Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


April 4, 2013

'On Fitness' column

Question: How do you encourage young women to be healthy and strong without ‘waking up’ any compulsive obsession with weight and body? What kind of language do you use?

Expert: Jamey Lachiana

Exercise physiologist,

Yang’s Fitness Center

Answer: I find the best way to teach a young lady or man (or adult), is to educate them to the point that they realize it would be reckless to continue down the same path of harmful eating. Typically, most young ladies and men enjoying learning new methods to better themselves. When they can also share what they have been empowered with to their friends, it makes it that much more exciting to learn.

Use empowering language like; “It can be important to remember…”, “One of the best things you can do is…” or “I find, what works for me and many others is…”. This kind of communication gives the person a choice, and not a command. No one enjoys being told what to do, especially if they don’t want to make changes to begin with.

This method gives the person a chance to make up their own mind. They are given knowledge to do what works, or they can continue to follow the path that hasn’t worked for them.

I can’t over stress how important is it to start educating, at a young age, the benefits of healthy eating, and exercise. Habits are so difficult to change the older you get and also the busier you become with work, education, relationships, and so on. So get them started sooner rather than later.

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix Strength & Fitness

Answer: I believe the conversation should be about body composition and never body weight. There is no such thing as an “ideal weight.”

Let me explain. Would you rather have a body weight of 120 pounds with a body fat percentage of 33 or a bodyweight of 145 pounds with a body fat percentage of 18? The later profile is far healthier. Once young women understand that the numbers on the scale are not a good measure of health, well-being or even physical appearance, they can move forward.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Pictures of the Week