From my family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas, happy New Year and a lifetime of good health!

From my family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas, happy New Year and a lifetime of good health!

Along with enjoying the holidays, many are also starting to anticipate a brand new year and the pursuit of attaining newer, more rewarding, and beneficial health and fitness goals for themselves and their families.

If you have not taken action on your fitness program yet, please do not worry because you can start making plans to incorporate healthier habits today.

Information in this week’s article will help you focus on some of the important health guidelines to include in your program.

From a personal training standpoint, it is so encouraging to see the excitement in the eyes of a beginner just starting to exercise, or a die hard enthusiast who has never quit.

Regardless of where your current fitness level resides, paying close attention to the stress physical activity has on your body is very important.

We all know that fitness success is directly related to the consistency of your program.

To be consistent, it is also crucial that you take good care of yourself. One way to do this is by continuing to learn about risk factors and exercise guidelines relating to your body.

For example, during training, it is typical for most healthy Americans to safely work at a level which is 60 to 85 percent of maximal heart rate.

Maximal Heart rate is defined as the highest attainable heart rate during maximal exertion.

If you reach maximal heart rate at any time during training, decrease activity immediately, because you are overworking your heart.

Beginners, older exercises or folks with known health concerns may need to start at an even lower percentage. (Always consult your health care professional before beginning any exercise program.)

A quick formula to figure your safe work zone is by taking 220 minus your age. This equals your maximal heart rate per minute.

For a 50-year-old person, this would be 170 beats per minute.

Multiply your maximal heart rate by .60 and .85 to determine your safe range for exercise.

So for a 50 year old person, the safe range would be 102 to 144 beats per minute.

Staying closer towards the lower to middle of the range is best for beginners and older exercisers, while more trained or elite athletes may train from the middle to higher end of that spectrum.

As always, if you ever start to feel pain during exercise, discontinue activity immediately.

One way to keep up with your heart rate is by purchasing a reliable heart rate monitor from one of your larger retailers. There is a chest band and wrist watch monitor worn during exercise that continually displays your heart rate at all times.

Another way to determine your heart rate is by locating your pulse and counting how many times it beats in 10 seconds. Multiply that by 6 to determine your heart rate beats per minute.

Knowing your heart rate is important, because if you see that you are overworking, you can decrease intensity to bring it back down into the safe zone.

Vice versa, if you see that you are only working at a rate of 30 percent, you can pick up the pace to get back into a higher calorie burning zone.

Other check points worth pursuing are annual medical checkups, waist line measurements (the smaller the better), body weight, and fasting blood sugar levels.

Typically, blood sugar levels should be under 100.

It is always important to keep this type of health information readily available for your loved ones.

Know your cholesterol and help control it by continuing to exercise.

Eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol is also helpful. A desirable cholesterol level is below 200.

Have your blood pressure checked. A normal range is typically 120 over 80. If your numbers reflect higher or lower than those norms, check with your physician to make sure everything is OK.

Early detection of health issues, in my opinion, is the best way to stay healthy and combat potential problems.

Being aware of your family history of heart attack, heart disease should also be taken seriously.

The last reminder for this week is to please drink 64 to 100 ounces of water daily to promote weight loss, help prevent dehydration, and lack of energy.

Always consume 24 ounces of water within the two-hour period prior to exercise, and every 10 to 15 minutes during your training sessions.

I hope you will consider incorporating these checkpoints and ideas into your health and fitness program this new year!

Until next week, happy holidays, and please go out and make plans now, to make it a healthy and nutritious year!

To get started on healthy weight loss and nutrition products, stop by Reggie’s Personal Training and Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Shawnee, call 405-613-0237, or email