7-17-2015 1-15-06 PMLately I have received several questions about coconut water. My standard answer is usually “don’t bother – drink water.” Water is free, with 0 calories. What could be better?

Lately I have read several articles about coconut water, so here is the info:
• Coconut water is the mildly sweet, nutty-flavored clear liquid found in young, green coconuts. It contains approximately 40 calories per cup, (8oz) which is less than half the calories in the same amount of fruit juice or soda. It is low in fat, cholesterol-free and high in potassium.
• Coconut water is different than coconut milk, which is high in fat and high in calories and looks like regular milk.

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Marketers call coconut water “Mother Nature’s sports drink.” Other claims include that because coconut water is high in potassium, it regulates blood pressure, therefore helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Others say coconut water has anti-aging properties and can help fight cancer and kidney stones.

Yes, potassium is important for heart health, but it is found in many other foods, including bananas, potatoes, beans, lentils, spinach and yogurt. And simply drinking coconut water won’t magically prevent a stroke. Many of the other benefits are little more than unproven claims.

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Yes, unsweetened coconut water is a more natural way to replenish electrolytes than other sports drinks because it does not contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or dyes. It is also high in potassium and magnesium, but low in sodium. A sports drink is only needed when exercising intensely for longer than an hour, and if you are working that hard, you need to replace sodium.

Compared to Gatorade (one of the most popular sports drinks on the market), an 8-ounce carton of unsweetened coconut water has about 40 calories and 9 grams of naturally occurring sugar, while 8 ounces of Gatorade contains approximately 50 calories and 14 grams of sugar. The Gatorade sugars are sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

If you eat a nutrient-rich diet, it’s fairly easy to get enough potassium from the food you eat. However, due to the eating habits of many in this country, many Americans do not get enough potassium, so coconut water can boost your intake a bit. As for sodium, most people don’t work out long or hard enough to need a drink to replace sodium, but if you do, coconut water is fairly low in sodium.

In my opinion, save your money and save your calories – drink water! If you do think you need a sports drink after your workout, below is an inexpensive, no calorie recipe you can make yourself and keep in your fridge.

This recipe is courtesy of www.wellnessmama.com.
By: Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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7-3-2015 3-45-11 PMExercise provides tremendous benefits for health and wellbeing. However, incorrect form or using equipment and tools incorrectly may diminish results, or even cause injury. Below are some suggestions for insuring you get the most out of your exercise routine.

• Don’t skip your warm-up or cool-down because you are short on time. Without a warm-up your body is not prepared for your workout so you may underperform and create a greater chance for injury. By cutting short your cool-down, you create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly. As a result, you may still be sore and not ready for your next workout.
Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get an excellent workout (both strength and cardio) in only 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals (HIIT) and/or decrease your rest time between sets. Make sure you find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.
• Don’t use unfamiliar equipment incorrectly or trying a new exercise tool that you have watched others use but have never tried yourself. Make sure you know how to use the equipment or tools before adding them to your exercise program. This goes for everything from elliptical machines to dumbbells, a TRX Suspension Trainer to kettlebells, a BOSU to gliders. First, if you have never used a piece of equipment, do not assume those that you have watched are using it correctly.
If you are at a gym, ask one of the trainers to show you how to use the equipment. If you are in a class, make sure the instructor gives instructions you understand and ask questions after class if you are unsure. If you work out alone, consider using a personal trainer at least once for added help. I see this all the time. Someone watched a video or read a workout in a magazine. New moves or new equipment have little value and can often be unsafe when done incorrectly!
• Don’t overestimate your fitness level or select equipment that is not right for you. I see this all the time, too. People often think more weight, more resistant tubing or bands, higher step benches, etc. will give them a better workout.

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When you are able to complete your planned workout or class workout using correct form and no longer have muscle soreness after your workouts, you may be ready to increase your weight or move to the next resistance level. More weight and higher resistance have little value and can definitely result in an injury when using incorrect form.

