I share 10 most frequently asked fitness questions and my thoughts. Check out the first post in this series here!
Hello friends! How is the day so far? I’m taking a new training class today (I’ll be back soon!) and have back-to-back calls the rest of the day.
For today’s post, I wanted to share a few more fitness FAQs since it looks like you’ll enjoy the last one I did! So let’s dive into your questions about plateaus, timing, motivation, where to focus our energy, and more below. Got a burning fitness question? Leave it in the comments section and I’d love to take a look!
10 most frequently asked fitness questions
11. I have hit a plateau – why is this happening?!
When you hit a plateau, this is a great time to access your current fitness and nutrition routine and see how it’s going. Usually, a plateau is the result of needing additional stressors (not challenging yourself with your routine), not balancing your routine (overtraining), or unsustainable fitness and nutrition methods. I see this happen a lot with extreme diets and/or high intensity exercise routines. At first, you see results, but eventually, the body gets stressed and tries to hold on to what it can.
Plateaus are also sometimes a good reminder to change up your fitness routine. You don’t even necessarily have to change the exercises (especially if you’re doing classic push/pull movements, deadlifts, squats, etc.) but change the weight and tempo, try unilateral versions of the exercises, or add a core or balance component.
If you do all of these things and still don’t see results, it can be helpful to have an extra set of expert eyes on your routine and see what’s going on. Also, hormone function can affect or stop your progress. We offer several different testing options depending on your goals, so if you’re curious to learn more, email me at email@example.com (subject TEST).
12. I don’t have time to exercise. Any advice?
I think it can be really overwhelming to think you have to commit to a 45 minute or an hour session, especially if you’re busy with work, kids and life. Instead, focus on movement throughout the day when you can and break your formal training into smaller chunks. When you do many short exercise sessions, this actually increases the amount of post-session EPOC (the excess oxygen you consume as the body returns to homeostasis), leading to a higher overall energy use (calorie burn).
Remember that daily activities count as movement even though they are not “official” workouts. NEAT = Non-exercise active thermogenesis is achieved through regular life activities such as walking the dog, gardening, a dance party with the kids, playing, extra walks to the office, vacuuming/cleaning, etc.
Some of my favorite quick workouts:
13. What is more important: diet or exercise?
The hard answer: they are both important for various reasons. I think nutrition is probably more important than exercise for overall health (if I had to choose, especially since you can do “random” exercise but not “random” solid food), but exercise has such a huge impact on sleep, hormone function, immune, bone health, heart health, metabolism, AHH. I don’t like to choose and I would say focus on both 😉 Fuel your body well with nutritious foods, lift heavy weights for you, sprinkle in some cardio you enjoy, take 1-2 days of complete rest each week and focus on the other pillars of health (sleep, stress management, hydration, meaningful relationships with others, sunshine, etc.).
14. How long should a workout be?
Go for quality, not quantity. The best workouts are the ones that leave you pleasantly sweaty, feeling like you’ve pushed yourself without feeling exhausted and ready to enjoy the day. Maybe it takes 10 minutes to get there, maybe it takes you 45 minutes to get there. Don’t worry about the time or the quality of the movement you make. As I mentioned above: don’t be afraid to break it up throughout the day.
15. How do I stay motivated?
It took me a long time to learn that often, I have to create my own motivation. If you wait until you feel like doing something, it may never happen. (If I waited until I got excited to brush my teeth, I probably wouldn’t. It’s just a box I check twice a day. Fitness is the same way; I focus on getting the reps in every day.) If don’t feel motivated, count to 3 and try it. Go for 5 minutes and see how you feel. Usually, getting started is the hardest part.
If after 5 minutes you still don’t feel it, give yourself a rest day and try again the next day. One workout at 30-40% effort for several days in a row is less beneficial than two to three workouts per week at 100% effort.
16. Are there any workouts that can help relieve stress?
Ah, anxiety – that pesky little devil that seems to pop up whenever we least expect it. But fear not, fitness fanatics, because there are effective workouts out there that can help you de-stress while working up a good sweat. Enter the world of strength training! While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with stress, pumping iron can do wonders for your mental well-being. Not only does it get your heart rate up and release those feel-good endorphins, but it also helps boost your energy levels, making you ready to tackle whatever curveballs life throws your way. So grab those dumbbells and say “sayonara” to stress!
17. How do I measure progress other than the scale?
Step away from the scale, my friends, because progress is about more than numbers. When it comes to tracking your fitness journey, there are several other ways to see how far you’ve come. Take heart rate for example. Monitoring your heart rate during exercise can give you valuable insight into how effectively your index is working. As you engage in regular physical activity and incorporate resistance training, you will notice improvements in your heart rate. Another way to measure progress is through your energy levels. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. Have more pep in your step? Increased energy levels are a great sign that you are on the right track. So let go of that scale and embrace the different measurements of success!
18. What is the best time of day to exercise?
Ah, the age-old question: “What is the best time of day to exercise?” Well, my fitness friends, the answer is…drumroll…it depends on your goals! If your main focus is to increase muscle mass and strength, studies show that exercising in the afternoon or evening can give you an advantage. This happens when our body temperature is at its highest, which can enhance muscle performance. On the other hand, if your goal is to burn more calories and lose weight, morning workouts may be your best bet. Exercising on an empty stomach can tap into those fat stores, helping you shed those pesky pounds. So pick the time that aligns with your fitness goals and get ready to conquer your workout!
19. Can I still exercise if I have a busy schedule?
Oh, the dreaded busy schedule. Fear not, though, my time-strapped fellows, because there’s always a way to sneak some physical activity into the chaos. Even just 30 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your body and mind. Whether it’s a brisk walk on your lunch break, a quick HIIT session at home, or even a dance party in your living room (yes, I’m serious!), every little bit counts. Remember, consistency is key, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout here and there. Just get right back on track and keep moving forward on your fitness journey, one step (or dance move) at a time.
20. Is a workout every now and then okay?
Oh my friend, let me calm you down – it’s totally okay to work out every once in a while. While consistency is important for long-term progress, it’s okay to occasionally indulge in a workout that’s less about burning calories and more about having fun. After all, variety is the spice of life! So whether it’s that impromptu hiking trip or a vigorous game of beach volleyball, these sporadic bursts of physical activity can still contribute to your overall fitness level. Plus, they can give you that much-needed boost to get back into the swing of things. So embrace the occasional workout and remind yourself that fitness is all about balance.
So tell me friends:
What do you focus on more: fitness or nutrition?
How long are your workouts?