3-18-2016 10-55-22 AMPhysical activity reduces the risk of nearly three dozen harmful conditions and life-threatening diseases. Medical dictionaries, fitness and exercise data sources all indicate that the following medical conditions respond positively to physical activity:

1. Low cardiovascular fitness – cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues and the ability of the muscles to use oxygen to produce energy for movement.
2. Coronary heart disease – generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
3. Endothelial dysfunction – compromise of normal function of the endothelial cells (inner lining of blood vessels) leading to the inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully in response to appropriate stimulus.
4. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) – plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.
5. Hypertension
6. Stroke
7. Congestive heart failure – a weakness of the heart that leads to a buildup of fluid in the lungs and surrounding body tissues.
8. Osteoporosis – disease of the bones. Bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or another minor accident
9. Osteoarthritis – most common form of arthritis. Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.
10. Rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet.
11. Depression
12. Anxiety
13. Cognitive dysfunction – mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include dementia.
14. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little alcohol
15. Diverticulitis – inflammation of one or more diverticula (small bulging sacs pushing outward from the colon wall) characterized by abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel movements.
16. Constipation

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17. Gallbladder disease
18. Accelerated biological aging/premature death
19. Type 2 diabetes (including insulin resistance and prediabetes)
20. Metabolic syndrome – the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke
21. Obesity
22. Colon cancer
23. Endometrial cancer
24. Breast cancer
25. Sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living.
26. Balance problems
27. Bone fracture/falls
28. Dyslipidemia–high total or high LDL cholesterol level, or lowHDL cholesterol.
29. Gestational diabetes – develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar, causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
30. Polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health problems.
31. Preeclampsia – pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys.
32. Erectile dysfunction
33. Hemostasis (blocked blood flow)–an abnormal blood flow obstruction such as plaque.
34. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.
35. Pain

There is just not a simpler way to say it. “Move it, my friends, and if you need help, call me!”
For information about exercise classes in the Athens/Limestone County contact Janet Hunt, an ACE Personal Trainer and an ACE Group Fitness Instructor, at 256-614-3530 or jhunt9155@gmail.com .
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

3-18-2016 10-55-46 AM

3-5-2016 9-57-20 AMEach year, millions of people over 65 years old fall. In fact, one out of three fall each year, and once a person falls their chances of falling again doubles.

Not all falls cause injuries, but one out of five does. Falls can cause broken bones, such as wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures. Falls also may cause head injuries, which can be very serious, especially if the person is taking medicines like blood thinners. An older person who falls and hits his/her head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury. Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities or begin shuffling. When a person is less active, they become weaker, which also increases their chances of falling.

Research has identified many risk factors that contribute to falling. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
• Lower body weakness
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Difficulties with walking and balance
• Medications such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants; even some over-the-counter medicines can affect vision
• Foot pain or poor footwear
• Home hazards or dangers such as broken or uneven steps, throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over, and lack of handrails along stairs or in the bathroom

Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors, and the more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.

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Falls can be prevented, or at least greatly reduced. There are some simple things you can do to protect yourself. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to review all your medicines (including those that are sold over the counter). If you are not taking a vitamin D supplement with calcium, ask your physician about this. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance two or three days a week, and flexibility exercises every day. Wear safe shoes; never wear slip on shoes or heels. Instead, wear those that tie or Velcro so they can be tightened as they begin to stretch out. Get your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses as needed. If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking. Sometimes bifocals or progressive lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are, which can increase the risk of falling. Make your home safer by getting rid of things you could trip over, adding grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet, installing railings on both sides of stairs, and making sure your home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.

For more information about building up muscles in your legs, contact Janet Hunt, ACE certified Personal Trainer and ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor to visit one of her classes.