• Don’t cut short your time to recover properly. You need 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. Without the recovery time, you could have soreness, fatigue and decreased performance. When this lasts too long, it could result in overtraining syndrome, which has long-term effects such as hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances, mood disorders, etc.

• Don’t progress too quickly. The resistance rule of thumb is the 2×2 rule. If you can do two more reps for two sessions at your regular weight, then it is time to move up by two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance or time should not be increased by more than 10% each week. So if you are preparing for a competition, give yourself plenty of time to prepare. You cannot prepare to run a marathon in only a couple of weeks.
For more information regarding safe and effective workouts, talk to a personal trainer.
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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6-18-2015 4-03-05 PMFrequently I am asked questions about foods and nutrition as well as exercise. Not too long ago, someone asked me questions about organic eggs. Since that time, I have read a great article on eggs, from the June 2015 Nutrition Action Health Letter which is published by The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Below is what they have to say about the claims on eggs.
Some egg claims are certified by independent organizations. For others, you have to trust the hens’ owners. Still others mean nothing.

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Certified Claims:
• USDA Organic: Hens must be uncaged and have outdoor access (how much is not specified). Hens must be fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet that is free of antibiotics and pesticides. Beak cutting is allowed. Hens cannot have been given antibiotics after they were two days old.
• Certified Humane: Hens must be uncaged. They may or may not have outdoor access. Beak cutting is allowed.
• United Egg Producers Certified: Meets minimum voluntary industry standards, which, according to the Humane Society, “permits factory farmers to intensively confine hens in barren, wire ‘battery cages’ so small the birds can barely move”.
• Animal Welfare Approved: Hens are raised by family farmers in flocks of no more than 500 birds that have “continuous access to an outside area for foraging and ranging.” Beak cutting is banned. The animals are fed no animal byproducts.

Uncertified Claims:
• Cage-Free: Hens live outside cages, but usually have no access to the outdoors.
• Free-Range or Free-Roaming: Hens are cage-free and have some outdoor access. How much? It is up to the hens’ owners.
• Pasture-Raised or Pastured: Hens spend at least some time outside foraging for plants and bugs.
• Raised without Antibiotics: Hens were never fed antibiotics. (If a hen requires antibiotics to treat illness, its eggs cannot carry this claim.)

Meaningless Claims:
• Hormone-Free: It is illegal for egg producers to feed hormones to their hens.
• Natural: It can mean anything

I recommend that you always read labels and do not allow yourself to be misled. Food producers are excellent at marketing their products whether it is eggs, meat, bread, cereal, etc. Labels often say things that are misleading, and the consumer thinks they are eating something that is healthier or better for them. Many times these claims are meaningless, but the producers are charging more because many of us think we are buying a healthier product. Always make sure you educate yourself and take responsibility for your own health.
For more questions about fitness and general nutrition, 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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6-6-2015 11-23-19 AMAs a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and health coach, I am frequently asked “What diet do you recommend?” or “What do you think about this diet?” I usually talk about moderation and healthy eating with limiting the amount of calories if weight loss is the goal. I always emphasize a food diary, whether electronic or by hand.

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But really, the best diet for you is the plan that you can follow, is safe, and provides you with all your nutrients. If calorie intake is too low, you need to work with a registered dietician or doctor. If you have a health concern such as diabetes, you need to choose a diet that is recommended by your physician.

Below is a list of popular diets (alphabetically) and a basic description (from IDEA Fitness Journal, March 2015):

