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

NE instructor recommends physical activity, healthy diet

By Lauren Kendrick/reporter

Different people have different needs in their workouts according to their goals and have different ways to incorporate those goals into a fitness program, a NE health and physical education instructor told faculty, students and other community members March 4.

“Fitness and healthy eating should be a part of your lifestyle, and it is never too late to start,” said Stacy Lueking, who holds a master’s in exercise physiology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

The older a person gets, the more important it is to keep up physical activity. Being in a consistent fitness program helps with everyday movement as well as a better sense of well-being, Lueking said.

“Before starting a new fitness program, you should always get checked by your doctor,” she said.

A physical exam can help with determining variations and risk factors, Lueking said.

She told about a man who ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks. He still watched what he ate even though he was doing plenty of exercise.

“It is not just how much you eat, but what you are eating,” the man said.

Lueking said physical activity cannot completely be separated from caloric intake. Diet plus exercise will have the greatest impact on health and weight loss.

Because it is normal for beginners to feel unsure was Lueking’s main reason for the fitness program presentation. She said it is easy to start a fitness program when people have more confidence and know what they are doing.

“You should always have a goal in mind for each workout,” she said.

These goals should be realistic, Lueking said. People should not do too much at once and should not make goals so outrageous they will never be accomplished.

A realistic and healthy weight loss per week is one to two pounds. This rate is also the best way to keep weight off, Lueking said. Progress usually won’t be seen instantly, so people should give the program time to work. It usually takes six to eight weeks before results are seen. Random sporadic workouts will not garner results, Lueking said.

“Many different components make up a complete fitness program,” she said.

Cardio-respiratory helps to keep the lungs and heart healthy. Lueking said running or walking for 20-30 minutes is a good way to get this component into a fitness program. Yoga and Pilates are also good cardio-respiratory activities and are not just for flexibility, she said.

Strength training, another important component, helps boost metabolism. Other benefits include bone density improvement, osteoporosis and injury prevention and overall performance improvement. Women do not need to worry about bulking up with weight training as it is very hard for women to bulk up, Lueking said.

Flexibility, important at any age, is easy to neglect. She said flexibility helps to reduce muscle soreness and makes everyday living easier.

Core strength is important as everything comes from the core. Lueking said it helps to improve balance and coordination, and Pilates and yoga help with strengthening the core.

“Any amount of activity is better than no activity,” she said.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30 minutes of general conditioning at least five days a week. If weight loss is a goal, then 200-300 minutes a week is recommended.

“When is the best time to work out?” Lueking said. “Whenever you can.”

TCC will offer wellness programs for faculty and staff. The TCC Fitness Challenge, a six-week program, will meet 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning March 23. The second program, Get Fit 101, meets 4:30-5:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning March 24.

These programs are for all fitness levels. Signups are done through the HPE department.

NE health services coordinator Pat Marling said she has seen major changes on campus since the Fitness Program Seminars began.

A series on nutrients will come in April. For questions about fitness, individuals can visit Lueking in NHPE 2116A or call her at 817-515-6958.

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