What is a curl-up?

Self-tutoring about exercise: the tutor seeks the definition of curl-up.

A curl-up is done like so:

  1. The arms are folded across the chest.
  2. The heels are flat on the floor.
  3. The knees are bent.
  4. In the “down” position, the person’s shoulder blades touch the floor.
  5. In the “up” position, the elbows touch the knees.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Why it’s best to avoid spine-bending exercises when you get up

Exercise self-tutoring: the tutor looks at spine flexibility.

Apparently, the discs in the back soak up water overnight; therefore, when a person rises in the morning, the back is less flexible than later on. It’s a natural fact.

Because of the spine’s reduced mobility at awakening, it’s best not to do spine-bending then. The better idea is to get up easily: time spent upright will gradually compress the extra water from the discs. After an hour or later, perhaps having done some light walking, etc, the discs will be smaller, the back more flexible. Hence, doing spine-bending exercises later in the day is better, rather than first thing.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Yard work, exercise and fitness: the unintended work-out

Self-tutoring: the tutor shares about yard chores.

Yesterday, I thought perhaps I wouldn’t get enough exercise. I thought wrong.

For the seeds I found in our shelves, I decided to open up more garden space from a rectangle of the lawn. It was a spontaneous decision that meant using the shovel and pick-axe.

Turning over the sod took me about 45 minutes. A pick-axe is handy to have for such jobs.

When I was a kid, my Dad had a roto-tiller that would’ve done the job in under 10 minutes, no sweat. We lived in a farming place, then. Now we don’t, so I till by hand:)

I’ll keep you updated on what I plant; I hope to start today.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Exercise: what is a met?

Lifestyle involves constant self-tutoring. The tutor brings up the term “met”, relating to exercise.

“Met” means “metabolic equivalent.”

One met is rest energy consumption. Five mets means you’re burning five times the calories you would be if relaxing.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Exercise and fitness: rest metabolic rate: 100 Watts to stay alive?

Fitness, exercise, and weight loss lead to constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares an interesting find about rest metabolic rate (RMR).

Reading physics.stackexchange.com (Martin and Martin Beckett), I read the observation that you burn 80 to 100 Watts (depending on height, weight, and so on) just existing. Curious to verify the claim, I looked for an independent opinion.

At verywell.com, Paige runs through a calculation to arrive at 1900 calories per day burned just resting.

Do the two claims agree? In fact, they exactly do, and here’s how:

Typically, 1900 fitness calories means 1900×1000=1900000 physics calories. One physics calorie=4.184J, so

1900 calories per day = 1900000×4.184 = 7949600J per day.

1 Watt = 1J/s, so we divide Joules (J) per day by seconds in one day:

7949600รท(24x60x60) = 92J/s = 92 Watts

So the two claims – that you burn 80 to 100 Watts at rest, and that you burn 1900 calories per day at rest – equate.

I’ll be talking more about the general issue of energy usage:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Diet and weight loss: Is the banana to be avoided if you want to lose weight?

Dieting, I’m constantly self-tutoring. The tutor shares, to him, a surprising find about the calories in a banana.

banana beside three Easter eggs:  same calorie value!

Easter can be a challenging time for someone on a diet. Putting out eggs last night, I gave in to temptation and ate a few, then checked the wrapper for an idea about the consequences. The kind of Easter egg in the photo above is about 6.5g, 33.33 calories each. Therefore, three of those eggs together are worth 100 calories – about the same as the banana.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Health and fitness: weight loss: bmi (body mass index)

Tutoring math, numbers are always interesting. The tutor shares some findings about “healthy” weight loss.

About two months ago I concluded that, for the purpose of a sport I’m in, I should lose 15 to 20 pounds. From 177 pounds, that would put me between 157 and 162.

The idea of losing 20lbs I found daunting; I felt good at 177lbs. I knew I’d have to go hungry; at the current exercise level I wasn’t losing weight. I found myself asking, “Is it safe to go from 177 to 157lbs?”

