Let’s Walk a Marathon – How to burn more fat… and exercise equivalents!

First an update as of Sunday afternoon – and I am half way through my second marathon.. Training was interrupted this week because of work in the garden and I needed to give my knee a couple of light days but I am on target to beat my personal best of 10 hours in 14 days for my first marathon by 30 minutes.

If you would like to share your exercise this week towards your marathon challenge please do so in the comments.. or you can email me sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Before I give you some exercise equivalents for miles completed towards a marathon, I wanted to give you some ways to make your food work for you. The object of this challenge is to shift internal fat which also means getting rid of that belly fat and spare tyre.

All foods have a thermogenic effect as it takes calories to process them. Some even take more calories to process than its calorie value. Vegetables with a high fibre content for example such as celery or grapefruit.  A diet in these two items alone would be very restrictive.

The food that takes the least calorie effort to process is dietary fat… tasty thought it might be and the body thinks so too.

The body needs the good fats for health and you will find more of that in this post : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/lets-walk-a-marathon-part-three-taking-in-the-right-fuel/

However, we need a balanced diet and the most effective foods to achieve efficient fat burning is lean protein and you should have a portion with every meal.

For example – an egg on toast for breakfast, a chicken breast with a large spoon of brown rice and mixed vegetables for lunch and a prawn salad or tofu salad for supper.

You can include any lean poultry, eggs, fish or game..(venison etc) – if you are going to cook do so with a minimum of oil and use olive oil, coconut oil or butter. You don’t need much especially if you are grilling or cooking in a microwave or oven/

If you are vegetarian you can include Tofu or Tempeh made from soybeans (organic), chickpeas, lentils, peas, spirulina, quinoa or products made from soy milk.

There is one food that I do find useful but you still need to drink at least four cups of it a day and that is Green Tea.

In its own right Green Tea has some pretty useful health benefits and certainly drinking it when in training with hydrate you and possibly help shift some of the fat.

A little reminder of the benefits.

Green tea is the least processed of the three and therefore retains nearly all its nutritional content. One particular antioxidant which is called a Catechin (epigallocatechin-3-gallate EGCG for short) is believed to be responsible for the health benefits linked to the tea at this stage. Green tea is derived after the tea leaves have been gently steamed until they are soft, but have not fermented or changed colour. They are then rolled – spread out and fired which is either dried with hot air or fried in a wok until they are crisp. When you add boiling water to the leaves you get a pale yellowy green colour liquid.

Black tea on the other hand is first spread out on racks and withered with hot air – this removes about a third of their moisture and makes them soft. Then they are rolled which breaks the cell walls and releases juices. They are then laid out again in a high humidity environment to encourage the juice to ferment. The leaves turn a dark copper colour and they are then fired turning the leaves black. This gives your tea its dark brown colour when you add boiling water to it.

Oolong tea is partially fermented which means it comes half way between the green and the black.

What are its main health benefits?

As with any food or supplement it is important not too over emphasis the health properties but in this case there is some compelling evidence to suggest that Green Tea has many benefits that could be effective in many different areas.

I mentioned EGCG, the flavonoid antioxidant, which is left in the green tea, and this is what researchers believe may be the secret to its health benefits. Because green tea is so widely drunk, mainly in Asian countries where dairy products are not used to flavour the tea – most of the early research was carried out in China and Japan. One of the diseases that has been studied is coronary artery disease – there are indications that the antioxidant in green tea inhibits the enzymes that produce free radicals in the lining of the arteries. It has been shown to lower the LDL, smaller particle cholesterol which becomes dangerous when oxidised and improving the ratio to HDL (larger particle and healthy cholesterol).

Drinking green tea may help with stroke prevention because it thins the blood preventing blood clots from forming and travelling around the body. Eating a high trans fat diet can produce compounds in the blood that encourage platelets to clump together forming the clot. Not only that, it seems it may protect the cells in the heart muscle following damage so anyone recovering from a heart attack could find it a good tea to drink.

Researchers found that stroke victims who drank green tea were less likely to suffer any further damage and their brain cells were less likely to die off following an episode.

All of the above is linked to Green Tea’s ability to thin the blood, therefore the flow is unrestricted and people are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure.

One of the largest areas of research is in Green Tea’s possible protection against cancer. Obviously this is down to this incredible anti-oxidant EGCG but studies have also shown that apart from triggering cell suicide in cancer cells, apparently it might also inhibit the development of new blood vessels. Cancer like any parasite has an enormous appetite and the only way this can be catered for is for the body to produce new blood vessels in the form of a tumour. By inhibiting this, the green tea is effectively starving the cancer and it therefore dies.

What is even more interesting is that green tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of genetic cancerous cells such as those in breast cancer. Again it is this antioxidant’s way of working that is so effective – it simply damages the rogue cells so much that it triggers a self-destruct mechanism that kills the cancer. The cancers that they have studied include Prostate, Ovarian, Breast and brain tumours in children. Colon, lung cancers have responded well and Green tea has been shown to improve the efficiency of cancer drugs while at the same time lessening their side effects.

Obviously it is very important to note that this is not a recognised medical treatment for cancer and should never be considered as an alternative without consultation with your doctor.

Other diseases that have come under the microscope are diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, gum disease, liver damage, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Epilepsy and green tea together are being researched because of the possible lessening effect of seizures in patients who drink it.

