Being a Wellness Coach is its own party trick. What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve been a personal trainer and nutritionist for over ten years, and when people find out what I do, the questions start flowing. They’re typically the same questions every time. I get it! Our society is obsessed with health trends, and everyone wants to know the fastest, most effective way to the most dramatic results. The truth is, your consistency and commitment to your healthy lifestyle (ie. diet and exercise) is what’s going to lead you to the body you desire, and maintaining that lifestyle is what will keep you looking and feeling incredible. Now, here are your Top 5 fitness questions answered.
A. While it is certainly helpful to do exercises that target specific muscle groups (i.e. triceps, ab/adductors, glutes), you can’t program your body to lose fat from one place and not from others. A workout should impact your entire body, emphasizing certain areas you’re wanting to tone, though you will lose from and firm up all regions of your body. Keep in mind that every body is different, and each one stores fat in different places. This means it will be easier for some people to lose from certain areas, and more difficult for others. As we get older, some of those trouble spots become more stubborn. Grrr. I know. Super frustrating! Keep up the full body exercise with consistency and dedication, and you will see the progress over time.
A. Here’s the deal. Your abs are made in the kitchen, and perfected in the gym. What do I mean by that? The truth is that at least 80% of your physical results are due to your diet, and the remaining 20% are due to exercise. This means you can be killing yourself in the gym, and still building strong muscles, but you might not see the muscle tone and definition if you’re not strict about what you’re eating. You can do tons of core exercises which will certainly strengthen your abdominal muscles, help with stabilization, balance, and overall fitness, but you have to make that same commitment to your eating behavior to see those six-pack abs. Keep in mind, this is NOT an excuse to skip your workout and only focus on your diet! There are MANY health benefits to exercise besides just looking ripped.
A. There are benefits to both cardiovascular exercise, and resistance training. One important thing to keep in mind is that when you’re performing cardio, your body is burning calories while it is moving, but stops shortly after you finish. During weight resistance training, your body is building muscle, and will continue to burn calories for up to an hour after you finish your workout (depending on how hard you train). This means your metabolism is kicked up a notch after the weights, where as not so much with the cardio. Having that said, if you only have 45 or 60 minutes to exercise, I suggest a combination of a short, but intense cardio session, followed by a quick weight lifting workout where you’re doing full body movements. A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout is also a great idea if you’re in a pinch for time.
A. Everyone’s body is different and has energy fluctuations throughout the day. Some people have more energy when they first wake up, and others prefer to exercise after they’ve finished work for the day. Choose what feels right for you. You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout, so do it when you have the energy. Also, make sure you eat something before your workout (leaving at least one hour to digest), and eat something after you’re finished, within one hour of completing your workout.
A. You should be exercising at least three days per week and as many as six days per week. It’s always good to give yourself 1-2 rest days every week to let your muscles recover. There are many things happening in life between work, family, and every other excuse you can think of that can get in the way of exercise, if you let it. Start asking the question “When am I going to exercise today?” instead of “Am I going to exercise today?” Even if you only have 20 minutes, it’s better than nothing. There are a plethora of quick fitness videos to be found online, or at least squeeze in a walk during your lunch break, or in your neighborhood before or after work. Every little bit helps. Aim to do SOMETHING five days a week for 20-30 minutes. Once this becomes more of a routine, you can choose a couple of those days for a more extended workout. Perhaps you find a class that fits into your schedule, or set your alarm early once or twice a week to get into the gym. Whatever you do, just move your body!
By Allison Wells