1. What can I do if I'm too tired to exercise?
The reason you do not have any energy is that you do not exercise. When you exercise, you have more energy, you sleep better, work more efficiently and generally feel better. Exercise replaces fat with muscle. Participating in aerobic exercise and weight training also boosts your metabolic rate. Muscle is active tissue and consumes calories; stored fat is inert and uses very little energy. Believe it, a balanced exercise program will enable you to be more active and more energetic.
2. Is it possible to benefit from an exercise program of 45 minutes or so-2 to 3 times per week?
A lot of exercise can be accomplished in 45 minutes, especially using the circuit training programs offered in most fitness centers. Machines are set up in a row and you follow the "circuit". You perform only one set at each station. This type of weight training is very time efficient and effective.
3. Will a woman look like a man if she lifts weights?
Absolutely not. Women do not have the hormones necessary to create those "large" muscles. However, women should lift weights. Most women begin to lose bone and muscle mass at about age 40; in part because of this, they start to slow down. Women who lift weights on a regular basis can have bodies that are 15 to 20 years more youthful. Women of all ages can benefit from strength training because it increases metabolism, replaces fat with muscle and provides you with more energy. *Strong Women Stay Young-Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University with Sarah Wernick, Ph. D
4. How old is "too" old?
Age is no barrier. Recent research at a variety of institutions has shown that people can exercise well into their 90's with dramatic results. They improve balance, strength and independence. In fact, at Fitness World, we have an exercise class for members that are 60 and above. They are enjoying their strength training classes and gaining balance, strength and recovered energy.
5. Why is there so much emphasis placed on drinking water?
About 75% of your body is water. Drinking plenty of water each day is a good prescription for staying healthy. There's plenty of water in food, yet researchers say most people, particularly men, don't consume enough water. A general rule of thumb is to try to consume from nine to twelve cups of fluid, especially water, a day in addition to everything else. If you exercise and it's a hot day or the humidity is high, drink extra. * *Consumer Reports on Health, November 1999
6. What are the components of a well rounded fitness program?
Diet, exercise, fluid intake, especially water, and sleep, all help promote a healthy body. Diet is a very important part of any fitness program. NOT DIETING, but your diet, those foods you eat daily to keep your body in good working order. You should become aware and in control of what you eat. A good diet enables you to perform well while exercising. Exercise should consist of some form of aerobics (walking, swimming, running, etc.) daily.* Weight training should be done two to three times per week and stretching at least three times per week. A good water intake helps to keep your body hydrated and flushes out waste products produced while exercising. Finally, sleep is very important. It allows your body to recover, build and rejuvenate for the next day. *The Surgeon General's Report
7. What is the single best exercise I can do?
There is no single best exercise. Ideally, an exercise program will have components of strength training, cardio vascular exercise, and flexibility. Any exercise is better than nothing, even walking or simple calisthenics do provide a portion of the exercise required to keep your body healthy. But the best exercise for you is one that you will be consistent with. One of the best ways to be consistent with an exercise program is to exercise with a buddy and establish a time and place to exercise.
8. What is a fitness assessment? Do I need one?
A fitness assessment is a battery of tests designed to determine your body composition and your ability to perform certain activities related to fitness. In most fitness assessments, your score on each test is rated relative to the general population for your age and gender. Fitness assessments will generally test your muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and body fat percentage. It can be helpful to a fitness trainer in designing an exercise program for the individual, but don’t let the lack of a fitness assessment prevent you from starting an exercise program. However, a fitness assessment will help you determine if you are achieving your fitness goals.
9. Why would anyone need a personal trainer?
Personal trainers can help you in several ways. First, a good trainer takes the guesswork out of training. The personal trainer will design your program to get you in the best shape in the least amount of time. Second, results in any training program are proportional to the effort you put forth in each and every workout. Your personal trainer will push you to physical limits that you can’t reach on your own. This level of effort can dramatically improve your results. Finally, scheduling your workouts by appointment with a personal trainer will guarantee consistency in your training. While many factors affect the results you obtain with an exercise program, consistency is the one of the most important factors when you are trying to reach you fitness goals.
10. What are the advantages of having a workout buddy?
Buddy workouts provide most of the benefits of the personal trainer question above. Your buddy can push you to train more consistently by spotting you and motivating you to reach higher goals. You and your buddy’s mutual dependence on each other also improves consistency in your workout schedule.
11. I am over 65 and have never exercised. Am I too old to begin? Is there an age limit to beginning an exercise program?
Age is no barrier when it comes to exercise. The benefits of exercise are even more dramatic to persons your age and older. Increased strength and endurance means retaining your independence, even regaining independence you may have lost. More energy, improved balance, stronger bones, mental clarity, and emotional well-being are all benefits you can expect from getting on a regular exercise program. And, by the way, no one is too old to start exercising. Numerous research studies have shown exercise to be beneficial to men and women in their 80’s and 90’s.
12. All the fitness magazines are filled with ads proclaiming miraculous results with their products. Which ones really work?
It is fairly safe to say that none of the supplements are going to meet the expectations most consumers have after reading those ads. All supplement companies are required by law to conspicuously post disclaimers that seem to contradict the claims they make. Many of the supplements you refer to are untested in valid scientific research studies. Many professional personal trainers will tell you that the best supplements for general use are a good multivitamin/mineral and a high quality protein supplement for heavy weight trainers. Glucosamine for joints, creatine for temporary size gains, and a responsible use of an ECA stack for energy and weight loss generally receive high marks. However, no supplement is a magic pill. Consistent weight training and a sensible diet will provide the most reliable tools to achieving your fitness goals.