Health Aware: 5 tips for successful fitness plan
Submitted December 28, 2012 6:22PM
Experts say the most effective fitness programs include healthy eating, aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility and mobility, and exercises for balance, agility and coordination. | Photo courtesy~Edward Hospital
Updated: February 3, 2013 6:06AM
Along with checking your smoke detectors and packing up the holiday ornaments, there’s another item you might want to add to your January to-do list. It’s also a good time to create your 2013 fitness plan.
Maybe you’ve gotten into an unhealthy, inactive lifestyle and want to turn that around. But coming up with a plan of action can be overwhelming if you’ve been away from a fitness program for a while or never started one.
“It’s never too late, and even modest efforts can bring results,” says Carol Teteak, fitness coordinator at Edward Health & Fitness Center in Woodridge.
Here’s her advice:
You’ve taken the important first step of accepting that you need and want to work on your fitness. Now seal your commitment with a written plan.
Get a check-up from your doctor before you start an exercise program, and then progress slowly. The most common mistake is doing too much, too soon.
The most effective fitness programs include healthy eating; aerobic exercise to challenge the heart and lungs; strength training; flexibility and mobility; and neuromuscular exercises for balance, agility and coordination.
Learning to do the exercises correctly helps prevent injuries. Consider group exercise classes or sessions with a personal trainer. The American Council on Exercise has a website with reliable information on exercises at www.acefitness.org.
When choosing an exercise DVD, pick one that features a variety of difficulty levels.
Teteak also has suggestions for exercise veterans who need a boost in the new year. The FITT Formula can serve as a guide for making your workout more challenging and fun. It calls for gradually modifying Frequency, Intensity, Time (duration) or Type of exercise.
“That may be as simple as adding several minutes to your workouts, or bumping up the incline on the treadmill,” Teteak says. “Or try some of the latest fitness equipment, such as the Kamagon Ball, which is filled with water to bring the movement and resistance of water to your workout. The Kamagon Ball resembles an overgrown Kettlebell and can be used in full-body workouts to improve core strength and power.”
Among trends for 2013 are MMA fitness (get “fighter fit” without getting hit) and exercise programming that promotes better quality-of-life targeting the active aging population and those battling disease such as Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes (all such programs are available at Edward Health and Fitness Centers).
“With all the new equipment and approaches available, 2013 should be a great year for both novice and veteran exercises. There’s no excuse to be bored,” Teteak says.
To learn more about the Edward Health & Fitness Centers in Naperville and Woodridge, visit www.edward.org/fitness.
Health Aware is courtesy of Edward Hospital