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Getting Into Shape for Summer

June 18, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Summer is almost here and there’s no better time for people to start taking action to improve their health and body image. To set the stage, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little bit of Q & A, by sharing part of a recent interview I participated in.

Question
What are some destructive and unhealthy trends that you see people engaging in as "quick fixes" to rapidly lose weight, add muscle to build beach ready bodies?

My Answer
There are thousands of rapid weight loss programs and diets out there and it all makes me cringe. Any program that boasts its ability to help individuals lose copious amounts (lots) of weight (e.g. 10-20 lbs) in the first couple weeks isn’t healthy, nor is it sustainable. Most people who lose weight in this quick fix fashion will end up compromising the function of their metabolic system which in turn makes it even easier to gain the lost weight back plus more in the months to come.

This being said, there is NO quick fix to achieving and or maintaining a healthy weight. Evidence clearly shows that a small amount of caloric restriction (200-500 cals/day) paired with a routine exercise program incorporating aerobics (most days of the week) and strength training (2-3 x/per week) provide good results. The guidelines suggest that people looking to lose weight should aim to lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week to ensure it’s safe and sustainable.

Putting it into perspective
I’m not saying that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight  is unobtainable. I’m just saying that there’s a good and a bad way to go about doing so. We have to realize that the greatest achievements in life don’t happen overnight and they do take a considerable amount of hard work/dedication (e.g. regular aerobic & strength training), personal sacrifice (e.g. limit unhealthy foods & temptations) and a continuous positive attitude (no matter what!).

Remember: It takes many small steps to climb a mountain....

If you are ready to take action and would like some awesome yet simple exercises that you can do throughout the day contact the Physical Activity Line.

PS. Look out for next week's blog as I will be sharing a simple and easy workout to do while walking, jogging or cycling.

PPS. Share your thoughts and favourite activities that you use to get into shape for summer below.

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and Keep Moving


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