• Atkins ® – low carbohydrates/calories are not specified/induction phase with very low carbohydrates (20g) and then gradual increase
• Biggest Loser® – balanced/individual calorie targets/adherents choose a Biggest Loser book to follow for instructions.
• DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) – balanced/calories based on individual needs/high in fruits and vegetables/low sodium/developed to reduce blood pressure
• Gluten-Free – balanced/calories not specified/eliminates all foods that contain gluten (wheat, barley, and some other grains)
• Jenny Craig ® – balanced/individual calorie target between 1200 and 2000/followers purchase prepackaged meals and snacks and go to a Jenny Craig center for weekly counseling, or sign up for an at-home plan
• LEARN (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, Nutrition) – balanced/calories not specified/emphasizes lifestyle changes to promote weight loss and health.
• Low Glycemic Index – balanced/calories not specified/a diet rich in “good carbs” (low glycemic index)
• Medifast® – balanced/very low calories (800-1000per day)/five 100 calorie meal replacement shakes and Medifast products per day, plus one meat and vegetable entrée per day
• Mediterranean – balanced/calories not specified/emphasizes produce, nuts, healthful oils and minimal red meat, sugar and saturated fat; red wine in moderation
• Nutrisystem® – balanced/calorie targets 1200 – 1550/followers purchase prepackaged meals online and shop for vegetables and fruits to supplement them
• Ornish – low fat/calories not specified/rates food as most (1) to least (5) healthful with emphases on fruits, vegetables and whole grain
• Paleo® – low carbohydrates/calories not specified/adherents aim to eat the way hunters and gatherers did, with no refined sugar, dairy, legumes or grains/emphasis is on meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables
• Pesco-Vegetarian – balanced/calories not specified/no meat or poultry/includes fish
• South Beach® – low carbohydrate/calories not specified/initial low-carb phase relies on low-glycemic-index and high-protein foods, plus moderate intake of mono- and polyunsaturated fats/gradually adds back “healthy” carbs
• Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC Diet) – low fat/weight loss calorie goals of 1600 for men and 1200 for women/developed to decrease cholesterol
• Vegan – balanced/calories not specified/no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy
• Vegetarian – balanced/calories not specified/no meat, fish or poultry
• Volumetrics – balanced/individualized target goals/ tracks daily points (few calories relative to nutrient value/fullness)
• Weight Watchers® – balanced/individualized calorie targets/tracks daily points (each point = approx. 50 kcal) based on current weight and weight goals
• Zone® – balanced/individualized calorie targets/active weight loss targets of 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men

Each of these diets have pros and cons. If you are interested in following one of the above, I recommend you do a little more research and determine if this is a program that you can adhere to.
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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5-15-2015 2-27-03 PMCoronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a result of the buildup of fatty plaque substances (atherosclerosis) on the inner walls of coronary arteries (arteries of the heart muscle itself). This plaque restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. CAD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not the same. CAD is a type of CVD. CAD is the leading cause of death around the world, (about 13.2% in 2012,) including about 380,000 Americans every year.

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Major Risk Factors for CAD include the following:
• Elevated blood cholesterol levels. Optimal levels are LDL levels less than 100, HDL levels greater than 60 and total cholesterol level below 200.
• Hypertension. The constant force of elevated blood pressure against the heart blood vessels. High readings are systolic 140 or higher or diastolic 90 or higher over days of repeated measurements. Children can also develop high blood pressure, especially if they are overweight or obese.
• Smoking. Smoking damages the lining of blood vessels, increasing the risk of plaque buildup. Nicotine also causes the heart rate to accelerate, leading to hypertension with long-term use.
• Pre-diabetes and diabetes. Pre-diabetes and diabetes are associated with obesity, lack of exercise, and poor dietary choices.
• Overweight and obesity. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high triglycerides are all correlated with being overweight and/or obese, which is why these conditions are considered CAD risk factors.
• Genetics. Family history of heart disease can predispose a person to CAD. However, just because CAD runs in a family, it is not certain that others will get it, because much depends on lifestyle and other CAD risk factors.
• Stress. Anxiety and stress may trigger arteries to tighten, constricting blood flow and leading to hypertension.
• Triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are blood fats and this may especially be a problem for women.
• Age. Most people have plaque buildup by the time they are in their 70s. In men, the risk increases after age 45, and women after age 55.
• Gender. Some CAD risk factors cause different problems in men and women. Diabetes in women raises risk of CAD more than in men.
• Unhealthy diet. Eating habits will directly affect CAD. Limit foods that are high in trans-fat (deep fried and processed foods), cholesterol (some meats, dairy products, commercially baked foods), and saturated fats (deep fried, dairy products, processed foods) because they have been shown to raised LDL cholesterol levels. Monitor salt intake, because high salt foods can elevate blood pressure. Added sugars can increase calories, leading to overweight and obesity. Limit alcohol consumption, because too much alcohol raises blood pressure and adds extra calories to the diet.
• Physical inactivity. According to the National Institute of Health, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop CAD as those who are active. Physical inactivity is associated with other CAD risk factors such as high blood pressure, high LDL, diabetes, overweight, and obesity.

