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Harriet and Rachelle are co-directors of Great Shape Studio at the Jerusalem International YMCA. For more information, see bottom of article.
Send us your questions for Harriet and Rachelle » and please leave your comments on the Q&A below
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Volumes I - IX
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Volumes XIX - XXI
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Q: I am visiting Jerusalem for 4 months and am looking for a good Pilates class or a studio that has Pilates equipment. Can you make a recommendation? I live in the central part of Jerusalem.
A: Welcome to Jerusalem! Pilates is very popular in Israel, as it is in the US. For Pilates matwork classes, the best teachers are at Great Shape studio at the YMCA on King David Street. They are all well trained and certified and attend ongoing workshops to keep updated with the latest information and techniques. The classes are taught in a combination of Hebrew and English. Call 02-6258436 for more information.
A centrally-located studio that offers training with Pilates equipment is Body in Mind on Emek Refaim in the German Colony. Their phone number is 02-5667576.
Q: I recently have gained some unwanted weight due to inactivity and poor eating habits. I went from being very fit and toned, to enduring a little extra in some areas, mostly around my glutes and stomach. Now that I am trying to get back into a healthy routine I want to know if all the excess around those two specific areas will eventually "vanish" and if so how long? Or if I will just grow in bulk and develop a "bubble" butt. What type of exercises will prevent this? I love to walk and run. This may seem like quite a foolish question, but I am somewhat concerned. I'd love to fit in my old jeans again. Thanks for your time.
A: You are on the right track in recognizing the cause of your weight gain -
inactivity and poor eating habits. Maintaining a healthy weight is not a short-term program but rather a lifestyle. You mention that you love to walk and run, but didn't say how often you engage in these activities or for what duration. If you enjoy these activities you are more likely to stick with them in the long run, but you might need to increase the frequency to 5 or 6 times a week, the duration to about 45 minutes and the intensity to "moderate" intensity. If you haven't been exercising for a while, you should build up to this level gradually in order to avoid injury.
Another important component of maintaining a healthy weight is increasing lean muscle mass through strength training. Again, this should be done gradually, but you should be working most of the major muscle groups 2 - 3 times a week, though not on 2 consecutive days. You might want to start off with a personal trainer who would help you determine what would be the appropriate resistance for you, how many repetitions and how many sets you should be doing according to your ability. Increasing your lean muscle mass will increase your metabolism so that you will burn calories more efficiently.
Unfortunately, spot reduction is a myth and we cannot choose on which parts of our body we will lose weight. This is largely determined by genetics. However, doing cardiovascular exercise and strength training as mentioned above will help you maintain a healthy weight. You will not build bulk in the areas you mentioned.
In addition, I recommend that you meet with a Registered Dietician to help you develop a lifelong eating plan that you will be able to follow. Diets involve deprivation and they don't work in the long run. Eating a wide variety of foods is essential for good health.
Another point to keep in mind is age. You didn't mention how old you are but, as women approach menopause, they naturally develop excess weight in certain areas (again determined by genetics) but it is often in the abdomen and hips. However, a combination of physical activity and a healthy eating plan will help you maintain a healthy weight.
Q: I am interested in adding weight to my backside while still losing weight elsewhere. Is that possible or do I have to lose the weight then start a bodybuilding program? Which excersices are the best? Im 5'7 and weigh 155 lbs. I eat 1200 calories one day and 1500 the other and do cardio for at least an hour. I try to eat at least 60g of protein. Can i build muscle even when I'm not eating a lot of calories? And what happens if I overeat protein? Thanks so much.
A: Because there is no way to "spot reduce", you also cannot direct added fat to particular areas of the body namely the butt. I suggest that you do your weight loss program at the same time as body building. The stronger muscles require more calories so this will assist with your weight loss. As for building muscles in the butt area I would suggest squats as the best overall way to do that. You can do squats with weights; squatting to the sides, the front, the back. Some machines found in fitness rooms work on this area too, with squats and leg extensions which is another exercise that also target the buttocks.
Genetics plays a huge role in how the body is configured. So lose excess weight, get fit and strong and enjoy your fit body whatever its proportions.
As nutrition is not my area of expertise the food questions were answered by Judy Yeroushalmi, R.D., M.A.:
The optimal amount of protein when you are trying to lose weight and build muscle is 1.2 -1.4 grams per kg of adjusted body weight (ideal weight + 25% of excess weight). Dieting actually increases our daily need for protein, because when carbohydrates are limited they cannot spare protein for tissue maintenance and repair. When we limit the starches, we force our bodies to convert part of the protein we eat to sugar for energy. You need about 78 grams of protein a day which is equal to: 2 servings milk or yogurt; 6 servings bread or starches; 6 ounces (180 grams) of meat, chicken, fish or the equivalent (1 egg white or 80 grams of 5% cheese = 1 ounce meat). For information on exactly how much protein is in the foods you eat go to: myfoodpyramid.com. Judy Yeroushalmi, R.D., M.A.
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Rachelle Oseran has 21 years experience as a fitness professional. She is certified by ACE (the American Council on Exercise). She is also a certified prenatal/postnatal exercise instructor. She has presented at international fitness conventions in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Far East.
Harriet Scher has 30 years experience as a fitness professional in the US and Israel. She is certified by ACE (The American Council on Exercise) and Schwinn as an indoor cycling instructor, and is trained in Pilates.
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Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer.
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