Janet Hunt – 256-614-3530 or jhunt9155@gmail.com
Strength & Balance Class @ Senior Center on Pryor Street – M/W/F @ 8:30
Strength & Balance Class @ East Limestone Senior Center – M/W @ 11:30
Cardio & Strength Class @ Round Island Baptist Church – T/Th @ 10:00
Class are open to all. No signup needed. Donations Accepted.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

3-5-2016 9-57-31 AM

2-19-2016 11-28-33 AMThe Internet is loaded with information about exercise. At this time of year, every magazine advertises their “magic” exercise program to lose weight and more. Some programs claim ways to burn fat, while others are designed to improve your strength or flatten your abs. Some experts believe cardio is most important, others promote strength training, while still others tout yoga or Pilates as the best.

As I have said before, there are no good or bad exercises (as long as they are safe). You need to do what works for your body and what you enjoy. If you hate, running – don’t do it. In general, though, a well-rounded fitness regime should include three components: cardio, resistance, and flexibility training. Below is a summary of each component and why it is important.

Cardio work is exercise that gets your heartrate up. It is training your heart to be more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body. Regular cardio work makes it easier to perform daily activities like walking upstairs or cleaning house, and it lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. Your goal should be to perform cardio work 5-7 days per week for at least 30 minutes. These 30 minutes can be at one time, or broken into 10 minute increments several times a day.

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Resistance or strength training is the exercise that places external stress on your muscles and joints. Your body responds to this work by increasing its bone density and its lean muscle mass. By increasing your muscle mass, you increase your metabolism. Since muscles burn calories, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn. Experts recommend performing eight to ten strength training exercises two to three times per week. Resistance exercises can include body-weight exercises, dumbbell exercises, resistance tubing exercises, kettlebell workouts, and more. Strength training helps with your stability and strength for all your daily life activities such gardening, laundry, or lifting kids or grandkids.

Flexibility training is often overlooked, but it is equally (or maybe more) important as cardio or strength work in your fitness program. Lack of flexibility is associated with poor posture and sometimes pain. Without flexibility exercises, you begin to lose your range of motion which affects even the simplest daily routines. To improve your flexibility, mobility, and range of motion, perform a stretching routine two or three times per week. Focus on stretching a large muscle group such as hamstrings and hip muscles, lower back and chest to reduce the impact of daily lifestyle activities like sitting or standing.

After you find a fitness program that you like, make sure to change it up periodically to prevent boredom and encourage progress. Try different activities or classes to see what you enjoy the most. If you enjoy the exercise activity that you are participating in, you are more likely to establish a long term commitment to and remain consistent in your exercise program. Regardless of your fitness level, each program can be adapted to your current wants and needs. If you are uncertain of where to begin, hire a certified personal trainer. This will ensure that you learn proper form and technique.

For more information, contact Janet Hunt, ACE Certified Personal Trainer at 256-614-3530.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt

2-19-2016 11-28-45 AM

2-5-2016 4-48-34 PMJanuary and February is the time of year that many people decide to lose weight, exercise, and improve their diet. Group classes such as Silver Sneakers, Zumba, Cycling, etc. are some great choices. People who participate in group exercise routines are more likely to continue participation due to regularly scheduled times and other participants often hold you accountable and offer continuing encouragement. Below are some suggestions for when you begin a new fitness class.

• Introduce yourself and let the instructor know that you are trying the class for the first time. You should mention any injuries or medical conditions that might limit your activity level. This assists the instructor in monitoring you during the classes.

A good instructor will provide options if the class includes an exercise that may not suit you; the instructor can also keep an eye on your technique during class. If the instructor introduces you in the class, other students will often give you some pointers about the class.

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• Buddy up and take the class with a friend. The social support is important. Often, going to a new class with a friend can make the class less intimidating and more fun.

• If you are uncomfortable standing or sitting in the front, then find a space in the middle. Definitely do not stand or sit in the back row. I like to see new students and know that I can be seen by them. If you are in the middle, you can also watch participants in the front who probably attend classes regularly. Since I teach outside a gym, my classes do not have mirrors, but in a gym, fitness rooms usually have mirrors. Don’t be intimidated – everyone is watching themselves! And hopefully you will too. Mirrors give you an opportunity to look at your form.

