Various heart health charities have come up with a vague and indeterminate prescription, like; 'Walk around the block for ten minutes, three times a day' - or - 'Walk for 10,000 steps a day'.
The walk for ten minutes, three times a day prescription is well nigh useless. Nobody every improved their aerobic fitness or their metabolic health to a meaningful level with so little exercise - plus the heart rate dosage is missing.
10,000 steps is a good program, but you could keep walking 10,000 steps until the cows come home without getting yourself into exceptionally good shape. That’s because you could do each of those steps at an amble. Much better to do them briskly or as a shuffle, jog or run and get your heart rate up into the aerobic fitness training zone. That way you’ll reap the full extent of the metabolic benefits.
But how do you define 'briskly' without a heart rate dosage?
Enter the Aerabyte aerobic fitness prescription.
Most of the aerobic machines in gyms these days have a heart rate monitor receiver built into them. If you’re wearing the heart rate monitor strap you’ll automatically be transmitting your heart rate to the console in front of you.
The big benefit of an aerobic fitness program is you’ll feel better. That in itself will be your greatest reward. But as well as that it will 'defrag' your metabolic system. The only catch is that defragging of your metabolic system is something you have to do yourself. It's not something you can sub-contract out.
Aerabytes, where time meets effort, rated against heart rate
The Aerabyte Aerobic Fitness Prescription concept has been built around the idea that you need to focus on both time and effort if you're going to improve your fitness and your health.
Aerabyte is a new word for a new measure of aerobic training, the Aerabyte, as in 'a byte of aerobic exercise'.
If you're serious about becoming aerobically fitter, merely recording time, steps or distance is nowhere near as effective as when effort (rated against heart rate) is included in the exercise equation.
To calculate the number of aerabytes you've used up in a workout, multiply the actual time (T) in minutes by the level of effort (E), rated on a scale of 1 to 5.
To make an accurate assessment of effort, use the heart rate guide below.
Get yourself get heart rate monitor (a strap or a wrist device) and preferably one that is bluetooth compatible and you'll be able to measure the intensity of your work-outs with reasonable precision. If you're diligent in your training, over the weeks and months you'll notice an improvement in your fitness (as per the 20m run test) or in your ability to maintain a higher heart rate for longer.
*The figures have been computed for people aged 40 and derived from the formula; maximum heart rate = 220 – age. For a 40 year old person the maximum heart rate is said to be about 180 bpm. Fit people over the age of forty and up into their 60s and 70s will be able use this formula - though you could count the number of 40 year olds able to maintain 180 BPM for 10 minutes or more on the non-opposable digits of one hand!
People can give themselves a point for every minute's worth of exercise where their heart rate fails to reach 100 BPM. Anyone who's doing any systematic exercise is certainly worthy of a point per minute.
A minimum of 400 aerabytes per week (APW) is good, 600 is better and 800 is best. Once you start getting 600 or more aerabytes a week you'll keep yourself in pretty good shape.
If you want to achieve huge gains in your aerobic fitness, aim at 1000 APW.
As for the time it will take to get your 1000 aerabytes per week, this will depend on the amount of effort you expend in each workout.
How long do you need to exercise to get 800 aerabytes per week?
It all depends on how long and how hard you train.
5, 40 minute sessions a week with your heart rate over 130 will set you up for 1000 aerabytes. Do that for a few months and you'll be as fit as a trout, lean as a greyhound and toey as a Roman sandal.
What this means is that the higher the energy density of your workouts the less time you have to spend each week getting your aerabytes. Of course there will be hard and easy days, so it will probably take you more than 160 minute to get 800 aerabytes.
There are 168 hours in every week. Can you find 4 or 5 to keep yourself aerobically fit?
If you've got a sedentary occupation then you need to make extra provision - running, cycling, swimming or using the aerobic equipment in the gym - to get the amount of aerobic exercise your body needs. If you don't, sooner or later you can expect key body systems to become dysfunctional. Then its ambulances at the bottom of the cliff for the rest of your life, or until you wake up to yourself.
What's happened in our sedentary society is that people do not realize just how little activity they do. Unless you have a manual job, the quickest way to get your aerabytes is to exercise with vigor for 200 or more minutes a week.
If you're type 2 diabetic, if you're over weight, depressed or have high blood pressure (in fact if you have any of the myriad symptoms of general metabolic dysfunction) you'd want at least 800 APW a week to manage your condition.
