Follow Your Heart to a Healthier Lifestyle

Family Exercising Together

With Valentines Day falling in February, we want to further emphasize the topic of loving the types of physical activity you participate in.  How to Find Happiness in Being Active was all about how finding something you enjoy doing to creates adherence to physical activity, preventing the dreaded cycle of inactivity. How do know if what you are doing is light or moderate intensity?

However, beyond the gym setting, it’s hard for people to realize that the activities we know and love to do are physically benefiting our body. When we talk about energy expenditure, we typically measure what we do in calories and at the gym, cardio machines count the number of calories we burn in the session or the heart rate monitors tell us what our heart rate is.

Beyond the gym do you have any idea just how many calories our bodies are burning? Without that number flashing at us on a machine,and sweat on our brow sometimes we are unable to mentally register and accept that other forms of activity foster improvements in health. There is another way to measure how much energy or oxygen activities outside of the gym use.

The metabolic equivalent (MET), which is 3.5 ml of oxgyen/kg/min a standardized measure of resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the amount of energy each kilogram of body weigth uses for to sit quitely for 1 min. If you walked for 1 hour at a MET level of 2, you would be burning twice the amount of calories you than you would if you were sitting and breathing.

You can therefore gauge the intensity of the exercise based on the MET level. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide is an unbelievable resource when figuring out the intensity level of every activity (and I mean every!). Often times people forget that daily activities like vacuuming and cleaning the house require energy. There are also many activity tracking devices and smart phone apps available to help keep people active.

The metabolic equivalent (MET), which is 3.5 ml of oxgyen/kg/min a standardized measure of resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the amount of energy each kilogram of body weigth uses for to sit quitely for 1 min. If you walked for 1 hour at a MET level of 2, you would be burning twice the amount of calories you than you would if you were sitting and breathing.

Moderate intensity is 3.0 – 6.0 METs and light intensity is 1.0 – 2.9 METs. Take a look list and find activities that you enjoy that are between 3.0 – 6.0 METs and do them for 30 min – 1 hour 3-5 days per week. Going for a 10 min walk, 3 x per day is has similar health benefits to going for a 30min walk.

A quote I make part of my everyday is “Live now from the heart”. Be physically active for you, not for anyone else. When you find something you enjoy doing to get moving and this happiness keeps you motivated so that your body will benefit even more.

A family that moves together is a stronger healthier family both physically and psychologically.  I am looking forward sharing the things I enjoy doing outdoors with my son as he grows up.

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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