BMI… so the problem with using BMI as a measurement of your health is that the calculation doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass, age or gender. Another key component that BMI lacks is the ability to determine fat distribution – belly fat around your critical abdominal organs is much more dangerous than fat distributed elsewhere on the body (as it increases risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc).
Rather than measuring your BMI, I would instead focus on your goals of being healthier, fitter, and feeling good in your body. Notice how your clothes fit differently, or how you can sustain exercise for a longer duration, or you aren’t feeling as sore doing the same session you have done before. Using those feelings will be much more accurate than a BMI calculator.
If you are still very keen to know the precise measurements and body composition data, I’d suggest going to get a DEXA scan, which will give you much more accurate, precise measurements.
Personally I like to hit a step goal everyday – and you can hit that however you want – walking, dancing, etc. I meet the step goal however I feel like each day and I strength train Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can really strength train 2 – 5 times per week depending on the duration, intensity and of COURSE how you feel! The important thing is having the attitude that you are moving for joy and NOT moving simply to burn calories. Make sure to listen to your body and implement rest days as needed. No one can tell you how you feel so make sure that you are tuning in to your body so you can determine what is best for it.
The Australian Department of Health lists the guidelines for the recommended amount of physical activity a person should be getting on a weekly basis and I’ve pasted an excerpt below:
Physical Activity Guidelines
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1½ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
Like I said guys, these are the recommended guidelines, not the be-all, end-all. Listen to your body and what it needs. On top of taking care of yourself with strength, conditioning and aerobic activities, adding flexibility and mobility into your weekly regimen will greatly improve your training and overall well-being.
If you are exercising quite regularly, I would recommend implementing a stretching and mobility routine on the daily. As stretching and mobility is often overlooked, we keep training and our muscles get tighter and tighter if we don’t look after them with stretch routines, and this can actually end up resulting in injury. A daily 5-10 minute stretch routine will make a huge difference in your body and your training as well!
At the moment I am LOVING:
cottage cheese on rice cakes
protein yogurt with berries
1-2 tsp peanut butter on apples or celery sticks
a can of tuna and rice cake
boiled eggs, cucumber and tomato
Staying motivated is all about taking action. If I were to rely on motivation alone to wake me up at 5am to start my day… let’s just say my days would start much, much later! Instead, I roll myself out of bed and get MOVING. I take ACTION. Action isn’t the effect of motivation – it’s the CAUSE of it!
Mark Manson highlights this in his “Do Something Principle.” Action – Inspiration – Motivation. Motivation comes from discipline and getting a move on. You have to want to commit to really taking action to stay motivated to get things done.
Once you are in motion and you begin to see the effects of you being in motion, you end up being motivated.
My revised principle is “action – momentum – motivation” (Thanks Mark!)