Doing exercises now will keep pounds at bay

This series is designed to keep you focused as the parties, shopping, concerts, programs, sports, and all the other things we decided to do this time of year whirl around us.

This series is designed to keep you focused as the parties, shopping, concerts, programs, sports, and all the other things we decided to do this time of year whirl around us.

Plan an hour of activity each day this week. Write down an hour wherever you keep your schedule. Keep in mind it does not have to be an hour block of time, but it should add up to an hour by the end of the day. Take time to warm up and cool down before and after your workout.

Cardiovascular work

Perform 30 minutes of cardio work. This could be walking, running, biking, hiking, swimming and aerobics. You should be breathing heavy but still able to carry on a short conversation. On a scale from 1-10, with one being easy and 10 too hard, work at 7. Check in often with yourself to make sure you are working hard enough. Notice we have shortened the time, but increased the intensity of the overall work. Remember you should be communicating with your health care provider throughout any workout program.

Flexibility training comes at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm. Spend 10-15 minutes stretching each muscle group. As you stretch each muscle group hold for 30 seconds. Repeat if you choose. Strength training


You can perform the following with dumbbells, machine weights, rubber tubing, soup cans -- anything that adds extra resistance.

Warm-up for five minutes -- move around, stretch anything that feels tight, and prepare your mind for a workout. Make sure the weight is heavy enough to perform 12-15 repetitions. If you can do 18 reps go up in weight, 10 reps go down in weight.

Perform three sets of 15 repetitions this week. If time is a problem break the workout into two parts.

Dumbbell row

Standing in a lunge, support your spine by pulling your bellybutton toward your back and place the hand of the forward foot side on your thigh, lean forward slightly. With weight in your hand, extend the arm on the side of the back foot, toward the floor, under your shoulder. Lift the weight by bringing the elbow toward the ceiling, the elbow wide from your body, lower the weight and lift keeping the elbow close to the body. Squeeze the shoulder blade toward the middle of your back. This double lift constitutes one.

Leg squats

Place three things on the ground one in front, one to each side about arms distance away. Lift one foot off the floor or pick up the heel and place the majority of your weight on the opposite foot. Squat and reach for each item, reverse direction -- this counts as one exercise. Stand back up in between each reach. Remember to keep knees over the ankles, not toes, and pull your belly button toward your back to support your spine.

Plyo push-ups


Place your hands under your shoulders, close to the body. Lower yourself down and push back up with explosive movement -- hands should come off the floor slightly or you can clap in between each push-up. Work at your level: Start on the wall if getting to the floor is difficult. You can start on your hands and knees lowering just the upper body or shift the weight forward, keeping the body in good alignment (spine straight) and lower your weight.

Finally, you can lift the knees and lower the whole body weight. Please pay attention to your lower back and core. The abdominals should stay tight to protect the back. If you feel the back sway, you need to back off a level or decrease the number of push-ups you are doing.

Pendulum lunges

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, weight in each hand. Step forward and bend front knee. Swing the same leg backward and perform a backward lunge (week one's workout) without touching the floor in between movements if possible. Weight stays centered; shoulders over the hips. Stand back up. No need to touch the back knee to the floor. Repeat on opposite leg. Keep the front knee over the ankle not the toes.

Lateral raise

Stand or sit. Spine long and lifted, keep the belly tight. Place a weight in each hand (optional), bend each elbow 90 degrees. Lift the upper arm until it is parallel with the floor straight out from the shoulder. Lower to starting point. Repeat. For a more advanced version straighten the arm and lift the entire arm parallel to the floor, level with the shoulder.

Hammer curl

Sit or stand, weight in each hand. Turn the palms toward the body and curl the weight up toward your shoulder and then slowly lower to starting position. Repeat. Remember to keep your belly pulled toward the spine and the spine long.


Triceps side extensions

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place a weight in each hand with your thumbs on top. Lift the arm parallel to the floor, level with the shoulder. Bend the elbow so the thumbs are pointing up, near shoulders. Extend elbow, moving hands out to the side until the arm is straight, and thumbs are pointing down.

Do not move the shoulder -- keep the elbow up and do not lock the joint.

This keeps the muscle work about the triceps. If it gets too hard, switch to last week's triceps extension.

Take one to two days of active rest like walking and housework.

If the days off do not fit swap the workout for the days that do. Try not to take your days off consecutively and do not perform strength days back to back.

Stacy Reuille-Dupont is a former fitness director and owner of Superior Balance Fitness Center and Personal Balance Consulting. She can be reached at or 392-9860.

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