Health ABCs can help you shed pounds, become fit
(Jan. 12, 2004)--Okay, so you know you really should have stayed away from
the dessert table, but the fudge was calling your name. Yes, you had a piece
of chocolate cake, but surely you weren't expected to skip the sweet potato
pie or the pecan pie?
After weeks of holiday parties and family dinners, the new year is finally
here. Only problem is now your pants don't fit. Like many Americans, you've
decided to shed a few pounds and get in shape in 2004.
Getting in shape is a tough resolution to stick with, but Karen
Cataldo, assistant director of campus recreation, is here to help
with a four-part series in January for a healthier you.
Karen, an American College of Sports Medicine health fitness instructor,
will walk you through the important things you need to know about health and
Find out how often, how long and how hard you should be exercising each week.
Learn about nutrition and why fad diets aren't a good idea. Discover how to
keep it going once you've started an exercise program.
But first, learn your ABCs -- the building blocks for a healthier you.
Health ABCs for 2004
A -- Eat an Apple. Apples are full of nutrients and
low in calories. Eat one before a meal to prevent overeating.
B -- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It will provide energy to get your day started. Fruit, bagels and cold pizza
are just a few quick and easy choices.
C -- Carbohydrates provide energy and are an essential
nutrient. Avoid consuming simple carbs such as high-sugar foods, and increase
your intake of complex carbs -- grains, pasta and low-fat cereals.
D -- Don't Diet! Diets are only a short-term solution.
Make healthy nutritional choices that will sustain you for life.
E -- Exercise. Exercise isn't only about losing weight,
it also helps you feel good about yourself and gives you energy all day
long. Aim for a minimum of 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
F --Have Fun! Get involved in an activity you enjoy
and look forward to doing. Exercising shouldn't be something you dread.
G --Set realistic Goals. Write down some goals you
can achieve in a 4- to 6-week period. Focus on small steps so you aren't
setting yourself up for failure.
H -- Monitor your Heart rate. Use a heart-rate monitor
to ensure you are working out at the correct intensity. Work with a fitness
expert to help you determine the appropriate heart rate for you.
I --Invite others to join you. Exercising with a buddy
makes it much easier to stick to the program.
J -- Jumping Rope is a great cardiovascular exercise
and requires very little equipment. Find a surface with a little give to
it, such as the grass, gym floors or carpeted areas.
K -- Participate in a Kickboxing class for an overall
body workout. Participating in a 60-minute class can burn 400-500 calories.
L -- Make Lifetime choices, not quick fixes. Walking,
swimming and biking are all exercises you can do regardless of age. Eating
right everyday benefits you more than dieting for a month.
M -- Take some time for Meditation. Find a quiet area,
close your eyes, take some deep breaths and visualize a peaceful place.
Five minutes of meditation will help rejuvenate you.
N -- Never give up! If you miss a day of exercise or
eat two cookies instead of one, it isn't the end of the world. Focus on
tomorrow and get back on track.
O -- Look for Opportunities to try something new, whether
it is a new activity or a new food. Participate in a Pilates class or taste
something made with tofu. You might really like it.
P -- Positive thinking goes a long way. Create your
own personal mantra to get you through the tough workouts or long days.
An example might be, "I can do it."
Q -- Aim for Quality workouts. If you only have 10
minutes to spare for your workout, pay attention to your heart rate and
technique. Walking briskly, with arms pumping, for 10 minutes is better
than strolling for 10 minutes.
R -- Take time to Relax. Slow down and enjoy life.
As the saying goes, "Stop and smell the roses."
S -- Build a Support System. Once you have set your
goals determine who you can lean on when you need that extra motivation
T -- Take care of yourself. Don't forget about you.
We often spend so much time taking care of everyone around us that we forget
U -- Use it or lose it. Unless you want to be frail
and lose your independence, you need to strength train all your life. Muscle
burns more calories compared to fat, pound for pound.
V -- Eat your Vegetables. Vegetables are the best source
of natural vitamins. Focus on eating a variety of different colors so you
can consume a wide variety of nutrients.
W -- Work out with a partner. Being accountable to
another individual makes it harder to skip your workout. You can also use
each other for motivation.
X -- Cross-train. Cross-training allows you to participate
in a larger variety of activities and helps to prevent boredom. Choose 3
different modes of working out, such as walking, biking and swimming. Perform
each activity for 10 minutes.
Y -- Try Yoga. Not only will you feel relaxed and invigorated
after a class but you will also be more flexible. As we age, we lose flexibility
which often prevents us from performing certain tasks.
Z -- Zippy and Zealous is how you'll feel after you
start a workout program and begin eating a healthier diet.
For more fitness information, contact Karen
Cataldo at 210-458-7373.
Visit the Campus Recreation
--Leigh Anne Gullett