com:
I took the day off from exercise today. 🙂 I checked my weight this morning directly after waking up. Although most sites discourage you from weighing yourself every day, I find I cannot help myself when I am trying to get fit.
Whatever weigh-in frequency you choose, keep these tips in mind when stepping on the scale:
1. Weighing yourself first thing in the morning is usually best. Because of variations in food and fluid consumption, we often “gain” different amounts of weight throughout the day. 2. If you’re weighing frequently, remember that daily fluctuations in weight are common. Just because you’re heavier today than yesterday doesn’t mean your weight control program isn’t working. Don’t become a slave to the numbers.
3. Monthly variations in weight are also common in menstruating women.
4. “Plateaus” in weight loss aren’t necessarily bad. If you’re exercising a lot, your weight may remain constant for a time even though you’re still decreasing your body fat content and getting healthier.
5. Finally, cues other than the numbers on the scale are equally important. How do you feel? Are your clothes getting looser or tighter? Do you feel stronger, healthier, leaner? Your own perceptions can be the most valuable tools to help you track your weight control progress.