Having the knowledge, motivation and desire to maintain a healthy, happy and active lifestyle is so rewarding in itself; having the understanding that your actions give you the opportunity to maximize your life span and quality of life as you age makes all the difference! I am happy to have so many of my readers take the time to comment and send questions about particular health and fitness topics! Please see my responses to some of the latest questions from you, the readers!
I run 5 days a week, I have made great gains in my speed, endurance and stamina, but I can’t seem to lose weight and I still carry weight in the belly and arms. I look like I don’t exercise at all! Why is this? Would I be better off to start working out instead?
Running will increase your cardio-vascular efficiency, making your heart stronger and more efficient. It will also increase your basal metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories when you’re at rest. Running itself burns calories at a rate of about 115 calories per mile. But all of this together does not automatically lead to weight loss!
Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. That means you'll burn an additional 25 percent of the calories you just burned during your strength session. For every 3 pounds of muscle you build, you'll burn an extra 120 calories a day - because muscle takes more energy to sustain. Targeting each muscle in your body through lifting weights will help to build lean muscle mass and increase strength. This will result in firmer and better-defined muscles and new shape to your body.
So keep on running, but incorporate a weight training program into your routine to reap the rewards and get the best of both worlds!
I work out at the gym but I still don’t understand what exercises to do and what muscle groups I should work when I have my workouts. I know I’m not doing it right because I’m not noticing any changes! I can’t afford to hire a personal trainer so how can I learn to work out the right way?
Being at the gym and not understanding what to do or how to do it can definitely feel intimidating! First off, try not to overwhelm yourself with all of the equipment, different exercises you see people doing or the large selection of functional training equipment that you have no idea of how it can be used. Baby step it! Write down a list of the main muscle groups: biceps, triceps, pecs (chest) shoulders, quadriceps hamstrings, gluteal and calves, back etc.
Go onto Youtube with patience, a pen and paper and find 1 or 2 exercises for each muscle group. With today’s technology you can even save the videos to your smart phone! Master the proper form and technique and every workout. Try finding new exercises to master. Before you know it, you will have confidence in the gym and your body ability. Your understanding of the equipment will change. A few new gym buddies or workout partners may be in your future to help you switch up your routine!
I’m so overwhelmed with all of the rules of eating when trying to eat healthy. It’s so expensive and hard to maintain this diet plan that I’m on. I don’t know how people do this daily? Help!
First, by taking the word “diet” out of your vocabulary, you will find the feeling of “lack of” may disappear! Understanding that you are adding health, taste and nutrition to your meals is a better way to perceive this new change.
Hit the Internet for healthy meal ideas! It is surprising how healthy foods can taste so delicious! Plan your meals in advance so you're buying only what you need. Once your first few initial shops are over you will have all you need. Refreshing on the produce and meats can be a weekly shop. You might just find once in the swing of things, it's actually less expensive to shop healthy as you are not buying all of the expensive unhealthy snacks or precooked frozen foods in a box that last only one serving.
Not everything needs to be purchased at a health food store. Continue shopping at your regular store - start by with loading the buggy with veggies, fruits and nuts. Switch up your white pasta for quinoa or other healthy grains and take the time to read the labels.
For those of you who are bringing awareness to a new and healthier life style, I commend you for your personal growth and development! There will never be as big of a reward than feeling all of the positive effects of your focus, determination and work!
If you have any comments or questions in regards to column content, please contact me directly at [email protected]
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