Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

I got a great question today and I thought it warranted a longer explanation. So here I am, inspired to write a post that I hope people will find helpful. And motivating! This time it’s not about calories in (food), but rather calories out. The question was… As you get in shape, your resting heart rate goes down – does a lower heart rate mean less calories burned? Yes. But that isn’t the whole story and in fact it’s more good news than bad.

OK so it doesn’t seem quite fair. The more fit you are, the slower your heart rate, so the less automatically, effortlessly you say goodbye to calories. But here’s why that’s a good thing!

  • Your body is more efficient. It takes work to keep that complicated system functioning. The less effort you require to keep everything running smoothly and keep your body healthy, the better. Right?! You’ve got a heartbeat to maintain, food to digest and for that matter good and bad bacteria to sort through. It’s a lot of work for your immune system to fight off infections, especially this time of year! I try to hold my breath when forced to stand near all these people who seem to be hacking up a lung, but I can’t hold it that long! And oh yes, your lungs! They need to move air in and out, well, pretty much non-stop. Isn’t it kind of comforting to think that you can make this less work for your body? I certainly wouldn’t want it to get too tired to perform any of these relatively important functions.
  • The fitter you are and the more efficient your body becomes, the more energy you have for other things. How much more fun is life when you jump out of bed and run around doing a million things! When you have energy, your whole outlook changes. You are more optimistic, things seem more achievable and they are. And let’s face it, you’re more fun to be around! Unless it’s 5AM and the unfortunate person next to you is not a morning person, but… you get my drift.
  • You are in better shape! Yes, that’s the problem, I know, I know. But it means you can work out harder! You have more capacity to push yourself and get a better workout, which means… more calories burned! That’s what you wanted, right? The harder you work during your workout, the more calories you burn afterwards. The more muscle you build. And muscles burn a lot more calories than fat!
  • There is a lot more that goes in to your metabolism than resting heart rate and I’m guessing your metabolism is only getting healthier. The amount you exercise, the foods you eat… I for one do not subscribe to the all calories are equal idea. Provided you are fueling your body with better options than before you started losing weight, you are improving your metabolism.

Not the prettiest picture, but certainly an illustration of making healthy choices. And a seriously simple dip* that tasted so good! There are SO many reasons why exercise is important. The question pertained to the calorie issue so I will stop there for now. It’s kind of a central theme to this blog, though, so you can imagine there will be more to come on that subject. (As if you didn’t already know that exercise is generally positive!)

*For this veggie dip, I threw a few things in to the food processor and voila. No measurements were made, just threw everything in and pushed a button. I used white beans, olive oil, a little bit of garlic, lemon juice, cumin and a touch of salt.


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