Frequently asked fitness questions. We’ve already spent some time debunking fitness myths so now let’s turn our attention to frequently asked questions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED FITNESS QUESTIONS
How often should I workout? Really, you should be moving every day, but if I have to answer this it would be to set aside at least 3 days a week for a scheduled workout. If you can’t commit to a full 60-75 minutes then it’s fine to break it up into manageable chunks. If you are training for an event or competition then you’ll need to be working out more often.
What’s better, free weights or machines? When using free weights you are forced to engage all of your stabilizing muscles. Machines are designed to help facilitate your movements and target very specific muscle groups. If you are recovering from an injury or brand new to working out, it’s probably safer to start by using the machines. For more on this subject visit Free Weight VS Machines.
What should I eat before working out? It depends when you are working out and what you are doing. I find that if I’m going for a run first thing in the morning a little bit of water will suffice, but I do need some easily digestible carbs for a strength training workout. Generally, however, eating some carbs such as yogurt, fruit or peanut butter will be enough about an hour before your workout.
What should I eat after a workout? Post workout refueling is all about restoring lost glycogen stores, so it’s important to eat a meal consisting of complex carbohydrates and protein no more than an hour after finishing your workout. Just be careful not to eat more calories than you’ve burned or you will find yourself gaining weight.
I don’t like weights, can I just do cardio? No. Weights are a must for building stronger and more defined muscles while cardio is essential for your heart. You need a combination of both for a complete workout. Another plus to changing up your workout (alternating cardio and weight days) is that you are protecting yourself from overuse injuries.
I hate weight lifting, is there any kind of other resistance training? The short answer is yes. Depending on your goals, however, weight lifting might be best but there are so many other types of strength training workouts that don’t involve traditional weights. Kettle bells, bands and cables and pulleys are also great options.
Should I be doing cardio or weights first? There’s a lot of discussion around this topic and for most of us, it doesn’t really matter. What counts is that you’ve done it. In other words, if you love weights and hate cardio, do the cardio first. Or try mixing it up by adding bursts of cardio in between lifting sessions.
I want to lose weight, what’s the best diet for me? Whatever works for you. It’s all about being consistent and steady with your diet. The key to remember is that it’s vital to choose a diet that’s healthy and realistic to maintain. Pick a fad diet that’s too low in calories or very limiting with food groups and you’ll soon find yourself falling off the wagon.
As a trainer I was often asked these and other similar questions. While I know that everyone is looking for a magic pill or a great shortcut, unfortunately they don’t exist. The good news is that unless you have a pre-existing condition, as long as you stick to a healthy diet and stay active then being fit, healthy and fabulous is within your reach!
Do you have any fitness or diet questions you’d like answered?