CPO Health ABOUT YOU: What Kind Of Body?

CPO Health ABOUT YOU: What Kind Of Body?

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What Kind Of Body Do You Want?Opinion by Wera Panow-Loui

With outdoor activities galore, it''s time

to get the body you want. We''ll show you what you need to shape up.

The sought-after male body: bulging biceps, washboard abs,

awesome pecs. The desirable female body: toned thighs, tiny waist, firm

If you have that body, read no further. You are a minority.

However, if you fall in the majority category where these

images are in your mind rather than what you see in the mirror, read on.

We''ll show you how to sculpt your body to match that mental image.

Let''s start with something we all do: Sleep

Are you getting enough of it nowadays? There is a 50% chance

you''re not. More than half of all Americans are sleep deprived. To look

and feel healthy, it''s important that you give your body the rest it needs.

And it needs eight hours of sleep each day. Studies also show that the

time of night that you go to sleep makes a difference. Before midnight

Have you seen a picture of Sophia Loren lately? She seems

to be getting more beautiful with age. She attributes this to her sleeping

habit: in bed at 8:30 p.m. and up at 5 a.m.

Three key points here: moderation, balance, and common sense.

If diets really worked, you wouldn''t have a different diet fad every few

months. Especially diets nutritionally opposed to each other: heavy on

meat, low on carbs. Or, high on carbs and low on meat.

Here''s where balance comes in: As you were taught in grade

school, the body needs all the food groups - even fat. In low portions

of course…unless you are thinking of hibernating for the winter.

The food pyramid gives a general idea of the appropriate mix for the six

You can increase or decrease your protein intake (found

in meats and dairy products) depending on your goal. More protein

for more muscle, less when all you want to do is tone. And yes, you do

need carbohydrates: bread and pasta are not fattening, it''s the butter

and sauces that are. If you''re trying to lose weight, don''t starve yourself.

Practicing moderation is what counts. Have that piece of

chocolate - just don''t eat the whole box. Same thing goes for portion

size. Cutting down on your regular portions and adding one or two light

snacks in-between meals will help shed pounds. Finally, use your common

sense: eating a big dinner right before you go to sleep will more likely

turn that food into fat. And going for that diet where you can eat all

you want of only one food group contradicts the basic principles of how

No pain, no gain - not necessarily

The truth is you need exercise if you want a body that is

anything close to the image described earlier. However, this can be fun.

The key is to pick an exercise you can enjoy and can fit into your schedule.

The general rule of thumb is that you need at least 10 minutes of aerobic

type of activity on a daily basis to get rid of the fat bulges.

If you don''t have the time or just don''t enjoy aerobic classes,

that''s okay. You have more choices than you think: Easy rope jumping in

five-minute intervals to rock''n''roll music (make sure your downstairs

neighbors aren''t home). Climb the stairs at work or home several times.

Dance wildly in your living room. Jog or take a brisk walk in your favorite

Pick up a ball sport like tennis, baseball, soccer, volleyball,

or basketball. A side benefit is that the others on the team keep you

motivated to show up for practices. If you think you''re too old to start

- think again. Recently, a tennis champion was awarded a trophy for winning

a tournament in her age group. The age group? ''70s - she picked up tennis

You''ll need to include some resistance training to tone

or build muscle. You have several options: the most common is weight training

with machines and dumbbells. It''s worth asking a personal trainer to design

a program for you, which you can then follow on your own.

If you think dumbbells are boring, try a Physioball. You

can pick one up for $30 (includes an exercise video) at your local sports

store. You''d be surprised how effective and fun it can be. Then there

Yes, it not only makes you stretch like a rubber band, but

No matter what you do, keep in mind that if you want to

build muscle mass, you want short and slow reps and you should do more

sets. For toning, a higher number of quick reps and less sets will produce

The final two words to get the bod you want: patience and

perseverance. Without that, any diet or fitness plan will fail.

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