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Hello Everyone,
It’s summer…YIPPIE! What a great time to enjoy the outdoors and stay fit!
Welcome to The Quest, a newsletter intended to inspire and inform those interested in experiencing optimal well being in body, mind and spirit. For archived newsletters and more information, please see my website at www.deborahlow.com. Please update your bookmarks as I’ve changed servers.

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July 2003
In this issue of The Quest:

1. The Quest Quote
2. The Quest Question
3. Top 10 Mistakes people make in the gym – A.C.E. News
4. Feedback

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We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. ~ Stephen Covey

2. Question:
My 14-year-old daughter would like to weight train with me. What age should girls be before they start lifting weights? Should there be limits on what she can do in the gym? Thanks from Calgary, Alberta


What great news, not only does a 14-year-old want to get into a regular exercise program, but she wants to do it with her mom! That is wonderful.

Although there are few strength-training studies that look at the effects of children and adolescents who weight train, there is evidence that strength gains in the teen years are similar to those observed in adults. Resistance training is considered a safe exercise choice for teenagers. That said, when working out with your daughter, help her to minimize her risk for injuries by following these guidelines:

      Obtain medical clearance or professional instruction. You may feel comfortable with your own workout, but your daughter may have different goals and needs. Enlist a professional to set up your daughter’s program. Once she is oriented to the gym, the two of you can train together.

      Whether it’s you or the gym staff, make sure your daughter is properly supervised while she works out. Check with your gym to find out when staff supervise the floor or better yet, see if they offer supervised teen times for when you can’t be there.

Regarding her program:

      When training, avoid single maximal lifts and sudden explosive movements.

      Include exercises that use body weight as resistance—lunges, squats, chin-ups, push-ups, etc.

      Always promote proper technique, execution and breathing.

      Avoid any piece of equipment that is broken or doesn’t fit your daughter correctly.

      Allow her enough rest (one to two minutes) in between exercises.

      Encourage your daughter to drink lots of water before, during and after workouts.

      Encourage her to tell you when she feels tired or in pain.

Most importantly, your daughter has a lifetime of activity and health ahead of her. What a great opportunity for you to show her that fitness is a fun and empowering experience that builds self-esteem, improves body image and overall life-long satisfaction. Good luck!

3. A.C.E. News
A survey of 3,000 American Council on Exercise (ACE)-certified fitness professionals points out the biggest mistakes they see people making in the gym. In some cases, these mistakes may simply mean the difference between an effective and an ineffective workout. Other mistakes, however, can be more costly, leading to strain and injury. ACE, America’s Authority on Fitness, shares the following mistakes commonly made in the gym and also offers tips to help individuals stay safe during their workout.

1. NOT STRETCHING ENOUGH: Stretch immediately following an aerobic activity while your muscles are warm and pliable to prevent injuries.

2. LIFTING TOO MUCH WEIGHT: Never lift more than your muscles can handle. Gradual, progressive resistance is a far more effective-and safe-way to increase muscle strength.

3. NOT WARMING UP PRIOR TO ACTIVITY: Muscles need time to adjust to the new demands aerobic activity places on them. Start slowly and gradually increase intensity.

4. NOT COOLING DOWN AFTER ANY TYPE OF WORKOUT: Take a few minutes to lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles. This improves flexibility and helps prepare the body for your next workout.

5. EXERCISING TOO INTENSELY: It’s more effective to sustain a moderate workout for longer periods of time than to exercise intensely for only a few minutes.

6. NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water- you’re already on your way to dehydration. Keep a water bottle close at hand during exercise and throughout the day.

7. LEANING HEAVILY ON A STAIR STEPPER: Leaning on the stair stepper is hard on both the wrists and the back. Lower the intensity to the point at which you can maintain good posture while lightly resting your hands on the rails for balance.

8. NOT EXERCISING INTENSELY ENOUGH: Exercise intensely enough to work up a light sweat and get your heart beating in your training zone.

9. JERKING WHILE LIFTING WEIGHTS: When you have to jerk the weight, you’re likely jerking other muscles as well. This can lead to strain and injury, with the muscles of the back being particularly vulnerable. Control the weight-don’t let it control you.

10. CONSUMING ENERGY BARS AND SPORTS DRINKS DURING MODERATE WORKOUTS: Unless you’re working out for longer than two hours per day, you don’t need to supplement with high-energy bars and drinks. (High-energy is often a code word for high-calorie.)

4. Feedback anyone?

Please submit your comments or questions by replying to this email at deborah@deborahlow.com. I look forward to your feedback. 

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The Quest for Peace, Love & a 24-Inch Waist

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