The 7 Most Popular Fitness Questions

If you're interested in fitness or getting back into fitness, these questions may be on your mind.

How often should I exercise?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to reap health benefits, maintain current weight, and/or prevent weight gain.

For people who are overweight or obese, the ACSM recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. The results of the study show that if this is followed, the weight loss can be significant.

Note: Moderate intensity means you'll be slightly out of breath, but you'll be able to carry on a conversation while doing the workout.

How do I know how much weight I should be lifting?

Repetition is key. Powerlifters should do 10-12 repetitions for each muscle they choose, using a weight that varies based on your fitness level. The final repetition is something to note. If you have trouble with the 10th rep, reduce the weight. If the 12th repetition is too easy, increase the weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strength training for all major muscles 2 to 3 times per week. Remember to work large muscle groups on non-consecutive days. For example, you could train your upper body on Mondays and Wednesdays and your lower body on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Do ab exercises work if I want to lose excess fat around my belly?

Can't. Ab workouts are great for building core and back strength, but there's no such thing as spot fat loss. Doing comprehensive cardiovascular exercise throughout the week is most effective and will reduce the amount of fat that accumulates in your body.

How many calories are burned walking or jogging a mile?

On average, you burn 62 calories per mile per 100 pounds of body weight. So, if a person weighs 200 pounds, they will burn about 124 calories while walking or jogging.

I've been exercising for a while and stopped losing weight. What's wrong?

You've most likely reached a plateau. This means your body is getting used to the weight loss you've been doing. Our bodies are intelligent machines that become highly efficient over time in performing the same activities.

To challenge your body, do a variety of exercises. If you like to run or walk, increase your pace every 2 minutes to further increase your heart rate. For example, walk for two minutes, run for two minutes, and repeat for 20-30 minutes. For runners, run at a normal pace for two minutes, then sprint for a minute, then repeat for 20-30 minutes.

How many calories does it take to burn a pound of fat?

It takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose one pound. To lose one pound per week, you need to cut 500 calories per day. This is usually achieved by cutting 250 calories from your diet and burning another 250 through activity.

No time to exercise, what should I do?

If exercising in your busy schedule is challenging for you, focus on doing smaller workouts throughout the day. If your work takes up the majority of your time, consider taking a 3-10 minute break and walking at a moderate intensity when you're sweating a little and getting a little out of breath. Taking these breaks is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health. You'll go back to work feeling refreshed and content.

If family life takes up a lot of your time, consider doing squats or other muscle-building exercises alongside your chores. If you work from home, use a stability ball instead of a chair to sit on. You can also walk on the treadmill during the conference call. Heard of the NEAT movement? You can learn more about NEAT at this link to incorporate sneaky workouts into your day.

These are small changes that can make a big difference to overall health and weight loss. Remember: doing something is better than doing nothing!


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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