|La Mode Dallas Magazine|
We asked Stephen Volcik, one of Dallas' best personal trainers, to give us some good ideas to stay fit and healthy in 2009. His tips on nutrition and exercise are sure to keep you on track to get that perfect swimsuit figure.
1. Don't fall victim to the latest fad diets. These may give them short term results, but be aware that you must live with this diet, or a modified version of it, in order to keep your results. People who achieve lasting weight loss do so through modification of eating habits and finding ways to make better choices on what we eat.
2. Make a food log listing everything you eat on a daily basis. This will allow you to research better choices for some of the problem foods you may have eaten and find ways to fill gaps where you are too long without eating. Once again, it is still true what you have heard for so many years now: it is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than two or three big ones.
3. When embarking on an exercise program, if you can't hire a Personal Trainer, do your research and learn proper form for the exercises you plan to do.
4. When planning your workout routine, try to learn several different exercises (mixing both machines and free weights) that work a particular muscle, and rotate these exercises as you do your workouts throughout the week. This will ensure that you continue to progress, in that your muscles will constantly have to adapt to changing exercises. Also, it will help to prevent boredom caused by a regular routine.
5. Know that circuit training can be a very effective form of exercise for people who want to tone up and lose weight. By this I mean that you have two or three exercises that you work back-to-back rather than just three sets of one exercises and rest in between.
6. Incorporate pieces of equipment that will change your balance, such as a Resist-A-Ball or the BOSU. These are not only excellent tools for working the core, but are also very beneficial to maintaining strong joints.
7. Before you begin your exercise routine, have your measurements, body fat percentage, weight and photos taken. It is very important that you have a clear benchmark reading of where you are when you start your program, so when you start achieving your results you have concerete proof that your hard work is paying off. Pictures are my favorite because percentages of body fat are one thing, but to actually see visual proof of the new and the old is the greatest motivation in the world.
8. Another good motivational tool is to create a journal, and write whenever you feel a positive change in your body (i.e. more energy, a little more definition in a certain area, etc.) Also, when someone pays you a compliment, you can make an entry of this. Then when you are tempted to let your workout slack because of life's other challenges, you can refer to your journal and see what exercise has really done for you.
9. If the job and home life are stressing you out, know that the best release for this is the gym. Either by lifting weights or joining a kickboxing class, there is no healthier release than exercise.
10. Don't fall victim to the latest TV "Guaranteed Six Pack" abdominal exerciser. Know that unless you modify your diet and lise the body fat covering the abs, you will never see them. A combination of diet and exercise (meaning weights and cardio) is the only true ticket to great abs.
Stephen Volcik, Fit For All Now
(Personal Trainer in Richardson, Texas)
Story by Lauren Kent of La Mode Magazine, Dallas