Fremont Area Medical Center

SUM 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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R evving up your fitness routine doesn't have to mean pushing yourself to the max. In fact, if you create a regimen that's too demanding, you could sabotage all your efforts, say fitness experts. Overdo exercise and you might have lasting muscle soreness. Worse yet, you could experience muscle strain and pain that limits your movement, which could set you back. "No pain, no gain is no longer true," says Ruth Frechman, who is a registered dietitian in Burbank, Calif., and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. Instead of setting body-taxing deadlines to get fit, try creating achievable goals that you can revisit at regular intervals. Mix up your routine. Exercise with friends. You'll be accountable to your buddies, adding a little pressure to stick with the program. Most of all, find enjoyable ways to stay fit. GETTING STARTED Imagine how fit you'd like to be, including your increased stamina, strength and energy. Then, work on the steps you need to take to get there, says Jacques-Luis Nodar, comanager of the Better Me fitness program for employees at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y. If you haven't been diligent about exercise, start slowly and take your current level of activity into consideration. Use the government guidelines for physical activity as a goal rather than a starting point if you're not currently exercising, experts advise. Build up your efforts in small increments, such as increasing your mileage from two miles a day on the treadmill to 2.1 miles. MIX IT UP Along with greater intensity, incorporate different routines so you don't become bored, and to help lessen the risk of injury. Doing the same thing over and over again can make you more susceptible to medical conditions such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, where one part of the body is stressed too much. You'll also miss a lot of fun if you do the same thing all the time. "Variety is truly the spice of your workout," says Debi Pillarella, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and an adjunct faculty member at the Purdue University campus in Calumet, Ill. "Vary the exercise, the equipment and the location—indoors/outdoors," changing routines every six to eight weeks. Most of all, have fun, say the experts. "It's important to find something you like to do. You'll be less inclined to give up if you're doing something you like," says Frechman. • How much exercise is enough? You'll fnd detailed recommendations for physical activity based on your age on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: guidelines/adults.html. Generally, adults should aim for at least 150 BODY LANGUAGE Watch for signals that you're doing too much too soon. "If your muscles shake [when you're lifting weights], you're going to be sore. If it feels like a little too much, you're going to be sore," says Frechman, who is also a certified personal trainer. But even if you do ache post workout, don't use muscle soreness as an excuse to stop moving altogether. Along with knowing when to slow down, you need to know when to ramp up. You can ask your body to do a little more work or have a little less rest each time, advises Nodar, a certified personal trainer. Create achievable goals that you can revisit at regular intervals. minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, each week. You also need two or more days a week of activities that strengthen muscle. If you're short on time, try this tip from the CDC: Cut your week's activities by half to 75 minutes, but make it vigorous exercise such as jogging, playing singles tennis or swimming laps. Or, break up your exercise time into short segments of at least 10 minutes. For example, run up and down the stairs during a work break, take a fast walk around the block during lunch, or jump rope with your children before dinner. SHUTTERSTOCK w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S U M M E R 2 013 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 27

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