The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Heart Association advises exercise

By Jennifer Taylor/reporter

Today’s society has been noted as one of the most overweight in history.

The 20th century has turned into such a fast-paced society that cities seldom sleep. With so many responsibilities and things to do in one day, many people are too tired to want to exercise. But not exercising is a big mistake.

The American Heart Association recommends 30-60 minutes of any type of exercise because it lowers the risk of heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day has also been proved by the AHA to improve strength and energy in a person’s daily life.

Students seem to have more of an opportunity to exercise daily than people outside of school. TCC students are offered inexpensive workout classes and a free weight room with several types of machines. Students can take workout classes and earn a credit while getting in shape.

It seems that non-students have a harder time finding time to exercise. With a 9-to-5 job, kids, errands, the cost of a membership to a workout facility lacks priority in an adult’s life.

Ryan Thresher, a TCC student and athletic trainer at the YMCA, has helped adults maintain a balanced workout with their active lives for many years. Thresher explained how to structure a workout.

“ Five minutes of stretch, 10 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weights, 20 minutes of strength training and 5 minutes of stretch and cool down,” he said.

Many other activities can fit into a daily schedule easier than a structured workout at a gym. Taking stairs instead of an elevator, parking far away at the grocery store to walk farther, wearing tennis shoes to the mall and walking around an extra time are day-to-day activities.

More ideas include a short walk after dinner and a walk down the hall to speak to someone instead of using the phone.

As a personal trainer at the YMCA, Thresher frequently deals with concerns about how people would like their bodies to look.

“ Women tend to want to lose weight, so they run more to burn calories,” he said. “Men, on the other hand, want to build muscles so they do weights more.”

Workout for weight loss

To lose weight, an aerobic workout would be the more ideal path. An aerobic workout can consist of cardio-intense classes, running and bicycling.

A 20-minute walk or run a day, as recommended by the AHA, can help keep the metabolism steady.

Some women have the opposite problem. They may simply want to stay in shape.

“ I don’t want to lose weight, but I love staying active; it keeps me energized,” Anne Finkeller, TCC student, said.

Workout for activity

Women who want to simply stay active and in shape can do a variety of activities daily. Swimming, tennis, dancing, hiking, golf and rock climbing are some examples of healthy outside activities.

“ I joined a volleyball league and play every Tuesday,” Finkeller said. “It keeps me determined since I have to be there for the games.”

Joining a sports league is also a good way to exercise. It helps a person have a specific time and date to be at practice or a game.

Workout for muscles

Men generally concentrate on their muscles more than women when working out. Men like to have big muscles whereas women like to have a slim body. A standard, structured workout requires only a two- to five-minute stretch. For workouts concentrating on only building muscle, experts recommend stretching the muscle after every repetition.

“ Stetching the muscle more keeps it loose and can help increase range of motion, which can help use more muscle fibers,” Thresher said.

Everyone has a limit of how much they can lift or bench, but Thresher recommends not overstraining any muscle and doing more repetitions of less weight than too much weight.

“ I try to do push ups and crunches before I go to bed and when I wake up,” Paul Jones, TCC student, said.
It is important to not overwork specific muscles and to alternate lower and upper body workouts to give muscles a rest.


Those who have trouble finding an enjoyable workout should ask a trainer at a local facility for help.

Hiring a trainer to help with workouts is another option, but one must feel comfortable around the trainer and confident the trainer is providing what is needed in the workout.

TCC students have it made: they can head to the campus gym.

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