REMINDER:  CLASSES ARE FORMING FOR YOGA, QIGONG AND ZUMBA

Yoga: Mondays at 4pm. ($20 drop-in) On-going class has openings for more clients.

Qigong: Wednesdays at 3pm.  New offering: will begin when a minimum of five participants are registered (we currently have three). ($120 for 6-week session)

Zumba:  Days/times will be determined by number of participants; Lisa Wolf is available to teach Wednesday and Friday at 9:45am and/or Saturday at 8:30am. Let us know which of these times work for you. ($90 for 6-week session)

SIT LESS – STAND AND MOVE MORE (Fitness Focus, American College of Sports Medicine 2012)

Recent research indicates that America’s addiction to the “chair” may become very costly in terms of chronic health conditions and associated morbidity and mortality. Occupational, technological, and environmental advances during the past 30 years have resulted in a workforce that is “chair based.” Continued progression in computer technology and the Internet provides even more opportunities to sit during our waking hours. People shop, bank, surf the Internet, email, socialize, and enjoy entertainment … all done while sitting by their computers, tablets, and remotely controlled televisions.

Prolonged Sitting Has Adverse Health Consequences – There is solid evidence that moderate-to-vigorous exercise results in health and fitness benefits and should be undertaken for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days per week. However, growing evidence suggests that prolonged daily sedentary behaviors, such as sitting, are associated with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease, independent of the time spent in fitness activities. Thus, time spent sitting may negate somewhat the positive influence of the daily exercise session.

Most Americans (69%) do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity, and of those who do, many spend most of their day in sedentary activities, especially sitting. People eat meals, drive to and from work, spend hours at work on computers, talk on the telephone, read and participate in meetings, all in the seated position; and then go home to an evening of television, computer/video games, and/or reading.

Throughout the growing-up years, children frequently are counseled to “sit still,” “stop wiggling,” and are told to “sit down” when standing.  Interestingly, this tendency to fidget may be exactly what people should be doing. Research indicates that non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), or the energy expenditure related to all physical activities outside of purposeful exercise, plays a significant role in fostering health. NEAT activities, as simple as standing while talking on the telephone, cause muscles to contract, positively impacting fat metabolism, increasing caloric expenditure, and minimizing long-term weight gain.

A number of negative metabolic changes are associated with low levels of NEAT. For example, lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that plays an important role in the body’s processing of fats, has been shown to be reduced significantly by sedentary activities such as prolonged sitting. Reduced lipoprotein lipase levels also are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality and contribute to the development of lipid disorders, insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Muscle contraction associated with NEAT, such as standing erect, increases skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase levels, positively affecting metabolism and energy expenditure.

Fidget More – Finding ways throughout the day to get out of the chair and increase NEAT is essential to everyone’s health. Consider taking periodic standing/movement breaks; stand and pace while talking on the phone; arrange the home or work office so you have to get up at various intervals to retrieve items or complete a task; install a standing desk for computer/office work; walk to deliver messages instead of emailing; in other words, be creative and look for ways to move throughout the day.

It is well recognized that physical activity is vitally important in promoting and maintaining good health, and all Americans are encouraged to participate in a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Recently, increased attention has been given to the health risks associated with prolonged sitting as well, independent of aerobic conditioning and leisure time activity. All people should look for opportunities to reduce daily sitting time, both at home and at work, by standing, taking frequent movement breaks, and implementing other strategies that promote muscle contraction and energy expenditure.

HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU NEED TO MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT – To determine your total daily calorie need, that is, the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight, you first need to determine your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) using the formula below; then multiply by the appropriate activity factor using the Harris Benedict Formula, also indicated below.

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

Example: If your current weight is 140 lbs., you are 5’5” (65 inches) tall and 40 years old. Your BMR = 655 + (4.35×140) + (4.7×65) – (4.7x 40).   Your BMR then equals 1381.5 calories.

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

Example: If your current weight is 200 lbs., you are 6 “(72 inches) tall and 40 years old.  Your BMR = 66 + (6.23 x 200) + (12.7 x 72) – (6.8 x 40). Your BMR then equals 1954 calories.

Harris Benedict Formula:  Now multiply your BMR result by the factor below that best fits your activity level.

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active (very hard exercise & physical job or 2x training): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

Using the example above:  If the woman whose BMR calculated to 1381.5 calories is sedentary, her daily calorie maintenance need is 1657.8 calories to stay her current weight. (1381.5 x 1.2 = 1657.8 calories)  She will gain weight if she exceeds this level unless she also increases physical activity.

These calculations may not be accurate for heavily-muscled individuals (total daily calorie calculation will be too low) or for obese individuals (calculated maintenance calories will be too high).

UNDERSTANDING HOW CALORIES AFFECT WEIGHT LOSS – There are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. So, if you create a 3500-calorie deficit through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will lose one pound of body weight. (On average 75% of this is fat, 25% lean tissue) If you create a 7000 calorie deficit you will lose two pounds and so on. The calorie deficit can be achieved either by calorie-restriction alone, or by a combination of fewer calories in (diet) and more calories out (exercise). This combination of diet and exercise is best for lasting weight loss. Indeed, sustained weight loss is difficult or impossible without increased regular exercise.

If you want to lose fat, a useful guideline for lowering your calorie intake is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. For people with only a small amount of weight to lose, 1000 calories will be too much of a deficit. As a guide to minimum calorie intake, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. Even these calorie levels are quite low.

An alternative way of calculating a safe minimum calorie-intake level is by reference to your body weight or current body weight. Reducing calories by 15-20% below your daily calorie maintenance needs is a useful start. You may increase this depending on your weight loss goals.