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Publication: Diet Buddy
Ready To Join A Health Club?

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, January, 8, 2007

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Ready To Join A Health Club?

Hi There Buddies...

I wonder where I'm living these days with the temperatures 
in the Midwest close to 40 and 50 degrees, and no snow in 
sight?  Not that I'm complaining !!!  It can stay this way 
until the Spring temperatures kick in again and I won't 
have missed a thing about Winter. :)

I do however realize that some of you like having snow on 
the ground and enjoy the fun outdoor activities that can 
only be performed when it's white out, but one year without 
wouldn't be so bad, would it?  Unfortunately this heatwave 
we're having probably won't last much longer, and all will 
be the way it usually is this time of year, unless we've 
somehow magically been transported to a warmer climate and 
don't know it.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Do I smell "global 
warming" in the air?

The New Year is here and you've decided to give your weight 
loss program a fresh start.  You're not only going to watch 
that diet like a hawk, but this time you're also going to 
ensure that weight loss success by getting your body moving.
And what better way to start this New Year with some healthy
activity that will keep you motivated once and for all? By 
joining a health club and/or hiring a personal trainer that 
will hold you accountable for those workouts that you just 
can't seem to stick with, and make excuses for, while at 
home.  Remember, you're worth it!

Of course choosing the right health club and/or personal 
trainer is the major key to succeeding in any fitness 
program and improving our overall health.  If you do decide 
to join a health club/or hire a personal trainer remember 
the club or trainer should fit your interests, current 
fitness level and ultimate goals.

Diet and Exercise Magazine says, if you do get that health 
club membership, you won't be alone.  "Health club 
memberships and attendance has grown steadily," explains 
John McCarthy, executive director of IHRSA.  "Americans 
of all different ages and levels of physical fitness are 
making the decision to get fit, and it is critical that 
they choose the health club and personal trainer that is 
right for their specific needs."

The experts at IHRSA have come up with a list of things 
you need to know before you lay out money for a health 
club membership and/or a personal trainer: 

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*  Determine your fitness goals and look for a health club 
   that offers programs and services that will help you 
   achieve them.

*  Ask your friends and co-workers where they work out and 
   why they chose that particular club.  Find out if they 
   have a personal trainer they could recommend.

*  Do a little research before you visit a health club. For 
   example, www.healthclubs.com offers a comprehensive list 
   of quality clubs across the Unites States, including 
   directions to clubs and important information that 
   should be read before signing a membership agreement. 
   It allows you to find a club based on the activities you 
   want, from group cycling to basketball to spa services 
   to childcare. This Web site can be especially useful if 
   you are on the road or are new to your area. 

*  Choose a health club close to home or work.

*  Visit a health club during the time frame when you are 
   most likely to work out. This will help you truly gauge 
   whether the club meets your needs. You don't want to 
   endure a long wait for a treadmill or a stationary 

*  Check the locker rooms and club amenities to see if it's 
   well organized and clean.

*  Talk to fitness instructors about their programs and 
   find out how they are conducted, when classes are held, 
   and who attends. This will help determine if the club 
   offers classes that interest you and are appropriate 
   for your fitness level. This is also a great time to 
   get an idea of the personality of these pros; you want 
   to make sure that you'll feel comfortable in their 

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*  When looking for a personal trainer, meet with 
   prospective trainers first to find out how they would 
   work with you and what kind of programs they will 
   recommend.  Always keep in mind that a personalized 
   training certification does not qualify them as a 
   nutrition counselor, physical therapist, or other 
   specialized healthcare provider.
   Tell your trainer about your level of experience, 
   current level of activity, fitness goals, and all 
   medical conditions or dietary requirements. Make sure 
   they have all the relevant information about your 
   health and physical conditions necessary to develop 
   a fitness program that is appropriate for you.

   Trainers have varying types and levels of experience.  
   Just because a trainer is accomplished at helping 
   clients prepare for marathons, they may not be the 
   right person for someone just getting back into a 
   fitness routine. Make sure they have the skills 
   necessary to work with you safely and effectively.

*  When you join a health club ask about the terms of the 
   membership agreement and make sure to thoroughly review 
   the details on the application. Make sure you understand 
   the cancellation policy, billing procedures, length of 
   the agreement and membership renewal process to prevent 
   confusion about your membership in the future.

   The bottom line, whether joining a health club or 
   choosing a trainer, is to take your time and research 
   all the choices thoroughly. A successful exercise program 
   will require a real commitment and will help you achieve 
   your goals and maximize the investment you make in your 
   time, money and YOU!


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5 Ways To REV UP Your Exercise Routine! by Life Time Fitness

1. RELAX.  Remember that fitness is a continuous pursuit.  
   You have the rest of your life to improve it - not just 
   after the holidays.  The goal is to improve a little bit 
   every day, not to go from couch potato to triathlete in 
   three weeks!  Don't put too much pressure on yourself or 
   you'll set yourself up for frustration and failure.

2. RESEARCH.  Give some forethought to your fitness 
   approach.  Many fling themselves into running or working 
   with equipment without thinking if they really like it.  
   Find something you like to do, because you're much more 
   likely to stick with it if you do.  And collect 
   information about your body - things like weight, pulse 
   rate, body fat content - before you start.

3. RESEARCH SHORT-TERM GOALS. Know where you're at to begin 
   with, so you can decide where you want to go. List some 
   achievable, measurable targets by which to track 
   progress.  A personal trainer is great for helping you 
   determine what these goals should be.  Remember that a 
   complete fitness program should incorporate fitness, 
   nutrition and education for optimum results.

4. REALITY CHECK. Many fitness resolutions are too 
   aggressive, or even impossible.  Be realistic. If you've 
   been sedentary for years, a walk around the block may 
   equal success! Good fitness is gradual, measured 
   improvement. No matter what the television says, you're 
   not going to have perfect abs or the body you had 20 
   years ago in 10 minutes a day.  If you think you will, 
   you're bound to fail.

5. REVIEW.  Know that you'll have to make adjustments and 
   course corrections along the way. Track your progress 
   and listen to your body. If something doesn't feel 
   right, don't force it. If you start running and it bores 
   you to tears, try something else. Try mixing activities 
   to keep the interest level high.

Resolving to be fit is important, but it's also important 
to have a reasonable plan, to have good information about 
how to succeed and to make sure that your goals are 
achievable and reasonable. With this approach, short-term 
set-backs won't cause long-term failure. It's never too 
late to start again and start right.

Did You Know ???

That for every 1 lb of muscle you gain, your body burns 
an extra 50 calories a day?  If you can turn at least 
5 lbs of extra "fat" into muscle, you will automatically 
burn an additional 250 calories per day!

Having a hard time getting started with your New Year's 
resolution?  Get some advice in our Diet Buddy Forum at...

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer:  Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. 

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week 

          Do you agree with Saddam's hanging? 

Please take a moment to share your opinion, visit: 
Question of the Week
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