It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory which means that diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may benefit – either from severity of the symptoms or preventing all together. Bacterial infections from tooth decay to intestinal problems such as Candida – where green tea catechins have been shown to effect the metabolism of the fungus and reduce the overgrowth substantially.

Viruses do not seem to like green tea and apparently it stops the virus from replicating which might be interesting for some diseases such as HIV where inhibiting replication is critical to prevent the disease from developing.

For example Japan where there is virtually only green tea consumption, they have a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s, compared to western countries. However, Japanese living in the USA have 2.5 times the incidence of Alzheimer’s of those living in Japan – In Japan people sip green tea all day – not so in the western environment or for 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese living in the USA. This particular health benefit has a knock-on effect on ageing as the cells are protected throughout the body for much longer.

As I mentioned there is some reason to believe that drinking green tea (or taking the extract in capsule form) may help burn fat.. If you do drink four cups a day or take the capsules perhaps you might like to give your feedback in the comments section.

I know that some of you might walk from time to time but also attend  exercise classes during the week, or have some other form of activity that keeps you fit.  That is fine and I have a way so that you can complete a marathon in equivalent terms and join the rest of us.

For example here are some exercises and their calories per hour converted into miles.

These are based on someone who weighs 150lbs – you will use slightly more calories the heavier you are.  So if you cycle leisurely for an hour a day for ten days you will complete a marathon.. 26 miles.

This is an estimate based on the fact that the calorie value of a mile is 100 which is average for someone of a healthy weight. For those of you who cannot walk or run due to weight, injury or other physical reasons, you might like to note the value of swimming.

These are the mile values you can apply for an hour of activity.

  • Cycling leisurely 10mph = 2.6 miles
  • Cycling moderately 12-14mph = 4 miles
  • Stationary cycle in gym – moderate = 4.6 miles
  • Weight lifting – light weights = 2miles
  • Rowing machine – moderate = 4.6 miles
  • Aerobics – low impact = 3.3 miles
  • Aerobics – high impact = 4.6 miles
  • Hatha Yoga and stretching = 2.6 miles
  • Water aerobics = 2.6 miles
  • Ballroom dancing slow = 2 miles
  • Badminton = 3 miles
  • Bowling = 2 miles
  • Football – non-competitive = 4.5 miles
  • Golf carrying clubs = 3 miles
  • Golf with power cart = 2.3 miles
  • Tennis singles active = 5.3 miles
  • Walking the dog – leisurely = 2 miles
  • Swimming laps leisurely = 4 miles
  • Swimming breastroke active = 5 miles

Good luck with your marathon training what ever your chosen activity and look forward to hearing when you have completed your first and every future marathon.

If you have any questions about the challenge then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

All the posts so far are in this directory. Preparation, breathing exercises, food



19 thoughts on “Let’s Walk a Marathon – How to burn more fat… and exercise equivalents!

    • Hi Jena.. there are a number of causes and because you say that it is twinges I don’t think that there is damage to medial collateral ligament or a tear to the meniscus which is the cartilage on the inner side of the knee. It is more likely to be wear and tear and it is very common once you get over 50 and our hormones are not supporting soft tissue in the same way. However there is a small fluid filled sac on the lower part of the inner knee that can become inflamed and results in bursitis.. this usually responds to iced peas, doing stretching and strengthening exercises and rest. If it is arthritis resulting from wear and tear then the cartilage will be stretched. I suggest the you wear a light weight neoprine knee brace that you can buy in any pharmacy. Make sure you are wearing the right shoes for walking, stick to the flat rather than walking on hills and you might find White Tiger balm rubbed in each night will help warm through the knee. If it persists then do see a doctor as you may need to have it looked at more closely.. hope that helps. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Than you so much Sally- appreciate all the facts. I forgot about bursitis- I will try the peas.. And also the Tiger Balm. I was walking several miles a day, and then last year I bought a Fit Bit and went the the 10,000 steps a day goal, which seemed to back fire on me! Lots of pain last fall, but slowly improving. Not used to this! I liked always be charging ahead! Thanks again for your time in explaining things to me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pleasure Jena.. I know that a great deal of store is set by the 10,000 steps but unfortunately it was not a researched number and was in fact the amount of steps on one of the original fitness apps. It began as a marketing gimmick. In actual fact it is more important to walk at a moderate speed a couple of miles a day but to vary then intensity for a minute or two every 10 minutes. That increase in heart rate and intensity is more effective for fat burning. 10,000 steps a day puts a great deal of strain on our knees at our age and you would get as much calorific benefit from doing some light to moderate weight training (with a hand held kettle weight) for 10 minutes a day. We need weight bearing exercises to strengthen our bones. If you are already experiencing some knee pain then I do suggest that you lower your target distance and make the shorter walk with some interval training and weights at home.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks much and I agree- I love tech so much, I got swept away without considering what I was doing! I hope you don’t mind if I update you in a month or so! Fitness and health are always important, but especially now that I am still pretending to be young!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Let’s Walk a Marathon – How to burn more fat… and exercise equivalents! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. A fantastic detailed and informative post Sally smoothly covering so many subjects related to health and well-being. Green tea for me From now on I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing this info, Sally. Best of luck with your marathon. I average 16-20 miles per week but need to increase that by another several miles. Whew! Not an easy task. Hugs xo ❤️


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