ANSWERS TO COMMON FITNESS QUESTIONS

We all have fitness questions, whether we’re new to working out or have been at it for a while. Here are the answers to some common fitness questions.  How Often Should I Work Out?  Everyone should commit to working out a minimum of three days a week to see results. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of high-intensity cardio, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise or a combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

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EXERCISE: THE KEY TO A LONG LIFE

Do you want to live a long and healthy life? Be strong and agile as you age? Enjoy life into your 90s?  The key to a lengthy, prosperous life is exercise. No matter your age – whether you’re 16 or 65 – you should begin now with an exercise program or step up the one you already have. Studies have shown exercising on a regular basis is part of a healthier and more rewarding senior life. Staying active may affect how long you live and how energetic and vital you remain. Exercise provides a kind of health insurance.

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THE KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD A BETTER BODY

Kevin Balcirak is not playing around when it comes to fitness and health.

For the past 20 years, Balcirak (pronounced Ball-sir-rack) has owned and operated Body Structure in Lexington. While a 5-second Google search will yield a long list of gyms in the Bluegrass, Body Structure among them, Balcirak’s concept is quite different from the rest.

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When exercising, warm up for about five to 10 minutes and afterwards cool down for the same amount of time. This will increase flexibility and prevent muscle soreness.


Working too hard at exercise may bring fatigue, breathing problems, nausea, faintness and irregular heartbeat. To avoid injury, rest some days or alternate between vigorous and light activity. It cannot be stressed enough: Regular exercise is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone. Give it a try.

Did you ever dream of finding the Fountain of Youth? Well, you can discover it, in a way. Look for the next best thing: Exercise.


Anxiety disorders are rampant. They are the most common psychiatric illness in the United States, surpassing depression. Exercise figures prominently in the treatment and relief of anxiety and related disorders. It has been touted as a life extender for centuries. You constantly hear or read the message about its many benefits. According to Greg Anderson in his book “The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness” (Harper, 1995), regular physical activity will:


•  tone muscle;

•  add dimension to your figure and posture;

•  have a good effect on your energy levels;

•  increase your lung and heart capacity;

•  prevent bone density loss;

•  relieve stress;

•  burn calories;

•  help keep weight off;

•  brighten your mood;

•  improve cognition; and

•  make you feel and look younger.

EXERCISE CAN BE A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org) says exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness. It improves alertness and concentration and enhances overall cognitive function. An added benefit is that it reduces stress as well as fatigue. Exercise affects the stress your brain feels. The rest of your body is influenced by the damage stress causes and the relief activity affords. Scientists maintain participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood and improve sleep and self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. It enables the body to release endorphins, a natural painkiller and mood enhancer.


Research has found physically active individuals are less likely to have bouts of anxiety than their sedentary counterparts. In one study, the findings indicated a person getting regular exercise was 25 percent less likely to be affected by an anxiety disorder over the next five years than a non-exerciser.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises exercising at least 30 minutes on most days of the week to decrease the risk of chronic disease. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.