Bathing suits and beaches -- the allure of warmer months is right around the corner. For normally inactive people, rushing to the gym last minute to get in shape for summer could cause more harm than good to their bodies.
"The problem with this rushed approach to fitness is that the body doesn't respond to sudden exercise and unhealthy dieting in a favorable manner," said Sabrena Newton, ACE faculty member and ACE certified fitness professional.
"In fact, people who strive to get fit at the last minute risk injuring themselves from doing too much exercise too soon. The body needs time to adapt to a new exercise program through gradual increases in duration and intensity."
ACE suggests easy ways for consumers to get their bodies ready for summer in an appropriate amount of time with safe and effective exercise and eating habits.
* Avoid fad diets.
Manipulating food intake with fad diets that
eliminate essential nutrients like carbohydrates only contributes to
low energy and irritability. The easiest way to deal with diet
concerns is to cut back portion sizes.
For example, eat two-thirds
the amount you normally would at each setting and stock up on fruits
and vegetables -- they are full of fiber, fill you up and satisfy your
* Steady wins the race.
If you are not currently exercising, start with
a low-to-moderate intensity workout like walking or jogging.
to at least 30 minutes three days a week and after four weeks you
could even see a weight loss of nearly four to five pounds, while
maintaining portion control in your diet.
* Strength training isn't just for body builders.
Try adding weight
training to your current routine. Nothing too intimidating, but just
20 minutes of basic exercises two days a week will help firm and tone
your whole body.
Strength training can also increase your metabolism
causing you to burn more calories -- even at rest.
* There's no such thing as spot reduction.
reviewed research has yet to demonstrate it is physiologically
possible to "spot reduce" (i.e., lose weight or take inches off a
particular part of the body).
In fact, numerous studies have
resoundingly refuted this claim. No amount of crunches or leg lifts
will give you "six pack" abs.
ACE suggests eating a low-fat diet and
following an exercise program that combines aerobic activity and
strength training to effectively shape your body.
"If started early this process can really help you feel better, look better and develop safe exercise and eating habits for a lifetime," said Newton.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction.
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