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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Yet to hit the gym!

My "diet" has been going well, I try my best to east healthy and watch my portions even though I have indulged in chocolate (my weakness) outside of my reward day, which is today. Since I am trying to change my eating habits on the whole, and not just for Carnival, that's the reason why I have started my "diet" early. The one thing that has been eluding me is the gym! I have made promise after promise that I am going to start today, but I have yet to step foot in the gym to date.

I was feeling somewhat anxious that I have not kept my promise to myself, and then I saw this article in today's Womanwise magazine of the Trinidad Guardian and I feel a bit better for my procrastination as I am not alone! Time is the biggest factor why I have not started the gym, I leave work and after battling the traffic I get home late. After I make dinner and clean up the house a bit, I am too tired to find the energy to get back in the car and go to the gym.

The pointers given in the article are very useful. I have a big enough yard that I can get in some walking in the morning or evening and I live very close to several parks where I can also take a jog. Maybe it is time to break out the pilates DVD and start doing a little work out in my living room, the object is to start and I need to just do it!

Workout eluding you?
By Abby De Four

You paid the membership fees for the gym, bought a trendy pair of sneakers and the outfits to match, yet the most elusive element missing of your workout regime, is time.

With stiff competition from your eight-hour employment, the pursuit of higher education, wifely duties, motherhood and all the unexpected emergencies that arise from your attempts to balance the many facets of your hectic life, finding time to burn those calories can difficult.

WomanWise sought some advice on the matter from Fiona Branker, gym instructor with Shape. Although Branker had some ready words of wisdom to dispense, she made it clear from the beginning of the interview that any attempt to incorporate exercise into the modern woman’s busy schedule would mean sacrifice.

“There are no two ways about it, if you are going to lead a healthy life, you must exercise and if you are going to exercise, you must make some sacrifices,” she said.

She feels, though, that the notion that a sizeable amount of time must be dedicated to exercise is a misconception which deters people from making a commitment.

“An intensive 30-minute workout at the gym is all you need, people waste time looking at who has on what and other nonsense and become distracted,” said Branker who added that gym sessions have become social events and an opportunity for people to make fashion statements instead of a focused activity.

She insisted that the problem was not a matter of time, but rather using time wisely; exercising is not necessarily about the length of time one allocates, but about quality.

Here are some of the tips that she gave WomanWise:

Get information

If you are unable to join a gym, buy an exercise magazine or DVD that will show you how to correctly execute a variety of exercises.

No need for equipment

If you do not have access to equipment, you can still achieve an effective workout.

Begin by warming-up. A brisk walk for about three to five minutes will do.

Lower-body exercise. Squats, are a good way to work and tone the lower body. Try to do at least ten every workout.

Upper-body exercise. Push-ups, are a good way to work the upper body. Using the female version — on the knees — of this exercise, repeat three to four times.

Crunches, lunges and dips. The movements add to the involvement of all the body’s major muscles.

Cardio. Round off the session with a ten-minute jog and you have completed successful exercise session in 30 minutes or less.

Utilise your natural surroundings

If you live near to a park or savannah, make use of the open space through a combination of walking and running. Walk for two minutes jog for 30 seconds, stop and do a set of squats, lunges or push-ups and repeat this pattern three to four times.

A hill is God’s way of making us exercise so if you live near one, use it. Run up hill, walk down hill for an invigorating work-out.

Child-friendly exercise

If you have a young child who is still using a stroller, walk briskly while pushing the stroller. The resistance provided by the added weight you are pushing will increase the effectiveness of the exercise.

If you have older children, join them in a game of football, hopscotch, hide and seek or just a good-natured race. This will get your heart pumping while you spend some quality time with your children. Remember active parents equal active children.

Exercise is accumulative

If all you have is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, it is the same as a 30 minutes uninterrupted exercise so use the time whenever you find it. For example skipping rope in the morning and a blend of squats and sit-ups in the evening.

Use every opportunity

Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, choose a car park that is far away and walk to and from the office.
©2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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