• Listen to your body. If a certain exercise feels uncomfortable or unsafe for your body, feel free to substitute another exercise, omit part of the exercise, or just skip it all together (let your instructor know). During my classes, I often remind students to skip an exercise if they have injuries or pain. Never hesitate to ask the instructor to clarify or even watch your technique after class. Form and technique are more important than intensity or number of repetitions of an exercise. I am always glad when a student asks for help because I know they are serious!

• Try the class at least three times before you decide you do not like it. I remember the first time I took a step class, I hated it. After another try, I became a faithful student and eventually a step class instructor. Try taking classes from different instructors. Each instructor makes the class unique based his/her personality and background.

I love exercising in a group setting even when I am not teaching. It is social and fun. Some people (including me) work harder when working in a group. No matter what you enjoy, I am sure there are classes available for you. If you cannot find what you are looking for, give me a call. I can possibly point you in the right direction!

Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
jhunt1@pclnet.net

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1-22-2016 10-52-31 AMI realize it is early in the year and we will probably have at least two more months of cold weather, but as a Master Gardener, I am always thinking about gardening! Also, because I am an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, fitness is another thing that is always on my mind.

The next session of Master Gardener classes begins on February 4th, and we still have some openings available. The classes in the winter/spring meet every Thursday morning from 9am to 1:30pm for 13 weeks, whereas the fall classes meet every Thursday evening. Most of the classes meet at Belle Mina. These classes are a combination of Morgan County, Limestone County and Madison County students. Classes are taught by college professors, county extension people, state Master Gardeners, and other professionals. The topics include just about everything from soils, to fruit and vegetables, to grass, and flowers. For more information regarding the classes and Master Gardeners, visit the Master Gardener website (www.mg.aces.edu) or call me at 256-614-3530.

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Gardening offers both mental and physical health benefits. Being out in nature, (whether it is on your back patio, out in the woods or in the mountains,) is very relaxing and healing. Gardening is associated with mental clarity, feelings of reward, and offers physical benefits. From soil preparation to the joy of harvesting, there is always a task! If you have ever done any gardening, you know this is great exercise. Whether you enjoy working in your own private garden or community garden projects, gardening is great for fitness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate-intensity level activity for 2.5 hours each week can reduce the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death. The CDC considers gardening a moderate-intensity level activity, and can help you to achieve that 2.5 hour goal each week. Additionally, those who choose gardening as their moderate-intensity exercise are more likely to exercise 40-50 minutes longer on average than those who choose activities like walking or biking. In addition to the physical activity, you can get your vitamin D. The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer.

The type of exercise you get by gardening are the things you need to continue to do in everyday life – bending, kneeling, reaching, carrying objects, pulling, and pushing. Gardening is a great way to incorporate the entire body while exercising.

Let’s not forget about the mental benefits of gardening! Many experts say the fresh air can help prevent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is a disorder common in all age groups. Gardening has also been shown to be a stress reliever. Stress can cause irritability, headaches, stomach aches, heart attacks and worsen other pre-existing conditions in the body.
Experiments have compared gardening to reading as a stress-relieving activity. Test subjects that gardened experienced a more significant decrease in stress when compared to the subjects that were assigned to read. Of course, we already know that physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss. Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones.

Finally, if the mental and physical benefits are not enough to encourage you to garden, there are other things like increased property value. Also, if you grow your own vegetables, you might save money on your grocery bill!

If you want more information about Master Gardener classes, contact Janet at 256-614-3530 or call your local extension office at 256-232-5510.
Happy Gardening!
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

1-22-2016 10-52-40 AM

1-8-2016 10-33-41 AMIt’s that time of year again: New Year’s. For many people, it is a time to set goals for the year ahead, an opportunity to start over. A new year signals something inside us to change, and we are more aware of our own shortcomings. There are all kinds of promises we make to ourselves, such as learning something new (my classes started on January 4th), paying off debt, or getting organized. Also, most people have at least one health-related goal on their list of “resolutions.” Incidentally, it is often the one that was also present last New Year’s, but that somehow never became a priority. Instead of needing to lose that 20 pounds, we now need to lose 30 or maybe even more.

