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Womens Fitness FAQ

Women helping women build self esteem and confidence

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Hello Ladies: This little intro is from me to you!

I have simplified the "dieting thing" for you all. (I am not selling ANYTHING here.) If you want to "diet" and really lose weight and be a MUCH better you, please read on. We hear about "DIETING" everywhere we go. Every day there is a "New" diet out there that praises itself for being better than any other ever tried. "HMMMMMM" is all I have to say about that word "DIET". People that are severely over weight and need medical help should refer to a nutritionist. A nutritionist today is very well educated about better eating habits. They will unfortunately use terms like ounces and grams, which most people tune out very quickly. Once the nutritionist has helped you reach a certain goal, you will then be left to maintain your eating habits on your own. If you are not a very self motivated person, chances are you will not be able to continue alone.This is where people like myself come in to play. We are realists and we speak in real words. We try to make losing weight an easy habit to put into your schedule. No fancy foods or scales or charts. Just simplicity.

I have been involved in health and fitness for over 20 years of my life and I have read it all and I have heard it all. I have spoken to many, many experts in the fitness area and trainers in many fitness facilities. My thoughts after all my years of experience is simple:

Take that word "DIET" and toss it into the trash and hit delete forever.
Then you will think about your habits of eating as just that, "HABITS".

Now you are going to change your eating habits, it is that easy.  I know what you are thinking, "Where do I start?" Well, you start simply by cutting everything that you eat in HALF and I do mean everything. Once you get use to this habit, you will have shrank your stomach a bit and you will feel less hungry than when you started this change in your eating habits. Take a real good look at what you eat a lot of. You are smart enough to know that a balanced meal is the best meal. Not more of this and less of that. FAT is FAT. SUGAR IS SUGAR. We know that they, in small doses, are necessary for our body to function properly and healthy. For more information on nutrition, go to the Nutrition FAQ page.

Also the time of the day in which to eat is important for your better habits. If you are on a day time work schedule, this is easiest for you. People that are on night shifts tend to have a harder time in watching the clock and choosing the best times to eat. Think about when you are beginning your day, your mid day, your relaxed time of your day. Your beginning time is when you can afford to eat a bigger meal, then cut it in half. Mid day is a lesser meal, then cut it in half. I would even say keep it light. Then we have the last part of your day when all you want to do is vegetate. OK thats cool then eat veggies and salads. The rule of thumb here is simple also: do not eat at least for 4 hours before bedtime. POPCORN (Lowfat of course), or GOLDFISH (YUMMIE) is a definite must when you need to munch on something. Watch out for the juices. They are a morning drink at best, they are very high in sugar.

WATER< WATER< WATER. There is not a person in the world that actually can drink enough water. You should actually drink 1/2 your body weight of water a day. "MHM, jeesh" is what I say also. Even I cannot get that much water down, but I do my best. White wine is your best cocktail, again in moderation of course. Careful of the light beer, it is OK if you drink 1. That's it though. Red Wines are a good thing for your body, but they are higher in sugar, so again, 1 glass is all you should have.
Pure carrot juice totally rules the world. Not only is it very refreshing, but it is very, very healthy. Ladies it works well with your body to sweeten your odors too. Soy drinks are my favorite, but watch those. 1 glass per day Ladies. Alcohol itself is low in calories, if you drink shots. Add anything to it besides water and you are in a danger zone. We all know 1 is never enough, so best to get use to shots if you like alcohol.

A lot depends on how busy a person keeps in a day. "MOVE IT- TO LOSE IT" is very good food for thought. If there are stairs, then climb them. You know it is the best thing to do to help your body burn unwanted food. Laziness is your enemy, now that you have started better eating habits. Park your car at the end of the parking lot and WALK> WALK> WALK. If you like shopping, do it. It will help kick off a lot of unwanted food also. When I am driving in my car, I am always thinking of some sort of movement that I can be doing while I drive, like squeezing your butt muscles together or doing tummy tighteners or tightening your legs. EVERYTHING that you move in your body takes energy, which it gets from your stored, unwanted food. Even smiling takes an amazing amount of muscle movement which takes energy to do. Cleaning, is another very good thing to do, vacuuming burns a lot of energy also.

I sense a sigh already, so listen up here: If you WANT to be healthier and more fit, and I do not mean, look like a Barbie doll, I mean fit and firmer, it is possible. But like anything else that I am trying to help you with in this website, you have to want it. And I mean want it all the time. I know that if you have come into this website, that you spend a lot of time trying to learn how to NOT think about worries and negative issues. Soooo take that stuff out of your mind and start to focus on every little move you can make to burn your unwanted energy.

