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Getting in shape takes more than you think
Posted May 19, 2006

The perfect body – everyone wants it but only few are willing to work for it.  There are many ways to go about getting that perfect body.  You need to ask yourself, what are the right ways, as well as the healthy ways, to achieve that perfect body?

Many believe that by not eating as much and working out they will lose weight and tone their body.  This is not true because a healthy body requires at least four to six solid meals a day.  You need to balance your food intake.  Your calorie intake gives your body the energy it needs.  Consuming a different number of calories each day will cause you to burn more fat and gain more muscle.

“It’s tough to maintain a steady eating diet,” Junior Adrian Del Haro said.  “It is just really easy to drive through some place and get fast food.  Though I like subway a lot, sometimes you just need a change.”

With proper nutrition many will see positive results in days.  Not only will you look better, you will feel better as well. 

According to Durant, nutrition is a major part of getting in shape that is often over looked.  There are many types of food that you may consume to gain that perfect body.  The trick seems to be is that it’s not what you eat; it’s when you eat it.  You should always eat a healthy meal after a work out.  Include as many vitamins in your meal as possible.  A good meal after a workout would be a large sandwich without any type of dressing, but with plenty of vegetables.  As for your other meals through out the day you should vary your proteins, carbohydrates and dairy.  For example if you eat chicken one evening, the following evening try to eat a pasta dish.  This will give your body the proper nutrients it needs to replenish your body.

Now exercise is a completely different story.  There are many exercises that will benefit your body.  Finding these involves research.  University of La Verne’s strength and conditioning coach Matt Durant believes that most people think if they go to a gym, run on a treadmill and include a few crunches here and there, they will soon be fit.  He explained how this is the worst way to workout.  Yes, running is very important but the treadmill causes more harm than good.

“To look like an athlete, you must train like an athlete,” Durant said.  The treadmill will cause your body to experience the same running experience but the details are missed.

Running on a treadmill is very similar to running in place.  Doing this causes the skin on your body to stretch.  An alternative to the treadmill is the striding or gliding machine.  Exercising on this machine will take less stress off your knees and will work out your upper body.  The best-proven way of exercise is to run outside.  This gives your body different types of stress, causing your body to work hard and relax at different times, and causing your body to build the endurance you will need when you start to lift weights. 

Now that you’re up to par with the running portion of you workout, how about toning your core?  Doing crunches either with your own body weight or on a machine is good but not beneficial.  The problem with crunch machines is that they cause more bulk rather than toning.  An alternative is using your own body weight to put stress on your abdominal muscles.  Some exercises that Durant recommended include leg lifts or medicine ball rotations.   Leg lifts are performed when a person lies on his back and lifts his legs six inches for 15-20 second intervals.  Medicine balls are usually provided at your nearest gym.  A person will sit in a crunch position while a trainer tosses the balls to him from the left to right or right to left.

“It is hard to motivate yourself to workout the right way,” said Junior Joe Camacho. “It is so easy to eat whatever you want and do a few exercises here and there.”

Nutrition and exercise needs to be a necessity to all people.  Motivating yourself to do so is the hardest part. We all are capable of gaining that perfect body.  Just remember, by pushing your body to its limits and eating properly, you soon will have that stunning body.

Matt Griffin can be reached at mgriffin@ulv.edu.