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Working Out Your Best Exercise Plan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Terry   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 00:00

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You’ve seen all the ads on television, the newspapers and online. “Guaranteed to take pounds off you hips, thighs and eyebrows!” “Lose 30 pounds in 20 minutes!” The latest, greatest, MOST AMAZINGLY EFFECTIVE way to lose weight!” You heave a sigh and take another look at your post-holiday physique. Yes, you want to lose some lbs, tone up, shape up, get in better health.

Among New Year’s resolutions, Americans list weight lose and fitness almost 45 percent. And exercise and a sensible diet have always been the tried-and-true staples for being more fit. There are as many different exercise programs as there are shoes in Ivana Trump’s closet. You can run, lift, bike, swim, stretch, push-up, push away, Zumba dance, Pilate, and martial art your way to the body of your dreams – or so it seems. But the first thing you have to be is realistic, according to Dave Feeley, a physical therapist and co-owner of the Vargo Physical Therapy office in Porter Ranch. “

A major issue for people who are getting back into working out is they do too much too early. And then they need to see me,” Feeley told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol. “I tell them is start slower than they think they should start. Even if it’s walking or running, they think 30 minutes right from the beginning…but you have start less than that. It’s a gradual buildup, not a sprint. “If this is going to be a lifestyle change, then you want to have the regiment for the rest of our life. Don’t run for an hour if haven’t run for a year; you’ll strain or pull something or be so sore that you won’t exercise anymore and it defeats the purpose,” he said.

If improving your fitness in 2014 is not just something on your bucket list but an actual priority, here are some of the top and/or enduring trends among the sweat set. Personal Trainers – Not the inexpensive option. But some people need an actual person, rather than a machine or recording, to put them through designed routines. Prices vary, as do workout programs, depending what you want to accomplish and for how long. But whether you get your trainer from a health club, the Internet, or put your faith in Cousin Bernie, be prepared to shell out bucks. Kettlebells – This combines dumbbell training with cardiovascular exercise.

The cannonball- like weights with forged, thick handles were a favorite in Russia for many years. The very thick, unyielding handles hold the weight a few inches below, and that adds to the degree of difficulty in control. There are exercises from 10 minutes or longer that can work the whole body, burn fat and build muscle. Aquatic Workouts – No, this is not training to swim from Cuba to Key West, ala Diana Nyad. But it’s not just simply, endlessly, swimming laps either although you can certainly burn calories depending on the amount of time and stroke used. There are programs using weights, boxing movements and running underwater.

Best news: Your body weight in water is about onetenth of what it is on land. Group Workouts – Misery loves company, right? Well it’s more than that. Here is where others who like spin cycle, boot camps, Zumba and other forms of dance. The camraderie can be as appealing as the exertion. High-Speed Interval Training – Also called High- Intensity Intermittent Exercise or Sprint Interval Training. Short intense bursts of cardio vascular and muscle exercises with very little rests in between the sets. The sessions can last anywhere between four to 30 minutes Yoga – The oldie but goodie.

There are various styles from simple stretching (Anada) to very advanced postures (Iyengar), to working out in hot temperatures (Bikram) and so on. Most address proper breathing, alignment, some forms of meditation, flexibility, and strength. You can find both individual and group instruction. No matter what type or level of exercise you seek, Feeley said, you should keep this in mind: do something.

And if you are going to try some of the more involved exercises, don’t just read a book or see a video and expect to know it all. “In my opinion, see someone who knows what they are doing – a personal trainer or physical therapist like myself who can assess your condition and of whom you can ask questions. You need to see someone who can help you prevent injury,” he said “Everyone wants to try the newest thing or the latest equipment; but the big thing is to get off the couch. If you just walk or or do something that increases activity level, it will burn calories. When people feel better, they feel like doing more, and it’s a snowball effect.” Feeley had some more advice.

“Eating right is even more important. You can’t just exercise and then eat whatever you want. Loading up on junk food after a workout doesn’t help,” he said. One other thing: stretch after workout. “Definitely stretch. Flexibility is a major issue. I too often see people trying to do things when they are too tight. That leads to other issues.”

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 18:33