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Staying Fit: Rich Weil, MEd, CDE

Make the most of your fitness activities


Weil: Family weight issues can be complex. Research shows that the best approach for children who have weight problems is not to make the focus on the weight or specifically isolate the child. Any child who feels all of the attention is on him will have a very difficult time losing weight. Instead, the family should all be involved in regular exercise and healthy eating. That means family bike rides on the weekends, a family walk after dinner, maybe the family all preparing meals so that everyone is involved and no one feels like they are being singled out.

In fact, some studies show that intervening just with the parents helps children lose more weight than intervening with the child or the parents and child together. So it's clear that the entire family needs to make the changes together and that's the best way to go about it.

Member question: How many times a week should I do resistance training for my arms to be able to see definition?

Weil: Two to three days per week of resistance exercise is more than adequate for definition. The repetitions should be in the eight to 12 range, and the final repetition should be to fatigue. After eight to 12 weeks there should be some noticeable difference, provided that you do not have a lot of excess fat on your arms, because spot reducing won't work; but otherwise, eight to 12 weeks at two to three times per week is more than enough.

Member question: I want to increase my weight as I am 26 and weigh just 50 kilograms at 5 feet 6 inches. Could you tell me what I should do? 

Weil: There are two things that you can do. First, start resistance exercise, using the guidelines we mentioned earlier. The second thing is to meet with a registered dietician who can make suggestions for safe, healthy, and effective weight gain. Unless your calories increase it will be very difficult to gain weight. Your doctor can refer you to a registered dietician.

Moderator: Do you have any final comments for us, Rich?

Weil: Physical activity and exercise have been proven, without any doubt, to improve health, fitness, and quality of life. We still have a long way to go before all Americans enjoy the benefits of regular activity, but if we can all make even the smallest steps towards increasing our physical activity, we will go a long way towards better health, more fitness, and feeling better about ourselves.

Spring is around the corner and there's no better time to start thinking about and taking those steps towards an active lifestyle.

Moderator: Thanks to Rich Weil for sharing his expertise with us. For more information on everything he discussed today, be sure to visit him at his WebMD Weight Loss Clinic message board, where you can post questions for Rich and get advice and support from fellow Weight Loss Clinic members.


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