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Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center
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Exercise and Nutrition Tips

Cardio Equipment

The "best" machine depends on your individual goals, fitness level, and personal preference. No single machine is best for every person or situation; each has unique attributes that might make it more suitable for your goals. If you are simply trying to warm up before you move on to some other form of exercise, any machine that engages large muscle groups (e.g,. arms and legs) is appropriate. If you are training for a marathon, however, your best bet is to use a machine that will improve your running stamina and efficiency - such as the treadmill or elliptical trainer. The elliptical machine is probably also your best option if you have or are predisposed to repetitive motion injuries. However, these machines - as well as our stair climbers - are both weight bearing and appropriate for maintaining or improving bone density. If weight loss is your focus, you need equipment and settings that are comfortable, efficient, and sustainable for 45 to 60 minutes. Research shows that elliptical trainers and treadmills require more energy than stepping, biking, and walking over a similar amount of time, so look at those machines.

Nutrition Tips

  • Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day. This will increase your intake of fiber and may prevent cancer. You will also be strengthening your immune system; fruits and vegetables are a good source of antioxidants.
  • Do not skip meals. Try to eat 4-6 times a day, fueling your body every 3-4 hours. This will help to keep extreme hunger at bay by stabilizing your blood sugar.
  • Be sure to drink lots of water. It will moisturize your skin, flush toxins, and help you control your weight by preventing you from confusing hunger with thirst.
  • Avoid highly processed carbohydrates such as white flour, white bread and white rice. Instead, enjoy whole wheat bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, all of which are lower in sugar and higher in fiber.
  • To decrease your risk of heart disease, limit your intake of saturated fat. However, you do need some fat in your diet. Choose heart-healthy sources like olive oil, nut butters, and flaxseed.
  • Eat a variety of foods by choosing a diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Choose a diet low in cholesterol, low in saturated fats, and low in foods made with shortening
  • Use cooking oil made of monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils
  • Choose a diet moderate in sodium and salt
  • Balance the food you eat with daily physical activity
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation (Women should have no more than 1 drink per day. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day.)


Exercise Q & A

Q: How much water should I drink when I am exercising?
A: The amount of water you should consume during exercise varies depending on several factors including, but not limited to, the type and duration of exercise and the climate in which you are exercising. In general, hot and/or humid condition require more water consumption than cold and/or drier climates. However, even mild dehydration can reduce your level of performance and impair your ability to regulate body temperature. While there is no strict rule about fluid consumption during exercise, a good rule of thumb is 3 to 4 oz. every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise, and after exercising, about 16 oz. for every 1 lb. of weight loss.

Q: I heard that running is a great way to burn calories and get fit. Is there anything I should know before I start?
A: Before you do anything, it's wise to check with your physician to make sure that running is the right activity for you. Once you have received medical clearance, get yourself a good pair of running shoes. ( We recommend checking with experienced runners or Fitness Center Staff on tips for selecting the right pair.) Start slowly, walking and mixing in short intervals of jogging/running. As your conditioning level improves, shorten the walking and increase the jogging / running. Make sure you warm up and cool down to increase the efficiency of your workout and decrease the risk of injury.

Q: Should I lift weights two days in a row?
A: That depends. If you are on a split routine (only focusing on one or two muscle groups in a session), you could. However, those on a total body conditioning routine need to take at least a day off between workouts. Since muscles get bigger and stronger as they heal, proper recovery is essential to building a strong physique.

Q: For a beginning exerciser who often gets bored on indoor equipment, what workout routine will be interesting and gain the largest benefit?
A: Try low-impact aerobic exercise using an elliptical trainer, stationary cycle or swimming. Begin with 10-15 minute sessions three days a week and work your way up to 30 minutes fi ve days a week. By varying the incline and/or resistance you can add variety to the workout. Keep the effort/intensity in the low to moderate range to increase fat burning and improve the aerobic fi tness. Once you are consistent with fi ve days a week of aerobic exercise, try adding in strength training two days a week.

Q: My body tends to get "bulky" when I lift weights. Is there a way I can lift weights and not become bulky?
A: Everyone has a different propensity to build muscle based on their body type and genetic makeup. While women can greatly increase their body mass and size through weight training, they are limited in their ability to build large muscles naturally simply because they donít have enough testosterone. However, if you want to develop a leaner look, use lighter weights and perform more repetitions. It is also important to include a regular aerobic exercise program to maintain a healthy body weight and level of lean body mass.

Q: What and when should I eat before a workout?
A: If you plan to do a workout longer than 1 hour, itís a good idea to consume a carbohydrate snack 1 hour before beginning to help stabilize your blood sugars and give you energy during your workout. Higher energy for your workout means that youíll obtain more benefi t from it. Choose unrefi ned carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole grain cereal, yogurt, energy bars and fruit.