The Strength to Exercise
I know a lot of you are probably thinking about exercise this time of year. The desire to start a program comes with the need to have a clean slate for a new year. Trying to eliminate bad habits like snacking on junk food goes hand in hand with trying to form better habits like exercising. I've already raved about how great walking is, not to mention easy and cheap (just the cost of a good pair of walking shoes), but no exercise program would be complete without strength training. You could join a gym, hire a personal trainer or go to one of those 30 minute circuit training salons that have been popping up all over the place (think 'Curves'). These are all great, but what if you don't have hundreds of dollars to drop on something like this? You can still exercise at home and save yourself a bundle. You will need some dumbbells which can be purchased at any discount store (Walmart, Target, Modells, Dicks, etc). Ideally, you will need three pair (1,3 and 5 pounds to start) and try to get weights that have some sort of covering over the dumbbell to make the feel more comfortable in your hand. If you need a great place to start for ordering DVDS that will help you develop a program that is right for you, then go to www.joycevedral.com. Joyce is a personal trainer who lives in my neck of the woods. She didn't start weight training until she was middle-aged and now that she is in her sixties, she is one of the most celebrated personal trainers around. She has appeared on numerous talk shows and has written many books about, not only weight training, but raising self esteem. Her programs are very easy to follow and are short in duration so you are not spending hours and hours trying to obtain your goal. You can really do it in a much shorter period of time and she will show you how. The thing about exercising is that it really does require you to have a comprehensive work out that includes aerobic exercise to increase and sustain an elevated heart rate for a period of time (20 to 30 minutes to start). This fires up your metabolism and creates a calorie and fat-burning machine. Strength training (working out with the weights) helps to tone your body and, furthermore, creating more muscle helps the body to burn even more calories, even when the body is at rest. How often should you work out like this? If you have the time, aerobic exercise, like walking, should be done at least 4 to 5 times a week and strength-training should be done at least 3 times per week. You can walk every day without fear of injuring yourself, but with strength training, you really need to rest whatever muscle group you exercise at least 48 hours before working that same muscle group again. You can exercise arms one day, your back and chest another and legs, hips and buttocks on another. It really is important to let that muscle group rest so that you don't sustain any injury. I hope you find this helpful to you and, whatever you choose to do, be safe!