Fitness Fiends Part 3: Five Ways to Burn Calories without Exercise


young woman with shopping bags walks up stairs; burn calories without exerciseOver the last several weeks, we’ve discussed the monitoring power of fitness tracking devices and some fun ways to use these devices to meet your fitness goals.

In this final edition of Mutual Fund Company’s Fitness Fiends, we’re taking health one step further. We’re not talking about strength training or preparing for a 5K. Instead, we’re discussing the five ways that you can move a little more throughout your day and toward a happier, healthier you.

 

A Moment of Truth

You will only achieve your goals if you set the proper exceptions for yourself. For instance, not every person – or even everyone reading this article – would call themselves a “fitness fiend.” Not all people want to run a marathon, or lose 60 pounds, or have a chiseled physique. Not everyone wants to exercise.

Some people just want to lead a longer, healthier life; period. That’s what today’s article aims to address.

The Bad News: Building a fitter version of yourself will take time.

The Good News: You can do it simply by being a bit more physically conscious throughout your day, every day.

 

For starters…

    1. You may want to wear your favorite fitness tracker. While these devices aren’t necessarily required for this program to work, they can certainly help you monitor your progress. Remember, if you don’t own a fitness tracker, your smartphone may be able to monitor your activity instead.
    2. Get your head in the right place. You will not succeed in this goal if you are not both mentally and physically present.
    3. Don’t give up! This process will take time, but as you continue with this program, you will begin to feel its health benefits.

Fitting Fitness into Your Daily Life

Just like we previously discussed how your body keeps track of every calorie you consume, it also knows how many calories it needs to burn to keep you alive — that means every time you take a step, itch your arm or even blink your eyes, you are expelling energy. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that increasing your frequency of motion will help you burn more energy.

Five Ways to Burn Calories Without Exercise

1: Breathe

Yes, breathe! In addition to carrying more oxygen to your brain and increasing your level of focus, “Oxycise” is said to help break down fat molecules into carbon dioxide and water that can then be filtered out of the body.

2: Sleep

Not only does getting more sleep limit the amount of waking hours you have to eat, a new sleep study suggests that the less sleep a person receives, the more calories he/she will consume in a single day. If you’re not sure how much sleep you currently get each night, or if you are concerned with the quality of sleep you are achieving, we can offer some deeper insight here.

3: Leave your car behind.

More than 111 million people drive to work each morning. In contrast, only 4.6 million people walk or ride their bicycle to work — that’s nearly 28 drivers for every 1 walker/rider. By taking a more physical means of transportation, such as bicycling, roller blading or even skateboarding, you will save money in gas, reduce your carbon emissions footprint, and most importantly of all, you will burn some excess energy.

4: Going up?

We’ve all asked ourselves this question at some point: “Should I take the stairs or the elevator?” Knowing which one is better for us, many of us choose the latter option anyway. Needless to say, this is where you will benefit most from being mentally and physically conscious of your decisions. Avoid elevators and escalators at all costs; climbing stairs is the only option that can improve your body.

5: Go out of your way a little every day.

If you’ve ever lived in a storied apartment, or if you’ve moved items from your basement to the main level of your home, you know the importance of taking only one trip — you fill your arms to the brim, hoping that you can support the sheer weight of it all, as you trudge toward your destination. Instead, sacrifice a bit of efficiency for improved health; carry only what you can comfortably hold, and make more trips between your starting point and your destination. Remember to check your fitness tracker as your steps rack up!

“Easy” isn’t always “better.”

Sure, many of these solutions seem rather straightforward and simple; you would be right to think so! The biggest problem with moving a little more throughout the day, however, is one’s commitment to do so.

As human beings, we like “convenience.” We like our lives to be “easier.” But this program doesn’t work by following the easy route. Instead, we’re asking you to literally go out of your way just a little bit each day. Over time, these results will begin to add up.

Celebrate Your Results

Finally, don’t forget to put your new healthy lifestyle to good use. Dive into Mutual Fund Company’s #FitnessFiendChallenge!