For more information about CAD and your risks, talk to your doctor. If you are interested in starting an exercise program, talk to a personal trainer about options. Contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530.
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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5-1-2015 12-53-14 PMExercise is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol. We are beginning to understand how it works. First of all, exercise may help you lose weight which will help lower your cholesterol. Being overweight tends to increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood. LDL is the type of cholesterol that has been linked to heart disease (remember, “L” is for “Lousy”).
Exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from your blood to your liver. In your liver, the cholesterol is converted into bile or excreted. Therefore, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels. Exercise also increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through your blood. The combination of protein and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. Some of these lipoproteins are small and dense and some are big and fluffy. It is the small, dense lipoproteins that are dangerous because they can squeeze into linings of the heart and blood vessels. Studies have shown that exercise increases the size of the proteins that carry both the good (HDL) and bad (LDL) lipoproteins.

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Now that we know exercise helps lower cholesterol, how much do we need to exercise? Most health organizations recommend a minimum of 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming, etc. However, studies have found that more intense exercise is better than moderate for lowering cholesterol. Also, those who exercised more intensely raised their high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the “Happy” lipoprotein that helps remove cholesterol from the blood.

Even though moderate exercise is not as effective in reducing LDL or increasing HDL, it does keep cholesterol levels from rising. Therefore, some exercise is better than none; and more exercise is better than some.

If you have not been exercising regularly, you need to start slowly and check with your doctor. Once you have been cleared to exercise, here are some pointers:

• Choose something you can do for 10-20 minutes at a time at a moderate intensity (walking, biking, swimming, jogging, elliptical machine, rowing machine, etc.)
• Work up to 30 minutes of activity per day minimum. You can get your exercise in 10-minute increments if needed, but it needs to add up to 30 minutes by the end of the day.
• Find an activity you enjoy that you will continue. You do not need to join a gym or purchase expensive exercise equipment. You can walk your dog (dogs need exercise, too!), ride your bike around the neighborhood, swim, join a local fitness class, etc.
• Try to find several activities you enjoy so you can vary your routine and use different muscles. Also, try to find an activity that can be done indoors and/or outdoors so you can be prepared for the weather.

Of course, exercise won’t guarantee low cholesterol. Genetics, weight, age, gender, and diet all contribute to your cholesterol. Exercise has additional advantages: it can keep your bones strong, reduce risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Exercise also helps fight depression and lowers the risk for dementia.

For more information about exercise and fitness, contact Janet Hunt at jhunt1@pclnet.net 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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4-17-2015 9-51-27 AMWalking! Get up, let’s go! Even if you are a devoted exerciser, you may need to add a little walking to your daily routine. The sitting, sedentary culture we have in this country can be combated with a little walking. Most of us are sitting more than ever. We sit to eat, drive, shop (on-line), watch TV, read, work on computers, etc. Too much sitting has been associated with 34 chronic diseases and conditions including heart disease, back pain, diabetes, and depression. Plus it can shorten our life.

One easy solution is get up and walk. Easy peasy! No equipment and no special clothing required. Don’t want to go outside? Then walk around your house. I am definitely not saying you should give up your higher-intensity workouts such as group classes and boot camps, but to add an activity throughout your day, what could be easier than just walking.

