world is full of fitness fanatics and couch potatoes. Most of us fall
somewhere in between.
“I think most people are couch potatoes,” Joe Roccanova says
think some people exercize when they get the chance, but I don’t
think most people set aside specified time to actually exercize like they
Roccanova is co-owner of Georgetown Day Spa in the Plaza-Midwood area in
Charlotte. Along with business partner Gary Adams, the two provide a full-service
spa that offers far more than your average gym.
“This is a really full-service salon,” says Adams. “You
can come here for an entire day of pampering.”
According to Adams, in addition to the facility’s gym, there are
four hairstylists, a private spa area, a dining area for a catered lunch,
private showers, an internationally-trained esthetician, male and female
massage therapists that offer couples’ massages and certified personal
trainers that offer one-on-one training.
So if you’ve got the cash flow and you’re looking to treat
yourself to some awe-inspiring personal maintainence — here’s
the ticket. Roccanova and Adams — both gay men — also confirm
their clientele is predominantly gay.
But what if you’re one of the guilty couch potatoes and you want
to get in shape — and you’re not quite sure where to start?
Or maybe you’re one of those individuals that finds exercising so
boring nothing can motivate you.
According to the American Council on Exercise, there are a number of options
that can lead you to better health, and they can be fun.
Balance training activities (e.g., Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, etc.) and equipment
(e.g., foam rollers, wobble boards, Bosu balls, etc.) are among the fastest
growing and most popular exercise options for adults. Health clubs and
trainers are offering balance training programs for virtually all levels
and types of participants.
Blending mind-body programs like yoga and Pilates with traditional
forms of exercise
These fusion classes and programs combine the traditional elements of a
fitness regimen with many of the key elements of mind-body activities including
proper posture, breathing and body awareness. By incorporating elements
of mental and spiritual fitness, individuals will take better care of their
entire being and psychological self, not just their bodies.
Shorter duration workouts
Lack of time continues to be the most frequently cited reason why individuals
do not exercise on a regular basis. Time-starved Americans continue to seek out
effective, yet time-efficient workouts pushing health clubs and trainers to offer
express circuits and abbreviated routines.
Wellness coaching and nutritional counseling
These services address a more holistic approach to health and wellness. Wellness
coaching helps individuals make healthy, positive choices in all aspects of everyday
life. Nutritional counseling is gaining popularity as many Americans continue
to look for ways to manage weight and maximize performance.
Flexible workout sessions
Small-group personal training (usually less than five individuals) appears to
be on the rise. Such programming is a great way to receive the technical instruction
and close supervision of personal training at a more economical cost. This modified
approach offers participants more social interaction which can have a very positive
impact on exercise adherence.
Employer fitness programs
A vast majority of adult Americans are inactive and overweight, at times costing
their employers to lose revenue due to increased rates of absenteeism, higher
health and medical expenses, and reduced productivity. Check to see if your employer
is offering wellness programming to employees in an effort to encourage physical
activity, sensible nutrition habits, and an overall healthier lifestyle.
Functional fitness training sessions and group fitness classes
Functional strength training and/or core strengthening activities enhance coordination,
strength and endurance in everyday activities. Focusing on exercising several
muscles and joints together rather than working a particular muscle or group
of muscles better prepares the body for daily activities and recreational pursuits.
Get your family or partner involved
More families and couples are looking for diverse and creative ways to be active
together, such as outdoor adventure activities and various recreational sports,
including soccer, softball, and touch football, etc.
Physical activity for socialization and motivation
Not everyone participates to compete. Joining a training group just to finish
a marathon, triathlon or adventure race is a great way to meet people or include
family and friends in a fit and active lifestyle.
So just why is it important to be physically fit?
“It’s all about how you feel,” says Roccanova. “It’s
about the six-pack abs. What matters is your capabilities with daily living,
having more energy and a better sense of well being.”
According to Florida’s Certified Fitness Technician Lana Fischer, exercise
effects the body, mind and soul. It starts on the inside, you feel better; then
the outside, you look better; and finally the mind, you are able to think better.
Says Fisher: “Fitness should become a lifestyle; not something you get
excited about for 2 weeks or a month. Start slowly — walking is the best
way to get started. It truly is amazing the difference a short walk can make
both physically and mentally.”
There are many health benefits that can occur from walking such as:
Lower blood pressure
Lower the need for insulin for diabetics
Increase endorphin production, which gives you a sense of well being
Improve self image
Walking is just the beginning. Don’t forget resistance weight training
and your diet. When you exercise, eat right, and get the rest you need, your
body responds positively.
Exercise can strengthen the heart, which is a muscle. If you have a physically
fit individual and an individual that’s out of shape and they sit for 24
hours and do nothing, the unfit heart will beat approximately 80 beats a minute
and the fit heart will beat aproximately 60 beats a minute. Over a 24-hour period
that’s a difference of 30,000 beats!
Muscle burns more calories than fat, which means if we increase our lean body
mass we will lose weight and be able to eat more. If you have a pound of fat
and a pound of muscle and it sits for 24 hours and does nothing, the pound of
fat will burn approximately three calories and the pound of muscle will burn
approximately 30 calories. It takes 10 miles of running to use up the 1,000 calories
in a cheeseburger, milkshake, and french fries.
By changing our lifestyle to include fitness in the way we live our life it will
help us realize our full potential and to live a healthier, happier and longer