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WORKING OUT RIGHT – Strengthen & Tone Your Muscles, Improve Your Posture, Feel Fit

WORKING OUT RIGHT – Strengthen & Tone Your Muscles, Improve Your Posture, Feel Fit

I am 81 years old. I worked out with weights and machines for about 40 years. This includes swimming (when I was 78, 1 swam one mile) and cardiovascular training on a treadmill or crosstrainer.

For the past 8 years, I worked out with a personal trainer two afternoons a week. I worked out alone a third afternoon a week, In addition, I currently do cardiovascular training on the treadmill for about an hour each time I go to the Fitness Center.

Work with my trainer enabled me to focus on good form. I was able to work out for less time, with less pain, and achieve overall better results.

The outcome of working out amazes and astonishes me. I have increased stamina; better muscle tone; more muscle mass; stronger legs, abs, upper body, lower back; better posture, a sense of well being; and I breathe easier as I walk up and down stairs and rush around.


Working out right provides many, many benefits: look good & feel fit, increased muscular stamina & endurance, joint & bone health (increase bone density & prevent osteoporosis), weight control (along with a sensible diet), heart health, increased energy, well-being, toned & strengthened muscles.


You will experience many benefits if you work out with a trainer: better form, fewer accidents, less pain, better results, and more exact knowledge. If money presents a problem (and when doesn’t it), hire a trainer to work with a group of people and share the cost between you.

Or work out with a friend (or a stranger who will become your friend), who has trained far longer than you, so you benefit from his or her experience and knowledge.

Before I worked out with a trainer, I worked out with experienced people (Dave and Sam) who generously gave me the benefit of their extensive knowledge. Then my trainer, Randy Ballard, focused me on form and commitment, and I learned determination, patience, and discipline.


If you use correct form, you will avoid muscle strain that leads to pain and injuries. This means using a weight that allows you to carry out movements comfortably without the incredible straining that we sometimes observe in others. Easy does it: ‘No Pain, All Gain’ makes a splendid motto.

Learn form from a trainer or an experienced friend. Do not try to get it on your own unless you learn easily from thin air or books.


The following schedule allows me enough time to workout right:

30 to 60 minutes: Warmup & cardiovascular workout.
30 to 45 minutes: Weight resistance workout with my trainer.
10 to 15 minutes: Cool down & stretching.
10 to 15 minutes: Hot tub & shower.


We all find it hard to work out. We all know dozens of reasons to justify NOT working out. You know which ones you use, including the unconscious reasons you unawarely use.

Please stop doing this and treat yourself to ‘tough love’ to get you into a gym, spa, or fitness center. Arrange a feasible schedule so you can get there 2 to 3 times a week with enough time to work out and still do cardiovascular training. And keep getting help and advice from a trainer or an experienced friend.


A popular myth, ‘work out and you will lose weight,’ permeates the world of gyms, spas, and fitness centers. True, you do use up some calories during a workout session, but hardly enough.

You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. To lose a pound of body weight a week, you need to use up 500 more calories per day, or to take in 500 calories less per day, than you require to maintain your body weight. In a workout session that lasts about one hour, you may use up about 200 to 350 calories. Only active athletes tend to burn up lots of calories, so they need to eat lots of calories or they will lose weight.

So how can you lose weight effectively and safely? You eat right to lose weight and work out to maintain muscle tone. Otherwise, you will lose protein (muscle) along with the fat. You also eat extra protein so your body doesn’t break down your tissues, such as your heart, lungs, muscles, liver, kidney, glands, to obtain glucose (for chemical energy) and amino acids (for protein) for your brain.

You will not lose weight by working out unless you work out strenuously for 5 to 6 hours a day. Best to eat right instead.


A decent warmup makes for a productive workout. Five to ten minutes of cardiovascular activity (on the treadmill or the cross trainer) will accomplish it. Ignore this at your peril. A good warmup can prevent sore muscles, injury, sprains, tendinitis, muscle or joint pain, etc.


Sip water during your workout. You will feel better and prevent dehydration.


End your work out session with 3 to 4 minutes of slow walking, followed by 2 to 5 minutes of stretching. According to Randy Ballard, the head trainer at the First Health Fitness Center in Pinehurst, North Carolina, stretching reduces injuries, relaxes your muscles, and adds to the flexibility of your joints.

This results in easier workouts, enhances posture, and lowers muscle soreness. He recommends stretching until you feel tension, not pain, and holding the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat one to two times, resting 10 to 15 seconds between each effort.

The following schedule may help start you eating & working out right so you can lose & control your weight.

First week
Obtain physician’s okay.
Procure and start taking complete vitamins & minerals tablet once a day.
Select a trainer and start working out three times a week.
Start weighing yourself every other day at the same time of day.
Cut down on alcohol intake. Alcohol can lower discipline and motivation.

Second Week
Fill out the six Activity Tables in this book.
Start eating right.
Cut food portions in half.
No more intake of excess salt, fat, sugar.
No desserts, fatty fried food, salty foods.
Focus on foods that fill you up with a minimum of calories.

Third Week
Start using Nutrition Facts labels to increase nutrients that promote health and
decrease nutrients that do not promote health.
Start high protein breakfasts and lunches.

Fourth Week
Copy my personal basic daily menu plan or devise one of your own, one that you repeat each day as I did, and thus reduce the tedium and frustration of food planning.

Your personal plan should deliver the daily nutrients you require with a minimum number of calories, so you can enjoy delicious balanced snacks that provide the additional calories you need. Determine the quantity of snacks you eat using the feedback from your every-other-day weighing. These weighings provide essential feedback.

Include ideas about what you will eat in restaurants, on road trips, and at dinner parties in your personal plan.
©2010 Edward Glassman, Ph.D.