Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 22, 2012

Variety not only spice of life, but useful in exercise

On Fitness
The Andover Townsman

---- — :Question: What is the best bang for the buck? What do you think is most effective for weight/fat loss: Long moderate cardio, weight training, intense interval training, yoga, something else?

Experts: Robyn Lebowitz, Y personal training coordinator

Dawn Lovejoy, Y chronic disease prevention program coordinator

Answer: What’s most effective for weight loss is what you take in and what you burn. Calories in and calories out. A lot of people will work very hard in and out of then gym only to undo it with making poor food choices. [We] estimate 70 to 80 percent of weight loss is nutrition and the rest is working out. As far as different types of exercise, anything you do that you enjoy and stick with will be most effective.

[We] also believe you must do strength training and cardio. If you just stick with pure cardio (which a lot of people do) and you eat right you will get smaller but have the same body. If you add strength training to your cardio you can change your shape and proportions.

For people who have time constraints (which most of us do), circuit training will give you the most bang for your buck. You move from one exercise to the next with little rest in between. Circuit training will challenge your muscles and elevate your heart rate.

Expert: Scott Topjian, fitness director, Latitude Sports Clubs, 10 Main St.

Answer: Yes. It is about the combination of these variable that makes a workout program effective and most importantaly, maintainable. Fitness if a lifestyle and it requires variety and discipline to stay healthy and well.


Question: What type of fitness offerings are there for the youth of Andover (outside of traditional sports)? How do you help kids find a sport that works?

Experts: Robyn Lebowitz, Y personal training coordinator

Dawn Lovejoy, Y chronic disease prevention program coordinator

Answer: Andover Youth Services, the town of Andover, Appalacian Mountain Club and the Andover/North Andover Y have many programs available for kids of all ages, abilities and interests. Within those organizations above there are both alpine and nordic skiing, hiking, snowboarding, wrestling and dancing. The Y has triathlon training programs that are always full. There’s family training at the Y, pickle ball, geo caching and more. The Merrimack Valley Striders has a running program for kids (as does the Y) and many of the churches in town have ongoing activities for kids of all ages.

If none of this appeals to your child, then try developing your own activities. Go run around outside with your child for 30 minutes. It doesn’t cost a dime and it will do you both a tremendous amount of good — and you’ll have, fun too. It doesn’t have to be complicated; really, all it has to be is fun.

Check out the local events calendar for the area and you’ll find things to do every week and weekend.