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Aerobic Training

How to start your aerobic training program:

Consider first setting your goals for sometime in the future; make sure they are realistic. Start easy, be kind to yourself. Many of us start out joining a gym and telling ourselves that now we will train every day! Six out of ten people going to gyms drop out in the first month. That's a staggering 60% of the people. The numbers are just as high for those that buy exercise equipment and don't use it. So you need several ingredients, not necessarily in order of importance, but because you want to be successful in your training.

1. Desire or motivation that is from who you are, not to get something.

2. Energy: This means you need to start thinking about eating better. No matter where you are with nutrition you can always improve (see nutrition for details). You need nutrients as well. Vitamins, power foods, high technology nutrition is available; you just need to make the effort. Without good fuel it's hard to get the energy to train.

3. Set your goals within yourself and make them realistic. Remember, there is no cause and effect so you can't cause health; you can only live it.

4. Make the time, create a loose schedule with alternatives, if need be.

5. Stick to it. Remember, consistency is more important than intensity.

6. Understand the basics of bio-mechanics, even for walking (posture, the muscles, the stretching, the meditation and imagery) to get the most from your efforts.

7. If you are in a family or a relationship, you need support and encouragement, not grief for leaving them alone so often. Get them to start with you (that's really tough sometimes). It's always easier if your partner is doing a similar program with you.

8. If you smoke, start making an effort to cut down, if that's really what you want to do. If not, it will not make a huge difference so much as your attitude towards it will. Use coltsfoot, an herb you can buy in health food stores and smoke it. It will cleanse your lungs, and help you to get off tobacco. You will find the desire will slowly fade away as you get healthier. We don't need to harp about it. JUST DO IT! QUIT.

9. If you eat more than a plate at a sitting, just start eating less, and limit snacks to fruit.

10. Maybe it's some of the food you eat. Cut down on fats, sugar, liquor, canned food, and packaged food full of hidden fats and sugars. I'm sure you already know the stuff that doesn't really help your body.

11. Eat more of the good stuff: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole foods, grains, etc.

12. Drink more water, read more books, and have more fun in your life. Why not?

Of course there is more, but this would be a great start. Remember that when you work holistically you have a better chance at success. You will be working on several levels of health at the same time.

A few days you make it, then you miss one, and eventually another. I know, and I'm a professional trainer, it happens to me. Life is always changing, that's the beauty of it. That does not mean we give up; just go with the flow. Set some realistic goals, and know that you will miss some days. Make it up again, and don't beat yourself up about it.

The majority of people drop out of their health programs primarily because it is very hard to get motivated. There are a few myths about motivation for working out -- that knowledge will do it, or maybe we feel guilty because we are overweight -- but the key is if you don't have the energy none of that will matter. It's really about metabolism. Once you get older if you don't exercise, your own body will start to think you don't need the hormones and energy. Basically, it starts to shut down. When you do exercise, it's hard and your body feels like it's really stressed. It's not very pleasant, in fact, it hurts many times when you start to train.

To really increase the energy level and have your body and brain work with you, you need to take the nutrients to get your body working again. The food you eat needs to be better quality with more servings of natural fruits and vegetables. If you are eating junky food there is no way your body will be able to have more energy.

You need to consider antioxidants, vitamins, and some form of growth hormone like DHEA or Deer antler extract which is natural (IGF1 which is a pre-curser to HGH). Take care with Human Growth Hormon always consult your doctor. I personally don't recomend HGH, because if you take it your body stops producing it, there are alternatives. You can't take very much of this as it turns to testosterone and so you need to consult a doctor for medical advice. (see my web page for more information about this along with other nutrients). Most doctors don't recommend very high doses of either of these nutrients, so get professional advice. A small amount can do wonders for the human body. These nutrients increase metabolism, build muscle, and help the body to become anabolic (for building and repair of tissue). This is important: to not be catabolic (destructive down cycle) any longer. If you can use these health products, they are the best.

The research necessary to take the vitamin and nutrient business to its highest level is being done with these products. Your success in a fitness program is dependent on your nutrition program.

