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Ask the Anytime Guy

Posted February 12, 2014 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

Q: I just joined Anytime Fitness, but I’m a little lost as to what I should be doing. Someone suggested getting a personal trainer, but they can be pricey. Is hiring a trainer worth it?
A: Absolutely! The right personal trainer can transform your life. He or she is there to educate, motivate and inspire, and that’s worth its weight in gold. From goal setting and proper exercise form to program design and diet advice, trainers will have the answers. But that’s not even the best part. Trainers offer accountability, friendship and a much-needed support system as you embark on your wellness journey. We all struggle with getting to the gym now and then. But trainers can make working out a lot of fun, and they can challenge you consistently, which will ultimately get you better results. If your car needs to be fixed, you take it to a mechanic because he or she knows what to do. The same can be said for your body. Take care of it as best you can, and if you need help, seek out an expert at your local club. Just make sure he or she has solid credentials and a strong background in fitness, kinesiology, strength and conditioning, or sports medicine.

Q: Everyone seems to do something different when it comes to carbs, proteins and fats. How do I know who’s right?

A: This is a great question and a somewhat difficult one, since it depends on your goals. Keep in mind there is an Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for each macronutrient. Generally speaking, you should shoot for 45-65 percent carbohydrate, 20-35 percent fat, and 10-35 percent protein. If you’re an athlete or you’re focused on the cardio end of the exercise spectrum, then you should be more liberal with your carb intake, while getting adequate protein and fat. If you’re focused on strength training and you’re looking to add mass and size, you’d be wise to aim for 50 percent carbohydrate, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat. If you want to lose weight, it may be advisable to decrease carbohydrate intake (to a level of 40-45 percent), and then slightly increase healthy protein and fat consumption. These percent changes may not seem like much, but there’s varying calorie levels associated with each of these goals. The recommendations above are generalities, but hopefully they shed some light on the direction you might want to head in based on your specific health and wellness goals. And, of course, the focus should be on consuming whole grains, unsaturated fats, and lean proteins whenever possible. As always, if you need more personalized recommendations, talk to a registered dietitian.

Information provided by Chris Palso, owner, Anytime Fitness, West Des Moines, 225-3224,

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