To get started, obtain your free life insurance quote here; this will help you understand your current health ranking among the life insurance market. Then, start living each day by following a combination of the five tips above. After 6-12 months have passed, have another life insurance quote drawn up, and compare its results with your original quote; this will help you see how much your healthier lifestyle has impacted your available life insurance rates.

If your body is already in great shape, we would also like to invite you to see how much you can save on life insurance with a free quote. Your options may be more affordable than you realize.

Fitness Fiends Part 2: Five Ways to Keep Your Body Healthy with Fitness Tracking Devices


group using fitness tracking devices while runningIn our last article, we discussed the various types of data that fitness tracking devices collect and how this information can be understood by comparing results with average human metrics.

As promised, this week, we’re tackling the various ways you can put your fitness tracking devices to work for your body. Let’s dive in…

Clearing up Initial Misconceptions

Misconception #1: fitness trackers are only for walking and running.

While fitness tracking devices are very capable at monitoring running and walking, this is not the only skill these wearables possess. Many of today’s industry leading trackers are fairly adept at detecting other forms of activity, but more on that in a moment.

Misconception #2: fitness trackers are accurate.

While we’d like to believe everything our fitness tracking devices tell us, this unfortunately is not realistic. The average consumer tracking device can be off by up to 1,000 daily steps, whether that number is more or less than your actual results. The good news is that some devices, such as Fitbit’s line of products, Garmin’s wearables and the Apple Watch, can be calibrated to better understand your stride length. Upon checking your device’s official website for calibration instructions, you will most likely see improvements in your step and calorie accuracy once calibration has been complete.

Misconception #3: fitness trackers will help me lose weight.

Yes, and no. It all goes back to what we previously discussed about understanding your body: if you desire to lose weight, the number of calories you eat cannot exceed the numbers of calories you burn. While fitness tracking devices can help you monitor how much energy you expel each day, you will need to add a calorie tracking app – such as MyFitnessPal or Lose It! – to your daily regimen. Remember, your body keeps track of the calories you eat, even if your mind doesn’t, so make sure you log everything.

Five ways to keep your body healthy with fitness tracking devices

Okay, now we’re on to the good stuff.

1: Set (and beat) your goals.

Fitness trackers, although not medical-grade monitoring tools, are still great motivators. The makers of Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin (just to name a few) offer free mobile applications that serve as your digital exercise diary, recording your activity with each passing moment. It is here where you establish various goals, such as how many steps you intend to take each day, how many calories you would like to burn and even how much sleep you hope to achieve every night. These goals can vary based on your body and needs. If you would like some help deciding which goals are right for you, click here.

2: Start putting “steps” on the board.

While most fitness tracking devices use steps as the primary metric of activity, there are many other ways to burn calories that don’t necessarily involve walking. Using an internal sensor known as an accelerometer, your fitness tracker is mostly just checking to see if your body is in motion. As long as you are moving, you are expelling calories and raising your heart rate. Such activities that may be recorded as active steps include walking/running, playing sports, dancing, yoga, weight lifting and even going for a swim (if your device is waterproof or water resistant; check your manufacturer’s website before diving into a pool of water with your tracker on).

3: Eat right.

There’s not much to be said here. The right fuel for your body will produce better results. The wrong fuel — not so much. While every body has different dietary needs, it’s generally wise to eat as cleanly as possible; doing so may even add valuable years to your life.

4: Get some rest.

Every person has different needs when it comes to sleep; some people can live on only 6 hours of rest per night while others need 9 hours. Nevertheless, adequate sleep is important to maintaining an active lifestyle. Not only does it give your muscles a moment to relax, a good night’s rest will also heal your mind and improve the way your body processes calories.

To see how much rest you get each night, simply wear your favorite fitness tracker to bed. Most trackers now come equipped with automatic sleep tracking capabilities; others require the user to tap a manual button to indicate when the user is intending to sleep (if you’re not sure if your device tracks sleep, refer to your manufacturer’s website). Then once you wake up, sync your fitness tracker with your phone to tell the device that you are finished sleeping; now is also a good time to review your night to see how well you rested and if any improvements can be made.

5: Repeat.

