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Thick Today Is Fat Tomorrow
As we twentysomethings get further along in our twenties, we may start to notice ourselves gaining weight. It sucks, because at one time you could eat whatever you wanted and now it's like someone shut off your metabolism. But did you know that by not exercising to lose those extra pounds you are actually setting yourself up for heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis? I just learned that these are all lifestyle diseases and can be eliminated even prevented by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. Who knew?
To be quite honest, I am not one for exercising, in fact I hate it, but after speaking with Bette Vargas, personal trainer/lifestyles consultant and owner of http://www.fitnesscentralinc.net, I think I've changed my mind. Read on to find out why I hope you will change your mind too.
Because women are meant for childbearing we tend to gain weight in our hips and buttocks. But as we get older that fat rises to our abdominal area. Yuck. For men, it just goes directly to their abdominal area, no detours. With all that weight hanging around your heart you are increasing your chances of getting heart disease. And since osteoporosis starts in our twenties, for women and men, if you are not doing any exercise you may find yourself to be a grouchy old person with a humpback in a couple of years. I don't want that for you.
There are numerous benefits to exercising such as: better quality of life; longer life span; more energy; feeling good knowing that you are doing something that you set your mind to; and most importantly, you will build up your self-esteem and self-confidence.
If you want to get the full benefits of exercising you'll need to combine both cardiovascular and weight training in your fitness program. I know that most women stay away from weights because they think they will get all big and bulky, but Vargas stressed that this is a huge misconception. "Women don't have enough testosterone to do that. In fact, weight training will give you that hourglass figure and helps you keep it," states Vargas. "Muscles take up less space in the body and when you build muscle you will be able to burn calories just by sitting down." Vargas suggests you do aerobic activity to burn fat and lower your heart rate, and do weight training to build muscles and strengthen your bones. But don't slack off on stretching before and after working out, it will give you flexibility and elongate your muscles.
And just so you know, the first place you gained it is the last place you'll lose it. So, it's best that when you see the pounds creeping on, you begin an exercise program.
How to begin
"Slowly," advises Vargas. "One way to start an exercise program is to make the commitment for you and nobody else." So why not do something you like to do and will be able to do consistently? It can be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break. Ask a co-worker to go with you. But if you happen to walk by yourself, leave the cassette and CD player behind. I know you want something to help pass the time but it will prevent you from being aware of your surroundings.
Just find a time to exercise and do it consistently. Scheduling your workout after the workday when you know full and well you have other obligations is not a good idea. Put it in your planner. "There are 24 hours in a day. You don't deserve one?" asks Vargas. What a guilt trip.
When deciding how much and when you should exercise, Vargas suggests you begin working out 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes. If you start off slow, you will more than likely stick to your exercise schedule than if you began working out six days a week right off the bat. And if you happen to be overweight, start doing 15 minutes of exercise if you can't do 30 minutes and add 5 to 10 minutes every time you exercise.
If you don't have the money to join a gym, go to your local Parks and Recreation Center. The membership fee there will be drastically cheaper then any commercial fitness center. Just because you happen to be paying more doesn't necessarily mean you are getting better service. You are just paying for the ambiance.
What to wear when exercising
When you are exercising in warm climate, it is always best not to wear a sweat suit. That doesn't mean that you need to come out wearing a midriff and some poom poom shorts either. That rule is for both men and women. For footwear, don't get leather sneakers. They are useless because they don't let your feet breathe. You also need to choose a sneaker that has a wide toe box. A toe box prevents your toes from rubbing together. But when in doubt, go to a sneaker specialty store and ask the staff for help.
Now that you have been armed with the knowledge, go out there and start exercising! But always make sure to consult with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
ChaChanna Simpson is the publisher and editor of Twentity.com, the free ezine for twentysomethings, featuring cheap and free events every Wednesday. Subscribe today at http://www.twentity.com
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