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Make exercise work for you

A balanced workout schedule addresses the five aspects of fitness: cardiovascular, muscle strength, flexibility, healthy body composition (the ratio of your weight that is either fat or lean mass) and coordination and speed, according to Sheila Samson-Powers, Clarence fitness instructor

"We were often led to believe in school that if we weren't fast or coordinated, we were less fit than those who were," said Samson-Powers. "You don't have to be coordinated and you don't have to be fast to be fit. You can be healthy and fit with the first four components. Flexibility is often the orphan of fitness, but it's important."

The problem that some people face, she said, is zeroing in on one aspect. Doing pilates three times a week, for example, will not help you run a marathon. Running three miles five times a week will not loosen tight hamstrings. A balanced exercise program includes activities that challenge and recruit all the aspects of fitness.

Keep balance in mind, advised Samson-Powers, when mapping out a television-driven workout schedule. Furthermore, we may all need to exercise more, according to the "30-60-90" theory, discussed during a recent Health and Fitness Summit & Expo sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine:

*Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day is recommended to sustain good health. (Centers for Disease Control)

*Sixty minutes of moderate physical activity is required each day to prevent weight gain. (Institute of Medicine)

*Ninety minutes of moderate activity is needed for those who have lost considerable weight in order to keep it off.


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