Fitness Tips To Help You Get The Right Start To Your New Year's Resolution

Fitness instructor Jeff Pierre watches over as Eddie Alvarez performs a rowing workout in the Miami Herald's on-site fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)


Fitness instructor Jeff Pierre watches over as Eddie Alvarez performs a rowing workout in the Miami Herald’s on-site fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)

Fitness instructor Jeff Pierre, left, and editor Eddie Alvarez do pushups in the Miami Herald's fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)


Fitness instructor Jeff Pierre, left, and editor Eddie Alvarez do pushups in the Miami Herald’s fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)

Fitness instructor Myriam Charleston performs dips in the Miami Herald's on-site fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)


Fitness instructor Myriam Charleston performs dips in the Miami Herald’s on-site fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)

Andrea Benedetti, right, gets advice on proper free weights form from fitness instructor Myriam Charleston in the Miami Herald's fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)


Andrea Benedetti, right, gets advice on proper free weights form from fitness instructor Myriam Charleston in the Miami Herald’s fitness center. (Marsha Halper/Miami Herald/MCT)

MIAMI _ Want to get into shape but don’t know how to begin?

Certified fitness instructor and trainer Myriam Charleston and partner Jeff Pierre are here to help.

We asked Charleston to start us off with 10 tips for people looking to start a fitness routine:

1. What’s the first thing you tell a client who is starting a fitness regimen?

No. 1: Make sure they get clearance from their physician. The next thing is to get a fitness assessment/evaluation in order to know where you’re starting from and to set realistic fitness goals.

2. How often should a beginner work out?

A beginner should aim to work out three times a week and have a program that includes at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, cycling), 30 minutes of strength training (free weights or machines), and 10 minutes of stretching (hold each stretch for 10 seconds).

3. What are the critical areas to work out?

I like to start with legs, because they are your body’s foundation, and your stomach muscles, also known as your core muscles. But remember, your body will burn more fat if you develop muscles throughout your entire body. My recommendation is to work major muscle groups (legs, back, chest) with minor ones (biceps, triceps, calves) and incorporate push/pull movements to create muscle balance. For instance, if you work chest (push) in one session, work your biceps (pull) in the same session.

4. I’m overweight. What can I do?

Have an assessment done by a fitness instructor. The assessment will give you information about your body composition and help you set realistic goals. Many people want to lose weight but what they really want to do is lose fat. Focus on body composition (your body fat percentage); the right percentage for you depends on your overall health, age and sex. A fitness instructor can personalize a body fat goal for you.

And remember, the more muscle you build, the easier it will be to burn fat. That’s why an effective weight-loss program incorporates a good strength training routine. An effective way to lose fat is to incorporate healthy eating habits with frequent, small meals (five to six per day), cardio, strength training and consistency.

5. What about diet? What kinds of food should I be eating? Can I still eat my favorite desserts?

Don’t use the word “diet.” Instead, focus on healthy eating, which means consuming healthy carbohydrates (whole wheat bread and pasta), fruits, vegetables and lean proteins (chicken or turkey breast, fish, lightly marbled red meats). Eat five or six times a day but eat small portions during each meal. Use unhealthy items in moderation, like desserts and other simple sugar /white flour items. Follow the 80/20 rule: Eat healthy meals 80 percent of the time and indulge 20 percent.

6. I’m older. Can I still work out safely?

Absolutely! As we get older, overall muscle mass tends to decrease and there is an increasing risk of bone diseases. But you can minimize those effects of aging with a consistent fitness routine. Prior to each workout, make sure you warm up with a brisk walk or light jog for 10 to 15 minutes to get the body moving and warm. And don’t forget to stretch. Incorporating flexibility, core and strength training will maintain overall body health and minimize the chance of injury.

7. I’m a woman and I don’t want build big muscles.

This is a misconception I hear all the time. It is usually difficult for women to build muscle, and it usually takes a long time. Women don’t have the same amount of muscle cells that men have, on average. But for women, strength training is very important because it helps burn fat and build bone density to combat osteoporosis. Muscles also help us shape and tone our bodies, so ladies, don’t be afraid of building muscles.

8. How long will it take before I see results?

It depends on the individual. Usually, people will start to notice changes after two or three months. Remember your results will depend on how consistent you are with your strength training, your cardio and your eating habits. Consistency in those three areas is the key.

9. I don’t like going to the gym. What can I do at home?

You can purchase a few items to create a home gym: a stability ball, a mat, a few dumbbells, and resistance bands. There are also body-weight exercises you can do: squats, lunges, biceps curls, dips, crunches, pull-ups and push-ups. However, the benefit of going to a gym lies in the variety of exercises you can do. You are less likely to become bored with your fitness program if you can change up the routine. Consistency is the key to success, so keep yourself interested and change up the exercises you perform.

