Posts Tagged ‘personal training’

Exercise for Independence

Monday, April 13th, 2015

by Sheila Kalas, personal trainer and owner of Fitness Plus

Sheila Kalas, owner of Fitness Plus in Lexington KYExercise is THE best way to ensure that you will remain independent as you age. Why? Because exercise is the key to your mobility. The key to independence is mobility; if you can’t move enough to do daily chores like getting dressed, feeding yourself, going to the store, and taking care of your home, then you will be dependent on someone else to do these things for you. Research indicates that regular exercisers have an average of 9 to 13 more years of independent living than non-exercisers. That’s a great reason to get out there and move.

The first baby boomers turn 69 in 2015 and the youngest boomers are 51 this year. This population is consumed with health, fitness and keeping a good quality of life as they age. They have seen or are seeing their aging parents deteriorate into old age, losing independence and dignity. They are determined not to follow in their parents’ paths.

This is clearly seen in my business of personal training. A large percentage of our clients are baby boomers. On average they workout more consistently than the younger population. They are more interested in exercising for health than they are exercising to look good. They have the right attitude.

Besides helping you keep your independence as you age, regular exercise reduces your chance for every major disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, risk of stroke, cancer, peripheral artery disease, Alzheimer’s and obesity.

Knowing that just a 30-minute walk a day could greatly reduce your risk for all of these diseases should provide enough reason for you to get out there and do it. No, there is no absolute guarantee that you won’t get or die from these diseases because you exercise. However, the research shows overwhelming evidence that you do reduce risk significantly.

There is also the issue of a condition called “sarcopenia.” This term refers to the age-related loss of muscle mass. Without some kind of weight-bearing exercise to challenge your muscles, your body will begin to lose muscle mass in your 30s. This loss will continue and speed up as you age. Simply lifting weights once or twice a week will stop this process of “rotting” and put you on a path of aging in a healthy, strong, independent manner.

Losing muscle mass also leads to a lower metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. Many people believe that getting old and getting fat are synonymous and that there is no way to avoid this trend. Not so. Intervening with weight training does stop this process and in many cases can reverse it.

Improved self-efficacy is yet another reason to exercise. For the first time, in 2010, the American Psychiatric Association formally recognized exercise as a part of the standard of care recommended for the treatment of depression. Depression is a huge problem in the United States. The statistics on how many people suffer from this disease is staggering. People who participate in regular exercise report a higher level of self-efficacy than those who do not exercise. Several studies show that people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety find marked benefit when exercise is added to their treatment.

These are just some of the reasons to make exercise a regular part of your life. The next time you see an older person who represents where you DON’T want to be when you are that age, burn that image into your mind and recall it every time you are thinking about choosing the couch over your daily walk or run.

How to Choose a Personal Trainer

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Sheila Kalas, founder and owner of Fitness Plus, was interviewed on WTVQ-TV on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. News anchor Lauren Gawthrop asked Sheila about personal training.

Sheila wanted consumers to know that personal trainers are not required to have a license in Kentucky. Massage therapists and hairdressers have to have a license, but not personal trainers.

“You, the consumer, have to understand how to vet that out,” Sheila said. People feel safe about the word “certified,” but it really doesn’t mean much in and of itself.

Certification is not a substitute for education. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in exercise science are great. “Vocational schools for personal trainers are the wave of the future,” Sheila said. Ask any potential personal trainer about their education and experience.

“I should let you question me,” Sheila said. A free consultation is standard in the business. As the consumer, don’t feel intimidated about asking questions. A good personal trainer won’t be offended at all.

Watch Lauren’s interview with Sheila:

Resolutions

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

by Sheila Kalas, personal trainer and owner of Fitness Plus

Sheila Kalas, owner of Fitness Plus in Lexington KYMost of us have lives that we feel are too busy; we never seem to have the time to finish all the items on our list. So how could we possibly add exercise to our life? Good question.

I cannot argue with the fact that most people are unbelievably busy or that trying to find 30-60 minutes to work out a few days a week can look like an impossible goal.

However, I also know that it is something we have to do.

Not liking exercise, not having the time for exercise, not having exercise as part of your core value system are all valid reasons for not doing it—except for the fact that you still HAVE to.

There is no substitute for exercise, period. It doesn’t matter if you need to lose weight or not, if you are healthy or not, if you are athletic or not, or what age you are; you still have to exercise.

Paying your taxes, taking out the garbage, brushing your teeth, doing your laundry; these are some of things that, as adults, we do, even if we don’t like them. We FIND time to do these things, because we know there are negative consequences if we don’t.

If you love exercise, you won’t put it in the same category as these tedious tasks, but most people do not like exercise. If you don’t, you need to put this in the category of things you don’t like but that you do anyway because you have to, and because of the negative consequences of not doing it.

