Fitness Friday : Q & A

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Thank you everyone for your kind words and enthusiasm for 

Fitness Friday

s.

In this post, I am addressing questions I get asked very frequently. For details on each answer, please refer to the source next to the question. 

Is stretching before and after exercise necessary? (source, source)

I always thought stretching before any exercise is a MUST but saw some new research suggesting warming up is more important than stretching. It is recommended to do a "slower version of the exercise you're about to perform". Stretching does help with flexibility, lengthening muscle tissue, improving posture and body awareness and helps neutralize stress. For best results, stretch after your workout when the muscles are warm and most elastic. 

Should I do cardio or strength training for weight loss?

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Both.

Calorie for calorie - cardio has a slight advantage but

strength training helps build muscle, and more muscle helps you burn more calories even when you're doing nothing but sitting on the couch.

What is a interval training?

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When you alternate your exercise between bursts of higher-intensity exercise and periods of less-intense exercise or active rest. As you get more fit, you decrease the "rest" time and increase the high-intensity periods.

I never exercise, where do I begin?

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If you have never exercised, struggled in the past, or have a medical condition - I would seek professional help before you start exercising. However, if you are physically fit and want to incorporate physical activity into your life, start with these simple steps:

  • Instead of the elevator - take stairs
  • Park further away and walk to your destination (office, grocery store, home) 
  • If possible, take a walk after your lunch or dinner
  • Plan something active/outdoor activity that you enjoy such as walking, cycling, rowing a boat, hiking etc.

If you want a little more rigorous routine - join a gym, go to a nearby park, or work out at home. The recommendation is 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week at your maximum heart rate. Besides aerobic exercise, incorporating weight training will help tone muscles and elevate resting metabolism rate (the rate that the body burns fuel for energy).

What is a rep and a set? (source)

If you are like me always confused with so many gym terms. Lets start with the basics.

Repetition (rep) - The number of times you lift and lower a weight in one set of an exercise. For example, if you lift and lower a weight 10 times before setting the weight down, you have completed 10 "reps" in one set. 

Set - Group of reps (lifting and lowering a weight) of an exercise after which you take a brief rest period. For example, if you complete 10 reps, set the weight down, complete eight more reps, set the weight down again, and repeat for six more reps, you have completed three sets of the exercise.

- Do you usually stretch or warm up before starting your workout? 

- If you do, have you noticed an improvement in your performance? less injuries?

Feel free to send me your questions via

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, on the comment or

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them.