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The Well-Rounded Workout

November 09, 1998|CONNIE KOENENN

You have joined a health club, bought a treadmill for days in between and located a trainer who's on your wavelength. Now you are ready for the ideal workout, and that means balance, says Linda De La Torre, fitness director for Meridian Sports clubs on Wilshire and in Century City.

The ideal program, she says, should include four elements:

* Cardiovascular: At least 20 minutes of sustained aerobic activity, for endurance.

* Strengthening: At least one exercise for each of the major muscle groups, using free weights (dumbbells), body weights (sit-ups or push-ups) or machine weights to build muscles and bone mass.

* Stretching: "What good is a strong body if everything is so stiff and tight you can't bend or turn?" De La Torre asks. Try to stretch for at least 10 minutes a day, and if you throw in a weekly yoga or Pilates class, you will work all the major muscle groups.

* Nutrition: A low-fat diet with a minimum of a daily liter of water. "Don't skip breakfast, and graze if possible. Small frequent meals all day long are ideal," De La Torre says.

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