Personal trainer Lisa Paquette discusses nutrition, workouts and fitness expectations.

With bikini diets coming to homes near you, we touched base with local personal trainer Lisa Paquette. Paquette trains at Columbus Sports Connection and the Athletic Club of Columbus, and teaches yoga at V Power Yoga.

What is the biggest goal most women have to improve their bodies for swimsuit season?

First thing would be abs. Second thing is arms-especially now. Michelle Obama has created this craze, and everybody wants Michelle Obama arms.

Do most women have too high of expectations for what their bodies can look like?

I don't think so. I think they have too high expectations for what they can accomplish for what they're willing to put into it. You can't eat chocolate cake every night or drink four beers every night and expect to be a size two.

What are the biggest nutritional mistakes you see people making?

Not eating enough protein. And eliminating all carbs out of your diet, because carbs are a good thing. You need some of them to have energy to do anything. So any major, major restrictions on anything like that.

How often should women be working out?

Opinions vary, and it depends on age and goals and medical situations. But I say cardio at least twice a week. Go out and take a nice 30-mintue walk, and that can be it. But it can't be a stroll with a dog. Weight-bearing twice a week. And then give yourself one day of stretching, yoga, flexibility-something.

A lot of women don't think they can afford a personal trainer. But they don't need one for every workout. Talk about having a personal trainer on a budget.

If you're limited financially, work with a trainer who will see you once a week or once every two weeks, or whenever you can afford it, to help create a program. Your muscles start getting used to your activities, so you want to be able to revisit that trainer every so often (to change up your workouts).

Any parting words of wisdom?

When I started training, somebody told me their definition of fitness, and it really clicked to me. Fitness does not have one element. To be totally physically fit, you have to be able to have strength, have endurance so you can go for a period of time, have balance, and then have flexibility.



Kristy Eckert is editor of Capital Style.