A workout routine is something that should be a part of every woman’s daily schedule. Whether you are lifting weights for an hour a day, or running for just 10 minutes each morning, make sure you get the most out of your workout. Crystal Gaynor works with Identity to help readers make their fitness routine ‘Crystal Clear.’
Crystal Gaynor, Making Fitness Crystal Clear
QUESTION: Is it better to do your reps with weights fast, for cardio effect, or slow and in control? -Marci, Washington D.C.
It’s always a safe practice to lift weights with control. The cardio effect with weights is not always determined by the speed, but rather by the rest period in between your sets. A shorter rest period creates a more intense cardiovascular workout. Generally speaking, heavier weights require a longer rest period for muscle recovery. That rest period can range between 30 seconds to three minutes, depending on the amount of the load. You should pick a weight load that is challenging – one that allows you to lift 10-12 reps. Around the eighth rep, the weight should feel challenging. If you can complete 12-15 reps with no problem, it’s time to go a little heavier.
QUESTION: When lifting, I sometimes get so tired, I feel like I may be sick. Is it good to push that much? -Diane, Parsippany, NJ
If you are new to weight training, you may experience a little nausea when you overexert yourself. This usually subsides after a few weeks of training. If not, you may be over-training. Over-training can occur when you train everyday with great intensity and don’t allow time for muscle rest and repair. While you may want to get in shape fast, over-training is not the way. You must allow time for adequate rest in between your workouts. Try split training to give muscles groups a chance to recover. And make sure your diet supports your training. If you continue to experience these symptoms of fatigue and nausea, see your doctor as soon as possible.
QUESTION: I had knee surgery this year. What are the best exercises to rebuild the strength and support I need for my knee? -Kelly, New York, NY
I would bet that 100% of the time, knee surgery is followed by several sessions with a state licensed Physical Therapist. During this time, the Physical Therapist will introduce exercises that improve the range of motion and strength of the knee.
Exercises for the upper leg (quadriceps and hamstrings group) will also be included. These exercises and guidelines should be continued even after the sessions are completed and you are cleared to exercise on your own. When training on your own, make sure you include exercises for the quadriceps (front of the thigh), as well as the hamstring group (back of the thigh). Exercises for balance and flexibility should also be included. This should keep your knee healthy for a long, long time.
QUESTION: As a mother, I would like to have an in-home exercise program that includes my children. Any suggestions? -Taylor, Wharton, NJ
Bravo to you for including your children in your workout plans. There are so many new programs on the market that are created for parents and children to share. One of my favorites is the new Zumba program for the Sony WII systems. Zumba is fun for children and adults alike. If dancing is not your thing, challenge your children to a sit-up and push-up contest. Toss in a few jumping jacks, running in place for 30 seconds and some stretching at the end and you’ve got a quick workout. Children love to share experiences with their parents, so keep it simple, but most of all, make it fun.
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