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Do you know what it takes to be fit?
February 03, 2015
How to easily be fit
As you already know – my purpose is to give you quick, practical and very useful tips.
This newsletter issue is NOT about a specific leadership skill per se, but it is about a foundational requirement to be a great leader – meaning – to be physically fit.
Fitness is a prerequisite to great leadership.
It is way easier to do a great job as a leader when you are physically fit than when you are not.
But – how do you know if you are fit or not?
There are several, different and complicated measures of fitness – such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility – and body composition.
But since I know you are EXTREMELY busy – I am going to give you a quick, easy and effective way to find out whether you are fit or not.
And if you find out you are NOT fit, I am going to tell you – in simple terms – what it is that you can do, in order to be physically fit.
So – here it is …
If you exercise (doing any exercise) in such a way that you make your heart beat within your target zone during physical activity, for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes non-stop – and you do this at least three times a week – then, you are fit.
Simple – isn’t it?
Now – for those of you who don’t know what I am talking about – please let me explain.
Allow me to tell you exactly the same thing – but in different words …
First – You want to figure out your maximum heart rate.
You find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
For example – if you are 40 years old, you subtract 40 from 220, which equals 180.
180 is your maximum heart rate.
180 is 100% of your heart rate.
180 is the maximum number of heartbeats that your heart can make in one minute.
I repeat: Your maximum heart rate is the maximum number of heartbeats that your heart can make in one minute.
So far so good – right?
But before you continue reading – go ahead and figure out first, your own maximum heart rate. It will be much easier for you to understand the rest of this article if you do.
Did you already figure out your maximum heart rate?
Good – let’s continue then …
Second – You want to figure out your target zone during physical activity.
Going back to our example – if you are 40 years old, then your maximum heart rate is 180, right?
Your target zone during physical activity is between 60% and 90% of your maximum heart rate.
All you do to figure out your very own target zone is to multiply your maximum heart rate by .6 and then by .9
Which means that – if your maximum heart rate is 180, then your target zone is between 108 and 162 heartbeats per minute.
108 heartbeats per minute is the bottom of your target zone – and 162 heartbeats per minute is the top of your target zone during physical activity (if you are 40 years old that is).
It is NOT recommended at all, that you push your heart to beat above the top of your target zone (above 90 percent of your target zone).
Even people who exercise regularly and who are in top physical fitness seldom make their hearts beat beyond the top of their target zone.
OK – before you go on reading – please figure out first, your very own target zone.
As I already said, this article is much more practical and applicable to you – if first – you come up with the 60% and 90% of your maximum heart rate.
Got it? Great – let’s go …
To continue with our example – if you are 40 years old:
IF you maintain your heart making at least 108 heartbeats per minute for at least a period of 20 consecutive minutes non-stop – and IF you have these 20-minute periods at least three times a week – then you are physically fit.
You may do any exercise you enjoy – but the key is to maintain your heart beating at a rate within your target zone for 20 consecutive minutes non-stop – three times a week. Period.
If you do this consistently – week after week after week – as a habit and as part of your lifestyle: you are physically fit.
20 minutes three times a week adds up to a total of 60 minutes a week.
That is one hour a week in order to be fit.
I know you are extremely busy – we all are – but one hour a week is VERY doable in order to be physically fit – isn’t it?
Besides the obvious physical benefits of being fit – like increased muscular strength and endurance, cardiorespiratory strength and endurance, flexibility, etc., in one word: feeling and looking much better – besides all of these benefits – when you are physically fit, you are better able to do your job as a leader, regardless of your circumstances.
The physical, emotional and intellectual benefits of being fit far outweigh the 20-minute investment of your time – don’t they?
Note 1 –
This “formula” is not exact medical science. This formula for being fit varies depending on your age, on your food intake, on your medical history, on your lifestyle, etc.
For instance – if you are 40 years old and you have been exercising consistently one hour a day, five times a week, for the past few years of your life – it is very likely that your maximum heart rate and your target zone be different from another person who is also 40 years old, but who is a couch potato (a couch potato is someone who doesn’t do any exercise, doesn’t eat healthy, and has a sedentary lifestyle).
However – the beauty of this formula is that it is very easy to remember it and it is extremely simple to apply it to your own life. And of course – you can adjust your target zone as you improve your physical fitness.
Note 2 –
If you have NOT been exercising much in the past few years – and / or if you have any heart or physical concerns – you must consult your medical doctor before you embark on any physical activity, especially if you are considering using this formula (making your heart beat within your target zone for 20 consecutive minutes non-stop).
No matter what exercise you choose to do, IF you really want to be physically fit – all you have to do is make your heart beat within your target zone, at least for 20 consecutive minutes non-stop, at least three times a week – week after week after week – as a habit and as a part of your lifestyle.
This is only one hour of your time in one entire week.
There are no excuses – are there?
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See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
February 3, 2014. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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