January 22, 2013
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Fitness Tips from the Trilogy Pros, Issue 2

You don’t have to look far for expert advice to help you reach your fitness goals.  Whether you’re hoping to shed some extra weight, build muscle, train for an upcoming event, or simply get up and moving, the personal trainers and group exercise instructors at your Trilogy community are an excellent source of information and motivation.

In this second issue in the Tips from the Trilogy Pros series, fitness staff members from your community will share some of their top wellness advice to help you bring your fitness routine to the next level.


Work to Maintain Your Muscle Mass

Fact:  As we age, we lose muscle mass.  This is not a surprising fact for most. But what may be surprising is that without a regular strength training program, muscle mass (or lean body mass) decline can start when we’re in our 40s (picking up speed in our 50s), making us more prone to injuries as we age. Even with aerobic activity, our bodies can continue to lose up to ¼ pound of lean body mass each year.

The good news is that a routine resistance training program – even just 2 or 3 days a week – will help to maintain and increase muscular strength, endurance and balance. Recommended for women as well as men, older adults as well as younger adults, research shows that strength training is vital to maintaining health, mobility and flexibility.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Lift weights for all muscle groups (lower body, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and abs) at least 2 non-consecutive days each week.
  • Start with no weights or light weights to practice the exercises and condition your body. You can use dumbbells, machines and/or resistance bands.
  • Do each exercise for at least 1 set of 10-15 repetitions.
  • Progress slowly by adding more sets (with rest in between) and/or increasing the weights.
  • Focus on having good form for each exercise, with slow, fluid movements.
  • Be sure to warm up with light exercise before lifting weight.

- Submitted by Melissa Bailey, Fitness Instructor at Trilogy Orlando


Achieve the Perfect Squat

As we get older, functional exercises can take precedence over what is the “in” thing to do.  One of the most functional exercises around is the Squat.  We all have to get up and down off of our beds; on and off chairs; up and down stairs… simply using the restroom employs the squat move.  Think about it… how many times a day do you spend doing a basic squat?  Doing a proper squat helps to protect the lower back from strain and injury in our daily lives.  This is why squatting is one of the most important moves of which we can learn and master the proper form.

There are many feet position options for this move, such as the Close Leg Squat (with feet shoulder width apart), Wide Leg Squat (with toes forward or toes slightly turned out), Plie Squat (must have a high degree of hip flexor and inner and outer thigh flexibility to use this form), and more.   But for all squatting positions, here is what you want to focus on.

Begin in a standing position (feet are placed in your preferred position listed above).  As you squat down, the move of the squat is initiated from the hip flexors and NOT the knees.   Reach your rear end back, bending from the hip flexors and allowing the torso to dip down only slightly to counter balance where your rear end is reaching.   Make sure that your knees are directly above and in line with the ankles and not pressing forward over the toes.  Your body weight should be placed upon your rear end and heels, with no pressure in your toes.  As you rise up out of the squat, “dig” your heels into the ground.  This not only helps to stabilize your balance and the move, but also engages more muscle fibers working in the rear end, thus keeping bad pressure out of the lower back and knees.  Happy Squatting!

- Submitted by Activities Director (and former Fitness Director) Jennifer Sandoval of Trilogy at Monarch Dunes


Breathe.

Breathing is one of the simplest things in the world.  We breathe in… and we breathe out.  When we breathe with true freedom, we neither grasp for nor hold onto the breath.  No effort is required to pull the breath in or to push breath out.  Why, then, do we often find ourselves holding on to our breath when we find ourselves in tight spaces (both physically as well as mentally)?  By learning to breathe through these tight spaces, we allow ourselves that true freedom and ease to flow through life with health and grace.  The next time you find yourself holding onto the breath, pay attention…. and notice the quality of your breath and the space that surrounds the tension.  Inhale slowly through the nose, filling the low belly… and allow the exhale to release any areas of tightness or tension.  Breathe in life, and exhale peace.

- Submitted by Carrie Clarke, Spa and Fitness Coordinator at Trilogy at Vistancia


Keep It Simple: Walk Off the Extra Calories

Did you know it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat?  Increasing your activity level to burn an extra 250 calories a day and adjusting your diet by 250 calories less a day would result in weight loss of 1 pound per week!  Add more activity to your lifestyle in simple ways like parking farther away from shopping centers, standing or walking around your house while talking on the phone vs. sitting, or taking your dog for a brief walk.  Pedometers are great tools to increase your activity level.  Pedometers are inexpensive and you can make it fun and motivating by trying to fit in a greater number of steps each day!

- Submitted by the Fitness Team at Encanterra