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Circuit training is a great choice for the New Year

"Curves For Women" has been a very successful fitness concept and business for many years. A "circuit" of exercise machines arranged in a specific order allowed women to complete an exercise routine in around 30 minutes. Music and a voice recording told everyone when to switch stations, and the entire workout usually turned into something productive and social.

Why is circuit training so popular? First, it is convenient, simple to follow, and excellent for beginners. Plus, exercising all of the major muscle groups in a short period of time enhances muscle strength, endurance, and also burns calories. There are also stations that focus on balance and more rhythmic cardiovascular activity such as stair stepping and marching in place.

Circuit training, if performed properly, increases your heart rate so that you receive not only the strengthening benefit but also the aerobic benefit. Three days per week of moderate intensity circuit training is recommended, but if weight loss is your goal, four to five days is optimal.

People who circuit train regularly find their exercise endurance improves, allowing them to perform more repetitions on each machine. As body weight decreases, aerobic endurance increases, and leg strength improves, participants often increase their level of activity with little effort. These improvements typically translate into greater ease in performing normal activities of daily living such as climbing steps or working at home or away.

Those with chronic health conditions likewise find circuit training helpful. Since it is a safe and lower intensity workout, circuit training often improves conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. With the New Year approaching, you might want to consider a circuit training program.

The Answer Fitness & Health in Savanna is beginning a "Women's Only Express Program" of circuit training, available weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting Monday, Jan. 4. If you are interested in trying this program, call The Answer at 815-273-3747.

Here’s to your health.

Mark Klein, Owner: The Answer Fitness & Health

John Voelz, MA, ACSM-RCEP

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