Ask The Trainer

11

Is it possible to spot tone my body?

Toning a specific area or spot reducing is a myth. Example: If you do crunches to tone your abs hoping for spot reduction of body fat in that area, and to gain a tight, muscular appearance, it’s not going to work. Fat is gained and lost from all over the body.  Diet and cardio reveal the toned muscle you have developed underneath the adipose tissue, or fat. Weight training, cardio, and a solid nutrition plan get you the results you are looking for.

I exercise. So how important is it that I eat right?

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a casual exerciser, what you eat has a direct correlation to your fitness goals. Your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fluids to fuel your fitness and recovery. Even if you’re not competing in a sport with a finish line, eating right can help you train harder, delay the onset of fatigue, boost your immune system, facilitate weight loss and muscle growth, and aid in your workout recovery. With the right diet, you can achieve the best you can be.

I’m doing cardio every day, but I am not losing weight!

Losing weight is moving more than you consume. It is a math equation. Food is fuel, so you must burn what you eat first and then dip into fat storage on the body for energy after that.  So, check your diet for hidden calories in drinks, condiments, processed foods, treats, and foods high in calories disguised as healthy or low fat. Check your portion control: are you under stress, getting enough rest, or enough fiber? Are you drinking enough water? How long have you been on your program and are you consistent? Results take time. Muscle weighs more than fat, so tape measure yourself or try on that tight pair of jeans to gauge your progress.

Is it better to workout in the morning or afternoon?

Things happen as the day goes on so my advice, set two alarms and get up early. Exercising early gets you up and moving, provides more energy for the rest of the day, and provides feel good hormones to tackle whatever the day brings. Mornings are tough but focus on how great you feel for investing in your health and wellbeing.

What’s better for burning calories; the stationary bike, treadmill, or the elliptical?

Sitting down, rather than supporting your own weight through space, burns fewer calories. The treadmill and elliptical would then burn more calories than a stationary bike would. The elliptical would cause less joint stress but the treadmill would build more bone density. Get on the stair climber (not stepper) or climb real stairs. Now that will burn a few calories.