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If you don’t want to listen to me, listen to the American Heart Association. They are suggesting walking 30 minutes each day. To start with, try 3 10-minute walking bouts. Need encouragement? Walk with a friend. Don’t want to walk outside? Walk at Wal-Mart or Lowe’s. Need to be held accountable? Then write about your walking successes on Facebook and let your friends follow those successes.
Challenge yourself when you walk. If you have a pedometer or an electronic step tracker, increase your steps each day until you reach your final goal and then maintain that number. Or walk a certain distance and time yourself. Then each time you walk, shorten your time. Add a hill or two. Add a couple of flights of steps.

Promise yourself a reward. Start a routine with a goal in mind (distance or time). Once you reach that goal, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, funky socks, or a cool looking hat. Don’t need clothes? Sign up for a cooking class and learn to prepare more healthy meals.

Walk and relax by listening to your favorite music or download a book and listen to it. You will be amazed how time flies. Would you prefer to use you time more efficiently? Download some educational books or listen to the news. No reason to sit on your fanny to find out what is happening in the world – walk and listen. If you talk to son, daughter, mother, father, or friend on the phone, take advantage of that time too. Walk and talk.

Still have the excuse my joints hurt? Then try some water walking; a great exercise without impact or gravity.
For more information about walking workouts on land or in the water, contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530 or jhunt1@pclnet.net.
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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4-3-2015 12-37-05 PMExercise is a part of healthy living for everyone. However, for people with Parkinson’s disease, exercise is a vital component of their treatment. Exercise helps maintain balance, mobility and daily living activities. Exercise is associated with a better sense of wellbeing across all stages and severity of the disease.

Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength, and motor coordination. Exercise such as walking on a treadmill and biking have all been shown to provide benefits, as have exercises like tai chi and yoga.

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There is agreement among physicians and physical therapists that improved mobility in Parkinson’s patients decreases the risk of falls and other complications associated with the disease process. Practicing movements (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and participating in an exercise program) improves mobility. It is known that people who are not diagnosed with Parkinson’s who exercise intensely (such as running or biking) have fewer changes in their brains caused by aging. Studies in animals suggest that Parkinson’s is also mproved by exercise. Many neurologists in the National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence network recommend intense exercise to their patients and also to people who are worried about getting Parkinson’s because of a family connection (genetics).

Parkinson’s patients, as well as everyone else, will benefit the most with consistent exercise. It has been shown that people with Parkinson’s show significant gains in balance and mobility after 6 months of consistently participating in an exercise program. Greater intensity equals greater benefits for those with Parkinson’s disease and those without it. Experts also recommend that people with Parkinson’s, especially those in the early stages, exercise at high intensity for as long as possible and as often as possible.

Any exercise program will be beneficial, but I suggest anyone with Parkinson’s disease to consult with their primary care physician or physical therapist. In general, anything a Parkinson’s patient can do without injuring him or her self will provide a benefit. Formal exercise programs, fitness classes, and personal training sessions will offer all fitness components: strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and endurance. Each of these areas has been shown to provide a benefit to people with Parkinson’s, and none should be overlooked. A person with Parkinson’s needs to find something that works for them – a program that can be started and continued.

Some examples of exercise programs for people with Parkinson’s disease might include: sports training, walking or running on the treadmill or outdoors, biking outdoors, stationary biking, resistance training, fitness classes, yoga, tai chi, workout tapes at home, balance classes, Silver Sneaker type classes, etc. In other words, people with Parkinson’s need to find the program that they enjoy so they will continue long term with it.

For additional information about Parkinson’s Disease and exercise, contact a physician, physical therapist or a personal trainer (Janet Hunt 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

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3-20-2015 10-27-57 AMReally? Well that is what is in some of the advertisements. Before you invest in one of these expensive machines or pay big bucks to use one, let’s check out what experts have to say. My bet is – “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true.”

The most popular passive exercise today is whole body vibration or WBV or Power Plate exercise. This came from the extension of a program used to train Russian cosmonauts. The first time I heard of it was probably 5-10 years ago. At that time, I compared it to the exercise belt machine my mom had in her basement when I was a child. She used her vibrating belt machine religiously every day with no obvious weight loss changes.