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Why is it that we don’t meet these goals we set for ourselves? Part of the problem is that we don’t know how to set goals. If we set goals that are unrealistic, then we set ourselves up for failure from the very beginning. For more information on goal-setting, especially as it relates to exercise, see Janet Hunt’s article on page …

Rather than making a generalized goal like “eating healthy,” losing weight, or “getting in shape,” it is important to clearly and specifically define your terms. Make the most of your New Year’s resolutions by making a plan that you can actually stick to and accomplish that goal you’ve been setting for yourself year after year. Also, make sure that you are truly ready to change your habits before promising yourself you will. If you aren’t committed to the change, it is much less likely to occur, thus setting you up for lower self-esteem and more procrastination.

Many people set goals for themselves with the wrong motivation. They think that if they lose that weight, get that new job, or pay off that debt, then it will make them happy, improve their relationships, or somehow make life easier. When these things don’t happen, the “bad behaviors” that people are attempting to change revert back to the comfortable lack of action.

In order to make your resolutions stick, you must rewire the pathways in your brain. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, says “It all begins in your mind: your thinking, your emotions, and your choices. If your mind isn’t right, then you will not stick with anything, no matter how great.”

Below you will find some tips to improve your outcomes when making resolutions.

1. Focus on one goal as opposed to several. Changing just one little thing at a time is much more manageable than trying to totally reinvent yourself.
2. Make resolutions SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
3. Don’t wait until the new year to make your resolutions. Instead, try making one new resolution every 3 months (or more often if you like).
4. Fully integrating a change takes at least 21 days, so make a goal that you are willing to spend some time on.
5. Find a buddy. Having someone to hold you accountable will increase your likelihood of accomplishing your goals, and will help your friend accomplish theirs in return.
6. Focus on what you can do today. Worrying about tomorrow, next week, or next year only sets you back.

By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

1-8-2016 10-33-49 AM

What Is Arthritis?

12-18-2015 2-39-54 PMArthritis is a very common joint condition that is not well understood. “Arthritis” is not a single disease, but a common way to refer to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go, and they can be mild to severe. Arthritis symptoms may stay the same for years or may progress and get worse with age. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to conduct daily activities, and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can even cause permanent joint changes.

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Listed below are arthritis classifications:

Degenerative Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common. When the cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age and a previous injury.
When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can often be managed by:
• balancing activity with rest
• using hot and cold therapy
• regular physical activity
• keeping a healthy weight
• strengthening the muscles around the joint
• using a cane or other assistive devices
• taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine or anti-inflammatory medicines
• avoiding excessive repetitive movements

To prevent osteoarthritis, stay active, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid injury and repetitive movements.
Inflammatory Arthritis

Sometimes our immune system can go awry and mistakenly attack the joints causing uncontrolled inflammation that potentially results in joint damage and may even damage internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of inflammatory arthritis. Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger these autoimmunity issues. Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.

With inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. Remission is the goal and may be achieved through the use of medications known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function and prevent further joint damage.

Infectious Arthritis
A bacterium, virus or fungus can enter the joint and trigger inflammation. Examples of organisms that can infect joints are salmonella and shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia and gonorrhea (sexually transmitted diseases) and hepatitis C (a blood-to-blood infection). In many cases, treatment with antibiotics may clear the joint infection.

Metabolic Arthritis
Uric acid is formed as the body breaks down purines, a substance found in our cells and in many foods. Some people naturally produce more uric acid than is needed or the body can’t get rid of the uric acid quickly enough. In some people, the uric acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joint, resulting in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain, or a gout attack. Gout can come and go in episodes or, if uric acid levels aren’t reduced, it can become chronic, causing ongoing pain and disability.

