Below are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive from interested students. If you have additional questions please email Amy Richardville.

Can exercise help me to reduce the feeling of stress in my daily life?

Absolutely, one of the great benefits of a regular excise program is stress reduction and mood enhancement. Research has shown that exercise also helps people who have trouble with depression. Many people talk of a “runner high” and there is indeed truth behind the good feeling that people get with regular exercise.

What is the latest research saying about how much exercise per day is needed to keep off weight that a person has lost?

Previous research had indicated that exercising 30 minutes per day would allow people who lost body fat to maintain their weight loss. One recent study of 2,800 people found that one hour per day of exercise was necessary to maintain weight loss. There is quite a bit of research that is being done on this topic. Regardless of the researchers; agreement on the exact duration of exercise that is required for fat loss maintenance, one thing is clear, daily exercise is necessary to lose and keep excess body fat or to maintain ones already healthy body weight.

What is a warm-up?

The basic definition of a warm-up is mild, brief exercise that is done to prepare the body for more vigorous exercise. It is always important to warm-up before exercising. A general warm-up involves gradual movement of the large muscle groups and stretching after the muscles are warm. It is important to never stretch a cold muscle.

I am so busy that I don’t have time to work out. What can I do?

Everyone has the same 24 hours in each day. Amazingly, people who never have time to work out find time to eat, watch television, socialize, etc. You can spend just a few hours a week for your health, but the key is to schedule your workout time as if it is any other important appointment that cannot be canceled or skipped. It is, in fact, one of the most important appointments you can schedule for yourself. Many people have work and family obligations and neglect their health by not exercising. When you schedule your workout, don't answer the phone, schedule something new, take on an additional commitment, etc. Research has shown that if you do not make working out one of the top four priorities in your day, you will not get it done.

Many people who have tight schedules find it easiest to get up earlier each day. Even just one-half hour can work. This will give you time to schedule partial workouts each day. Use three days for cardio training and three days for resistance training and you still have one day to sleep in. When you first begin working out in the morning it may feel difficult to get up earlier and you may be more tired than usual. This will subside in a few weeks and you will actually feel more energized. Realize that making time for your workout is not a luxury, but an important part of your health regime. Take a close look at your daily schedule and find a way to make your workout as important and as habitual as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It is certainly just as important.

I want to lose weight, specifically body fat. Shouldn’t I just do aerobic or cardiovascular workout and skip the weight training?

It is important for your fitness program to include cardiovascular training, resistance training, and flexibility training. This is still true when loss of body fat is your primary goal. Resistance training not only strengthens and develops your muscles, but also helps you burn more calories even when at rest.

Research has shown that people who include resistance training along with cardiovascular training not only lose more body fat than those who only do cardio training, but are also more likely to keep the excess weight off. Incorporate resistance training into your fitness program by training each of your major muscles groups 2-3 times per week. Just one exercise per muscle group will give you the basic fitness you need to strengthen and tone your entire body.

Is skipping a meal here or there a good way to lose weight? I think I can skip a meal every now and then without even missing it.

Absolutely not, skipping meals actually does just the opposite of your goal and makes it harder to lose weight. Skipping meals lowers your resting metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories at rest), lowers your energy level (no fuel to burn), and makes your body think it is in a state of starvation (therefore “rationing” the fat on your body). Skipping meals also creates cravings, throws off your hormone levels, and alters the chemicals in your brain. Rather than skipping meals to lose weight, use healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, to fill in the time between meals to boost your energy levels and your body’s metabolism.

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