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A few popular fitness questions and answers

As a personal trainer I get asked loads of fitness-related questions. Below are some of the most common:

Q: How many times should I work out?

A: If you are striving for weight loss, consider two days of moderate activity (where you are a little out of breath but can still hold a conversation) and two days of vigorous aerobic activity or high intensity interval training.

For strength training, aim for two to three days that include compound exercises such as lunges and lateral raises, squats and shoulder presses; deadlift to bent-over row.

Q: I just want to lose my stomach, what abdominal exercises can I do?

A: Abdominal exercises are great for strengthening your core and back, but there is no such thing as spot-reducing fat. Cardiovascular workouts will be the most effective in reducing the amount of accumulated fat on the body.

Q: I went to the gym today, time for that cheat meal. I deserve it! I’ll just burn it off tomorrow, right?

A: If you are going to have that cheat meal, have it. However don’t eat it with the intentions of burning it off. Unless you are Flora Duffy or Tyler Buttefield, there’s only a slim chance that you’ll work out hard enough or long enough for that to be true. A Philly cheesesteak, for example, has between 700 and 1000 calories. That would take about four hours of yoga to burn off; a cheeseburger has about 600 calories or more - it would take about 90 minutes of kayaking to burn off. All that to say it’s better to enjoy exercise and not focus on burning off food.

Q: I have no time for exercise, what can I do?

A: This is the most common complaint. If finding time to work out is a challenge, focus on getting small workouts in. Try and take several five-minute breaks for a brisk walk where you are slightly out of breath, take conference calls on the treadmill or incorporate squats and push-ups while doing house work or cooking. Doing something is better than nothing at all.

Q: Why can’t I just do cardio?

A: Cardiovascular training is fabulous for building strong hearts and lungs. However if you want muscle definition, you need to incorporate strength training. Strength training can actually boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories post-workout. Just doing cardio can place the body in a calorie deficit, where muscle becomes a source of fuel for the body. Over time, you may start to notice that you are losing muscle mass. Use cardio in conjunction with weightlifting to reduce the risk of losing muscle.

Q: Will my workouts get easier?

A: Many assume that as the body becomes stronger and more familiar with the exercises performed each week, their workouts will eventually become easier. However, working with a trainer will keep your body guessing and moving forward at an appropriate rate. When exercises are progressed consistently, the body never truly adapts to the workout, making each session feel just as challenging as the one before.

Stay informed and B-Active For Life!

Just doing cardio can place the body in a calorie deficit, where muscle becomes a source of fuel for the body warns Betty Doyling (File photograph)

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Published November 04, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 02, 2020 at 1:35 pm)

A few popular fitness questions and answers

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