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Question:

Hi there. I'm really tiny, 5'2" and 103 pounds. I eat very well (80% great, 20% not so great) But I'm gushy. I know I don't exercise enough, that's why I'm soft and lack muscle, tone not to mention cardio fitness. Can you suggest things to help keep me working out? I prefer exercising outdoors. Thank You! — Emilia, FL

Christine Palumbo

Answer:

Regular physical activity helps with weight maintenance, prevents disease and improves your overall health. For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week.

After age 30, our bodies begin losing a third of a pound to half a pound of muscle a year. When you lose a half-pound of muscle, you burn about forty fewer calories a day, and over time it really adds up. If we don't counteract the muscle loss with weight training, the lost muscle will be replaced by fat. Researchers know that just 40 minutes of strength training can reverse this muscle loss.

If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking at a comfortable pace. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

About Christine Palumbo

Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD has been a nutrition communications consultant since 1989, providing dietary counsel and analysis on various nutrition, health and weight management topics to corporate clients and news media outlets nationwide. An active member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the Illinois Dietetic Association, Chicago Dietetic Association for more than twenty years, she has served on a variety of boards and practice group committees within those organizations. In 1981 and 1982, Palumbo was honored by the Chicago Dietetic Association and the Illinois Dietetic Association, respectively, as the Recognized Young Dietician of the Year.

Palumbo has been featured as the expert speaker in numerous national health panels and has published many articles and pamphlets regarding nutrition and healthcare. She has been featured in national women's, health and business magazines, daily newspapers and local and national radio programs. Palumbo has also appeared on numerous local and national TV news programs, including a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997 on the health benefits of drinking water.


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