Hey everyone…Keith here. I thought this week I would put together a list of the most commonly asked exercise questions that I hear. I figured many of you might have these same questions yourself. If you have one that I didn’t address please feel free to ask in either the comments section or send Kelly an email I will get it back to you. So here goes:
I hear the term BMR all the time, but I don’t know what that is?
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. This represents the amount of energy (calories) needed to keep the body functioning at its most basic level to keep the body alive. (Breathing, organ function, temperature regulation, etc.) It accounts for about 60-70% of our total daily energy expenditure but it does NOT include any energy (calories) used for physical exercise or digesting food. To find your BMR:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )
Which is better, free-weights or exercise machines?
Free weights, in my opinion, are better for you. Here’s why: free weights FORCE you to simulate real life lifting situations and promote whole body stabilization. They also allow for a greater range of motion and allow you build muscle more effectively by forcing you to control the path of the weight yourself; rather than having a machine do it for you. This is not to say that machines do not offer some benefit too. They can actually sometimes be better for beginners because the machines’ handles will only move in the direction they are supposed to, and they are typically accompanied by instructions and illustrations. My recommendation would be to do workouts that are 80% based on free weights and only 20% based on machines. If free weights intimidate you then start slowly and incorporate them more and more as you become comfortable.
What is a workout plateau and how do you avoid it?
If you have reached a halt in your weight loss despite continuing exercise or have noticed that your muscles have stopped growing despite continued training, you have reached a plateau. Our bodies are naturally programmed to adapt to repetitive training and stopping the progress of weight loss, strength and endurance. The best way to break out of a plateau is to mix it up. Try different forms of activities and different workout routines. If you typically cycle 3 days a week try changing one day of cycle to a day of swimming. If you always do the same pattern of weights try adding some different weight-bearing exercises into your routine. Also be sure to get enough sleep (at leat 7 to 8 hours a night) and evaluate your nutrition. Try some new foods and new ways of cooking. Breaking your routines is a sure-fire way to bust out of a plateau!
How many calories do I have to burn to lose a pound of fat?
One pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories. If you’re goal is to lose 1 pound of fat per week you will need to increase you activity levels by 500 calories per day, reduce you caloric intake by 500 calories per day or settle on a combination of the two.
How often should I exercise?
I feel most people should participate in some physical activity for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week. I do understand how busy our lives get. That said, I typically recommend an absolute minimum of one hour, three days per week.
How accurate are the calorie-burning counters on cardio machines?
The short answer: Not very. They tend to over-estimate calorie burn by a fair amount — up to 30 percent, depending on the machine. Stationary bikes, treadmills, and machines that allow you to enter your weight tend to be more accurate; but my recommendation would be to get a heart rate monitor where you can plug in your own body statistics and let that be your guide to your caloric burn.
Should I eat before or after a workout?
Ideally, both. Before you workout you want to eat something small that is higher in carbohydrates to fuel you with energy. A piece of toast or 1/2 banana with a small amount of jam or peanut butter (if you stomach can handle it) or a handful of raisins would be good. After a workout, you want to replace the carbohydrates and glycogen (stored glucose that’s used for energy) that were depleted or you’ll be more susceptible to injury and burnout. And the sooner you eat (ideally with 30 to 45 minutes) the more likely those nutrients will go to the place where they were expended and are needed most. Research suggests that a snack with a carb-to-protein ratio of four to one is the most beneficial.
How often do I need to buy new workout shoes?
The general rule is every 500 miles or every 6 months.
So there you have it! I am sure I missed some so please let me know if there is something specific you want to know! Challenge for this week: Break out of your routine and try one new form of exercise that you don’t normally do!
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