The minimum goal for an aerobic activity is five times a week for over thirty minutes each session, and even up to sixty minutes if you are only going to walk. Five times a week, not three times as we have heard. That doesn't mean it has to be all running or all walking. You can play tennis, golf, and walk briskly, or take a nice walk with the family. Families that train together, stay together. Play ball with the kids, for this to be effective and considered an aerobic activity, you need to do it over a half hour and get your heart rate up about 60 to 70% of your max. By then you start to burn some fat. As you increase this ability to burn some fat your brain says "Hey! This person is active. Let's improve the metabolism."

As you exercise you also decrease your appetite so you eat less. This is when your body will start to create more hormones, endorphins, and pain-reducing substances called antefolins, which will help you to feel better. Remember, you have to get over the hump before you feel good from exercise. Then weight is not a big problem and you will slowly and naturally level off to your natural weight. This all helps to reduce your stress as well as helping you to feel more successful and some enhanced self- esteem. Balancing your body this way also helps reduce the risk of heart disease as well as diabetes. It helps you create more of HDL, which is the good cholesterol, and reduces the LDL & VLDL, the bad cholesterol.

A moderate exercise program always helps you sleep better. It enhances the digestion and the lymphatic systems (the cleanser of the body tissues). All this helps your body to work at the ultimate level. Remember, this is going to take time. Diets or any fast way will not last. We know now that when you diet or change anything too drastically your body goes into shock. Then the next time you eat, it holds on to it. You gain all the weight back, your body just needs to know you are not a couch patato.

So it's best to not focus on the weight. When your body is operating at its optimal level, you will be at your correct weight eventually. It all depends on your body type, anyway. You could still be heavy and be incredibly fit and healthy. Isn't that the purpose of all this?

A sample schedule for the beginner fitness enthusiast: Note you can replace walk for run- if you have been a runner, if not don't start running unless you are prepared to find all your sore, and injured places coming to the surface.

Day One.

Take an easy twenty-minute walk at a nice brisk pace. (Walk ten minutes from your starting point and turn around.) Find a nice place to walk, away from lots of cars. If your neighborhood is good place well, great. If not, take the extra time to drive to a park, beach, pasture or the country. No sense huffing and puffing more carbon monoxide. (Living in Los Angeles is like smoking ten cigarettes every hour. Cherniscki). You need to be able to keep up a conversation. If you are in oxygen debt you won't burn calories as well so take it easy at first. Upon returning, spend about ten or fifteen minutes stretching.

Consistency is more important than intensity. If you don't do it regularly the brain thinks "well, this body doesn't need much energy so we can store all these extra calories in the thighs or butt." But if you start with some regular activity, just everyday stuff can contribute the message to the brain saying "hey we need more energy." The brain begins to think this body is active and needs to increase the metabolism. Every two hours do something for at least ten minutes is another technique. Then your brain will take you to a higher metabolic level. As you increase your exercise program you will have more byproducts called free radicals. This is more reason for us to work with nutrition as well, because you need to increase the antioxidants to keep the body healthy from the free radicals.

Day Two

Just stretch for ten to fifteen minutes. If you are near water, maybe swim for ten to fifteen minutes. Or do a more easy walk if you are sore.

Day Three

Walk briskly for twenty-five minutes. Stretch for fifteen, or if you have it down, it could only take ten minutes to get a good stretch.

Day Four

Swim and stretch for at least twenty minutes and ten, respectively.

Day Five

You might miss one. . .Or walk maybe longer and easy or hard depending on how you feel.

Day Six

Walk a good deal faster for thirty minutes. If you feel tight walking, stop after you break into a light sweat and stretch for a few minutes. Regarding the legs and gluteus muscles. Then continue, finishing up with a good ten minute stretch.

Day Seven

If you didn't miss one day, take an easy walk, swim or stretch, maybe do something with family or friends. If you got sore at all during the week, then rest and just stretch or swim. Note: I like to add crunchies to all my workouts, strengthen the abdominals is a good way to trim the belly.

