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Fitness Facts and Tips

by John F. Luedtke

Advice from Experts

  • Keep realistic goals and expect gradual progress.
  • Write down your " action plan ."
  • Schedule your workouts in your appointment calendar .
  • Add changes to your routine one at a time, giving yourself time to adjust before taking on something else.
  • Find workout partners, a class or a trainer to hold you accountable.
  • Be prepared to invest months in new habits before they come naturally.

Flexibility and Stretching

Flexibility and Stretching

  • Flexibility, like any trait, is limited by our genetic endowment .
  • Lack of flexibility can be related to medical problems, with low back pain being one example.
  • If you want to improve your flexibility, you must stretch beyond your current range of motion.
  • In static stretching , you slowly stretch a muscle group, hold the stretch at the point of mild tension, and then relax for 10-30 seconds. (Breathe normal during each stretching exercise and do not hold your breath.)
  • Warm-up activities help prepare your joints for more strenuous dynamic activities and ease the transition from resting state to exercise state and will help prevent muscle strains.
  • Cool-down activities should last twice as long as warm-ups and help ease the transition from exercise state back to resting state.



Sit and Reach Test


Name:______________________ Date:___________ Age:_______


Flexibility Score:_________(inches) Flexibility Rating:_____________





23" and over

24" and over

Very Good









Very Poor

10" or less

10" or less


* Remember - you control the time of your exercise period. For best results, work out three-to-five days per week for 45 minutes to an hour. Significant fitness changes will not occur with fewer than three workouts per week.

Muscular Strength and Endurance

Muscular strength and endurance will achieve the following results:

  • Reduce the chance for osteoporosis
  • Maintains muscle mass and resting metabolic rate
  • Reduces the effort required to perform activities of daily living.
  • Improves one's self-confidence
  • For gains in muscular strength, follow a 4 to 8-RM routine (choose a weight you can lift a maximum of four to eight times and do a maximum of three sets.)
  • For gains in muscular endurance, do three sets of a 15 to 30-RM routine (High repetitions with lighter weights result in specific muscular endurance adaptations.)
  • For arm exercises, start your Pre-Program with a weight equal to one-fourth to one-third or your body weight.
  • For leg exercises, start your Pre-Program with a weight equal to one-half to two-thirds of your body weight.

* Remember in choosing a starting point in your Pre-Program, it is better to do too little than too much.

  • To maximize safety, follow these guidelines:
    • War Warm-up before exercise and cool down after exercise.
    • Work with a "spotter" for free-weight workouts to prevent being trapped under a weight.
    • Use collars for plate-loading equipment such as dumbbells.
    • Perform the lift with the correct form and controlled speed.
    • Breathe normally during a lift; breathe out when the weight is lifted and in when the weight is lowered.
    • Don't "bounce" weights off your body; use a lighter weight.
    • Be in a stable and controlled position prior to the life.
    • Always select a load that is within your capacity to lift.
  • The term "repetitions" refers to the number of time each exercise is completed.
  • The term "sets" determines the number of repetitions done before a rest period.

Nutrition and Proper Hydration

  • The Formula for Success:
    • Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats: Pair your Protein and Carbs together as a 1:1 ratio. This prevents unstable blood sugars.
    • Eat meals more frequently throughout the day.
    • Think "Protein, Protein, Protein" and cut back on sugars, empty carbohydrates and fats. Use good fats sparingly.
    • Drink water 8 times a day
    • No starch or sugar at night
  • Individuals should drink half their body weight in ounces (of water) each day. Another rule of thumb is to drink at least 6-8 glasses each day. (60-70% of your body is water).
  • Water is very important in activating our fiber intake.
  • Try to eliminate snacking after 6:30pm . This alone will help you lose several pounds.
  • No single weight loss program can be recommended for everyone. Obesity seems to be more difficult to overcome than either smoking or problem drinking.

Smoking and Alcohol Abuse

  • Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day is like pouring a cup of tar down your lungs each year. To stop smoking, commit to a smoking cessation program.
    • Call 479-521-8269 for more information.
  • Abstinence from alcohol or drinking in moderation is the key to a successful lifestyle. (A glass of red wine or darker beers have been found to be beneficial to aid in reduction of heart disease and strokes).