There is more to getting fit and healthy than just creating better eating habits. You are also going to learn better moving and thinking habits too. Through this fitness and health section, I have supplied you with a FAQ sheet. It will help you to get answers to questions that you have regarding getting fit and healthy. It is written so that you can, and will use the information to become a better you.


Check out the Healthy Living Forum

FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions

Find the Question (Q) that you want in the list below.

Click on the Question and your Answer (A) will appear on the page in front of you.

 (If you have a question that is not listed, please let us know by clicking here.)

Explore The Female Body or check out the Healthy Living Fitness Calculator

Q. How can I get my unmotivated body to work out?

A. This is so common - and understandable! You meant to start your exercise program or take that walk yesterday, the day before, last week… No worries it's okay! All you really need to do to get healthy and lose weight is MOVE. Research reports that so-called lifestyle exercisers, those, who regularly take stairs instead of elevators, walk instead of drive, cleaned the house, etc., lost just about as much weight and body fat as those following a structured exercise routine. The real key to weight control is simply becoming more active in general. Try shooting for 30 to 40 minutes of exercise daily.

Q. What works better, exerciseing every day or dieting? A. It is much better to exercise than to eat less. Eating better and exercise is a must to do together. Your body needs fuel to burn your unwanted fat and calories.

Q: Why is exercise better, it takes forever to see results? A: It is a must to eat a bit more and exercise a bit less. Remember though, you are what you eat, so keep it healthy and light.
   When you cut back on energy(food) you are also slowing your metabolism down. Slower metabolism means slower weight loss. That will also deplete your energy that you need to exercise.
   The last thing your body wants is a traumatic weight loss. It beats up your internal organs, and drops all of your amunities. A very unhealthy way to get fit.

Q. What's the best way to get rid of fat?

A. There is a lot of debate about whether longer, slower workouts are better as opposed to shorter, more intense ones. Technically, you burn a greater percentage of fat calories with the slower workouts (long jogs, walks). But high-intensity workouts such as running or aerobics burn more calories overall, so you end up burning more fat calories in total. You really can't go wrong either way, both approaches will help you lose weight if you are consistent. It basically comes down to personal preference - do whichever you prefer - and whether you have time for a longer workout or more energy for a shorter, very intense one.

Q: When I go on holidays (or vacation), I have a hard time fitting in exercise, help! A. You either tell yourself that you are going to gain a few pounds and smile and promise to work harder after holidays, or, you must be very aware of your meal sizes. Half portions will be the air you breathe. Try to incorporate walking, swimmimg, or any other physical activity that you enjoy doing.

Q: Whenever I take time off from exercising, I seem to gain weight, and I feel defeated and want to just quit. Why? A. It is not uncommon for your body to react to a sudden change in energy burn. If you adjust your eating to suit your activity level, you will not gain. There is no quick fix here. Getting and staying fit is a life time commitment. When your physical burn is lessened , then your food intake should also lessen.

Q.Why is it so important to stretch?

A. Stretching is a very important preperation for your muscles. It helps to loosen up tight muscles so you do not injure yourself during exercise. Stretching also helps to improve and maintain your fexibility so that your workout is so much easier. Be careful to not over stretch and stretch at the end of your workout.

Woman Stretching

Q. Why do I run out of breathe when I exercise?

A. Breathing is a natural thing. Getting out of breathe when you exersice is also natural. Your body runs on oxygen, like a car runs on gas. When you begin exercising, your muscles need oxygen. Your body meets this need by supplying oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. The lungs work harder to absorb this oxygen from the air you are breathing, thus making you pant or draw more air.

Q.Why do I sweat so much?

A: Sweating is how your body gets rid of  heat and keeps its temperature down when you are working out. Usually the more you train, the more easily you sweat, because your body knows it is going to get hot and starts working to cool itself off. There is also the possibility of some having more sweat glands than others have - men sweat more than women do for this reason. Overall, when you find yourself sweating more easily, take it as a good sign you're really fit!