Continue this program until you can walk thirty minutes without losing your breath at all. This can take two weeks for most people and up to four weeks for others. If it takes you longer, stay with twenty-five minutes for two months, and then move into the next level. If within two weeks your body serves you well, you can proceed with the next level.

We will have an easy day and then a hard day for the rest of the training. If you miss an easy day, don't worry about it.

Continue on the following day with a brisk walk for thirty minutes. Now we will start to burn some fat. From now on, you workouts should last about forty-five minutes. So give yourself an hour to work it into your daily routine, if you don't feel like training don't know that you can do something easy.

As you get stronger, your easy days become more like your hard days when you first started. Walking can increase to five times per week within the first few months, depending on your body. You have to listen to it and pay attention. If you can get the advice from a certified personal trainer, please do. It never hurts to have more information. At this level it's not as critical as it will be when we start the strengthening program using weights, running or strengthening exercises.

Six to Eight Weeks

Most bodies will start to enjoy working out from here on out. After six or eight weeks, start your strength-training program. Once again, listen to your body. If you don't feel quite ready at six weeks, take eight. What's the rush? You have your whole life ahead of you. At this point is when I recommend the use of a certified personal trainer.

You can go in either of two directions with this addition to your program, with various levels of intensity depending on your body and your abilities.

If you are able and willing to run for your particular goals, you may now start to run. Start with easy jogging for twenty minutes every other day, and weight training every other day. Running at this time should be at least three days a week, the same for weight training. There is some evidence, however, that we could get by with two days of weight training (solid whole body sessions) and still do okay. Include one day of rest. The day you rest could be a very easy workout, either stretching, swimming or family fun.

For weight training we need to start just as easy. Many of us think that weight training will build large muscles. We see all these big bodybuilders, and although some of us admire the dedication it takes to build that kind of body, it is not necessarily true that weight training builds large muscles. It all depends on how you train, how much you train, and your age as well as the system of training. We know that by stressing any muscle naturally (exercises) or unnaturally (weights) we work with the law of irritation and adaptability to produce the result we want.

Basically, this means the body will adapt to irritation. Adapting can mean for size of muscle as well as for the functioning of the muscle. Adapting also can mean the heart and lungs adapting to more stress and improving the functioning of this system (aerobic conditioning). The irritation could be considered the stress exerted on the body (heart and lungs) by running or walking more and increasing time and duration. Then we consider strength in the muscles by more and more progressive exertion (making the body work progressively harder). This can be achieved by doing more and more pushups or other exercises. Using weight training for increasing strength, as well as burning more calories, we would have to build by lifting more times and more weight.

There is another way to use weight training to develop strength as well as endurance. This system works on the premise that using progressively more weight builds size and strength. Starting with more weight and then progressively reducing the weight with longer repetitions, we build endurance in the muscle instead of bulk. This is a good way to shape the body without building mass.

It's widely known now that for older women weight or resistance training is beneficial to stave off osteoporosis.

Please note: This section is not to take the place of medical advice. I recommend that you speak to your doctor before undertaking any kind of exercise program, especially weight training. See a professional; it will be a good investment in your body.

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Othon Molina Ph.d. c LMT has been involved in the health field as a manual therapist and personal trainer for over thirty five years. He has studied with some of the top doctors and healers of our times. His specialty is treating sports injuries, back problems, and teaching others how to improve their health or athletic competition using nutrition and fitness technologies.

One of his specialties is Kinesiology. He has been a runner all his life, and competed in many triathlons, 5k's, 10k's and marathons. Competing at an elite level gave him the experience to help train others. Recently he coached and worked with the female champion of the German team of triathletes.

Some of his clients include: Bob Hope, Jane Seymor, Essam Kashoggy, Jim Nabors, Tony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen, Carol Burnett, San Francisco Ballet, Allvin Alley Dance troupe, some of the top Olympic and international elite athletes, team doc and new trainer for the German professional triathletes. He also trains massage teams worldwide, as well as health professionals in Hawaii.

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