Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fitness Facts

Successful Weight Control

Eating less, or cutting back on fat in your diet, won’t keep the weight off. What you really need to do is strike a good balance between the number of calories you consume and the number you burn. And the only way to do that is to exercise.

Don’t groan! By exercising, you can lose weight while you eat more calories than if you simply went on a diet. Regular physical activity is much more effective at keeping the weight off in the long run than any diet.

One Choice Is Aerobic Exercise
With aerobic exercise, you can lose weight without drastically reducing the calories you consume or sacrificing important nutritional needs. One reason for this is that aerobic exercise not only elevates your metabolism while you’re exercising, but it can also keep it elevated even after you’re done, depending on how long and how strong you exercise.

You’ve probably heard about exercise programs that actually turn your body into a “fat-burning machine.” Aerobics can do that. An aerobic program that you stick with can help you lose weight more easily because it can stimulate your body and make it burn calories.

If weight control is your goal, some types of aerobic activity will work better than others. Low-impact aerobic exercise, like walking, step aerobics and low-impact aerobic dance, is your best bet. Some good non-impact aerobic activities you can benefit from include swimming, bicycling and rowing.

If you’re just getting started, begin with as little as 15 minutes of low-impact aerobics three times a week. Gradually increase to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity four times a week.

Strength Training = Weight Management
Your muscles burn calories during physical activity. What you may not know is that your muscles also burn calories when your body is at rest. Increase your muscle mass, and you’ll be increasing your body’s capacity to burn calories both during activity and at rest.

Add to that the fact that diets which substantially restrict calories can cause the loss of lean muscle mass, along with the loss of fat. By incorporating strength training into your activity program while also following a moderate diet, you’ll be able to maintain lean muscle mass while you lose fat.

Start any strength-training program with one set of exercises and a weight that allows you to complete eight to 12 repetitions. Your program should exercise your legs, trunk, shoulders, arms, chest and upper back. When strengthening your abdomen and lower back, increase the number of repetitions with weights that offer less resistance.

Success Means Good Eating and Good Exercise
Follow a moderate low-fat diet and an exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training. That’s the key to losing weight—and keeping it off.

Begin slowly with exercises you find comfortable and build as your body becomes accustomed to the activity level. Don’t start out too hard or too fast, or you may injure yourself or quit before you’ve done yourself much good.

And remember, you can’t lose weight overnight. Set a realistic weight-loss goal for yourself—like 1 to 2 pounds a week—eat healthy and get going on a program of regular physical activity, and you’ll be delighted by what you accomplish.

Maintaining a lower, healthier body weight is something you can accomplish. So start now and keep on going!

Information/Article : published by ACE

Additional Resource

8 Ways to Get Fit and Be Social
As you get older, it’s vitally important to maintain a strong social network and a physically active lifestyle. By merging your social life with your fitness program, you’ll get some exercise while hanging out with your favorite people. The bonus? You’ll have a great time, strengthen your friendships, meet new people, and stay on track with your fitness goals. Here’s how: 
1.    Go for a hike. Gather your friends and plan a day of fun and fitness at a local, state, or national park. Pack a lunch, plenty of water, and your camera.
2.    Team sports. Recreational leagues are available for men and women of all ages and abilities. You’ll get together for practices and games and may even travel to tournaments. Check with your local parks and recreation department or search for softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, or tennis leagues online.
3.    Join or start a walking group. Whether it’s ladies-only, gents-only, or a mixed group, let the conversation flow as you rack up the steps and move toward better health. Walk around the neighborhood, at the mall, or at a park. Take turns leading the walk, and encourage each member to map out a different course for variety. If time allows, enjoy a hot or cool beverage together after your walk.
4.    Put on your dancing shoes. Even if you’ve never danced a step in your life, it’s never too late to learn how. Learning how to swing, tango, rhumba, or do the Hustle is fun, energizing, and a great way to sneak in some exercise. Some communities offer dance clubs where members meet regularly to learn new steps and practice together.
5.    Join a group fitness class. Invite your friends to sign up for an exercise class together. There’s an endless variety of formats to choose from: water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, martial arts, Zumba®, step, cardio kickboxing, cycling, boot camp, and more. You’re sure to find something that makes you sweat and laugh.
6.    Consider small-group personal training. Working with a certified personal trainer can help you break through fitness plateaus and reach new levels of health and fitness. Small-group training sessions are more fun and often less costly than one-on-one sessions. Look for a certified personal trainer who offers group sessions, and invite a friend or two to join you.
7.    Enjoy seasonal activities. Make fitness a year-round habit by sharing fall, winter, spring, and summer activities. Resolve to try new sports together and find some new favorites. From fishing and camping to snowshoeing and sailing, if you maintain an open mind and an adventurous spirit, you’ll never run out of ideas for fun and fitness.
8.    Get out of town. Take an active vacation together and enjoy walking tours, bike tours, kayaking, or golf. Go on a picture safari, explore the bell towers of medieval cathedrals, tour museums and historical sites, and have a ball. 
There’s nothing like a shared experience to bring friends closer together. And there’s nothing like a workout partner to keep you on track. Joining your active lifestyle with your social life creates a synergy that makes both even better.

Information provided to you by American Council on Exercise
Additional Resources
AARP Fitness and Wellness Program — American Council on Exercise
Find Walking Clubs — American Volkssport Association
Friendships – Enrich Your Life and Improve Your Health — Mayo Clinic
How to Get Started as a Social

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