Long vigorous workouts and sweating until you drop may motivate some people and provide them with many health benefits.
But, like Nebraska’s new tourism slogan, “it’s not for everyone.”
Orthman Community YMCA Wellness Manager Terri Burch said it’s important to find an exercise routine that is fun for you and fits into your life.
“Some are turning to intense hour-long workouts and boot camps to jumpstart their active life,” Terri said. “When really most should start with a walking and body weight-lifting plan, something to find some success and then grow.”
Terri, who has worked in the health and wellness industry her entire career, said it is important to start with a simple exercise plan and progress into more challenging routines from there.
“But, you really don’t have to beat yourself up to get in shape,” she said. “Your strength and abilities will grow as you progress toward more challenging workouts.”
Terri said she’s seen two recent trends that are cause for alarm:
1) Acceptance of obesity, and
2) People looking for a ‘magic’ diet plan rather than incorporating exercise into a healthy lifestyle that also includes portion control and healthy eating.
It’s a fine line between body acceptance and a healthy lifestyle.
“You don’t think any less of anyone if they are overweight,” Terri said. “But, you still want to encourage them to drop unnecessary weight.”
It’s a proven fact that a regular exercise routine and a healthy body weight can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. And, a healthy lifestyle must also include healthy eating.
“Now more than ever, we are learning that exercise alone doesn’t help you lose weight,” Terri said. “It’s also what you are taking in at the table and the quantity of what you eat.”
When starting an exercise routine, Terri recommends walking, lifting weights equal to your body weight and interval training.
Classes and workouts that incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide many health benefits in a short amount of time.
“One thing people say is ‘I don’t have time to exercise,’” Terri said. “So, in a 20-minute HIIT, you can push yourself to the max, and you get the benefits of the cardio training as well as strength training.”
Terri said the Y also offers many water classes and even new water personal training options that also can be great places to start for beginning exercisers.
Boot camps still remain popular at all YMCA of the Prairie branches, and Terri doesn’t want to discourage anyone from an exercise they enjoy.
“If you feel like that’s where you want to go, then you should try it,” she said. “Some people do take boot camp and succeed with it. You want to try something that you enjoy and something that helps YOU find success.”
For schedules of YMCA group exercise classes at all three branches, please visit www.ymcaoftheprairie.org/schedules.
Please contact your local YMCA branch for information on personal training.