New dietary guidelines recommend as many as 90 minutes a day of exercise, and Trapper Fitness Center manager Tammy Workman thinks that's absurd.
"This is really extreme. I don't think a normal person would do that who just walked in off the street," she said. "Ninety minutes a day is going to be very hard for even the person who works out."
A personal trainer and weight training teacher at the Colorado Northwestern Community College, Workman said in all she does, she probably gets in 60 minutes a day.
"I don't know anybody who comes in every day to work out 90 minutes a day cardio and weight training. Nobody does that much," she said.
The guidelines, released in January by the United States Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, suggest more vigorous physical activity than in the past. The report, which is updated every five years, also recommends eating less meat and sticking to fruits, vegetables and grains.
"I can see why," Workman said, "because people's portions aren't the same anymore."
But she thinks the exercise para-meters are over the top. She starts her clients at 60 minutes a day, three times a week, and gradually adds more.
Justin Rinehart and JoAnn Hamilton are both in Workman's CNCC class and have been using her routine since January. Hamilton said it's been a good step for her.
"I love exercise, and it makes you feel good afterward," she said. "I like to get a good sweat."
She expects she could work out every day if she tried and plans to make her way up to that. She was in Trapper Health Club for Workman's class after playing an hour and a half of racquetball that morning.
"All the reports say you should exercise every day," Hamilton said. "To me, it's not intimidating."
Workman said those who are just starting to exercise might be discouraged by the guidelines but doesn't think they have much bearing on people. Before Wednesday, Workman hadn't seen or heard about the government's report.
"Everybody's different, and they-'re basing it on an average person. This may not work for everybody," she said. "I don't think people would stick to this and that's something they should look at, too."
She recommends those looking to work out start at a level they're comfortable with and slowly increase their levels of activity.
Trainers such as her can design personalized programs and test for factors that really matter, such as body mass index and inches, as opposed to just weight.
"Scales should be thrown out the window," Workman said.
She hopes the government guidelines don't deter anyone from starting an exercise program and that those who work out can find a routine that is right for their body types and lifestyles.
For more information about Trapper Fitness Center, call 824-6932.
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.