HOW WE GOT OUT OF SHAPE:
human body is genetically wired to adapt for survival. Whatever
regular stimulus we subject our body to will determine how
it adapts. The body is an incredible marvel of efficiency.
It will build needed tissue, replace damaged tissue, and make
itself better able to meet the requirements we put on it.
is why athletes train, to make the body adapt in a desired
way. Adaptation is why physical therapy
can help recovery from a bone or muscle injury. The principal
of adaptation is why a well designed fitness
program will help your body adapt in a positive way to
become fit and strong.
have built the body that you currently have by programing
it to adapt to your habits and lifestyle.
common symptom of unhealthy adaptation is extra body fat and
being overweight. If you are carrying extra fat, it is
because you have programmed your body to store it. Fat
is made up of unused calories, or energy. When you consume
calories that you do not burn for energy, your body adapts
and stores the extra as fat. As we repeat the process, our
metabolism slows down, and our body adapts into an efficient
fat storage container.
process of overeating and not burning the calories sets off
a whole chain of negative health events in our body. Not only
are we now mainlining large quantities of unburned fuel to
our fat storage reserves, but we begin to feel weak, have
reduced energy, and find it uncomfortable to do even the simplest
exercise. Our physical recovery and defense mechanisms
are not able to function as they should, our blood pressure
climbs, our insulin response begins to fail, our joints begin
to fail from carrying more weight than they were designed
to, we look terrible, feel terrible, and our health spirals
out of control toward debilitation and illness.
our modern culture is finding that the cost of our physical
complacence is high, very high indeed. As we have grown fatter
and less fit, an epidemic of illness and diseases including
diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, obesity,
depression, back and joint failure, has paralleled our excursion
into the sedentary life. The Center for Disease Control and
the medical community recognize the dangers of our inactive
lives, and have been issuing urgent warnings for modern society
to get back into shape.
is inspiring to have observed many people exchange their
flabby, unhealthy lifestyle for one of strength, health
and fitness. These have transformed their overweight sedentary
"barely able to get by" body into active, shapely,
energized people that seem years younger than their actual
contrast, it is alarming to observe the general population's
health and fitness continue to decline. As we wallow in the
wake of our inactivity, we grow fatter, and the life-threatening
result of our complacence steals our life and vitality. As
a society we are in desperately poor health, and we know it.
yet, paradoxically at the same time, our culture is obsessed
with preoccupation about our bodies and fat. We spend more
than ever on health care, while our health slips away, being
traded for convenience and pleasure. You can't turn on the
TV or read a magazine without being bombarded with ads for
medicine, diets, exercise machines, pills for this, pills
is needed is to re-establish a proper balance
of caloric intake and restore healthy lifestyle
activities that will encourage the body to adapt
in a positive way.
is exactly what fitness training can do for you.
A well designed fitness training plan will include
the nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits
that will absolutely reverse the negative adaptation,
get rid of the excess fat, add shapely firm muscle,
restore your body's defense and recovery potential,
and encourage your body to continually adapt in
a fit and healthy direction.
repeat that for emphasis. What is needed is to re-establish
a proper balance of caloric intake and restore healthy lifestyle
activities that will encourage the body to adapt in a positive
is exactly what fitness training can do for you. A well designed
fitness training plan will include the nutrition, exercise,
and lifestyle habits that will absolutely reverse the negative
adaptation, get rid of the excess fat, add shapely firm muscle,
restore your body's defense and recovery potential, and encourage
your body to continually adapt in a fit and healthy direction.
much is too much body fat ?
It is generally accepted that men should have less than 18%
total body fat and women 23% or less, However, experts suggest
that an excess is not particularly hazardous to health until
an individual accumulates 35% and 40% total body fat respectively.
Such levels definitely constitute obesity and potentially,
if not most probably, have a detrimental effect on one's health.
Body fat percentage can be determined using a pair of calipers.
what is percent body fat?
Percent body fat is the percentage of the total body that
is fat. Thus someone who weighs 150 pounds and is 10% fat
has 15 pounds of fatty tissue and 135 pounds of other, so
called lean tissue.
does body fat come from?
Fat is produced by the body when an excess intake of calories
in the form of food or drink occurs. When the diet provides
the body with more calories than it needs for general maintenance
and its current level of physical activity, this excess energy
is stored in the form of body fat.
do I lose excess fat?
Put simply, the removal of excess fat is by a reversal of
the bodily processes which store excess energy, if an individual
burns more energy than he or she is consuming, the extra energy
stored in the body will be removed to be broken down for physical
does exercise affect body fat?
An increase in regular exercise will help to increase your
calorie expenditure. The more physical activity you do, the
more calories you will burn. Accordingly, if you increase
your physical activity, and do not increase your intake of
food, you will draw the extra energy needed from your stored
do gains in weight always seem to go on the same place?
One's body tends to deposit fat according to your individual
genetic code. In other words, hereditary characteristics dictate
areas in your body which accumulate fat. If you are a typical
female you will accumulate fat around your thighs and hips.
Typically males accumulate fat around the midriff and lose
it there last
I get fat off from a specific part of the body ?
Unfortunately not, there is no such thing as "spot reduction".
If you exercise a particular part of the body, muscle tissue
under the fat will become firm and make the overall appearance
of that region look better. However, such specific exercise
will not reduce the quantity of fat within the area. Thus
simply by jogging one will not just reduce the fat around
the legs and hips, the fat providing energy for this activity
may be coming from the stomach, chin, back etc.
many calories will it take to lose one pound of fat?
A calorie is a unit of energy, the deficit needed to lose
one pound of fat being approximately 4000 calories. This "rule
of thumb" may vary considerably depending on the nature
of the fat lost, however, for long term weight loss this figure
is probably accurate.
I sweat off excess weight in a steam room or sauna?
Remember you are not trying to lose weight but fat. There
is a real difference between the two. Weight could be fat,
water or even muscle tissue, whereas fat is fat. The loss
of weight through excess sweating as experienced in the sauna/steam
room is not fat but water. Such weight returns immediately
you consume fluid. Consequently if you lose say two and a
half pounds in a session in the steam bath you will replace
it with approximately the next two pints of water drunk (one
pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter). However and obviously
more worrying is that if the fluid loss is replaced by a high
calorie drink you may end up gaining fats as a result of your
weight loss attempt.
are Essential Fat & Storage Fat?
The essential fat, required for normal physiological functioning,
consists of fat stored in the marrow of bones, heart, lungs,
liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, muscles and lipid rich
tissues of the central nervous system. In females the extra
9% of sex specific fat is required for childbearing and other
hormonal related functions.
addition to essential fat deposits, storage fat consists of
fat accumulation in adipose tissue. Men and women have similar
quantities of storage fat - on average 12% for men and 15%
and Obesity Health Consequences
Overweight and obese individuals (BMI of 25 and above) are
at increased risk for physical ailments such as:
blood pressure, hypertension
blood cholesterol, dyslipidemia
2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes
resistance, glucose intolerance
sleep apnea and respiratory problems
types of cancer (such as endometrial, breast, prostate,
female reproductive health (such as menstrual irregularities,
infertility, irregular ovulation)
control problems (such as stress incontinence)
disorders (such as depression, eating disorders, distorted
body image, and low self esteem).
Stunkard AJ, Wadden TA. (Editors) Obesity: theory and therapy,
Second Edition. New York: Raven Press, 1993. National
Institutes of Health. Clinical guidelines on the identification,
evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults.
Bethesda, Maryland: Department of Health and Human Services,
National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood
of this information were used by permission from SPORTS COACH