Many things can be done to preserve joint function, mobility and quality of life. Learning about arthritis and treatment options, making time for physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Arthritis is often a misunderstood disease. The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving all people with arthritis (arthritis.org). For information about physical activity, consult with your physician, then make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a fitness program designed to address your individual needs.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

Janet Hunt Fitness

12-3-2015 10-51-48 AMAbout 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. I suffer from it periodically as a result of lifting something incorrectly over 30 years ago, and my husband is now suffering. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days.

Men and women are equally affected by lower back pain. Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine and a sedentary lifestyle.

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Most low back pain is acute, lasting a few days to a few weeks. It tends to resolve on its own with self-care. Chronic back pain is defined as back pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer.
The occurrence of low back pain has grown worse in recent years. In 1990, a study ranking the most burdensome health conditions in the U.S put low back pain in sixth place. In 2010, low back pain jumped to third place, with only heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ranking higher. This is likely a result of an increase in obesity and the lower levels of physical activity.

Below are some recommendations for preventing lower back pain:

• A regimen of low-impact exercises is advised. Speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes daily to increase muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga also can help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Talk with a personal trainer for suggestions on a low-impact, age-appropriate exercise program that is specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles.

• Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. The lower back can support a person’s weight best when the unnatural curvature is reduced. When standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet with your knees slightly bent (never locked).

• At home or work, make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height. Unfortunately, most of our homes have bathroom sinks at too low of a height for our backs.

• Sit in chairs with good lumbar support and sit in proper position and height for the task. Keep shoulders back. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office/house or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the small of the back can provide some lumbar support. During prolonged periods of sitting, elevate feet on a low stool or a stack of books.

• Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.

• Sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up in a fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine; always sleep on a firm surface.

• Do not lift objects that are too heavy. Lift from the knees by bending them, pulling the stomach muscles in, and keeping your head down and in line with a straight back. When lifting, keep objects close to your body. Never twist when lifting.

• Keep your weight within 10 pounds of what is recommended. Do not carry extra weight around your waistline because this extra weight adds more stress to those lower back muscles. My back always begins to bother me when I put on an extra pound or two, and goes away when I take it back off.

• Eat a healthy diet containing a sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.

• Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis. Coughing due to heavy smoking also may cause back pain.

If you are suffering back pain and are not exercising regularly, I recommend consulting your healthcare provider about beginning an exercise program.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

12-3-2015 10-52-12 AM

11-20-2015 3-04-40 PMIt is well documented that regular exercise produces longer, better, and healthier lives, reduces anxiety and depression, increases our energy, and boosts our self-esteem. People who are fit miss less work, and have an increased level of productivity. So, in order for people to experience the health benefits listed above, just how much and how often should they exercise?

First, it needs to be understood that all physical activity is beneficial, not just that which is experienced at the gym or as a weekend warrior. In other words, vigorous activities like cleaning the house or mowing the lawn are as good as playing racquet ball or running. While cleaning the house may not be as much fun, knowing that it does the body good might just make it easier to stick with until it’s finished.

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Adults will experience most of the desired health benefits when engaging in a consistent schedule of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking or raking the leaves on the lawn in the fall. It has also been found that dividing workouts into several 10-minute sessions is just as effective as one long one.

Of interest lately has been the discovery of the benefits of HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. This means that you go “pedal to the metal” for shorter bursts of exercise with timed rests in between. It puts the heart into an anaerobic state, which makes it work harder, and gets quicker results. For example, using various HIIT modalities can convert running or jogging for a total of 75 minutes a week into a regimen that nets the same benefits as walking at a moderate pace for 150 minutes.
If you are breaking a light sweat while exercising and can still talk, your level is considered moderate. If you are working up a good lather and can only say a few words at a time without pausing, your exercise level is considered vigorous.

There is another test that functions as an indicator of moderate exercise, and it is known as the sing-talk test. You cannot sing at a moderate exercise level, because more muscles are involved in singing than talking but you should be able to continue to talk. Therefore, the intensity is considerate moderate if you are working so hard you cannot sing while moving, but not so hard that you cannot speak.

