As a trainer, I absolutely love working with people who are brand new to fitness because I get to educate them so they understand why exercise is so crucial to our wellbeing.
In this post, I thought I’d go over some of the fitness FAQs I get on a regular basis, on the topics of cardio, weight training and flexibility.
Fitness FAQ #1: How important is it that I do cardio?
Aerobic fitness results in a more efficient heart by lowering your resting heart rate. It burns fat, and ultimately buys you more years by reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardio also increases blood flow to your muscles and other tissues in your body.
Your body was meant to move and be active, and by doing cardio you are giving your body exactly what it needs!
If you don’t like cardio, tough luck! You need it! Take some catchy tunes with you to the gym, join a fun cardio class, go for a run, take the stairs, or tackle an uphill. Yes, I mean it!
Fitness FAQ #2: Why is weight training important?
Cardio may lose you fat, but it is weight training that will build you the muscle which increases your basal metabolic rate so you burn more calories at rest.
Through weight training, you also have the opportunity to strengthen many areas of your body that are weak and may cause you pain and discomfort. For example, the abductors, the muscles on the outer side of your leg, tend to be quite weak, and yet they are extremely important to stabilize your hips. The muscles in your mid-back also tend to be quite weak, especially if you have a desk job – back exercises are excellent at correcting your posture! The list goes on and on.
Being sedentary, as well as getting older, atrophies our muscles – what doesn’t get used, gets lost. The only way to swim against the tide is through weight training, and reminding your muscles that they are still needed.
Fitness FAQ #3: I’m female. Won’t I bulk up if I do weights?
Actually you won’t! Females lack the one crucial element needed to truly bulk up, and that is the male hormone testosterone. What you will achieve is a more toned physique and an increase in your overall strength. When you do weights you become less prone to injury, because you learn how to go through the moves safely and effectively.
Your body is also forced to recruit more muscle fibers, which will actually improve your cardio performance. So there is no need to be afraid of picking up that weight – in fact, you need to!
Fitness FAQ #4: On the topic of flexibility – why is it important to be flexible?
Flexibility is the element of fitness that gives your body the range of motion it needs to perform well during your workouts. If you lack optimal range of motion, you will not get the most out of your workout.
Optimal range of motion allows you to get deeper into the exercise, which means greater results. And isn’t that the reason you started doing this in the first place? Think a partial squat versus a regular squat: which one do you think will be more effective?
All of that being said, flexibility is also the one component of fitness the majority of people tend to ignore. It feels like a waste of time, because you’re sitting there not burning many calories. Instead, think of it this way – it’s the maintenance that your body needs, so it performs well during actual exercise. It’s like making sure you do a regular oil change on your car.
Fitness FAQ #5: I’m not very flexible. Where do I begin?
Remember: everyone’s flexibility is different based on their genetic makeup and their current level of fitness. Not everyone can do the splits, no matter how hard they try. Age is also a factor, as we tend to lose elasticity in our joints and muscles as we advance through life.
If you’re not very flexible to begin with, this actually makes stretching even more important! In our lives, we perform many tasks that limit our range of motion and shorten our muscles: sitting for long periods of time, hunching over a computer or a cell phone, you name it. That’s why we get lower back pain and achy all over. Our bodies need to open up and discover that there is more to movement than what we do in our day to day lives. That’s how you help your body stay young.
To begin, just do what you can. If you can’t reach your toes, just reach for your shins. The key is to practice, and with time, you are going to see awesome improvements!
After being skinny unfit for the majority of my life, I discovered fitness by accident once I became a mom and started working out with my husband. A couple of years later, I started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals and couples juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active.
My mission is to teach people about fitness and work with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes. My personal values include being professional, honest and transparent in all of my doings but also being funny and silly because that’s what makes life (and your training sessions) fun!
Every day I hear from tons of individuals and couples who are dying to get more active but they just need that extra push! Getting people started on a fitness program is what I love to do. Check out my personal training packages and share your story with me so I can help you reach your fitness goals!