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Expert tips for gettin' fit this school year

 
The key to feeling awesome isn’t looking like a model—it’s all about feeling comfy in your own skin. One of teen fitness expert Kathie Dolgin’s favorite ways to do that is to get and stay in shape by making exercise part of our daily routine. Here are your biggest back-to-school fitness questions, answered by Kathie:

 

Q: “I’m dying to improve my mile time this year. But…how?”

A: “To improve your mile time, you’ve got to run intervals,” Kathie says. “That means, run fast for 30 seconds, then walk fast for 30 seconds. Do that 10 times, then build your way up to doing it 30 times. You’ll be running faster in no time. Also, try skipping—it’ll  build  your endurance.”

 

Q: “When is the best time of day to exercise?”

A:Everybody is different. The best time to exercise is whenever you can fit it into your schedule! Pick a time that you can stick with,” Kathy advises.

 

Q: “I’m not the skinniest pencil in the box, if you know what I mean. How can I look good in trendy clothes when I don’t look like a model?”

A: 'I’m not sure being the ‘skinniest pencil in the box’ should be anyone's goal!” Kathy says. “Learn what style flatter your body type, then stick to them. Don't be tempted to wear only the latest styles. Also, wear clothes that fit. Clothes that are too small and too tight will add pounds. Lastly, it's all about attitude. Watch your posture. And remember: You are fit, fabulous and fierce!”
 

Q: “I want my long ‘n’ lean legs, but how can I get them without running?”

A:Good ol' fashioned squats,” Kathie says. “I'm constantly doing squats: while brushing my teeth, while cooking, etc. You need to incorporate them into your life. Also, add dumbbells to your squats for an even better workout.”

 

Q: “What’s the best exercise to tighten my core?”

A: “I love planks! I do them all the time, in many strange places. Planks will make your stomach feel like a rock!” Kathie says.

 

Q: “I hate running, but how can else can I get in a solid cardio workout?”

A: You don’t have to book it to get your heart rate up. Instead of running, which can be difficult for folks with asthma and allergies, try walking briskly outside (or inside, on a treadmill at an incline) or rollerblading. This is low impact, too, which means that it’s easier on weak joints, bad knees and other injuries.

 

Kathie also loves to swim. Freestyle is her stroke of choice, but anything goes. “Also,” she says, “look into vibrational training and check out the ‘power plate.’”

 

Q: “How often do I have to exercise?”

A: “Every day!” Kathie encourages. “I look at exercise as part of my daily routine. For example, how many times do you brush your teeth? Every day, right?”
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/2/2013 12:00:00 AM

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