Children need more exercise, as well as a higher level of intensity when exercising than grown ups: 1 hour of physical activity each day, largely aerobic will do it. Kids also need to include games and activities that will strengthen their bones and muscles. A good exercise schedule for kids would be at least 3 days per week of aerobic activity like bike riding or swimming; 3 days of muscle-strengthening activity like sit ups and push ups; and 3 days of bone-strengthening higher impact activities like running or skipping rope.

Most active kids are able to meet these minimum exercise requirements naturally, and with ease. Popular sports for youth such as soccer or basketball will help to provide the majority of the level of activity needed by children to strengthen the heart muscles and fortify developing bones.

For more information about out moderate or vigorous physical activities, contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530, or visit Janet’s Fitness Facebook page.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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11-6-2015 10-29-19 AMMy friends, family, and students are always asking “What is the best exercise?” A really quick answer is– whatever works for you! Consideration should be given to what you enjoy, your available time, and current fitness level. No matter how great others say a particular activity is, if you don’t enjoy yourself, you won’t continue.

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If you are not sure what you enjoy, consider your goal. Are you working on your balance, overcoming an injury, preparing for a sport or competition, losing weight, building muscle, lowering your cholesterol, or working on overall fitness, etc.? Ask yourself if you enjoy groups, outdoor activities, or competitive activities? Do you need individual instruction, or are you confident in your fitness knowledge? Do you need someone to be accountable to or someone who motivates you? What is your budget? What is your schedule?

Now that you have some questions to consider, let’s look at your options in the Athens area. First, let’s look at local gyms and some of their characteristics:

• Athens Limestone Wellness Center
• Lion’s Den
• Riviera
• SportsFit

Not all gyms are the same. Prices vary. Some offer different memberships depending on what you use. Some require contracts, some have a signup fee, some offer a daily visit price. If you are interested in classes, look at what they offer and try a few before joining. Some even have 24-hour access.

Athens Limestone Wellness Center has a lap pool if you swim. SportsFit and the Wellness Center offer water classes. Membership at some gyms give you access to additional facilities in Huntsville, Madison, or Decatur. If you are looking for personal trainers, check prices and their training policies. Finally, check out the facility itself for cleanliness and type of members it serves.
Prefer to stay outdoors? Athens offers several great places to walk, run and bike.Jan Layton has started an outdoor walking group (moonglow@hiwaay.net). Debbie Kulmer offers boot camps (256.777.2519). Elkmont has the Richard Martin Trail that is great for walking or biking.

Want to stay indoors and take classes? There are classes all over town and several places to walk indoors. Below is just a partial list of classes that I know about:

• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at Athens Senior Center 256-614-3530
• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at East Limestone Senior Center 256-614-3530
• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at Round Island Baptist Church 256-614-3530
• Zumba at Rec Center 256-233-8740
• Kettlebell, TRX, or Sandbag classes at Balance Training 256-777-2519
• Yoga with Kerry (256) 975-6820
• Yoga with Donna (andrfun@charter.net)
• Tai Chi, Yoga, and martial arts classes at UpDog 256-206-5488
• Miscellaneous classes offered at Athens Limestone Wellness Center, SportsFit, and Riviera.

All classes are open to all and prices vary to fit your budget. Some classes are drop-in and some classes you need to reserve space. Make some phone calls and do your research.

Indoor walking:

• Walmart, Lowes or Kmart
• Sardis Springs Baptist Church
• Jan Layton’s walking group – moonglow@hiwaay.net

Last, but definitely not least, is personal training. Personal training can be either one-on-one or in a small group. The training is specific to you and your goals. Personal training is motivating and will hold you accountable. You can train indoors or outdoors, at your gym, your home or a trainer’s studio. If you are interested in personal training, do your homework to find the trainer that will best work with you.
For more information regarding fitness opportunities in the Athens Limestone area call Janet at 256-614-3530, email at jhunt1@pclnet.net, or look for Janet’s Fitness on FB.
Note: I apologize if I left some fitness opportunities off this list. Please let me know and I will include them next time.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

11-6-2015 10-29-39 AM