Get Fit for Life Exercise DVD: Transcript of the video (Part 1 of 3)

Denise Austin - Fitness & Exercise Expert: You know it's no secret that exercise and good nutrition are keys to a healthy lifestyle and can lead to a longer and more active future for all of us. There are so many benefits to regular exercise. First of all it gives you more energy. It strengthens your heart and lungs, controls diabetes, lowers blood pressure, and can even help you shed a few pounds. If you're just starting out with exercise, this program is for you. We'll start you off slowly with a goal of building up to at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity on at least 5 days a week. This is the perfect amount of activity that is recommended to keep you healthy. In addition to aerobic activity you'll be able to strengthen your body, keep your body in perfect balance, and we'll even give you stretches, which can help you stay even more active. By regularly following these simply routines you will learn how to make physical activity a part of your day and a part of your life. We'll provide you with helpful tips, information to help you separate the myths from the facts, and show you some inspiring success stories from veterans just like you. Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000 and a loyal supporter of veterans nationwide, will introduce you to each chapter of this DVD. Okay, take it away Heather!

Heather: Hello and welcome to the HealthierUS Veterans Fitness DVD. During my tour as Miss America I traveled the country meeting many of our nation's veterans and gaining a personal understanding of the issues you face. From homelessness to healthcare, and of course fitness, my concern has grown into a lifelong passion for America's heroes. As the daughter of a disabled Vietnam veteran, I'm particularly proud to be a part of this special program to get you fit for life. When I workout, I make sure that I'm getting the most out of it by following the guidelines of what we call FITT. The letters in FITT stand for Frequency, or how often you are active. The goal is physical activity on five or more days a week. Intensity, on how hard you are working on an activity. The goal here is to work hard enough that your activity results in a light sweat and breathing in a little harder than normal. Time or how long you're active. For aerobic activities, the goal is 30 minutes per day, but you can break that down into three 10-minute segments. Type or what kinds of activities you are during. Types of activities include aerobic, strength, balance and stretching. You'll learn more each type as we demonstrate them. Be sure to include warm up, cool down, and stretching activities whenever you are active. You can use the chapters on this DVD to put together a personalized activity routine that meets your fitness goals. And the accompanying booklet will give you more information on HealthierUS Veterans and other resources to check out. Remember, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting this or any exercise program, and always stop exercising immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain, tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest

  • Severe shortness of breath

  • Severe nausea or vomiting

  • Sudden onset weakness or changes in sensation in your arm and/or leg on one side of your body

  • Difficulty swallowing, talking or seeing

  • Severe headache or dizziness

Heather: Check with your doctor if you have a less severe, new, or worsening symptoms when starting or increasing your physical activity. If the symptoms do not disappear within a few minutes, call 911 immediately. This and more information is included in your Get Fit for Life booklet. Now, let's get started. Join your instructor and your fellow veterans in becoming active and getting fit for life.

Warm Up

Dennis Saldana - Fitness Trainer: All exercises should start with a good warm up. This not only prepares your muscles and heart for activity, it also helps to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness. It's an essential part of any fitness routine. After we warm up we'll move into aerobic activities, which are great for your heart, your lungs and circulatory system. Increasing your endurance not only keeps you healthier, but it also improves your stamina for everyday activities. Our goal is to do aerobic activities for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days a week. Are you veterans ready?

Veterans: Ready.

Dennis: Okay, here we go. Now a typical warm up can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Let's begin with some slow paced walking to warm up those muscles and continue to walk slowly for a few minutes and then increase your speed to a level that you are comfortable with. Let's start with our left leg. You guys ready? And left. Excellent job. Well this is known as a slow walk or march. We're going to do these for a few eight counts and then we're going to go into our next one called a sidestep. Everybody doing okay?

Veterans: Yes.

Dennis: Okay, we're going to step out onto our left side first. You guys ready? And left, right, left, right, left. How's it going guys? Excellent. Now let's bring it back to a march. Next one is called a heel touch. We're going to touch our heel out in front of us and we're going to start with the left leg. You guys ready? And left touch, right, left. You guys look great keep it up. A couple of more counts and let's bring it back to a march. The next thing we're going to do is called a wide stance march. It's the same march, but we're just going to put our feet out to the side just a little bit. We'll start with the left leg, you guys ready?

Veterans: Ready.

Dennis: And left. Now on any of these exercises, if you want to make them a little more intense, you can pick you knees up a little higher, or you swing your arms a little higher, but only do what is comfortable for you. Okay? Let's bring it back to a regular march, and we're going to start kicking with our left leg. And kick. Kick right, kick left. How's it going guys?

Veterans: Good.

