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Page added on June 30, 2011

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Are You Ready For Summer?

The winter is never kind.  Frostbites, dry skin, slushy roads and the cold dark days promote a lifestyle of inactivity and overeating.  By the time you realize its summer, you’ve gained an extra 10 lbs.  Infomericals on FAD diets and new and improved home exercise equipment bombard your TV channels – you think there’s hope!  Well, it’s not that easy.

Before you get started here’s how to ease into it, reduce the risk of injury and develop a lifestyle that will get you in shape, lose fat instead of muscle and make more permanent changes that will last all year long – you’ll need:

  1. Your doctor’s permission especially if you’ve had an injury, illness or any kind of medical condition.
  2. 30 to 60 minutes a day, 4 to 5 days a week (splitting it up if necessary)
  3. A commitment to following a healthy diet (most days of the week)
  4. Access to some free weights, resistance bands, and/or machines

The first step of any good weight loss or fitness program is cardio. This is your foundation for burning calories, conditioning your heart, lungs and body and getting your body strong for other summer activities you might participate in. If you want to lose weight, you’ll eventually need to work your way up to 5 or 6 days a week of cardio exercise for about 20-60 minutes in your target heart rate zone. Use these tips and guidelines for setting up your cardio program:

  • Work in your comfort zone: you might start with 20 minute workouts 3 or 4 days a week and gradually add time and frequency.
  • Split it up: do short bouts of exercise throughout the day instead of 1 continuous workout.  This has been proven to be just as effective.
  • Choose an activity that you enjoy

The second part of your program will be strength training to build lean muscle and raise your metabolism.  In general, you’ll want to lift weights for your entire body 2-3 times a week, making sure to get at least one day of rest between workouts.  Use these tips and guidelines for setting up your strength training program:

  • Do 1 to 2 exercises for each body part (example – chest press and pushups)
  • Start with light weights to complete 12 to 15 reps of each exercise, adding a set gradually once your body and strength have adapted
  • Pick a weight so that your last rep is difficult, but not impossible.  You should be able to finish the last rep in good form. Never sacrifice exercise form as it increases your risk of injury.
  • Do your strength training on the same day you do your cardio training or use a day dedicated to strength training alone.

In the next issue I will discuss the importance of nutrition and putting it all together.

Jay Raymundo is a Certified Personal Training Specialist with NRG Fitness Inc.  NRG Fitness Inc. is dedicated to the development of customized fitness programs for individuals and families in the Filipino Community.  For more details, please contact Jay at 630-1553 or at


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