Friday, 28 March 2008

Shop yourself fit

Wouldn't it be great if the very act of doing something you love could make you fit and so you could acheve two separate things in one go. That's something I'm always trying to acheive and when it comes to getting fit and healthy I consider it the holy grail.

Well, talking to my wife yesterday we started to wonder why shopping isn't something that we consider healthy in itself. It must sound funny to mention this but as a woman my wife was telling me that if she wore a step counter and went shopping she'd find it really easy to notch up say 4,000 or 5,000 steps maybe even more without even thinking about it. If she shopped more regularly she'd probably hit 10,000 easily.

Ok, I'm not saying that everyone should now shop 3 times a week for one hour and swap this for the gym. Especially since most couldn't afford to go shopping so often. All I'm saying is that it it's normally very difficult to encourage people to be active and burn calories. Most people find it very difficult to fit a decent amount of activity into their lives because these days there are so many other distractions and so little need to actually be active. Especially with the advent of the internet even shopping doesn't require you to leave the house.

Therefore rethinking shopping in this way as something that has good health aspects to it,gets you out of the house, can be done with your friends and allows you to try all sorts of things out. I'm thinking this seems like saying to people "I need you to eat more chocolate for the sake of your health. Do you think you can do that?".

Saturday, 15 March 2008

1 mile a day burns over half a stone in a year

This post has now been moved to my new blog fit2thrive

I just thought I would record this stat and how I worked it out because it's important when trying to understand the benefit of physical activity to our daily lives. Because I'm a fan of health and fitness I'm always striving to find simple answers to the question of how to be healthy and happy throughout life.

Basically I was told once that if you want a simple measure for how many calories you've burned then one rule is that for every mile you cover you burn 100 calories. This isn't exactly true because if you check the stats on this it more like 100 calories +10% or -10% depending on various factors but it is a stat you can use to make general assumptions. Unless you want to be totally exact therefore you can say that no matter whether you run, jog or walk the mile you will burn about 100 kcals because that's the energy needed for a human to move itself across the ground over 1 mile.

So given this assumption you can say 100 kcals x 365 days = 36,500 kcals.

That's a lot of calories and you've only walked one mile a day which is not exactly difficult. So how much fat is actually in 36,500 kcals?
First you need to know how many calories there are in 1kg of Fat. The answer is approximately 9,000 kcals because 1g of fat contains 9kcals multiply this by 1,000 to get your answer.

So how many kilos of fat are in 36.5000 kcals?
The maths is simply 36,500 / 9,000 kcals = 4.04 kilograms.

So the answer is that you burn around 4 kilograms in fat over one year. Now this does not sound like a big amount but remember that you are also not doing very much exercise to achieve this. You are only walking 1 mile a day and you could easily increase that.

So how much is this amount of fat in stones?
I'll admit it I was lazy I just Googled the answer and got:

4 kilos = 0.63 stone.

I've known this answer for a long time but just felt like putting it on record. It's nice to be able to remind myself and show others. What you can see very clearly is what happens over 1 year if you walk 1 mile less per day than you did previously. Each year that this goes on you are likely to put on weight.

If you reverse it and walk an extra mile each day than you did the previous year and don't change anything else you're likely to lose weight.

It may seem like a slow way to lose weight but it's a common way to gain it too because it's so simple.

The point is simply that big changes come from small steps and in this case the pun is intended. The less you move the more energy you will end up storing as fat, You do not need to move much to reverse the trend. Then you can just let time do the work for you.

Learn more about preventing obesity, heart disease and Diabetes, dementia and alzheimersand even Cancer through exercise
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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Food diary

So I've tried some food diary applications over the web. and are the best I could find. Then thing is I just find they are too cumbersome and end up taking too long.

Nutridiary is ace because they create meals that you can reuse. Unfortunately find foods in the first place is time consuming and since they're mostly US foods it's not so much use for me.

The Daily Plate has a much cleaner and tidier interface and they have a lot more English foods. Unfortunately they don't have reusable meals like nutridiary so there won't be times savings over time.

I'm starting my own food diary now just focussed on what foods and exercise I have eaten or taken. Just when, where and what. Nothing more. I'm not going to worry about the calories involved because as the food diary tools show it's very complex ands the techhnolgoy isn't mature enough at this time.

So I'm just gonna save my diary in a text format and keep it simple. Hopefully over time it'll help me see what I have been eating and doing over a period.

We'll see