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Exercise programs have benefits

For getting a fit body or improving health, starting an exercise program is easy and safe with a few precautions.

The first thing Dave Coburn, the director of rehab and fitness at Total Fitness Center in Ironton, recommends is that a person starting an exercise program contact their doctor.

“Especially if they’ve had any health problems in the past especially heart problems,” he said. “People shouldn’t start weight lifting until someone has shown them the right way to do it.”

Coburn advocates stretching before and after working out. “We stress strengthening rotator cuff muscles, we see a lot of shoulder injuries with weight training,” Coburn said.

Warming up before exercising is important too. “You may want to walk or ride a bike five or ten minutes to get your heart rate up before starting cardio or weight training.”

Coburn said that finding a safe weight to start is trial and error.

It doesn’t take that long to start seeing results and the benefits aren’t only physical, he said.

Even people who might not be sure that weight lifting is appropriate for them can benefit. Coburn stresses low repetitions on weights for the elderly to help improve endurance and strengthening.

“Anything weight bearing exercise like walking or stepping up stairs strengthens the bone,” Coburn said.

The other part of the equation is diet. “Stay away from high calorie foods like candy and donuts. Drink lots of water. Eat lean meats and vegetables. The obvious goal is to burn more calories. Stay active. The more active you are the more calories you burn,” he said.

Ashley Massey works at the gym and exercises there, too.

“With school it’s kind of hard,” Massey said. “I try to 3-4 times a week.”

Massey works out to tone up and improve her endurance.

“Another reason I like to work out is it makes you feel better. It’s a good stress reliever,” Massey said. “My friends come here and that’s a good motivator. It makes you want to come to the gym.”

After four years, Grant Williams now works out eight to 10 hours a week.

“It’s a big stress reliever. I’m also in the military. It helps in that field too,” he said. “In everyday life and work, it helps you out in everything you do. I recommend that everybody do some form of exercise.”

Jeff Hannon exercised from an early age. A health issue only caused a temporary pause in being active.

“I had heart surgery in 1980. I started walking,” he said. “Eventually I started running. I thought it would be good for my heart, to maintain it once they did the corrective surgery.

“There is no down side with exercise. There’s nothing I could put in the minus column. I’ve never got finished with a workout and said I wish I hadn’t done it,” Hannon said.