Setting goals, staying active, eating right and getting enough sleep are all great ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle; however, this way of life only benefits your body if you keep it up. Each day is a new opportunity to conquer yesterday’s goals. Each night is a chance to recharge better than the night before. In the eyes of your fitness tracker, every day starts over at 0; it’s up to you to push those numbers beyond their limits.

What if I don’t own a fitness tracker?

So, you like everything you’ve read up to this point, but you don’t own (or want to purchase) a fitness tracker. That’s okay! You can still have a healthier life! Many modern smartphones can track your daily steps and estimate your burned calories simply by keeping it on your body throughout the day. That’s right; your favorite mobile companion also happens to be a fitness tracking device.

Put your healthy lifestyle to good use.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle promotes a healthier you, which means that life insurance won’t cost you an arm and a leg, plus a vital organ. But don’t just believe what we’re saying; see it for yourself!

If you believe the steps listed above can help you live a healthier life, we recommend that you try the Mutual Fund Company’s #FitnessFiendChallenge. When you are ready to begin, start by getting your free life insurance quote here; this will help you understand your current health ranking among the life insurance market. Then, start living each day by enforcing the five steps discussed in this article. After six months have passed, have another life insurance quote conducted, and compare its results with your original quote; this will help you see how much your healthier lifestyle has impacted your available life insurance rates. Continue living by this program for another six months, and file for one last life insurance quote. You may be surprised by the results you’ve earned.

If your body is already in excellent shape, great! Congratulations on being in tune with your body’s needs. We also invite you to see how much you can save on life insurance with a free quote. Your options may be more affordable than you realize.

Fitness Fiends Part 1: Understanding Data Measured by Fitness Tracking Devices


couple exercising while wearing fitness tracking devicesToday’s vast array of fitness tracking devices offer many features to help you be more aware of your physical health. Everything from the amount of miles you’ve walked, to the calories you’ve burned and even your heart rate are all feasible from a variety of fitness tracking devices you wear on your wrist.

However, when it comes to deciphering what this data actually means in real-world results, fitness tracker manufacturers like Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin don’t provide much more insight.

 

Understanding fitness metrics

Consider this: your favorite fitness tracker says your resting heart rate is at a solid 68 beats per minute, you usually take around 7,000 steps a day and you burn nearly 3,000 calories while doing it. Great, right? Maybe.

The truth is that numbers without context aren’t very useful. It’s when you weigh these results against hard facts that things begin to make sense. For instance, did you know that the average healthy person is expected to:

  • Walk 10,000 steps (equivalent of 5 miles) every day.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes each day.
  • Have a resting heart rate between 60–100 (the lower, the better).
  • Seldom exceed the body’s maximum heart rate (calculated by subtracting your age from 220).

Note: many fitness tracker manufacturers warn that their devices are not intended to serve as medical-grade monitoring equipment. All measurements taken with a consumer fitness tracker are subject to minor discrepancies based on the user’s physical composition and the environment the device is operating in. Recorded results are simply designed to motivate you to move more.

 

Understanding your body

Knowing how your recorded metrics stand up against aggregated data is only half of getting the most from your fitness tracking devices. You also have to know how your body handles calories and physical activity. While every body is different, these rules generally apply to most:

  • One pound equals 3,500 calories.
  • It takes 20 steps to burn one calorie.
  • The body burns an estimated number of calories per day simply by keeping you alive (3,050 for the average man, 2,400 for the average woman). These are known as inactive calories.
  • Active calories are the additional expended energy that occurs with exercise.

Keeping the above in mind, a person wanting to lose one pound per week would need to burn 500 calories more than he/she takes in each day.

 

Putting these metrics to good use

Maintaining a healthy body — from the foods you eat to the exercise you endure — can greatly impact the results of your life insurance health exam and even lower the cost of the life insurance policies available to you.

So let’s put everything you learned above to work! In part two of Fitness Fiends, we will discuss some fun ways your favorite fitness tracking devices can be used to burn calories, monitor your progress and even shed some pounds.

Keep an eye on our blog and social media channels to be the first to know when part two becomes available.