Many of you might be thinking about starting an exercise program to get in shape, It can be overwhelming for a beginner and many people end up getting discouraged and quitting after the first few weeks of exercise. I would like to encourage everyone to stick with an exercise program, so I thought it would be helpful to read what a fitness expert has to say on the subject. I'd like to thank Mat Montgomery, Health & Wellness Director at the Torrington branch of the Northwest CT YMCA, for providing answers to the following questions.
1. How important is exercise in our daily lives?
Exercise is as important as ever these days. We have seen a shift over the past few years in individuals becoming more savvy about their own health. Make activity your top priority everyday for increased health benefits through 2014!
2. Do you think obesity is increasing or do you see it leveling off?
The research seems to be undetermined. My personal belief is that the trend is starting to slow down within the youth. Information and programs are available for everyone nowadays to help reverse this epidemic for the better. All you need to do is start now!
3. How much exercise is necessary to provide health benefits?
The current population is very time orientated, however, not much is needed daily to provide the benefits. Think of the intensity rather than the volume (amount of time). Instead of starting out with a set amount of time for exercise, i.e. 60 minutes on the treadmill, start with a simple activity that is short but intense. This could be weight training circuits of 15 minutes or even pickup basketball with your friends.
4. For beginners, how much exercise do you think they should start out with? Any advice on how to stick with an exercise routine?
Many people, once their committed to exercise, try to go “gung-ho” with movement in the beginning. Identify your personal wellness goals and come up with a realistic date for when the goal should be completed. Start with the shorter term goals, i.e. lose 1 pound per week or exercise 3 days this week, this will help build motivation for the bigger or longer term goals thus keeping you on the program.
5. What kind of programs does the YMCA offer to those looking to lose weight?
Many! Currently, for new members, we are offering a 6 week starter program. Complimentary upon membership, members will meet with our professional fitness coaches once per week for six weeks. In these meetings the members will be guided through proper strength training technique and setup, completion of weekly healthy challenges to improve motivation and results as well as nutritional counseling to look and feel great! For an individualistic approach, try our personal training programs that include 60 or 30 minute sessions with a certified trainer!
Hope this will help many of you that are thinking about joining a gym. The best of luck to you as you begin your exercise programs to lose weight or just get healthier. Exercise is an important part of our daily lives!