So have you tried that “fitness age” calculator (http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max) yet? It’s pretty neat. There are 7 questions you answer like your age, exercise habits, resting heart rate, waistline (don’t fret about the centimeters as there is a conversion link at the top of the questionnaire) and it calculates your fitness age and estimated VO2, which is a measure of cardiovascular fitness. I plugged in my numbers and it told me my fitness age was 44 even though I’m 56 years old. It gave me a VO2 of 46, which is classified as “excellent” for my age group. Here’s a link to VO2 norms, http://www.topendsports.com/testing/norms/vo2max.htm. Like BMI charts, it’s a good, quick resource to let you know whether or not you need to get off the couch more often.
OK, Thanksgiving’s coming up next week and it’s a day of pardoning for all the delicious calories we are going to consume. Hey, letting yourself go, every once in awhile, is not going to hurt you. . . it’s the letting yourself go most of the time that’s going to get you. Enjoy your time with family and/or friends, laugh and be cheerful. But I can’t let you go without offering a few healthful tips, right? I wouldn’t be doing my jog.
- eat breakfast the morning of to curb your appetite, somewhat, for the feast
- eat slowly
- choose white vs. dark meat as it has fewer calories
- keep in mind that consuming about 1,500 calories in one sitting releases a nausea-causing hormone
- take that post-meal stroll and enjoy the fall landscape. It’ll help keep the blood sugar levels down somewhat and make room for the dessert later on.
- get out on Friday and the weekend and work off the feast. Raking those leaves would be a good activity.
A word about the post-meal sleepies. Folks tend to blame the turkey and tryptophan. Granted turkey does have tryptophan, but so does chicken, beef and other meats. The reason for the sluggish feeling after the Thanksgiving meal, and other big meals for that matter, is the amount of carbohydrate-rich foods that accompanies the turkey. These release insulin, which increases the amount of tryptophan in the blood relative to other amino acids. That means more tryptophan to the brain and that’s why we get sleepy.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!