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Shaping Up This Summer

If you’ve found yourself to be overly conscious of your midline this summer, you’re not alone. Close to sixty percent of Canadians are struggling with the same problem. This fat that is stored on your midline has larger implications than making it difficult to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, this excess weight contributes to your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Summer is a great time to start getting in shape – the gorgeous weather outside and warm temperatures make for a comfortable workout environment before fall sets in. By starting a workout routine in the summer, you implement a habit that carries into the fall, and provides a healthy activity for when the skies become gray, as well as an excellent way to manage your weight.

Although the easiest way to lose that spare tire might seem to be a spot workout, say doing one hundred crunches per day; the best workouts incorporates aerobic activity, strength training and healthy eating in order to effectively help you to lose weight.

Aerobic Activity is essentially the calorie-burning component of any great work out, and helps to control weight by using the excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Aerobic activities can include dancing, jogging, bicycling, racket sports, skiing, rowing or using aerobic equipment such as a treadmill or elliptical machine at your local fitness gym. Many other activities may also classify as aerobic activities, so long as they increase your heart rate and cause you to sweat. Many workout plans recommend that aerobic activity lasts for a significant amount of time, in order to burn as many calories as possible. Participating in an aerobic activity for half an hour to an hour each day is a crucial part of any effective workout training, and will help you get back into shape within weeks.

Strength Training helps to shape up your body after aerobic activity. This component of an effective workout may include core exercises and weight training, which builds muscle in the body and additionally raises metabolism, allowing for more calories to be burned during aerobic activities. If you’re just starting a new workout regimen, take strength training slow. You may wish to consider enrolling in a boot camp or engaging a personal trainer to help you start your strength training on the right track.

Healthy Eating is an especially important component of any effective weight loss plan. Without engaging in a healthy diet, all of the work that you put into both strength training and aerobic training essentially goes to waste. A healthy diet means that you eat balanced meals of regular portion size, which include all of the essential food groups. By eating all of your grains, dairy products, vegetable and protein servings, you’ll be able to supply your body with the energy it needs to function properly every day. A healthy diet will not only promote your weight loss, it’ll make you feel good each day too!

Losing weight is an uphill battle that takes perseverance and planning, but with an excellent workout schedule that incorporates aerobic training, strength training and healthy eating, you’ll have no problem shaping up this summer.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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