Maybe the consequences of not exercising are not abrupt enough to get you to action. Maybe you can’t connect the dots of all the medications you take, the extra weight you are carrying around and how lousy you feel, with the fact that you’re not exercising enough. Maybe you don’t care about dying earlier than you should or being completely dependent on others during the last decade of your life because your body has failed you, but the doctors are still keeping alive. I don’t know, but it worries me.

The inactivity of the citizens of this country and the epidemic of obesity is frightening to me. My goal, as a wellness professional, is to try to “open the eyes” of as many people as I can to the idea that moderate, consistent exercise must be part of your life and that all responsible adults should have this as part of their “have to” list of things to be done.

Again, I understand, sympathize and empathize with all who feel too busy to add exercise to your life. If it was easy to get yourself to exercise as much as you should, then there would be little need for the field of personal training (which happens to be one of the fastest-growing professions in our country). It is difficult to overcome inertia and work out; it is difficult to see the time in your busy life it takes; it is difficult to make yet another commitment in your busy life… but you have to.

Please start from this premise: you HAVE to exercise. Start from there and then figure out how you can do it. For many, hiring a personal trainer, making the appointment and putting it in your calendar is the only way it happens. For others, putting together a group of friends to walk with on a daily basis is what works for them. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you just have to do it.

Make a different resolution this year regarding exercise. Don’t make a resolution to DO exercise; make a resolution to realize that you have to do it and that you are going to put it on your list of “have to do, even if I don’t like to do” list and that it has to stay on that list.

Trainer Tip: Train smart, not hard

Monday, November 11th, 2013

The Benefits of Functional Training

by Joey Hacker, Personal Trainer

Joey Hacker, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, Ky.The human body is an effective vehicle that is built to help us do the necessary things we need to survive. It is created to help us with everyday activities, so why is it when we train ourselves or others we only train for how much we can push, pull, or move an object/weight? When looking at the human body we must first assess how to help it to move properly and strengthen it in those areas.

Every person, from the experienced training enthusiast to the most novice in the fitness world, needs a foundation. Functional training provides a baseline of physical fitness for the body. No matter what a person’s fitness goals may be, we must first prepare the body for movement in the gym and in the “real world.”

The term functional training refers to a method of training that prepares and strengthens your muscles for daily tasks by simulating common movements you may do at home, work, or extra-curricular activities (sports, hobbies, etc.). While incorporating a training program that requires the use of upper and lower body muscles at the same time, we also activate core stability. Core stability is key to our level of success, as it is the center base of gravity for our body. A happy core is a happy body.

There are several functional training exercises that prepare the body for everyday activities. Examples include:

  • Multidirectional lunges (vacuuming and yard work)
  • Squat to biceps curls (lifting a laundry basket or lifting a young child from the floor)
  • Step ups with weights (walking up stairs)
  • Medicine ball chop and lift (housework and cleaning)

The benefits of functional training are simple. It can make everyday activities much easier, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your quality of life. Are these three benefits more beneficial than how much weight you can move? That is the question every person needs to ask before deciding what their goals are on their own or with a fitness professional.

Trainer Tip: Posture Before Pain

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

by Amanda Holland

One of the most important things you can do for your body is to make sure you have and use correct posture. We all might slouch, every now and then, but to be mindful of your positions throughout the day is important. This can include things as simple as walking, to something as challenging as carrying and putting away groceries. Flexibility and resistance training play a huge role in improving postural imbalances, and can teach your body how to use correct form even when you don’t think about it (muscle memory).

Important check points involving posture:

  • Use your legs: Anything that requires you to bend over will require you to use your legs. This is important, considering many people use their back to lift. Have you ever heard or said “My low back hurts”? This is one of the main causes of low back pain. Focus on sitting your hips back, not letting the knees come forward, and keeping your chest up during any bending you may do throughout the day.
  • Keep your shoulders back: Unless we are sleeping, we are constantly up and moving around. We may not notice the effects of gravity on our body. If the shoulders are already hunched, that gives gravity an advantage to apply more pressure to the top of the shoulders. Therefore, causing shoulder pain. Try pinching the shoulder blades together and depressing the shoulders. (Let any pain you feel in the shoulders serve as a reminder to keep them back and depressed.)
  • Flexibility: Stretching the major muscle groups every day will increase improvement in overall posture. If you are not flexible enough to get into a correct position it kind of defeats the purpose. Try starting your day off with some stretching: hamstrings, calves, quads, chest, and back. This “feels good” and will be easy to incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
  • Resistance: Resistance training, done in the correct form, can help strengthen week muscles in the back. For instance, a band resistance-back row can help strengthen back muscles (such as the rhomboids) to help keep your shoulders back. Also try squats into a chair using proper form in the legs and hips.

Keep in mind that the simple things make a huge difference. Learning these basic rules can improve your performance and take away possibly any aches and pains you may be experiencing. Give it a try!