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April Fitness Tips

Michelle Walker, the fitness specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for a photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011.  Michelle’s goal is to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. 
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

Michelle Walker, the fitness specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for a photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011. Michelle’s goal is to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. (National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- FAT BURNING TIPS

Change your lifestyle
Don't over-restrict calories. Find an exercise program that adequately challenges you, provides progression and offers sufficient variety so that you can maintain it for years to come.

Drink more water
Water is the medium in which most cellular activities take place, including the transport and burning of fat. In addition, drinking plenty of calorie-free water makes you feel full and eat less. Drink at least one ounce of water per two pounds of bodyweight a day (that's 100 ounces for a 200-pound person). Keep a 20 ounce water bottle at your desk. If you fill it five times a day, you're set.

Consume fewer calories than you burn
To figure out how many calories you burn a day, you should calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), the number of calories you burn daily doing routine activities, not including formal exercise-using this formula: RMR = bodyweight (in pounds) x 13. Next, determine how many calories you burn through exercise-a half-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise burns around 350 calories in the average man, and a half-hour of lifting burns around 200. Add your RMR to the calories you burn in the gym, and keep your daily calorie consumption below that total.

Reduce starchy carbs
Consuming too many starchy foods, such as potatoes, rice, pasta and breads (especially at one sitting), provides your body with more than it needs for energy and glycogen stores; anything left over will be stored as fat. "You don't have to eliminate starchy carbs completely. But you should really cut back on them when trying to shed body fat.

Eat a full and balanced breakfast
Your body has been starving all night long, and it needs nutrients to rebuild itself. If you just catch something quick on the run instead of eating a full meal, it negatively impacts your workout, and everything else you do during the day. Eat sufficient protein (25-35 grams), a complex carbohydrate, like oatmeal, and a piece of fruit to start your day off right.

Limit sugar consumption
Taking in simple carbs (sugars) right after weight training replenishes muscle and liver glycogen stores, but excess sugar consumed at other times will be stored as fat. Satisfy your sweet tooth occasionally, but try limiting your intake of sugar to fresh fruit. Replace sugary beverages like soft drinks and juice with water.

Avoid drastic calorie reductions
If you eat six meals a day versus three with the same total calories, you can lose more fat because more meals burn more calories (by increasing thermo genesis, which is the production of heat in the body). Calculate how many calories you want to consume per day, and spread them evenly across 5-6 meals.

What is really necessary for cardio and when:
If you are having trouble getting in your cardio each week, wear a pedometer and make your daily goal 10,000 steps daily. If you find trying to get in 10,000 steps is a struggle, then try making up those extra steps with a 15 minute run/walk at lunch, or in the evenings as weather permits. You don't have to do all of your 30 minutes in one session. e.g. If you only have time for your 10 minutes of cardio, do your warm-up and weight training at lunch, then plan the remaining 20 minutes in the evening.

To perfect that upcoming PT, make sure you are mock-testing yourself once a week to include all components, to see where you are. You want to make sure you are running on the track, since the treadmill does not provide an accurate indication of how you will perform on the track on game day! If you are testing yourself on a regular basis and find you are struggling, don't hesitate to email or call me for an appointment, so we can be proactive.

Also remember to be kind to your knees while preparing to run, by utilizing our bikes and elliptical in the gym as well. If you run one day try to follow that with the bike or elliptical the next!

Base Fitness Specialist
803-647-3510 / 8712