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Local instructor provides easy workout tips

Sun Advocate reporter

Step aerobics exercise is great for beginners, intermediate and advanced individuals. Carbon County residents can find group exercise at the College of Eastern Utah and at local fitness centers. Root says there are also a lot of great exercise discs if working out within a group is a problem. However she recommends joining a group for the variety as well as the motivational and social aspect.

Sun Advocate lifestyles reporter Diana Root has been involved with fitness and nutrition for over 27 years. She has worked as an instructor both at her own studio and currently at the College of Eastern Utah. She has established herself as fitness pioneer in Price over the last two decades and she sat down with the Sun Advocate to share her knowledge and give some tips on how local residents can lead a healthier lives.

Root has three national certifications in aerobics and one in kickboxing. She recommends that those just getting started with aerobic training start out slowly and then gradually increase their duration and pace.

"For beginners walking in the evening is a great way to get started," stated Root. "Gradually increase the time you walk and then work on increasing your pace."

Root further suggests that individuals can get involved with group exercise such as yoga, Pilates or low impact activities such as step aerobics at CEU or local fitness centers.

"When entering any kind of fitness activity always start out slow," cautioned Root.

She recommends that beginners start out with a slow rhythmic exercise to warm up muscles followed by stretching and then the activity. She further cautioned that stretching at the end of the workout is just as important as stretching in the beginning.

"When starting your workout activity also start slowly and then increase the intensity of your workout," said Root.

A medicine or exercise ball is a great way to increase flexibility and strengthen muscles and burn calories. It provides resistance for almost exercise. Root would like to caution all potential exercisers to set realistic goals and expectation for themselves when starting a workout regimen.

Root's tips for intermediate and advanced aerobic training include:

•Everyone including advanced and well trained individuals should still start slowly.

•Alternating workouts is an important part of training. "Give your body a chance to rest and work on different muscle groups on different days," said Root. "Repetitively doing the same workout every day can cause overuse injuries."

•Circuit training and interval workout including active rest is a great way to work out. Active rest is defined by maintaining motion while catching ones breath after a strenuous portion of the workout.

•Always work opposing muscle groups to keep the body from having a muscle imbalance.

•Regardless if individuals are in the beginning phases of a workout routine or are advance keeping a correct heart rate is essential. "Keep your heart rate within your working zone and always keep hydrated," suggests Root.

Root points out that a healthy diet is a big part of an exercise regimen and warns against fatty foods like burgers and fries.

Root reports that nutrition and diet are a very essential part of reaching ones fitness goals. In a lecture that Root offers within her class she details some of the problems and solutions concerning fat content within an individuals diet.

According to Root, "the fact is that we need some fat in our diet. Adults need a minimum daily intake of fat to meet the body's needs, however most individuals overdue it." Fat is essential for healthy bodily functions and should not be totally eliminated from our diets. It is recommended by the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society and others that individuals should consume no less than 20 percent and no more than 30 percent of the total caloric intake (TCI). However, it is estimated that Americans are consuming over 40 percent of their daily caloric intake with fat. And this can lead to health problems.

Root uses the following formulas to establish percentages of fat intake per day.

•Body weight X 15 = The number of total calories needed to maintain present body weight.

•Multiply that number by between 20 and 30 percent and divide by nine for calories per gram of fat.

•For example - a 100 pound person would require 1500 calories to maintain their present weight. 1500 x 20 percent gives 300 fat calories recommended. There are nine calories in a gram of fat for the last step of the equation. So a 100 pound individual should consume 33 grams of fat per day to maintain body weight and be healthy. Or present weight X 15 X .20 divided by 9 = grams of fat per day.

"Let me put this in perspective," said Root. "You really have to watch when eating out. A fresh chicken and broccoli pasta sounds nutritional. However at a popular restaurant this meal consists of 2,061 calories and 128 grams of fat. According to national health authorities that is more fat than anyone should consume for an entire day."

Root suggests that individuals watch labels and try to eat at home as much as possible. She further commented that more than 10 percent of the total fat intake should consist of saturated fats.

"When you prepare food yourself you know what goes into it, try to stay away from pre-packaged meals and cook for yourself."

Walking and listening to music is a very effective way to burn calories while having a good time.

Information on all chain restaurants and fast food establishments is available online. Because according to Root it can be very difficult to find this information within the establishment.

"If you are unsatisfied with your present weight and you would like to lose or gain weight change the weight in the equation to your desired weight and then complete the formula," stated Root. "This will lead you to a healthy lifestyle. Want to know why Americans are unhealthy and overweight? This is why - grab fast food, gain fast weight."

As a final thought Root would like to caution all interested parties to contact their health care physician before beginning any exercise program.

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