Dennis: Excellent. Do a few more and we're going to start marching on the left. Go. The next thing we're going to do is we're going to do a little bit of hand cycling. Stay in your march with your legs and let's just cycle with our arms just a little bit, just like your pushing a bicycle along with your hands on the pedals. Okay good job. Let's bring it back to a regular march. Now I'm going to demonstrate a little bit of a swim stroke here. We're going to start with our left arm. You guys just follow in and then I'll call you in, in just a second. Its swim, swim, left, right. Go ahead guys join on in. Excellent job guys how does it feel?

Veterans: Alright.

Dennis: Okay, let's bring it back to a march. Now we are about to do something called an arm punch or bicep curls. It's the same march; just bring your arms up to the sides like this. Straight down at the bottom or you can do them up together at the same time. How's it feel guys? Alright back to a march. And here's something you guys might enjoy, some shoulder circles. We're just going to bring our shoulders around the back and down. Bring them up, up, up and back. Keep marching. Okay now let's see if we can reverse that and go the other direction. You guys feel that?

Veterans: Yep.

Dennis: You guys are doing great, keep it up. Alright, let's go back to a march. Left, right. Now we're going to do some arm presses overhead and it's just like you're picking up some weights and you're pressing it over your head. Now remember to only lift your arms over your head to what you feel comfortable to. If you can't put them up very high that's fine. Okay? Guys put your hands up in front of you, and push it up and down, up and down. Nice and easy. If you can go all of the way up, great. If you can only go this high, that's fine too. Just always do the best that you can. Okay, let's bring it back to a march. Now a good warm up also includes some mild stretching and limbering activities, so let's work on stretching your neck, arms, and shoulders. Let's go ahead and bring our march down to a stop. First thing I want you guys to do is we're going to stretch our neck. Okay? All I want you to do is let your head fall to left side. Now you really don't want to press this down or force it. You really shouldn't feel any pain. You're going to feel a little bit of a stretch on the right side of your neck, bringing your left ear to your left shoulder. Okay? Bring it back to the midline. Let's go to the right side. Let your head fall to the right. Now you're going to feel that stretch on the left side. Okay? How's that feel you guys?

Veterans: Good.

Dennis: Good. Bring it on back to the center and let's go to the left again. Just let it stretch. Feel the stretch on the right side. Remember not to force it. Bring it back to the midline. Let's go right again. Let it stretch. Remember not to force it. Only do what's comfortable. Bring it back to the midline, and the last time left and right. Over to the left. Let it stretch. Back to the midline and over to the right. And, back to the midline. Now the next thing we're going to do is we're going to go ahead and turn our head to that direction so I want you to go ahead and look over your left shoulder. Put your chin into your left shoulder. Nice and easy, don't force it around.

Dennis: Just try to look over your left shoulder as far as you can with comfort. Bring it back to the midline. Let's go right. Good job you guys. Make sure to keep breathing. Bring it back to the midline. Let's go left again. Remember not to force it. Just let it stretch gently. Bring it back to the center. Over to your right. Just as far as you can with comfort. Bring it back to the midline. Last time left and right. Go to the left. Good job guys, bring it back to the center. And over to the right. And, back to the center. Now the next stretch we're going to do is we're just going to let our heads fall and look down at our toes if we can. Don't force it, just let it fall. Don't tuck your chin in too tight. And, back up again. And, down to your toes. Look down. Try not to bend over while you're doing it. It's just your head that's moving. And, bring it up. And, last time bring it on down. And, bring it back up. And those are our warm ups.

Aerobics - 10 minute interval

Dennis: Hi, my name is Dennis Saldana. Today these veterans and I are going to demonstrate some simple exercises that you can do at home. We're going to use a simple march as an example. Now my friend Sam here is showing us a beginner level march. The knees aren't coming up too high; the arms aren't swinging too much. Remember when you're doing any of these exercises that you're about to see, always do it at a level that's convenient and comfortable for you. My friend Dave here is doing an intermediate level march. His knees are coming up just a little bit higher and his arms swinging just a little bit more. Thanks Dave. My friend Ron here is showing us slightly more advanced technique. The knees are a little bit higher and the arms are swinging bit more. This is an exaggerated version of the march. Remember any of the movements you see in the exercises today, if you want to do the advanced level, all you have to do is exaggerate the movements. Remember only do it at a level that comfortable for you. Now remember that while you continue your marching in place let's listen in as Heather French gives us some helpful advice.

Heather: When the weather is nice, park farther away in parking lots to increase the distance you walk from your car. This can help you reach your goal of 30 minutes of activity a day. Only 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day can keep you healthy. It can also reduce the risk of some health conditions. Walking, riding a bicycle, mowing the grass, washing the car, gardening and marching in place are just a few simple ways you can fit physical activity into your daily routine.

