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Fitness instructor says choose the exercise you like

The El Paso Times wants to help you reach your goals in 2019, so we have a regular column for Motivational Monday. Goal of the week: exercise for better health.

Lorraine O’Donnell has some tips for those who want to lose weight through exercise.

“People are trying to do better and lose the pounds they gained on vacation. Not all students stay that way,” O’Donnell said. “And usually it’s because there isn’t a good match between exercise and exercise.”

O’Donnell, 70, knows it. As a fitness instructor for over 35 years, she has taught pretty much all exercise trends – aerobics, Pilates, Jazzercise, step-aerobics, spin, and kickboxing.

But what she always loved – and what she still does today – is dancing.

Lorraine O'Donnell, 70, is an inspiration to anyone who wants to exercise.  She has been dancing since she was in college.

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“I used to take ballet lessons, in private studios and also at UTEP. I became a trim and tone dancer years ago with Cindy LeBleu and it was all choreography and dance. And I thought it was for me, ”she said. “What motivates me is good music and movement over music.”

O’Donnell teaches salsa to seniors on Mondays and Wednesdays at the YWCA on Brown Street. The class includes dance steps to music including merengue, cha cha, rumba, cumbia, and bachata.

“There is a lot of research showing that certain songs can improve people’s workout,” she said.

Fitness instructor Lorraine O'Donnell incorporates different types of dance into her class at the YWCA in Central El Paso.

O’Donnell said it’s important to find an instructor with national certification, such as through ACE, the American Council of Education, so that students don’t injure themselves while exercising.

The instructor, who was an educator and principal for many years, said she was usually the oldest instructor when she took training classes.

“It makes me feel good because they look and say, ‘I can do this for a long time if I take care of myself,'” she said. ” Safety first. “

O’Donnell is particularly concerned about older people who exercise. She wants to make sure that the music is not so loud that it hurts their ears, that they learn to do squats properly and not to jump, which is not good for the older generations. .

Lorrain O'Donnell includes weights in his exercise class at Central El Paso YWCA.

The longtime instructor attributes his endurance and energy to his regular exercise. She often started her day at 5 am teaching a fitness class, then became the first at Clint High School as a principal in the late 90s. She stayed up late to prepare for her doctorate.

With people now living much longer, O’Donnell finds it even more urgent to motivate adults to think about their lifestyle.

“It’s very possible that you live to be 100 years old. Before, it was rare to see people in their 90s. I’m going to play bridge at the bridge center and it’s filled with 90s,” he said. she declared. “What kind of life do you want to have in your 90s, you have to think about it today.”

Training tips: stay motivated, rested

Here are his tips for staying motivated in exercise for more energy and better sleep:

  • Think about the food: Do not be obsessed but reduce the amount of food. “One of the things I do is box half of it and bring half of it,” to restaurants, she said. “If they put it in front of me, I’ll start talking with my friends and then let’s go.”
  • Tune in during exercise: Listen to your favorite music or a book. Then you won’t think how hard you are breathing, because you are listening to the music or the story.
  • Exercise with objectives: If you walk, walk a little faster or for longer. Get in the habit of setting goals, but don’t compete with the gym star. Every three months, try to do better.
  • Program it: You can’t just say I’ll go when I get out of work. Find a time that works for you and save it. Don’t let anything interfere with this. And even better, do it with a friend for support and accountability.
  • For the quality of life, you need range of motion: if you can’t raise your arms or bend down to pick up your little one, that’s talking about stretching. And the stretch at the end of the exercise is more important than at the beginning when your muscles are cold.
  • María Cortés González can be reached at 546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.

Things to do

What: Salsa Seniors

When: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays

Or: YWCA, 1600 Brown Street

Details: Anyone can take the course, but you must be a member of the YWCA. Subscriptions start at $ 28 per month, depending on type


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