Ask the Coach
1. I've been working out for several months, but I still feel like I'm struggling each time. Any suggestions?
First, getting enough restful sleep is important to energy levels, six to eight hours. Dehydration can make you feel tired. Remember; sodas, coffee and alcohol dehydrate you. Drink lots of water. Eating meals and snacks frequently are very important. Workouts need fuel. Evaluate your workout: time, intensity and frequency. You should get breathy, for at least 30 minutes, five times a week; weight training two or three a week; stretch at least once a week for 20 minutes. Start with your major muscle groups first, and check your form. If you need help, seek the advice of a certified personal trainer.
2. Should I do weight training or cardio first during my workout routine?
Experts still don’t agree. Your goal will determine what to do first. Building muscle means you increase your BMR (basic metabolic rate) burning more calories 24/7. If more muscle is the goal, then weight training comes first. Focus on strength and training with multi-joint exercises. For weight loss, you may want to do your cardio first. Running/weights has the greatest post exercise calorie expenditure. If you are training for a marathon, you may want to run first because running after a leg workout can be brutal. For me, it’s weights before cardio.
3. I'm menopausal and starting to put on a few pounds. I don't exercise regularly, where should I start?
Most women feel like they lose their waistlines and put on too much weight after or during menopause. You feel itchy, grouchy, hot, cold, etc. First, make sure you have your hormones checked by a qualified physician. Get the okay from your physician to start an exercise program. Begin by walking, using a stationary bike or a beginner’s exercise class. Have a qualified fitness professional show you a basic weight routine on the weight machines. Do some flexibility exercises, yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates. Find classes and types of exercise you enjoy. You should get breathy, strength train and stretch. Engage in a new activity: tennis, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, etc. Life is movement!