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Saturday, August 28, 2010

How much exercise do I need? How do I start?

I found some great exercise guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). 

Basic recommendations from ACSM and AHA (American Heart Association):
Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week


Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

Good intentions?
But can't seem to get things going? Take this Barriers to Exercise Assessment and then read the tips for how to get past them.

Where to start/What to do
Jumping into exercise can be overwhelming when you haven't done it before. Here is a great page to find helpful information, including a pre-exercise risk assessmenttips for overcoming barriers, basic strength training and stretch programs to get you started.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Knee Injuries and knee pain

Often some of you ask, "why is my knee hurting?" Here's the answer. Are you ready?

I don't know.

There are so many factors and so many different injuries possible in this extremely important joint.
You may injure it during class, you may injure it at work or home, you may need new shoes, you may be suffering from overuse, or you may have a chronic condition that needs medical care.

As your instructor, here's what I do to prevent knee injury:
I provide a good warmup, so your muscles and joints are prepared for the exercises and movements we perform during the cardio portion of the workout.
I evaluate all choreography to make sure it will not put you in a risky position. Some movements may be fun, but can be dangerous, especially for people new to exercise or with other health conditions. So I leave them out.
• I provide a section of the workout specifically designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee. This stabilizes your joint and makes it more durable, not only for our workout but for everything you do in your daily activities.
I demonstrate proper stretches at the end of our workout to allow your joint full range of motion for everything you need your knee to do for you. My boss always says, "you are only as strong as you are flexible."

Here's what you can do:
Follow my lead. When I tell you to not let your knees go past your toes when we do squats, you better look down and make sure.
Wear proper shoes and keep them fresh. Shoes need to be replaced every 6-12 months depending on usage. If you are a frequent exerciser, you may consider investing in two pairs of shoes and alternate using them to give the cushioning in them time to rebound. Consider purchasing an orthotic insert.
• Take it easy. Don't jump in too suddenly. Again, we need a proper warmup period, and if you are new to exercise, allow your body time to adjust, as well as time to rest between workouts.
Don't try to impress by overdoing a movement. Squats are not going to be more effective by going lower. Most of the work is done in the first 30% of the movement, so focus on moving correctly, rather than deeply.
Listen to your body! Exercise should challenge you, but not cause you pain. If you feel pain, that is your body's method for telling you to STOP!
Talk to a qualified doctor. There are so many causes of knee pain. Even a general practitioner would probably refer you to a specialist. So if you have chronic knee pain, talk to a doctor. Don't delay. This is one of the most important joints in your body!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Benefits of Zumba® Fitness Classes

• it's a mental vacation from your stress
• you'll develop more cardio-vascular endurance.
• you'll tone your stomach, your arms, and your legs
• you'll have more energy (and be able to do more with the other hours when you're NOT in Zumba® Fitness Class)
• in moments when you might have otherwise let stressful thoughts creep into your mind, you'll find yourself singing in Spanish--and being happy about it!
• it's FUN!
• if you have "mother guilt" that prevents you from letting yourself have "FUN" then you can tell everyone else you're exercising--and still have FUN.
• you'll sleep better
• you'll be able to educatedly participate when you chaperone dances at your kid's school
• you'll FINALLY be able to stick with your exercise intentions because you won't want to miss class--EVER!
• you'll find a good use for any extra "curves" you may have. Latin dancing makes good use of them.
• you'll increase your immunity
• you'll decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes
• you'll increase your bone strength, reducing your risk of osteoporosis
• you'll find you have greater flexibility and range of motion
• the increase in flexibility and muscle tone will reduce your risk of injury in other activities
• you'll add years to your life and quality of life to your years!
• oh, yeah-- you might lose some weight, if that's what you want to do. But with all those other benefits it won't matter. You'll be happier and healthier no matter what the scale says!

You don't have to know what you're doing.
You don't have to know anything about Latin dance.
You don't even have to do it "right."
Just come and move and laugh and come again.
You won't regret it!

Learn more: www.zumba.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zumba Classes Available During the Orem Fitness Center Closure

Don't worry! You can still keep up your exercise routine during the annual maintenance closure. We'll be having Zumba® classes at Noah Webster Academy in Orem. It is a very easy to find location on 400 South just east of State Street. I'm planning on having classes Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. You can pay at the door for one class, or buy a pass for the whole two weeks for just $20. I know you may have already paid for a fitness center pass, but I'm sorry, it's closed and I can't do anything about it but try to find another place. We will be helping out the school with this great fundraiser to start the year. I'm donating my time so ALL money will go directly to the school. Let's make this arrangement work well and hopefully we can do this every year when the Fitness Center closes! I'm SO happy to benefit both you AND the school.

Pay at the door. It would be helpful to come a little early on Monday as there will be lots of people needing to sign waivers and buy passes.

Let's Dance! See you there!