Braden Tanner, right, a participant in Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Hospital's Performance Plus, and his trainer, Missy
Anderson, talk about his repeating the program this summer
for the fall 2014 football season.
ALMH fitness expert: Six tips to kick-start your workout
[April 16, 2014]Getting back into an exercise
routine when you've spent the winter months in near hibernation
takes effort, but the health benefits are worth it, an athletic
trainer with Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital said.
Missy Anderson, who works with the nonprofit hospital's Performance
Plus program, said it's important to consider six tips to help you
succeed and reach your fitness goals.
Set attainable goals.
"A lot of people set a goal of losing 20 pounds, but it's better if
you break that up into smaller, attainable goals," Anderson said. A
more realistic goal might be to say you'll work out three times a
week. The next goal could be to work out four times a week, then up
it to five. As you reach your smaller goals, you'll move steadily
closer to your big goal.
Anderson works with local athletes and others who want to
maintain an active and healthy lifestyle to set attainable goals in
the 18-session Performance Plus. Participants work with a certified
performance enhancement specialist to improve their power, agility,
endurance and speed. The program is customized to a participant's
current fitness level to help them reach their sport or personal
Start slowly. Some people try to jump back in where they left
off when they resume their workouts, Anderson said. That can be a
recipe for failure. You'll become sore and may find yourself
discouraged. Start at a slower rate, and don't feel obligated to
work out for the same amount of time as before you stopped your
Walk or jog lightly before stretching. "Many people stretch
as a warm-up before working out, but you could injure yourself if
you don't begin with a light walk or jog for five to 10 minutes,"
she said. Our muscles can be like a cold rubber band, Anderson said.
If you stretch it right away, it could snap. But if you give it time
to warm up, it's more flexible and can stretch farther.
Don't think you need fancy equipment. "Everybody says they're
going to join a gym to get into shape; many of them never follow
through," Anderson said. People use that as an excuse why they
haven't started working out. However, there are plenty of ways to
use your own body weight to get good exercise —
without using gym equipment or buying your own. Push-ups and air
squats are two effective exercises you can do at home.
Use multiple major muscle groups when working out. Some
people pick out one muscle group and focus on it, such as getting
great biceps. "It's OK if you want to build up your biceps, but you
have to make sure the opposite muscle, the triceps in this case, is
just as strong," Anderson said. The bicep bends your arm; the tricep
Don't forget to refuel … but save your money. "People buy
protein shakes or whey protein to help their muscles refuel after a
workout," Anderson said. "You don't need to buy that stuff. Low-fat
milk, for example, is a fantastic drink after you exercise." Low-fat
milk has carbohydrates and proteins, helps your muscles and energy
level elevate after your workout, and is low in sugar and fat.
For athletes and others ready to go to the next level, Anderson
said Performance Plus offers a customized program of strength
training and agility exercises to strengthen and improve their
performance. Performance Plus uses scientifically valid,
evidence-based applications that can help achieve remarkable
results, she said.
To schedule an appointment or for more information about
Performance Plus, call 217-605-5500.