I searched the net and quickly found the nih. It indicates that a healthy bmi is between 18.5 and 24.9, and offers to calculate yours. All it asks is the user’s height and weight.

I entered my digits and found my bmi, at 177lbs, to be a surprising 24. Then I entered my same height with weight 150lbs. The utility stated that my bmi would be 20.3, still well above 18.5.

With that confirmation that it would be safe to do so, I went ahead with my weight loss plan; I’m at 165 right now.

I’ll be talking more about bmi and weight loss:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Exercise and fitness: What is creatine? How does creatine work?

The tutor generally discusses creatine, including how it can enhance high-intensity performance.

Creatine is an amino acid that can be consumed from food (mainly animal protein) or made by the liver.

Creatine is also a favourite performance-enhancing supplement among athletes engaged in strength training. www.bodybuilding.com lists it as the number-one supplement for faster muscle gain. (Whey protein is number 3 on the list.)

Creatine’s function seems well documented and easy to explain, as follows:

  1. Creatine, in the muscles, gains a phosphate, becoming creatine phosphate. During rest, a store of creatine phosphate is accumulated.
  2. To release energy required to contract, a muscle cell breaks a phosphate from an ATP molecule. The ATP becomes ADP.
  3. The creatine phosphate hands its phosphate over to the ADP, converting it back to ATP, which can once again be broken down for energy release.
  4. Once its creatine phosphate store is depleted, the cell turns to other energy pathways; the advantage of the creatine phosphate is expired, not to be useful again until after a period of rest.

From rest to heavy exertion, the muscle cell’s ATP stores might last only a few seconds; with the regeneration provided by the creatine phosphate, a few more seconds of fresh energy can be gained. After about 10 seconds, the help from creatine phosphate plummets; within two minutes, it’s virtually gone. The creatine phosphate won’t be replenished without a rest period.

So, for athletes trying to improve power, creatine can help. Perhaps a perfect example is football: six to fifteen seconds of intense action, followed by a rest period while the players reset for the next down.1 Tennis can also follow such a pattern. Of course, weight lifting and sprinting are two other activities to which creatine could offer benefit.

Endurance athletes, who experience few periods of rest, if any, during their events, will likely not gain noticeable performance benefit from creatine supplement.

Many studies have been done on creatine; it seems no harmful effects have been proven, if it is used within generally accepted guidelines.2 It has been recommended that an athlete should only take it once past puberty.2











Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Exercise and Fitness: protein consumption for muscle building

The tutor looks into recommended daily protein intake for athletes.

I’ve been under the impression that around 50g protein per day would be adequate for me (175lb, active). However, from my investigation today, that’s too low, even for a sedentary person.

Here are some protein intake guidelines I’ve discovered:

  • Not very physically active: 0.36g protein per pound of body weight per day. For 175lb individual, that means 63g.
  • Active, trying to improve conditioning: 0.5g to 0.7g protein per lb body weight per day. For 175lb individual, comes to around 105g per day.
  • Competitive athelete: 0.7g to 0.8g protein per lb body weight per day. For 175lb individual, comes to around 131g per day.
  • Bodybuilding rule of thumb: 1g protein per lb body weight per day.

While I’m surprised by these figures, they seem merited by good sources. I’ll be following up about this topic:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Exercise and Fitness: how long does the metabolism remain elevated after a vigorous workout?

The tutor discovers one of the “right questions” to ask about exercise and fitness, and is rewarded with a compelling answer.

I’ve always focused more on exercise, rather than diet, towards losing weight. However, I know that if you actually count the calories used even during a strenuous workout, it doesn’t add up to many pounds (1 pound is about 3500 calories).

My intuitive belief is that vigorous exercise, done regularly, changes the body’s physiology so that it carries less fat. While I can’t prove it, an interesting article I discovered today may put me a step closer.

The article, from livestrong.com, examines the elevation of metabolism after a workout. Following taxing exercise, the body repairs the muscles and likely increases their capacity. Furthermore, it replenishes the stores of glycogen and other chemicals needed for high performance. The elevation of metabolism, post workout, can continue for 24 hours.





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.