Q: How should I start exercising if I have a lot of weight to lose?
A: The most important thing to remember when you begin exercising, if you don’t currently exercise on a regular basis (regardless of your weight), is to take it slow. The people who attack exercise from the get-go are often the ones who are burnt out within a few days because they are overworking their bodies. By training in intervals, or using a program that’s divided into phases, your body gradually adjusts to the activity so it becomes an easier thing to integrate into daily life instead of feeling like a shock to the system.
Q: Is there any exercise I can do with my child that will help both of us stay healthy and won’t be “boring” to them?
A: You’re right; above all kids just want to have fun. If you label something “exercise” with them, chances are they’ll feel like they’re completing another chore. It seems like a no-brainer, but integrating a little more activity into the things you do daily can really help. Race them across the playground when you’re taking the dog for a walk, see who can count the greatest number of red cars when you’re walking from your parking space further away from the store- make it more about play than work.
Q: Is it safe for people with high blood pressure to begin an exercise routine?
A: You really should heed the warnings you always hear about consulting your physician before you begin a new exercise regimen. This is especially true if you have a cardiovascular concern whether it’s mildly high blood pressure or something more severe. After your doctor has given you the green light for regular physical activity, you can make the most of it by engaging in a thorough warm up and slow cool down before and after each session. If you do have a heart issue, this also helps minimize the strain placed on your heart and blood vessels, providing proper balance of rest and aerobic activity.
Q: Are there any foods you know that can kill a diet?
A: We all know there are types of foods (i.e. processed, fried, overly salted, etc.) that can spell certain death for your best health efforts. There are other, less visible things that could also mean trouble- hidden sugars can drastically increase the caloric value in foods deemed healthy by marketers. Fruit juice cocktails and yogurt are two such examples. A good trick is to analyze the nutrition label on the back of a product and ensure that the percentage daily value (%DV) isn’t excessive for ingredients like sodium, total fat, or sugars.