Jim recently joined the City as the Health and Fitness Specialist for the Police Department.
Tell us a bit about your background and experience. How will you use it to help the employees of the Police Department get and stay in shape?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science: Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation from Winona State University. I am also certified as a Clinical Exercise Specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine. My education is focused on strength and cardiovascular training, fitness programming, nutritional guidance with a special emphasis in heart disease prevention and rehabilitation. Since I have completed my education I have spent the last few years providing personal and group training to individuals in their homes, gyms or corporate fitness centers.
Every person is different. I believe in sitting down with a person to develop a fitness and diet plan specifically for them. I put an emphasis in educating someone to understand the importance of diet and exercise and how to keep themselves active and healthy. I encourage anyone with questions to call or stop by anytime.
What are some common myths people have about exercise and nutrition?
A few sources I found claimed that $61 billion was spent in the USA on weight loss products in 2012. Many products use false claims or information to make money in this large market. Healthy weight loss is recommended at 1-2 pounds a month. Any product that claims faster weight loss should be avoided. Also, avoid all sales pitches that sell you a product to consume to lose weight. Choose a diet plan that you can follow the rest of your life that contains nothing but natural sources of foods. My best advice: DO NOT take advice from someone trying to sell you something. Another myth is that people must exercise a certain location to lose weight from that area. Where you store fat is based on genetics. You cannot lose weight in specific areas and not others.
To lose weight, what has a bigger impact – diet or exercise?
I would say weight loss is 55% activity, 45% nutrition. Those numbers are debatable, but the relationship is very close. You can run marathons and have trouble losing weight if you eat fast food every day. Likewise, the healthiest eater may struggle with weight if they are completely sedentary.
For someone who hasn’t exercised in a long while or is new to it, what would a beginning program look like? Do you have tips for getting started?
Often changes happen slowly so I do not expect anyone to go from no exercise to 5-6 days a week. Three days a week is a good starting point for about 30 minutes at a time. I always tell people to ease into a program to avoid injury or overtraining. Slowly work your way to the minimal recommended amount of 150 minutes a week. A person should begin with something they enjoy to keep them interested, preferably participating in one of their favorite sports. My tips are to schedule exercise into your day early to make sure it gets done and to stick with the program for about 8 weeks to see results. Once a person sees the results they are more likely to stick with a program.
For people already in shape and exercising regularly, is there anything new for them to add to or change in their workouts to get even more results?
Remember the FITT principle:
Frequency: how often someone works out in a week
Intensity: how hard someone works out
Time: how long someone works out
Type: the type of exercise conducted
The human body typically adapts to the same fitness program after two weeks. To see physical improvements, an individual must increase one of the above factors from the FITT principle. If a person is exercising as often as needed or as often as possible, they may consider working out harder (increasing Intensity), or changing what they do (different strength training exercises or biking instead of running). The more you change your program, the more you challenge your body to adapt. If an exercise does not challenge you, it does not change you!