Most of us make new year’s resolutions, right? Some of us share our goals with others in hopes of finding encouragement for the daunting challenge ahead. Others prefer to “quietly” approach the task limiting the guilt that comes if they don’t succeed .
“According to U.S. News, about 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.”
Whatever your approach, there’s one resolution at the top of almost everyone’s list….getting healthy. We’ve all been there at least once. Less exercise and a changing metabolism begins to take their toll and before long we’re carrying around a little more “baggage” than we use to. Gym memberships swell as do the sale of diet books, vitamins and weight loss supplements. Weight loss groups add more meetings just to handle the overflow of hopefuls.
According to U.S News, about 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. That means less than 20% of us actually see at least some success. How much of that percentage actually meet or exceed their expectations is unknown.
To help prevent failure one must have a healthy sense of reality. First, we need to have realistic expectations. What I mean is this: If your desire is to lose 50 pounds then don’t expect to do it in a short period of time. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500—1000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. If we use the highest amount of 2 pounds per week that translates into roughly 25 weeks or about six months to drop the weight. And that’s assuming you never once cheat or fall off the wagon! By just reducing caloric intake, It’s more likely to take about a year or more to reduce your weight by 50 pounds.
That brings us to our second point. You’re much more likely to reach your weight loss goal by adding exercise to the equation. The combination of reducing caloric intake and burning those extra calories will get you where you want to be much quicker. If you burn 500-1000 calories in addition to reducing the caloric intake by the same amount you will cut the time it takes to drop the weight by roughly 50%.
“What is needed is a more efficient way to exercise.”
I know what your thinking right about now. Why would I want to be stuck with an expensive commitment for a gym membership that I’ll most likely quit using anyway? Well…I understand because I’ve been there too. Not only do you have to make a multi-year commitment to get the best deal, it can be almost impossible to get out of if you choose not to use it. Not to mention the dedication and drive it takes to drag yourself to the gym each day.
The fact is, it doesn’t take a gym full of fancy equipment to get you where you want to be. Good cardio such as running, walking or biking is great but there is one thing missing in these types of exercises…a full body workout. The same can be said for most machines like ellipticals and treadmills. In these types of activities the lower body gets the majority of the benefit. The upper body is mostly just along for the ride.
What is needed is a more efficient way to exercise. One that will burn the most calories in the shortest period of time. More muscles being used equals more calories being burned.
One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is by exercising daily on a good quality rowing machine. The average person will burn around 9 to 10 calories per minute jogging whereas the rower will burn closer to 13 or 14. That may not seem like much but when you calculate the difference on a 30 minute workout that’s 120 more calories! All because your engaging more muscles. You would have to spend an extra 13 minutes on the treadmill to get the same benefit and you still wouldn’t get an upper body workout! Who wants to spend more time exercising than they have to?
There are a couple good quality machines out there but the best I’ve discovered is the Concept2 Model D rower. Amazon has the best deal especially for Prime members with free shipping. This rower gets five stars on a review of over 1500 customers so you can be confident in the quality. I use it everyday for 15 to 30 minutes to get a great workout on my legs, core and upper body. It’s especially nice for those who have hip, back or knee problems because it reduces the shock on those areas. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis several years ago and this rower reduces the strain on my back without compromising my workout.
The resistance of the flywheel damper is smooth and quiet with just the right amount of adjustment at each of the ten settings. It has an adjustable footrest and comfortable ergonomic handle that feels natural. There’s also a performance monitor that tracks time and distance with an available Android connection kit for apps like ErgData.
I hope the new year brings you health, happiness and joy!