Sharing 10 more frequently asked fitness questions and my thoughts. Check out the first post in this series here!
Hi friends! How’s the day going so far? I’m taking a new-to-me workout class today (I’ll report back soon!) and have back-to-back calls the rest of the day.
For today’s post, I wanted to share some more fitness FAQs since ya’ll seemed to enjoy the last one I did! So let’s dive into your questions about plateaus, time, motivation, where to focus our energy, and more below. Have a burning fitness question? Leave it in the comments section and I’d love to take a look!
10 more frequently asked fitness questions
11. I’ve 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 been 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 dieting and/or fitness routines with high intensities. Initially, you see results, but eventually, the body becomes stressed and makes an effort to hold onto anything it can.
Plateaus are also sometimes a good reminder to switch up your fitness routine. You don’t even necessarily need to switch out the exercises (especially if you’re performing classic push/pull movements, deadlifts, squats, etc) but change up the weight, and tempo, try unilateral versions of the exercises, or add in a core or balance component.
If you’re doing all of these things and still not seeing 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 stall your progress. We offer quite a few different testing options depending on your goals, so if you’re curious about learning more, send me an email [email protected] (subject TESTING).
12. I don’t have time to exercise. Any tips?
I think it can be really overwhelming to think that you have to get in a 45-minute or hour-long session, especially if you’re busy with work, kids, and life. Instead, focus on movement throughout the day when you can, and break your official workout into smaller chunks. When you have multiple small exercise sessions, this actually increases the amount of EPOC post-session (the excess oxygen you consume as the body returns to homeostasis), leading to a higher overall energy use (calorie burn).
Remember that everyday activities count as movement, even though they’re not “official” workouts. NEAT = non-exercise active thermogenesis is attained through regular life activities, like walking the dog, gardening, a dance party with the kids, playing tag, extra walks around the office, vacuuming/cleaning, etc.
Some of my favorite quick workouts:
13. What’s more important: nutrition or exercise?
The tricky answer: they’re both important for various reasons. I think nutrition is probably more important than exercise for overall health (if I had to pick, especially since you can get in “accidental” exercise but not “accidental” solid nutrition), but exercise has such a huge impact on sleep, hormone function, immune function, bone health, heart health, metabolism, AHH. I don’t like to pick and would say focus on both 😉 Fuel your body well with nourishing foods, lift heavy-for-you weights, sprinkle in some cardio that you enjoy, take 1-2 days of full rest each week, and focus on the other health pillars (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 pushed yourself without feeling depleted, 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 clocked in as much as the quality of the movement you’re getting. Like 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 not ever happen. (If I waited until I was excited to brush my teeth, I probably wouldn’t do it. It’s just a box I check twice a day. Fitness is the same way; I focus on putting in the reps each day.) If you don’t feel motivated, count to 3 and give it a try. Go for 5 minutes and see how you feel. Usually, getting started is the hardest part.
If after 5 minutes you’re still not feeling it, give yourself a rest day and try again the next day. A workout at 30-40% effort for multiple 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, stress — that pesky little devil that seems to pop up whenever we least expect it. But fear not, my fitness aficionados, for there are effective workouts out there that can help you kick stress to the curb while working up a good ol’ sweat. Enter the world of strength training! While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when combatting stress, pumping iron can do wonders for your mental well-being. Not only does it increase your heart rate and release those feel-good endorphins, but it also helps boost your energy levels, making you ready to take on whatever curveballs life throws your way. So grab those dumbbells and say “sayonara” to stress!
17. How do I measure progress besides the scale?
Step away from the scale, my friends, because there’s more to progress than just numbers. When it comes to tracking your fitness journey, there are various other ways to see how far you’ve come. Take heart rate, for example. Monitoring your heart rate during workouts can give you valuable insights into how efficiently your ticker is working. As you engage in regular physical activity and incorporate resistance training, you’ll 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. Do you have more pep in your step? Increased energy levels are a great indicator that you’re on the right track. So let go of that scale and embrace the different metrics of success!
18. What’s the best time of day to work out?
Ah, the age-old question: “What’s the best time of day to work out?” Well, my fitness pals, the answer is…drumroll… it depends on your goals! If your main focus is to increase muscle mass and strength, studies suggest that working out in the afternoon or evening might give you an edge. This is when our body temperature is at its highest, which can enhance muscular 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. But fear not, my time-strapped comrades, for there is always a way to sneak in some physical activity amidst the chaos. Even just 30 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your body and mind. Whether it’s a brisk walk during 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. Simply get right back on track and keep moving forward on your fitness journey, one step (or dance move) at a time.
20. Is it okay a work out every now and then?
Oh, my friend, let me put your mind at ease – it is perfectly okay to work out every now and then. While consistency is important for making long-term progress, there’s no harm in occasionally indulging in a workout that’s less about burning calories and more about having fun. Variety is the spice of life, after all! So whether it’s that impromptu hiking trip or an energetic 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 of motivation 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?