Workout tips just in time for summer

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Workout tips just in time for summer

Try all the fad diets and vibra-belt machines you want: Nothing beats a balanced diet and a regular workout regimen to get you into shape.
Hey, we know it’s tough. After years of chowing down samgyeopsal (grilled fatty pork), French fries and pizza, it’s difficult to graze on salad and munch on fruit.
So to give you a little push, we’ve asked three fitness gurus ― who once were ordinary folks ― for fitness tips. Read on, as the summer season approaches.


Joe Jung was a weakling. He was the last one picked to join teams in school ― even girls were chosen before him. He remembers seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Terminator” and hating him because Mr. Schwarzenegger was everything he wasn’t. Then he read about the former Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe, who was once the scrawny son of an Austrian police chief, and was impressed how Mr. Schwarzenegger struggled to become a champion bodybuilder.
Mr. Jung joined a health club and started lifting weights. He worked hard and began his odyssey from a gangly teen to Mr. Seoul in 1999 and Mr. Powerlifting in 2000. Mr. Jung now is a trainer at the Marquis Thermal Spa and Fitness Club in the Marriott hotel in southern Seoul. He tells his clients: “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Q. How long does it take to become fit?
A. It takes three months, on average, with a commitment of an hour a day, four days a week. People lose heart if they don’t see changes. But, if you see changes in three months, you’ll be on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
Best nutrition tip?
Keep a food journal. You’ll be surprised at how much you snack. Satiate cravings with yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits and vegetables.


When Eric Levine was a skinny, carefree kid, he used his elder brother’s I.D. to land a job as a towel boy in a Montreal fitness club. He loved it. Fitness was fun.
A few years later, he bought a Gold’s Gym in Toronto. Then he thought big and moved to Asia, opening the continent’s California Fitness Centers, now operating 13 clubs in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
“Exercise is the easiest way to live a healthy, happy life,” says the jovial, blond-haired muscle man. “And it’s fun. I never use the term ‘workout.’ I call it exer-tainment.”

Q. What’s the biggest misconception about health?
A. Slim doesn’t mean healthy. Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy. Appearances can be misleading.
What’s an ideal exercise routine?
Mix stretching, cardiovascular activity and isotonic exercises, working a different group of muscles each day. Thirty to 45 minutes twice a week is better than nothing; more is better.
When do you know you’re working out too much?
If it’s taking a long time to recover; if your inner voice is saying ‘this is an unpleasant experience.’ Listen to your body.


As a modern dance student, Xena Ahn went to New Zealand and discovered belly dancing, as much a fitness regimen as an exotic art form.
She returned to Korea, and in 1997 founded Belly Korea. From a handful of devotees, the group has grown to 70 instructors and 1,000 members. Belly Korea hosted an exhibition at COEX hall last Saturday.

Q. What does healthy mean to you?
A. On the physical side, it means exercise. You should devote 30 minutes to physical activity three to five times a week. It can be as simple as 30 minutes of stretching or walking.
Healthy also means a good mental state. Physical activity is good for the mind and soul. It can release stress.
What muscles does belly dancing exercise?
Belly dancing focuses on the abdomen, sides and buttocks. Other exercises can be performed to work the entire body.
What is the biggest misconception about belly dancing?
That it’s only for women. Men can do belly dancing, too. We don’t have any male dancers at our school yet. But we’re looking.

by Joe Yong-hee
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