Fitness Questions & Answers

Q: I’ve gotten really adept at strength training, and my gains have been steady. However, I’ve been neglecting cardio in favor of it. Am I really setting myself back by not running? I feel great without it.

A: For optimal health, you really need to mix in some cardio. The goal should be 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity (walking, for example) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity (jogging). If you warm up with aerobic activity for 10 to 15 minutes before you lift weights, and then for 10 to 15 minutes afterward, it will go a long way toward helping you achieve the above goals.

Q: I know it’s important to do stretches before any fitness regimen. How long should my stretching routine take before I get into my workout?

A: There are no hard-and-fast rules for exactly how much stretching you should do, and it really depends on the type and intensity of the particular workout you’re doing. For a basic running, walking, or aerobic workout, 5 to 15 minutes should be enough. For a more vigorous workout, such as the various martial arts, 20 to 30 minutes or more may be necessary.

Q: I’ve lost five pounds, but I need to lose seven more due to marginal blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. What would be your recommendation?
First of all, congratulations on starting and maintaining your exercise program.If weight loss is your goal, you need to add calorie restriction to your routine. Simply stated, good weight-loss programs are composed of more physical activity and a reduction in how much you eat. Your goal should be to cut at least 500 calories per day out of your diet, which will result in approximately 1 pound of weight loss per week.

Marianna Szoke
Personal Trainer, Pilates Master Trainer, Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant