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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fit is It Spotlight: Donna Estrada

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Recently Donna Estrada introduced herself to me and I immediately liked her! She said, “I Love to exercise!!! Now that I can do it all I have so much fun. I have made exercise a part of my life it's not such a drag, I look forward to my workouts I leave feeling stronger and healthier.”

“For me exercise plays a big part in my life I am proud of the time and effort I put into it. Even when I don’t get the results I want on the scale I can look back and say well you stuck to your exercise plan this week and you didn’t let other things in life get in the way of that. I still feel like I have accomplished something.” Well said, Donna! These are words we could all live by, don’t you think?

Donna is 2 ½ years post-op and has maintained a loss of 120 lbs. She goes to the gym five days a week fearlessly trying many different classes including core, strength, spinning, eliptical and most recently a “group power” class that involves barbells for weight training set to music. Sounds like fun! Donna said The group power” class works every part of your body. I love it!”

She admits to being challenged by the core routine but was encouraged by the instructor. The instructor said, “You have to work on building up those muscles.” When Donna, who would like to lose 10 more pounds, asked if she needed to lose more weight to successfully do the core routine her instructor said, “There are people who weigh more than you and they can do it because they have built up their muscles.”

Donna was encouraged, “I felt better and I have a new exercise goal to work on.”

Thanks for the inspiration Donna & keep up the great work and wonderful attitude!

Denise Austin Website

Denise Austin, the modern woman’s fitness leader, has some midsection (core) Do’s and Don’ts that I have found helpful. From her book, “Shrink Your Female Fat Zones” on pp. 144-146:

Do zip up your abs all day long. Whenever you get a free moment, look down. Are you allowing your abs to pooch outward? Pull them in!

Do protect your back. Do this by keeping your lower back pressed down to the floor and bringing your navel toward your spine during this type of abdominal crunch.

Do keep your head in a neutral position. Do this for every exercise. To know what this feels like, stand against a wall, aligning your buttocks, shoulder blades and head against the wall. Now walk forward. Take a moment to memorize that feeling.

Do stay smooth. Resist the urge to use your arms to jerk your head forward during abdominal exercises that require you to place your hands behind your head.

Do exhale at the proper time. Exhale whenever you contract your abdomen during an exercise.

Do stay consistent. Fortunately the abdominal muscles respond quickly to toning – no matter what your age. Consistently work your abs and back at least three times a week to keep them fit and firm.

Don’t get discouraged. Ab work can feel tough, especially in the beginning (as Donna learned). Just do your best. As a general rule go until you start to feel the burn and then do two more.

Don’t rush. The more slowly you do each exercise the more effective the movement.

Don’t ignore stretching. Stretches help you to make the most of your abdominal work by allowing you to recover between exercises, helping you to work each movement to your fullest potential.

Be sure to visit Denise’s Website for great tips on healthy living and exercise. She has some terrific newsletters available!

As for my Fit Is It Challenge – I’ve made my goals (240 minutes) the last two weeks and it feels great saying that! In fact, during the last two weeks I have worked long hours on the LivingAfterWLS website upgrade (coming March 5) and I think my exercise is the only thing that has kept me sane!

Good Luck Everyone! Write and tell me how you are doing!

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