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Why is exercise important?
Exercise Helps Prevent Diseases. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process.

Exercise Improves Stamina. When you exercise, your body uses energy to keep going. Aerobic exercise involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, such as walking and bicycling. It improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work.

Exercise Strengthens and Tones. Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become more firm and toned.

Exercise Enhances Flexibility. Stretching exercises are important for good posture. They keep your body limber so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving your flexibility through exercise reduces the chance of injury and improves balance and coordination.

Exercise Controls Weight. Exercise is a key to weight control because it burns calories. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you lose weight.

Exercise Improves Quality of Life. Exercise reduces stress, lifts moods, and helps you sleep better. It can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life.

What is the best time to exercise?
The best time to exercise is the time that works for you. Whatever time fits into your schedule the best is the right time for you to exercise.

If you enjoy getting up early and exercising first thing, this is the right time for you. If you feel most energetic at noon, then that's your best time. If you're a night owl and prefer exercising late in the evening, that's the right time for you!

How Often Should I Exercise?
People often assume that more is better. Wrong! Doing too much too soon or performing intense exercises on a daily basis will have deleterious effects, such as muscle/tendon strains, loss of lean tissue, and fitness-level plateaus.

If you are a beginner, start off slower than you think you should. Three days per week is realistic, safe and effective. If you are experienced, do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises such as walking, jogging and bicycling for no more than 200 minutes per week with no more than 60 minutes per session.

Weight training should be done no more than three times per week targeting the same muscle groups. Flexibility is important, so make the time! Stretching can be done every day, but stick to a minimum of three times per week in order to reap the benefits. Stretch before and after a workout session.

Does spot exercising work? There’s no such thing as spot reducing. Exercising a particular body part will not cause you to lose fat in that area. It will only tone the underlying muscle.

What are calories, fat grams, carbohydrates and protein?
A calorie is a unit of heat used for energy for our body’s metabolism, or simply, how our body burns food to get energy. If you consume more calories than you need, your body stores the extra energy as body fat.

Fat (9 calories per 1 gram of fat). Fat lubricates your joints, helps produce anabolic hormones, facilitates protein synthesis, and is used for energy. No diet is complete or healthy without proper fat intake.

The acceptable range for fat intake: About 10-30 per cent of energy intake, which for a 35-55 year old man would be 30-80 grams of fat per day, and for a 35-55 year old woman would be 20-60 grams of fat per day.

Carbohydrate (4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrates). A carbohydrate is a large group of sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in similar proportions. The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. The body breaks down starches and sugars into a substance called glucose, which is used for energy by the body.

Sweet potatoes
Wheat Pasta

Protein (4 calories per 1 gram of protein). Protein supplies your body with the raw materials that it needs to add muscle tissue. Adequate protein intake will keep your metabolism high, prevent muscle loss, and help your add lean muscle while you lose body fat.

Chicken Breast (no skin)
Turkey (not deli style)
Lean beef
High quality whey protein powders
Egg whites

How many calories should I consume?
There is a simple formula that can be used to estimate how many calories a person needs in a day. Use the formula below to figure out how many calories you need in a day. http://www.mercyweb.org/heartcenter/tools/calorie_calc.htm

What is BMI?
BMI (Body Mass Index) uses your height and weight values to determine whether you are at risk for weight-related health problems. The lower your BMI, the lower your risk for health problems. The BMI formula is: BMI = Your Weight (kilos) divided by Your Height (Meters) x Your Height (Meters)

Click here to calculate your BMI

Interpreting Your BMI
If your BMI is 19 to 24.9 you have a healthy weight.

If your BMI is 25 to 29.9 you are considered to be overweight and may incur moderate health risks.

If your BMI is 30+ you are considered to be obese. Obesity is linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems.

How do I lose weight?
To lose weight by counting calories you need to first work out how many calories you need each day to maintain your weight. For women, this averages around 2000, for men around 2500, this will vary depending on your build – such as muscle content and height. To lose weight your calorie count needs to be less than the calories you burn. If you eat 500 calories less than you need each day you'll lose weight at the rate of one pound (453.6g) a week. If you eat 1,000 calories less than you need each day you'll lose two pounds (907.2g) each week. By eating less calories, your body will have to turn to its fat stores to make up the deficit in your calorie count. It is recommended that you combine exercise, to burn more calories, with healthy eating to create a calorie deficit.