10. I’ve started workout routines before and lost interest. What can I do to stay motivated?

Many people complain of losing interest with their workouts One of the most important things is find something you enjoy doing. Start with any physical activity that you enjoy doing to keep yourself motivated. Is it a sport? Is it working out with a friend?

Another option is to hire a personal trainer who can keep you motivated and can customize a work-out program to meet your goals. It is important to set realistic goals and track your progress so you don’t become discouraged. And if you miss some workouts or have a weekend where you overindulged, don’t despair! Just rededicate yourself and get back to your routine.


Have a question for Myriam Charleston or Jeff Pierre? Send them an email at jandmfitness1(at)gmail.com

Original Story Here


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  1. Reply

    Fitness Tips To Prepare To Join The Army? I want to join the army, and I would like some fitness tips so I can whip my butt into shape. I’m almost 16 right now, and I’m not really in shape. Any advice from people who have any kind of military experience would be great, or if you just know some tips. Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Hey man,

      You will need to build mental toughness more than anything, but you will learn that once you join.

      you should start out by doing 200-300 push-ups, 200-300 sit-ups, and 50-100 pull-ups everyday. It does not have to be all at once.

      You will need to get your general fitness levels up. The best way to do that is by doing this

      Jumping jacks-30 seconds
      shuffle splits- 30 seconds
      mountain climbers- 30 seconds
      burpess 30 seconds.

      repeat that 3-4 times. Before joining the army you should be doing that for 30 minutes a day.

      That should help you get started. If you have anymore questions, please ask.

      Good luck.

      Danny lupiani

  2. Reply

    What Are Some Good Fitness Tips? I have been trying to lose weight for a couple months now and has been stuck at one weight. Do anyone have any fitness tips and also eating tips for me?

    1. Reply

      80% of weight loss is diet.
      You can eat a healthy diet and lose weight.
      You can eat a healthy diet and exercise and lose more weight.
      You can exercise and eat a poor diet and not lose and even gain weight.
      A good healthy diet high in fiber, lean meats, eggs, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, antioxidant foods, healthy beverages and low in added sugar and salt help people lose weight, lower cholesterol, increase energy, improve brain function, lower blood pressure, reduce cancer risk and have a more positive lifestyle!
      You need to eat a lot more food and a lot more fiber!
      Diets that exclude foods from any food group are fad diets and do not lead to permanent weight loss or solve any other health issues.
      First, try to kick your fiber intake to 40 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
      Whatever you do, get your fiber from your food, not from a jar.
      Fruits and vegetables have good fiber in them. A high fiber diet increases the metabolism.
      Try a breakfast cereal with at least 20% of recommended daily allowance of fiber in it. They are usually low in sugar so there is a double benefit. Blueberries or raspberries on top add more fiber and antioxidants. But fresh or frozen, not the kind in syrup. Oatmeal with berries or a bit of fresh honey is also good.
      Raw nuts are a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Avocados are the best.
      Lots of beans, peas, and grains are high fiber. Whole grain breads. Fiber kicks up the metabolism so you actually burn more calories. These foods will give you more gas in the beginning but if eaten daily, the bacteria in the digestive tract will elevate lowering the gas output.
      This will get you on the path for a healthy daily bowel movement. This helps clean the system and aids healthy digestion.
      I know it goes against everything you’ve heard but eating lots of the right foods will actually help you lose weight!
      Next, take an age appropriate basic daily multivitamin. Don’t look at your multivitamin as nutrition but more as an insurance policy. Think of it as filling in the gaps in your daily diet as opposed to a primary source of nutrients.
      You have to drink lots of water to be healthy. But you can disguise it. Fill your glass all the way full with ice before pouring low sugar beverages. Try iced green tea with a splash of orange juice in it for sweet. More antioxidants. Add lemon juice to water for flavor. Slice up a cucumber and float it in pitcher of water. Gives it salty fresh taste. But you must drink up to 100 oz of water daily to help your body get rid of waste and the natural toxins.
      Last, you need to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep depending on your age. All recent sleep studies report a connection between poor sleep patterns and weight gain. This includes going to bed as close to the same time every night including weekends. Most of us stay up late Friday and Saturday night and it throws us off.
      You must combine a healthy diet with exercise to multiply the benefit. Whether an hour a day in the weight room or just a 30 minute brisk walk every day, the added benefit of a regular exercise program really do increase and accelerate healthy weight loss.

      I lost 30 pounds in 5 months by spending my money at the grocery and gym and have kept it off for over two years. Less than 3% of people that attempt weight loss lose it and keep it off for two years. It is not easy. It is a lifestyle change.
      Good luck and good health.

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