Reducing body fat, by starting a fitness program

Published 2:49 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

In my last column we learned how carb control helps us get in better shape by reducing body fat levels. This week lets explore how to start a fitness program to further our progress.

First, there are several benefits in starting a fitness program. Being in better physical condition can help reduce your risk for heart disease, improve sleep patterns, help improve coordination and balance, and of course, improve your lean-to-fat ratio, while helping you lose body fat.

Before starting a fitness regimen, I recommend everyone check with their doctor, regardless of their age. Its possible to have certain health conditions that you may not be aware of. Remember, safety is even more important than progress. &bsp;

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Next comes the setting of your fitness goals. I recommend putting these goals in writing, so you get clear in your mind, why you want to get in shape. Remember, the why is more important than the how. After setting your goals, its time to put your program together. This is where personal trainers can be of real benefit.

Even if you cant train with one on a continuous basis, its still a good idea to have a consultation with one. Be careful how you choose your trainer. I recommend either getting a referral from a friend, or just calling a trainer and ask if you can watch them work.

Make note of how well trainers interact with their clients. Also, watch to see if they do the same exercise routine with each client.

No two clients should be on the same program. The reason for this is that everyone is different, and we all have different needs. Also, clients deserve their own programs. Obviously, the personal trainer should be well educated, and listen to his or her clients goals and concerns.

If you dont want to use a personal trainer, there are exercise books, tapes, and DVDs out there, but be careful, and do your research. This will save you much time, and grief in the long run.

Once youre ready to begin, start slowly. I tell my clients that starting an exercise program is like getting a hair cut. If you do too much, too soon, it takes too long to get over it. Start with a mixture of both weight training and aerobic exercises. No matter what you hear or read, there is no rule as to which type (weight training or aerobic training) you should perform first in your exercise regimen.

The order in which these types of exercises are done doesnt matter, however, when doing weight training exercises, try to move from larger muscle groups to smaller ones. This order could be legs, back, chest shoulders, triceps, biceps, and always do abs last.

Add activities that you enjoy to your exercise program. This is a type of cross training. These could be activities like swimming, walking, and even dancing. Also, dont work out too intensely in the beginning.

Remember, slow and steady wins this race. Also, allow for rest and recovery between work out sessions. Using these steps will help you get, and stay in shape, and prevent injury.

If there is a subject that is of interest to you please feel free to contact me.

David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show. David also served as lead trainer to L.H.Fields Modeling Agency.