Heather: I know it's tempting, but pass on the elevator or escalator and try to take the stairs as often as possible, both going up and down. Walking even one flight of stairs is better than none. Think about getting a pedometer. It can help you keep track of how many steps you take each day. One way to tell how hard you are working is the talk test. If you are able to sing while doing the activity, that would be a light intensity. At a moderate level you can talk comfortably. If you become winded or too out of breath to carry on a conversation, that would be considered vigorous activity. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your physical activity.

MYTH - Reducing fat in one body area is possible.

Heather: Well this was news to me, but I've learned that it's not possible to burn off fat from a specific part of the body by exercising only that area. Regular exercise including aerobic and strength training and eating a sensible diet is the way to get rid of excess body fat.

MYTH - If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want.

Heather: Don't we all wish that were true? But, the fact is good nutrition goes hand in hand with regular exercise. If your goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, you should add more fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy and whole grains to your diet. Avoid high sugar and high fat foods and watch portion size.

MYTH - Exercise turns fat to muscle.

Heather: Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. There is no way to change one into the other, but regular aerobic exercise can reduce the amount of body fat and regular strength training can increase the amount of body muscle.

Heather: A complete fitness routine includes all of the activities that are shown on this DVD. Not enough time? Then mix and match, but try to include a good variety of upper, lower, and trunk muscle activities. Some women are reluctant to lift weights because they think they will develop big muscles. Women usually will not develop large bulky muscles, because they don't have enough of the hormone testosterone needed for the development of muscle bulk. While steroids or other drugs may cause some women to bulk up, strength training will not.

Heather: Concerned about your waistline? Weight loss is the only way to get rid of a bulky midsection. Abdominal exercises will make your abdominal muscles stronger, but doing them alone will not get rid of your waistline. You must also lose weight. Think safety. Many think exercise must hurt to be good for you. In fact, exercising to the point of pain can do more harm than good. A sensible exercise program might be uncomfortable, but should not be painful.

Dennis: Congratulations. You've already completed 10 minutes of aerobic activity. Great job. If you're just beginning a fitness routine or you feel too uncomfortable to keep going, you may want to proceed to the cool down activities. Otherwise, pause the DVD and keep going for another 10 or 20 minutes. Now you can either continue to march in place or even go outside for a walk. For more tips on aerobic activity, see your Fit for Life booklet. Now, let's begin our cool down.

Cool Down

Dennis: Cooling down slows your heart rate and gradually helps to prepare your muscles for the next time you're active. Remember to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes on your cool down, okay? Let's slow down our march here to a nice easy pace, and walk. Bring the knees down a little bit. Swing the arms, drop them a little bit. Nice and slow and let's bring it to a stop. Now we're going to do some stretches.

Dennis: Now we brought in some chairs to help us with these so if you have one handy, grab it and bring it in okay? Guys go ahead and have a seat.

Trunk Rotation

Dennis: Okay. Now the first stretch we're going to do is called trunk rotation. This is a really easy one to do and it feels great. Let's go to our left first, so what we're going to do is take our left hand, reach back for the backrest and with your right hand, try to grab the armrest, and just look over your shoulder, nice and easy. Remember to keep your hips facing forward, and look over your shoulder for about 30 seconds, and then bring it back. Now let's go ahead and go over to the other side. Grab the backrest with the right hand and the armrest with the left hand. Nice and easy. Look over your right side keeping your chest up nice and tall. Stay upright, hips facing forward. Look over your shoulder for about 30 seconds. Remember to always do these to what is comfortable for you. Bring it right back.

Gluteal Stretch

Dennis: Okay the next stretch we're going to do is called the gluteal stretch. For those of you that have knee problems, you can grab the back of the knee and pull it up. Or, for those that have healthier knees and can do this, go ahead and grab the front of the knee and pull it in to your chest to what's tolerable okay? Don't pull it in and hurt. Don't force it. Okay. Let's do the other leg. Put that one down. I'm going to grab my leg on the back of my knee to show you what it looks like if you had a knee problem. Pull it in. Again you'll feel that stretch on the back of the glutes, back of the thigh and the lower back. And, go ahead and put them on down.


Heather: There are so many benefits to strength and balance activities. They help to firm and tone your muscles, keep bones strong and relieve stress on your joints, making it easier to tackle everyday chores. And, as an added benefit, they help your body to burn more calories. Lastly by improving your balance and coordination these exercises make a fall, which is more common as we get older, less likely. Try to do strength and balance exercises for all your major muscle groups at least two times a week. Don't do strength exercises on the same muscle groups two days in a row. Your muscles need at least a day to recover from soreness and injury.

Getting off of the floor

Dennis: Don't be afraid to get down on the floor to perform these stretches or exercises or to play with your children or grandchildren. As we get older we spend less time on the floor and as a result some people forget how to get up from the floor should they find themselves there unexpectedly. Now we're going to demonstrate the easy and safe way to get down on the floor for exercises, and then back up again. Now remember, if you have any difficulty getting up off of the floor, do not do these exercises alone until you are comfortable with them.

