“Fun with Fitness”

By Mike Dee, P.T.
Physical fitness can be as complex or as simple as you make it. The common denominator has to be ‘Fun’.

This is the first in a series of monthly articles where the staff at DEE PT will make simple all the aspects of physical fitness while making it fun. We will discuss body mass, cardiovascular fitness, training zones , resistance training, nutrition, flexibility, walking , running , and more. This month’s article talks about making it Fun and Body Mass.

Most of us exercise as we want to change the way our body looks. Body Mass does have a pre-determined genetic component. However each one of us can modify our body mass make up.

Body Mass Index(BMI) is a common measure used to determine one’s body mass with consideration of total body fat. Using kilograms and meters one divides their weight by their height.) Type in ‘NIH Body Mass Index’ on your internet search engine to use their calculator.(NIH: National Institutes of Health) An index of 18.5-24.9 is a normal range 25.0-29.9 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese. However BMI does not consider the fact that muscle is more dense than fat. A square inch of muscle weighs 18% more than the same size sample of fat. Good news there are other measurements.

Another simple measure is the ‘Waist-to-Hip Ratio’. This ratio looks at where our fat is distributed. ‘Apple’ shaped refers to more belly fat and ‘Pear’ shaped refers to more hip fat. Using a non- elastic measuring tape, measure the thinnest part of your waist and the largest circumference of your hips and buttocks. Don’t pull the tape tight. Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement to get your ratio. Normal values vary by age for men and women. In general the higher the number, the more at risk we are for heart disease and diabetes. See the NIH table below for BMI and the Waist to Hip ratio values.

Exercise with a friend or a group. Set common, attainable and measureable goals. Choose an exercise activity you like to do and one you can readily do. Vary the routine and or exercise a little bit each day. Enjoy the conversation and have a few laughs. We are in this together. Next Month: Designing Your Exercise Program

Mike Dee, P.T. is one of the owners of DEEPT located in South Burlington, Shelburne and Hinesburg. Deept.com Mike has been practicing physical therapy for 30 years and has held certifications by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a: Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist ( CSCS)

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