I am trying to add fitness into my life.
Should I focus on cardio or strength training? Why?
Well done on starting your fitness journey! Fitness is a key factor in everyone’s life and it is never too late to start.
When you are just starting a workout program, I believe it’s OK to focus on doing whatever activity it is that you like best, and captures your interest. If you enjoy getting on a rowing machine, then row! If you just love hitting a treadmill or elliptical machine, go for it! If strength training is a favourite? Then do whatever it is that will keep you in the fitness groove!
After some time, you will gain confidence, and hopefully fall in love with the way you feel when you move more. Then, You can decide which one gets you the best results, and really, both cardio and strength-training are pretty important.
But in short, over the long haul I’m a big fan of strength training. Want to know why? Here’s an article I read recently talking about the weight-lifting benefits for women – but guys, you can read it too, because most applies to all: For Women Weight Lifting is Essential, Here’s Why | ISSA
Should I work out every day? I’ve heard
“rest days” are important for muscle growth when lifting.
What can I do every day?
Yes, you should work out every day. But you may want to adjust what you do, each day. Here’s why:
Rest days are important. That is: Rest days from intense cardio or strength training/weight-lifting sessions.
However, while you might take a rest from the intense cardio/strength training, you should still aim to get 60-90 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every day. The easiest example? Going for a fast-paced walk is something everyone can do every day!
- Minimum 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity)
- For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity physical activity to 300 minutes per week
- Muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week
But if you want a personalized plan that will help with those goals, contact me for more information.
What is one thing I should watch out for when
starting my fitness routines?
Please make sure you are doing the exercises correctly. Proper form is essential, and if you keep good form right from the beginning you will avoid injury, enjoy your workouts more, and likely stick to your routine long-term.
Hiring a certified personal trainer is one great way to ensure proper technique and form, while reducing the risk of injury. But you can also find reputable sources online, or refer to books at your local library. If you would like to find out more about my personal training services, check here. You can also attend some of my classes.
Also, remember that it’s important to check in with your doctor to let them know your plans and to get clearance on any ongoing health matters. In some cases, it might even be necessary to adjust medications due to your new-found health!
When should I “push through” the pain, and
when should I stop?
There is a difference between pain from an injury, and pain you are experiencing through what is called muscle hypertrophy – that’s an increased growth in muscle size during and after the work of lifting weights. Once you start moving regularly, you will quite quickly learn the difference. Pain is not good, but discomfort is excellent.
Listen to your body, and if it hurts to do something, explore that further. You may need to find another way to achieve a specific goal, or to consult a professional to figure out what’s going on for you. (Have I recently mentioned the benefits of working with me as a certified personal trainer? Call me!)
Eventually, you’ll start to recognize (and enjoy) the soreness that comes from a successful training session! And chances are, you will hurt a lot less than you do if you don’t exercise at all.