3-20-2015 10-28-12 AMThe WBV is a little different. Most of these machines have a platform you stand on with your knees bent while the surface under your feet vibrates around 30 to 50 times per second. It is supposed to trick your body in to thinking that you are falling. This activates the muscles to prevent a fall.

According to WBV manufactures, the benefits of their machines include better circulation, increased muscle strength, more flexibility, increased range of motion, greater core stability, etc. They also say the benefits include increased bone mineral density, reduction of cortisol, elevated human growth hormone levels, and improved lymphatic flow. If that is not enough, WBV reduces cellulite and stimulates collagen production for better skin. OMG it is a miracle!

There have been studies that show positive results with bone density and some good effects with circulation and muscle stimulation for those who do not do conventional exercise. But the research to support weight loss and reducing cellulite is not out there.

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In 2004, a Belgian study of 90 postmenopausal women found almost a 1% increase in hip bone density with users of WBV. The participants used the WBV for 30 minutes three times a week for six months.

Another Belgian study in 2009, with obese women who followed a healthy diet and exercised using vibration plates, found the women lost more weight long-term than women who followed a healthy diet and did conventional exercise. Those women using WBV did basic exercise moves on the Power Plate.

After hearing about this study and reading more, you might think WBV is the thing for you. Since you will be doing basic exercises on a vibrating plate, it cannot be easy. My suggestion is if you want to use vibration plates, work with a trainer who has worked with these and can show you the proper techniques.

Even though there have been positive studies, not everyone is sold on VWB. Injuries ranging from back pain and cartilage damage to possible brain damage from the vibration have been reported. As always, to achieve and maintain weight loss, you need to eat healthy and exercise regardless of the exercise method you choose. If you are new to exercise or it has been a long time, I recommend you work with a personal trainer to get you started with a good, safe program that is tailored to your needs. If you are still interested in the vibration plates, talk with your trainer and physician so you can make an informed decision.

For more information, call Janet. I will help you find you a trainer that is familiar with WBV and wants to work with you. 256-614-3530.
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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3-5-2015 2-46-48 PMWhat is water aerobics, aqua fitness, or aqua aerobics? It is a fun workout that uses the natural resistance and buoyancy of water to provide a safe, low-impact workout. It is both fun and effective. It is suitable for all ages and various levels of fitness. A good water aerobics class will improve all the components of fitness: muscular endurance and strength, body composition, aerobic capacity, flexibility, core strength, and balance.

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Below are some of the benefits of a water aerobic workout:

• Provides a low-impact workout that will not strain your weight-bearing joints such as knees or back. For someone with joint problems due to osteoarthritis, obesity, injuries, etc., I recommend water walking or water class.
• Resistance of water ensures you will not work beyond your capability. No straining lifting heavy weights.
• Your working heart rate is lower in the water than on land when working at similar intensity levels.
• Maintains bone density. (Actually there is still some debate going on about this.)
• Works muscle groups that are sometimes neglected or more difficult to work on land. You are working against the buoyancy of water rather than gravity.
• Forces you to maintain abdominal stability during all your movements in the water, therefore water is a great choice for core and balance!
• The hydrostatic pressure improves blood circulation and helps decrease water retention.
• Usually there is little or no next-day muscle soreness after a water workout.
• Even though you sweat during a water class, you never feel sweaty.
• Water classes are fun!
• You are “hidden” by the water in case you are one of those that are self-conscious in a fitness class. Clothing for water fitness is no longer just a swimsuit. You can find water shorts, long water pants, long sleeves, jackets, etc.
• You don’t have to know how to swim. Most water aerobic classes are in shallow water unless described otherwise.
• You don’t have to get your hair wet.

Still not convinced and want more information? Contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530 or email at jhunt1@pclnet.net. Water aerobic classes are available at Athens Limestone Wellness Center, Huntsville Hospital Wellness Centers (all locations), and YMCA’s in Madison and Huntsville.
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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