Dennis: Now to get into a lying position, stand next to a very sturdy chair that won't tip over, or you can put it against the wall for added support if you need to. Put your hands down on the seat of the chair. Support yourself on that. Lower yourself down onto one knee, okay, nice and slow. Now lower the other knee down to the floor. With one hand, put your hand down on the floor, keeping the other hand on the chair for extra support, and lower yourself down onto that same hip. Now straighten your legs out. Lower yourself down onto your side and then role over onto your back. Now, to get back up from a lying position we're going to do everything the same just in reverse. Let's role back onto your side. Put you hand on the floor about rib level so that you can help push yourself up off of the floor. Your weight should be back on your hip. Now bend your knees and role your weight up onto your knees. Using your hand on the chair for support put the other hand on the chair. Now you should be on both knees. Push down on the chair for support. Put one foot down underneath, then the other foot down underneath for support, and stand up straight nice and slow. And, now you're standing again.

Dennis: Welcome to the strength portion of our program. Strength exercises help to build strong muscles and bones. With strength activities, you work at a harder intensity, but for a shorter period of time. For this demonstration, we're going to be using resistance bands and hand weights. If you have a latex allergy which prevents you from using these bands, you can substitute light hand weights, water bottles, or soup cans, or vegetable cans. If you're just starting out, the weight of your own arms or legs may be enough to get you started. As you build up your strength, you want to keep challenging yourself by increasing the amount of weight or resistance that you're using. Now here's a good tip. Use the amount of weight or resistance which allows you to do the exercise comfortably 10 times. And, always remember to maintain good posture and technique as you learn or perform a new exercise.

Strength/Balance - Rows

Dennis: Now the first exercise that we're going to be doing is called rows. What I would like you guys to do is take either end of the band in each hand and step on the center of the band on the floor with your left foot. Make sure that it's all the way underneath, okay? Take both ends of the band and wrap them around in your right hand. Now you don't have to do this, but if you would like more resistance, you can go ahead and wrap it around one more time for not only a better grip but for greater resistance. With a slight bend at your knee, put your left hand on your left knee to hold yourself up. Now when you do these exercises make sure that your back is nice and flat and that your chest is up. You don't want to be rounding out like this. This is not how we want to do it. Okay? Nice and flat, with your arms straight out in front, towards your left foot, I want you to pull your hand towards the right side of your hip. Just row it right back just like you're rowing a boat. Slow return to the stretch position, and let's do that 9 more times to make 10 repetitions. That's two, and down, and three, four, five, six. How we doing guys?

Veterans: Good.

Dennis: Excellent. Seven. Great job guys keep it up. Eight, nine, and ten. When we finish this exercise, stay down there and release the tension from the bands guys, and switch your feet. Put your right foot over the band. Both ends of the band now in your left hand with your right hand on your right knee. Keep your back nice and flat. Head and chest up, and let's pull that up to our left hip. That's one. Pull it up to whatever is comfortable for you. Pull it up as high as you can but don't strain yourself. That's two. Return to straight. This is three. How's it feeling guys?

Veterans: Good.

Dennis: Good job. Four and five. How's everybody doing?

Veterans: Great.

Dennis: Excellent. Six. We only have four more. Seven. Good job guys. Eight. Two more. Nine. One more guys, we can do it. Ten and relax and slowly release the tension and let's stand up for our next exercise.

Strength/Balance - Curls

Dennis: Okay, now the next exercise we're going to do is called curls. Now this exercise can be done either sitting at the edge of a chair, gentlemen go ahead and take a seat, or it can be standing. Now if you're sitting, be sure that the chair is not in the way of your elbow hanging directly at your side when your hand is in the down position. Start by dropping the band on the floor with your right hand and step on it so that you make sure that it's all the way underneath on your right side with your right hand. Okay. Hold your palm forward and hanging on to the end of that band. Now remember if the band feels a little slippery or you don't have a good grip, you can wrap it around one more time for a better grip. Or if you need more resistance on the band, you can step up a little bit farther. Okay. Without moving your upper arm, pull your arm all of the way up to your shoulder, or as high as you can as to what feels comfortable, until it's completely bent. Slowly lower, with control, all of the way down to the straight position again, and then repeat. Let's go ahead and do 10 reps okay guys? Let's go up one, and down two. Exhale up, inhale down. Pull it up and down. This is five, and down. Six. How's everybody doing?

Veterans: Good.

Dennis: Excellent. Seven. Good job guys. Eight. Two more, we're almost done. Nine. One more. And, ten. Hold it and slowly release and let's switch hands. Release the tension. Switch hands. Put the band underneath your left foot. If you need to, wrap it around for better grip or more tension. You guy's ready for 10 reps? Okay, pull it up to one. Nice and easy. Return with control. Up for two. Release. Three.

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