ó Want to get into shape but donít know how to begin?
fitness instructor and trainer Myriam Charleston and partner
Jeff Pierre are here to help.
Charleston to start us off with 10 tips for people looking to
start a fitness routine:
the first thing you tell a client who is starting a fitness
Make sure they get clearance from their physician. The next
thing is to get a fitness assessment/evaluation in order to
know where youíre starting from and to set realistic fitness
often should a beginner work out?
beginner should aim to work out three times a week and have a
program that includes at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular
exercise (walking, jogging, cycling), 30 minutes of strength
training (free weights or machines), and 10 minutes of
stretching (hold each stretch for 10 seconds).
are the critical areas to work out?
to start with legs, because they are your bodyís foundation,
and your stomach muscles, also known as your core muscles. But
remember, your body will burn more fat if you develop muscles
throughout your entire body. My recommendation is to work
major muscle groups (legs, back, chest) with minor ones
(biceps, triceps, calves) and incorporate push/pull movements
to create muscle balance. For instance, if you work chest
(push) in one session, work your biceps (pull) in the same
overweight. What can I do?
assessment done by a fitness instructor. The assessment will
give you information about your body composition and help you
set realistic goals. Many people want to lose weight but what
they really want to do is lose fat. Focus on body composition
(your body fat percentage); the right percentage for you
depends on your overall health, age and sex. A fitness
instructor can personalize a body fat goal for you.
remember, the more muscle you build, the easier it will be to
burn fat. Thatís why an effective weight-loss program
incorporates a good strength training routine. An effective
way to lose fat is to incorporate healthy eating habits with
frequent, small meals (five to six per day), cardio, strength
training and consistency.
about diet? What kinds of food should I be eating? Can I still
eat my favorite desserts?
use the word "diet." Instead, focus on healthy
eating, which means consuming healthy carbohydrates (whole
wheat bread and pasta), fruits, vegetables and lean proteins
(chicken or turkey breast, fish, lightly marbled red meats).
Eat five or six times a day but eat small portions during each
meal. Use unhealthy items in moderation, like desserts and
other simple sugar /white flour items. Follow the 80/20 rule:
Eat healthy meals 80 percent of the time and indulge 20
older. Can I still work out safely?
As we get older, overall muscle mass tends to decrease and
there is an increasing risk of bone diseases. But you can
minimize those effects of aging with a consistent fitness
routine. Prior to each workout, make sure you warm up with a
brisk walk or light jog for 10 to 15 minutes to get the body
moving and warm. And donít forget to stretch. Incorporating
flexibility, core and strength training will maintain overall
body health and minimize the chance of injury.
a woman and I donít want build big muscles.
a misconception I hear all the time. It is usually difficult
for women to build muscle, and it usually takes a long time.
Women donít have the same amount of muscle cells that men
have, on average. But for women, strength training is very
important because it helps burn fat and build bone density to
combat osteoporosis. Muscles also help us shape and tone our
bodies, so ladies, donít be afraid of building muscles.
long will it take before I see results?
depends on the individual. Usually, people will start to
notice changes after two or three months. Remember your
results will depend on how consistent you are with your
strength training, your cardio and your eating habits.
Consistency in those three areas is the key.
9. I donít
like going to the gym. What can I do at home?
purchase a few items to create a home gym: a stability ball, a
mat, a few dumbbells, and resistance bands. There are also
body-weight exercises you can do: squats, lunges, biceps
curls, dips, crunches, pull-ups and push-ups. However, the
benefit of going to a gym lies in the variety of exercises you
can do. You are less likely to become bored with your fitness
program if you can change up the routine. Consistency is the
key to success, so keep yourself interested and change up the
exercises you perform.
started workout routines before and lost interest. What can I
do to stay motivated?
people complain of losing interest with their workouts One of
the most important things is find something you enjoy doing.
Start with any physical activity that you enjoy doing to keep
yourself motivated. Is it a sport? Is it working out with a
option is to hire a personal trainer who can keep you
motivated and can customize a work-out program to meet your
goals. It is important to set realistic goals and track your
progress so you donít become discouraged. And if you miss
some workouts or have a weekend where you overindulged, donít
despair! Just rededicate yourself and get back to your