Weight loss tips from UPMC Somerset Rehabilitation and Wellness Center
Another year of COVID-19 is behind us. What is in front of us in 2022?
For some, it’s time you get out of yoga pants and back into your dress pants. But there may be one problem — they don’t fit.
Exercise physiologists at UPMC Somerset Rehabilitation and Wellness Center say people shouldn’t let inexperience in working out stop them from starting a journey to a healthier life.
Celebrate:UPMC Somerset celebrates 100 years
According to Dave Polcha, becoming active and starting into a fitness program should be done under the right supervision. He recommended finding a facility that has trainers who will work with you to devise a program that’s just right for you.
“People start gung-ho on Jan. 1 and then realize it needs more effort so they drop out,” he said. “They need to establish a new pattern on day one before going on a lifestyle overhaul.
“Set small goals. Achieve them. Small goals then became large victories, mentally and psychologically.”
How to start working out
Mike Seibert said trainers can help the individuals set goals that are attainable.
“In setting a goal, we will evaluate them, look at what their goals are and what is realistic based on where they are,” he said. “We’ll take baseline information and body fat percentage. Then we’ll look at what’s ideal for their gender and age … calculate that and set an idealistic goal and landmarks. Lifestyle changes have to be more manageable, more attainable.
“You’re not going to be an Amazon woman unless you work out like one because you want to be that strong,” Siebert said. “It’s more of a myth that lifting weights gets you bulky.”
Polcha said that the more active a person is, the more stable he or she will become.
“They need to see past the number on the scale. Getting better means getting more stable,” he said. “More activity makes their daily living better.
“It’s cumulative. And the same with diets. Cut a little out each day, then it grows into a larger number. Do a little activity every day. You can get by with 20 to 30 minutes a day. Do it when you have time. It doesn’t have to be all at the same time.”
“Fit it into your schedule. A lot don’t want to get rid of what they are doing, so if they can do 10 minutes here and there, they can do that.”
Why are gyms important?
Both Polcha and Seibert said they’ve found that people created a whole chain of excuses for not working out and becoming healthier because of the pandemic.
“We still have to try to go back to life,” Polcha said. “Be active, not just for healthy weight management. It all helps for metabolical, diabetes, cholesterol, dementia — all can be impacted by physical activity.
“The psychological benefits of exercise improves self image, self worth and self confidence. Physiologically it helps, too.”
The two men said those with pre-existing conditions should first check with their doctor to make sure it is safe to exercise. They advised finding a facility that offers evaluations and an in-depth look at the person’s limits, and that develop a baseline to put the program together, teach it and work with it for several weeks.
“People are so focused on the scale,” Seibert said.
“What does it mean? Body fat percentage gives the whole picture. Overall percentage is much better. Don’t go with the scale.”
He said trainers can put together a more conservative program according to the person’s physical conditioning.
“Small steps are more attainable,” he said.
Polcha said working out with a partner is a great way to provide a support network with like-minded people and goals.
“Gyms provide a social exercise program,” he said. “They can hold each other accountable.”
Weight-loss contest in Somerset
UPMC Somerset Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at 126 E. Church St. in Somerset is having a contest to measure body fat percentage loss.
The competition is open to non-members as well as members. It’s a 10-week program that starts this week.
To register, go to the front desk at the Wheeler building. There is no sign-up fee, and participants may pay month-to-month as they go. Membership includes free evaluations and program improvement. The center participates in insurance programs.
“Workout to what you can do,” Polcha said. “In the end we strive to make you better.”
“You’ll leave here better than when you came in.”
The center has updated cardio equipment and strength training machines along with a free weight area. The center also offers group fitness classes. Membership is open to the general public.
The trainers work with people of all ages. They have years of experience in training and are accredited.
Amid the COVID pandemic, the center is offering enhanced cleanliness that includes increased sanitation of equipment and spacing between stations to allow for social distancing. Masks are required in all common areas and while moving between equipment.
“The facility here is clean and germ-aware,” Polcha said. “It’s a protected environment. It’s safe to exercise once again.”
To learn more about UPMC’s safety protocols, visit upmc.com/yourcare.