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Exercise should become part of routine

Jan. 23, 1997

By Melissa Harlow

Lariat Reporter

If everyone had an extra hour in their day, most people would probably choose to study, sleep, socialize with family or friends, or even curl up and read a good book. Not as many would consider exercising that hour away.

Dave Hull, Lakewood Fitness Country Club director, addressed the issues of physical fitness Wednesday in a Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

'Many people complain about not having enough time,' Hull said. 'Quite often we get too consumed with work, classes, family responsibilities and many other time constraints.'

With a background in fitness, nutrition, and exercise prescriptions, Hull knows the importance of establishing an effective fitness routine and balancing that out from day to day. He encourages students to find an activity they enjoy.

'If it is something that you really want to do, then make it a priority,' Hull said. 'Make it as important as your job or class, even pencil it in on your daily planner, or grab a friend to work out with you.'

Over the past few years the nation has set a goal to prioritize and stress the importance of physical activity, Hull said.

'Doctors are encouraging us more and more to commence a daily exercise routine, noting the many areas of our life it will benefit,' Hull said. 'If we do not start something now, then it is going to cost us in the long run.'

Along with balancing this act into a daily routine comes the responsibility of measuring output to use fitness time effectively.

'It is easy to go out and speed walk or jog, even do some type of aerobics in order to achieve a cardiovascular workout,' Hull said. 'Cardiovascular fitness is certainly one of the keys to effective exercise, but unless you are reaching a target heart rate and maintaining that for a set period of time, only then can you enjoy the benefits of exercise.'

Hull pointed out some of the problems encountered in maintaining health.

'Far too often, we get caught up in thinking it is how much we sweat, or what kinds of contraptions we use on our bodies or even what diet we are on that does the trick,' Hull said 'Those measure nothing and only put you right back where you started.'

Reaching a maximum heart rate, or 'target heart rate' as it is often called, means reaching between 65 and 75 percent of the pulse rate. People can measure it by subtracting their age from 220 and multiplying that number by 65 or 75 percent.

The trick is to maintain that level for a constant 20-30 minutes. Hull said pulse rates should be taken during a warm-up exercise, again halfway through the workout, and one last time during the cool-down for close monitoring. Counting the pulse for 30 seconds and multiplying that number by two will give an accurate heart rate.

'From there you can judge whether you are working too hard or not quite enough,' Hull said. 'In any event, check with a doctor or physician if you have any questions or are experiencing discomfort.'

Hull said college is not only a time of learning, but also a time of change and that many times one of the first things we measure a difference in is our health. This is only achieved by safely adding or subtracting something from your daily schedule.

'It all is according to your heart,' Hull said. 'As long as you stay active and are consistent with exercise, do not make it a chore. Have fun with it and, more importantly, do it for your heart.'

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