Local/State

Tips for returning to fitness after the holidays

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

By most people's estimation, the holidays end by January 6th. That ends a festive period that began Thanksgiving, and the celebration included no shortage of ways to break your health and fitness routine, right?

So now that we're squarely into the New Year, how do you get back to that healthier old you? That's what we asked Denis White, owner of Super Fitness Gyms in South Jersey.

White agrees with most experts. You didn't gain the holiday weight in a day, and it isn't healthy to take if off too quickly. Most experts say losing a pound a week...two at the most...is the way to go.

To do that, you need a combination of better eating and some physical activity. Exercise enables you to burn more calories than you take in, and so you lose weight. Especially if you're not accustomed to physical activity, you might want to consult your health care provider before doing anything else.

Most fitness centers offer a range of choices as far as hours and activities are concerned.

Some like you to begin with a personal trainer, who can assess your needs and supervise your routine at least at first.

White's gym offers a lower-cost alternative...small classes with an instructor who will teach you routines then observe each individual's technique and progress.

He steers clients to a trainer only if they don't see results after, say, two months. Any exercise is better than no exercise for most people.

Most gyms encourage members to visit three or four times a week for brief, intense workouts. White says you'll see better results and spend less time if you shorten the breaks between individual exercises, say from two minutes down to 30 seconds.

He says you're more likely to keep sweating throughout that compacted workout, and you'll both get done faster and be more likely to prevent injuries.

White also advocates a simple principle he calls "body through space". Rather than use a machine to work a particular muscle, he likes clients to move their body to do the same job.

Doing pushups instead of bench presses is one example. A little soreness isn't unusual, especially if you're just starting a program. But persistent pain is a warning something may be wrong, and you should ask a professional...at least a trainer but maybe your health care provider.

Again, any activity is preferred to no activity. You're more likely to stick with a routine that includes your favorite activities. But most experts agree a program of varied activity...some aerobics, some resistance training, etc....is most likely to achieve the results you want efficiently.

Hopefully, you'll like what you produce enough to continue exercising, making your program a little harder each time you go.

Super Fitness Gym is located in Westmont Plaza, 630 W. Cuthbert Road in Westmont, New Jersey. It's just a few blocks off White Horse Pike, nearest MacArthur Boulevard. The center is open weekdays from 5:00am to 11:00pm, 7:30am to 6:00pm on Saturdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.

You can find them online at Super Fitness or phone them at 856-854-1441. They also have a center in Logan Township, Gloucester County at 553 Beckett Road. The phone number there is 856-467-5888.

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