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Warming up to exercise

PHUKET: Over the course of the next few months I will touch on several aspects of lifelong fitness and how to improve your fitness level through strength training, endurance, stretching, nutrition, cardio workouts and group exercise.


By Patrick du Preez

Friday 15 June 2012, 02:43PM


No matter what your age is, it’s never too late to start exercising. Regular exercise will actually slow down the ageing process. You will note that folk that work out regularly and watch their diet are in far better shape, stronger, healthier, fitter and often have a far more youthful appearance.

It’s not really your age that you have to be concerned about; it’s your attitude. As we grow older, the ability to burn calories becomes less, our joints and muscles feel weaker and our hearts pump fewer beats per minute.

Inactivity makes us more prone to the effects of ageing and such illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, fatigue, weight gain, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis and even memory loss.

Exercise on the other hand can help us maintain and improve our strength, stamina and overall health. It may even prolong your youthfulness and reverse the ageing process.
Starting out

It’s always advisable to consult your doctor for a medical check-up if you have not been very active lately. It’s further recommended to set realistic goals.

You will not lose weight overnight if you do not follow proper eating habits and follow an exercise routine.

The basic secret of weight loss is to gradually increase aerobic exercise while reducing saturated fats and complex carbohydrates. Set yourself a goal to start out doing moderate exercises three alternative days a week for about 30 minutes.

You don’t have to join a gym immediately. You can start off by going for a brisk walk or a slow jog or you may prefer swimming a few lengths of a pool.

It takes patience, persistence and discipline to increase your lean muscle tissue and to burn those unwanted calories.

Weight resistance training

When working out with weights it’s advisable to join a gym or fitness centre for a number of reasons. Firstly the instructors can show you how different exercises are correctly performed. They can further assist you with a beginners programme and put you on the right track.

Most commercial gyms have a variety of weight resistance machines, dumbbells, barbells and cardio machines which should include treadmills, cross trainers, steppers, rowers, upright or recumbent bikes.

In addition, the fitness centre should ideally offer group classes and certain gyms will also offer Spin Bike Classes.Training in a proper equipped fitness centre does inspire one, and group classes are great to keep you motivated. Phuket has a wide variety of gyms and fitness centres – visit a few and see what they offer, many will usually give you a free trial workout.

Cardiovascular conditioning
Aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or group exercises can increase your life expectancy. Not only will this improve and exercise the most important muscle in your body – your heart – but it will certainly improve your general fitness level and help burn those unwanted calories.

The more blood your heart can pump with each beat, the less often your heart has to beat throughout the day. The less often it has to beat, the lower your blood pressure drops, reducing your risk of strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney failure in the future.

Over the coming months, I will be helping you stay motivated. So, let’s get started:
Firstly, set a goal and write it down, including the date for it to be achieved by. Join a motivational group or get a working out buddy or friend.
In the months to come I will be looking at more detailed programs for fitness and weight training. I will also cover different types of Group Classes and expand on basic nutrition, vitamins and minerals.

Patrick du Preez is the Managing Director of Club Asia Fitness, Royal Phuket City Hotel, Phuket Town; clubasiaphuket.com

 

The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.

 

 

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