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your look ● fitness By Sharon Turrentine Let’s Get Physical! Realize your potential by discov- ering what physical fitness can do for you W hen preparing for competition, we want to look, feel, and be our best at all times. The clothes, the hair, the makeup, and the accessories all have to be just right. We want to feel confident about the way we present ourselves. Taking care of our personal level of physical fitness will do just that. Physical Fitness. First of all, just exactly what does that mean? It does NOT mean starving to get thin. It does NOT mean working out 4 hours a day. It does NOT mean sweat- ing and jumping up and down in a class to loud booming music exclusively. Don’t misunderstand—sweating is good for you, very good for you. However, there are limits as to how much you should stress your physique. And there is much more, so much more, to physical fitness than that. PHYSICAL FITNESS CONSISTS OF THREE EQUAL PARTS 1) Nutrition This is the hardest part—eating right. This does not mean going on a “diet.” The word diet, defined in the dictionary, ba- sically means “habitual nourishment.” By definition, you can- not “go on a diet.” You are already “on” a diet. It may not be nutritious, but whatever you are eating “is” your diet. So, to improve your nutrition you must “change” your diet. We learned about proper nutrition in the third grade. It hasn’t changed. The needs of the human body have not changed: balanced meals, proper portions, watching the fatty foods and the sodium (something we pay way too little atten- tion to). You know, when that fork full of food is headed to- ward your mouth, whether or not it’s good for you. You don’t have go to out and purchase a bunch of “diet books” to find this out. And those low carb diets? Carbs are your brain food and your energy food. Once you deplete your body of the necessary amount of carbohydrates, you can get to the point where you cannot even remember what day it is. It takes brains, good sense, and stamina to win. Be a winner, and be kind to yourself. (By the way, I do not consider anything that comes in a paper bag from a drive-thru window as food.) 60 PAGEANTRY 2) Aerobic Activity This can be fun. Aerobic activity is any activity that is done for 20 minutes or longer, nonstop, that elevates your heart rate. You can, of course, take aerobic classes. If you like that, go for it, by all means. But, if you don’t like that, don’t choose it. You won’t be able to stick with something you don’t enjoy. Walking can be considered an aerobic activity. Not strolling (did I say strolling?). My walks are about 3 miles per hour—on hills. That can get you going, trust me. There is also biking, hiking on very rough terrain, all sorts of activities. For many of the women I have written body shaping programs for (and there are a couple thousand out there), running stadium steps is a staple aerobic activity. Yep, you can do that, if you so choose. Find something you like, and do it five or six days out of the week. Consistently. Con- sistency is the key. 3) Strength Training Here is where you can tone, firm, and really shape your body. With the proper forms of exercise in weight training, you can shape a muscle in the direction you want it to go. You can make it shorter and thicker for more curves, or longer and leaner for less curves. Different parts of our bodies require different shapes we want to make. Depending on your needs and wants, the possibilities are endless. You can’t get taller, of course, but with the proper posture you can appear taller. And good posture pays off in a lot of ways.