Sometimes, using an analogy is a great way to drive home a point. Here is a good one to consider:
If you think of your body as a car, you may have a better understanding of how to make it work better and go faster.
Who doesn’t want a better, faster, leaner body?
If you put high octane in your car it will run smoother and get better gas mileage, Right? “Same goes with your body”.
If you fuel your body with healthy foods high in nutrients, your body will respond by functioning more efficiently. Food provides our body with the ability to produce more energy when we have the proper balance of Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat. If we put too much food in our bodies, it will be stored as fat. Try to think of food as only the fuel our bodies need. You only need enough fuel to function, but any excess will be stored in the body as fat. For example; if you take a 1600 calorie diet with the proper balance of heathy nutrients, it will provide your body with more energy than 1600 calories of unhealthy food, such as Fast Food.
Your car requires proper alignment to drive safely and prevent excess wear on your tires, Right? “Same goes with your body”.
The muscles in your body provide you the ability to move your bones, which in return allow you to walk, run, jump etc.. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons also provide the support of your joints. If any of these joints are out of alignment, meaning tight muscles on one side and loose muscles on the opposing side your joints (ie; knees, hips, ankles, back, or shoulders), you will suffer the consequences. You could use strength training as one way to help provide your body with joint stability. Yoga, foam rolling, or general stretching will help you keep those muscles lengthened in order to stay flexible. The combination of both will provide you with that fine balance of strength and stability.
Revving up your motor
If you rev up your motor, it requires more gas to do so, Right? “Same goes with your body”.
If you drive your car about the block, your engine won’t be very warm. If you drive a couple hundred miles, your engine will be at high temperatures, Right? The same would apply to your body in terms of Metabolism. If you can raise your metabolism (rev your bodies engine) and get it working on your side, you will burn calories at a faster rate. There are a couple factors to raising metabolism; increasing Lean Mass, consistent fueling of your body (eating small, frequent meals), and aerobic exercise. Let’s quickly touch on these three points.
Increasing your lean mass (or muscle) will burn more calories over time. Your muscle cells require more nutrients to function as compared to fat cells. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Strength training or lifting weights would be an example of how you can increase lean mass.
Consistently feeding your metabolism. I know is sounds counterproductive, but by eating more often, your body must process (or metabolize) this energy. The easiest way I’ve been able to explain this is referring to a “camp fire”. If you put only 1-2 sticks of wood on that fire and let it burn out, it won’t last very long or be very hot. (similar to eating 1-2 times per day). If you light that fire and keep putting sticks of wood on every couple hours, it will burn longer and hotter (like eating 5-6 small meals per day). If you eat smaller meals more consistent, this should assist you in losing more body fat over time.
Aerobic Exercise will allow you to burn calories at a faster rate. During higher intensity exercise your body requires energy, and fast! If you have a heart rate monitor as a tracking tool, you will notice higher caloric burn during these increased heart rate exercises. Although you won’t be able to sustain this intensity all day long, it will help you increase your daily caloric expenditure and keep you in shape. As a rule of thumb, you’d like to shoot for at least a 500 calories burn (minimum) for every hour of exercise.
Comparing your body to a car is a great analogy. If you treat if right, give it the right fuel, and keep it running strong, it’ll last longer. Remember, “Health is Wealth”. If your body isn’t healthy there’s not much else you’ll be able to do.
Todd Bassler, Certified Personal Trainer, Premier Fitness Camp
Todd was born and raised in Vermont and grew up playing competitive ice hockey which he continued through college. Prior to joining Premier Fitness, he was the Fitness Manager of six 24-Hour Fitness locations. Todd holds the NASM certification, a B.S. In Psychology and a Minor in Athletic Coaching. Todd lives in Carlsbad with his wife and 2 children.