Monday, September 11, 2006

Fitness Q & A

Q: I have a pre teen daughter who is 12 and is out of shape. We watch what she eats and have tried to teach her daily about eating healthy. The biological side of the family is genetically obese. She is 103lbs and 4'12". She gets very upset about her stomach, butt and thighs.
1. What are ways to motivate her?
2. Where can I find resources to teach her about portion control?
3. What would be a great workout for her to do at home riding bike, running, walking and how many time a week?

A: I have a question for you: Have you spoken to your family doctor about your concerns? This is an importnat as you want to rule out any medical conditions that may contribute to an unhealthy weight. You may also be able to work with you doctor to help you daughter. To answer your questions....

1 Motivation
It is difficult for people of all ages to stay motivated in a fitness program, here are a few kid-friendly tips
- Find an activity that she likes
- Does she like solo or group activites? Does she like to dance or play soccer? Ask her what she would like to get involved in.
- Get involved - Do activities with your daughter - go for a daily walk or go swimming

2. Portion control and diet
A good website to try is - there is a link especially for kids - you daughter can have fun and learn about proper nutrition. If you are really concerned about her calorie/food intake, see a dietician (it is free, you just need a doctors referral)

3.The workout
You daughter should try and do something active everyday for about 30 minutes - this could be anything from playing in the pool from going for a walk.

Q: I am 50 years old and just beginning an exercise program. I haven't exercised in any way in over 30 years. My question is this...when walking on the treadmill, how fast should I be walking and for how long?

A: The most important factor in determining how long your should walk is - you! How long are you walking now? 10 mins? 20 mins? If you are able to walk for 30 minutes - here is my suggestion: Start with a 5 minute warm up and a slow pace and then work in intervals - walk quickly for 2-3 minutes, then slow your pace of 2-3 minutes. Do this for 15-25 minutes (what ever you are able to do) and then cool down for 5 minutes. Listen to your body - if you are ever short of breath and cannot speak - slow down. By the end of your workout your should feel tired but not exausted.

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