- What’s the best way to start exercising if I am completely out of shape?
Literally just put one foot in front of the other. You probably have heard the quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi (or at some time probably read it after opening a fortune cookie) that: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And walking is nothing to be ashamed of. It really is exercise and there are all kinds of athletic people and celebrities in amazing shape who use it to stay that way. Get a pedometer and take at least 10,000 ‘baby steps’ a day and start improving your fitness.
- My parents never exercised. Do I have any possibility of becoming an exercise person?
It’s understandable that you wouldn’t like working out if you never saw anyone in your family doing it. After all, we first learn how to take care of ourselves by observing our parents’ habits, and if making time for fitness wasn’t a priority for them, it may feel like exercise is only for athletic types of people; but you don’t need to be part of a special type of gene pool to become an exerciser. Just remind yourself how your life will change, whether it’s to be able to wear a particular outfit, to feeling more confident at work, to the ability to keep up with your kids or dance at your daughter’s wedding someday. Think about these things when you tell yourself you hate exercising.
- Does including the time spent cheering on your children at all their sporting events count as exercising?
It does count, but only if you are moving up and down those sidelines. Research shows that the more “non-exercise activity” that you do during your normal every day activities, the healthier you’ll be and the more weight you’ll lose. So look for every opportunity to move, like pacing at your kid’s games or walking around the block while talking with a friend on your mobile phone. Gadgets like the Fitbit and Nike+ FuelBand can help keep you motivated: Just wear them all day and they add up your movement.
- After starting working out I gaining more weight. How is exercise helping if it increases my appetite?
First, there are benefits to exercise besides weight loss. You reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia and get mental-health perks. But to keep your weight in control, be sure that your blood sugar (glucose) levels remain steady. That way you won’t end up feeling like you’re starving and therefore prone to overeating. Before exercising, have snack with 15 to 25 grams of carbohydrates (half a banana will work). After exercising eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates (two good options are: plain yogurt with fresh fruit or a tablespoon of peanut butter on toast). And be sure to keep a food journal to stay accountable.
- Does jogging slowly give you the same calorie burn as running?
As long as you’re moving, you are burning calories. But if you pick up the speed even just a little bit and the changes will surprise you! If you go from a 15 minute mile (about 4 miles per hour) to a 12 minute mile (about 5 miles per hour) you will burn 28% more calories!
- Can I skip my workout if I’m sore?
Most likely, no. Post work-out soreness is generally a sign that you’ve put your muscles to work. It’s safe and good to exercise through the ache, although you may need to switch up the routine. If your legs are sore from running, try an upper-body workout. The major exception: If the pain is in an isolated area, for example; your left thigh hurts but not your right, may indicate you have an injury that requires rest until it fully heals.
- You are supposed to tighten up your stomach muscles when you exercise, but I can’t even feel them. How do I know I even have abdominal muscles?
You most certainly do. However, when you are standing up or lying down on your back, it sometimes can be difficult to feel your abdominal muscles. To get the sensation of working those muscles, try starting on your hands and knees with your back straight (not arched or rounded) and let your gut hang down. Breath in, and then as you breath out, pull your stomach in as tight as you can and repeat this a few times. Practicing developing this muscle memory will help you tighten your abdominal muscles while you are exercising.
- Why does everyone else seem to know what to do in yoga, spin, kick boxing, etcetera classes?
I assure you everyone starts off not knowing. But there are ways of knowing the terminology and poses etcetera so you’re not folding over your legs when you’re supposed to be standing on one foot. If you are practicing at a gym or studio, look for the beginner’s class on the schedule. Here the instructors won’t assume you know anything, so they’ll guide you step by step. DVDs and YouTube videos can also be a great way to learn what goes on in a class. Watch the video at least once through to get a sense of what is going on before following along.
- If you only have ten minutes, should you even bother to exercise?
Yes! First, it will get you into the habit of daily exercising, not to mention 10 minutes of exercise seven times a week adds up to 400 to 500 calories burned a week. That’s 2,000 calories a month! Even if you only have 10 minutes, do both strength and cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories during the workout, but strength training increases muscle mass, which means you’ll burn more calories after the workout is over. An easy way to do it, is to jog in place for 3 minutes, then run through a routine using an app downloaded to your smart phone like the 7 Minute Workout Challenge.
- (This one is for you ladies) Will running make your breasts sag?
It depends on what you wear. There are interwoven ligaments that help hold the breasts together and in place along the chest wall. Unfortunately, these ligaments stretch easily, so if you don’t have enough support, your breast tissue may lose it’s tone and eventually gravity will take over. But a highly supportive sports bra such as: Champion’s All-Out Support can greatly minimize any motion and stretching that may cause sagging.
I hope you enjoyed these answers to these 10 embarrassing questions about exercising and that they help you to lose weight and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia so you can live a happier healthier life. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or if you’d rather prefer it feel free to contact us through this site’s contact page.