The experts say that to stimulate an improvement in aerobic fitness you need to exercise with your heart rate over 60% of its maximum. 60% of MHR for a 40 year old is about 110, level 2 on the aerabyte scale. But I'd bet on 70% as the minimum starting price for improving aerobic fitness and getting your metabolism back on an even keel.
125 BPM is about 70%. 140BPM is around 80% of MHR and if you’re in reasonable shape you’ll be able to sustain that level of effort for 40 minutes of more.
The aerabyte figures work well for regular folks or any age. If you're younger than 40 or fitter you can up the heart rate scores accordingly. If you're over 50 you may like to adjust them down a bit. It all depends on how fit you are.
Good, better and best
* Based on a person aged 40.
If you're overweight, diabetic, (type 2), get headaches and feel tired all the time, have a low libido, sleep apnoea, have an elevated blood insulin level, have high blood pressure, have elevated cholesterol and various stages of coronary insufficiency, or are depressed, I recommend you train twice a day. These are the symptoms of general metabolic dysfunction. They're telling you you're not in great shape.
If you've got any of the symptoms of personally-generated metabolic or psychological dysfunction, 8 sessions a week would be good, 10 better and 12 best. Too much you say? Well not if you want to fix up the body system dysfunctions caused by lifestyle neglect.
You can mask the symptoms with a pill, but you can treat the underlying dysfunction with exercise, a better diet and stress management techniques. You can vary the sessions, some hard, some easy, some long, some short.
The good thing about personally-generated body system dysfunctions is that being personally-generated there is a good chance they can be personally 'ungenerated'.
If you've been sedentary for years, before you embark on your aerobic fitness program it would be wise to get yourself checked out to make sure you're not going to keel over after the first couple of minutes of your first activity session.
The big benefit of an aerobic fitness program is you’ll feel better. That in itself will be your greatest reward. But as well as that it will 'defrag' your metabolic system. That’s the other big benefit. You can’t subcontract out the 'defragging' of your metabolic system.
Soon you'll be able to Click here for the Fitness Tracka app - where intention meets achievement -
The Aerabyte Fitness Tracka app enables you to keep a track of your:
- aerobic fitness
- arm hang
- percent body fat
- blood pressure
- blood glucose
In the past people have been able to record their progress on a piece of paper. You can still do that. When you purchase the Aerabyte app you'll also receive a copy of the Aerabyte Manual that includes the fitness tracka page.
At the beginning of each week write down your fitness goals for the week at the top of the Fitness Tracka Diary page. That way you’ll be more likely to achieve your fitness goals.
Achieve your fitness (and weight loss) goals and you’ll feel good. Over-achieve them and you’ll feel even ‘gooder’.
Break your exercise sessions down into manageable units, day by day.
After you've done your exercise, record the actual time that you took to do it, and depending on the activity the number of Km, steps, laps ... and the number of aerabytes.
If you want to measure your level of aerobic fitness, go to 20mrun.com
Each day you can record your progress for up to four activities/sessions.
At the end of the week, tot up the daily totals. Over the weeks and months, you'll have objective evidence that your fitness is improving. You can then go to your health insurer and demand that you be charged a lower premium!
To calculate the number of aerabytes you've used up in a workout, multiply the actual time (T) by the level of effort (E).
Every second day put yourself through the three great strength training exercises, situps, pressups, squats and (if you've got a bar) arm hang – and record the number you do.
Weight and percent body fat
There is a space (Wt) to record your weight each day and a space to record % body fat (%BF). Get yourself a set of scales that measure both weight and % body fat. When you reach less than 20% body fat for men and 30% for women you’ll know you’re pretty close to your ideal weight.
Weigh yourself each morning after you've exercised and had your shower. Although your weight will vary from day to day, depending on what you've eaten the day before and how much sweat you’ve produced during your workout, I take the view that by keeping track of your weight each day you can take immediate steps to 'get a grip on yourself' if you notice things getting too far out of hand. If you leave it until your trousers feel tight it may be too late!
At the end of your session, I recommend to spend 10 minutes sitting on your own, eyes closed meditating. It can be vacant meditation when you’re sitting on your own, undistracted, thinking about nothing.
Alternatively, you may wish to use the time doing a simple inner mental training routine.
There is a box you can tick to record when you've meditated.
At the end of your meditation session, measure (and record) your blood pressure (BP). You can sit with the cuff around your arm, eyes closed while you meditate and at the end of it, while you’ve still got your eyes closed, press the button and see how you fare.
As your aerobic fitness improves and as you get closer to your ideal weight, there’s a good chance your blood pressure will come down.
The Aerabyte ebook
To purchase you copy ... click through to this link:
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