Q. Just what occurs when I reach my target heart rate?

A.  Once you achieve your target heart rate, your body releases adrenaline, causing your fat cells to release fat into the bloodstream. When the fat passes an exercising muscle, the muscle picks it up and burns it as a source of energy. As your body withdraws fat from the cells, they begin to shrink, eventually making you appear slimmer. Nice bonus,eh!(winks)

Q. How do I find out what my target heart rate is?

A. To determine your target heart rate, use this simple formula:

  • Take 220 and minus your age. You then take that number and multiply it by .65. This will give you the minimum target heart rate.
  • Then take 220 and minus your age again. now take that number and multiply it by .85. This will give you the maximum target heart rate.
  • Now you have your percentages of 65% -- 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate in beats per minute. 
  • This is the Target Range or Zone that you want to stay in when doing any type of cardiovascular (aerobic) activity. When in this range your body is getting an optimum workout with maximum benefit, and it stays in a Fat Burning mode.

Q. Do I have extra fat cells?

A.  We are born with a certain number of fat cells that just grow and shrink when we gain and lose weight.  You develop fat cells between the ages of 12 and 18 months and again during puberty. After that point, your 25 to 35 billion fat cells respond to weight gain by growing up to twice their size. But if all of your fat cells have already doubled in size and you continue to gain weight, your body cells have already doubled in size and you continue to gain weight, your body starts making new ones. So if you have gained more tan 30 or 40 pounds since your teens, you could have more fat cells than someone who has gained less.

Q. Can I make losing weight easier?

A: You can sure try! Journal your eating and exercise patterns by writing everything down. Studies show that one of the common links of those that lost more  pounds and kept it off longer was that they frequently kept track of the calories they ate and burned.

Q. Won't my appetite increase if I exercise?

No - but this is a common myth. Many feel if they workout more, they'll eat more and blow their diet completely. But in truth, nothing is further from the truth! Regular exercise, including strength training, will help you lose and control your weight. High intensity exercises such as running or in-line skating actually help suppress appetite. In addition, studies show that those who practice strength training tend to eat less fat while boosting their metabolism with added muscle.

Q. What is interval training?

A. Here is an example:

 Try alternating one minute of fast walking or sprinting for two minutes at a slower pace.
Run/Walk Cardio:
Warm up:  Walk ten minutes, starting at an easy pace and building speed.

  • Jog:  Three minutes (about 6.0 mph on a treadmill)
  • Walk:  Three minutes (about 4.0 mph on a treadmill)
  • Jog:  Three minutes
  • Walk:  Three minutes
  • Jog:  Three minutes
  • Cool Down:  Five minutes at an easy pace

Q. Can I Exercise with a Hangover?

A. Your head is raging, your mouth is drier than bread and you're cursing that "one-too-many" drinks you had last nightis taking its toll. Hm is exercise the perfect hangover cure or not? Experts feel  a grueling workout would NOT be a good idea due to the fact that when hung-over, you are in a physically impaired state. Not only are you dehydrated from the alcohol, your coordination is off. You can more easily trip while running or taking a fitness class. In addition, you won't have as much energy, so extra exertion may place more stress on the body. If you really want to do something, try stretching or an easy walk in the fresh air. Then rest, drink lots of fluids and eat a light refreshing meal.

Q. Can someone over hydrate?

A. Taking in too much water and not enough sodium (which we mainly get from food) could result in a condition called hyponatremia, which causes headaches, weakness, fatigue, nausea, light-headedness, muscle cramping, seizures and even coma. But it is not common (some experts think the condition only affects endurance athletes), so staying hydrated when you work out is the more important concern. Exercisers may be at greater risk for hyponatremia in hot environments, because the heat increases thirst and decreases appetite. If you've consumed more than three liters of water on a relatively empty stomach and are not sweating enough, you could be at risk. If you notice symptoms, stop exercising and have a salty snack and a sports drink; call your doctor if your condition worsens.

Q. What is aerobic exercise?

A. The word aerobic  means "with oxygen" or "in the   presence of oxygen."  Aerobic exercise is any activity that  uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for  a long period of time .  Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body. As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each move.
   Fewer moves are then required to rapidly transport oxygen  to all parts of the body.  An aerobically fit individual can  work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery  at the end of the aerobic session.

Q. What is spot reduction?

A. Spot reduction is commonly known as," I want to lose my tummy now, what can I do to reach this goal"? Well you cannot just do an exercise to lose in one are. You can tighten muscle groups in certain areas, but to lose fat you must burn fat. Fat does not have a map that you can mark off. Fat burns gradually over your entire body. So yes you will lose your boobs or your butt along with all the other areas that you want to lose fat.

Q. What exercise should I do to burn the most fat? A. If your goal is fat loss, then try to achieve a maximum caloric burn, and don't worry about a maximum fat burn. As long as you are burning more calories than you are eating on a regular and consistent basis then the fat/weight will come off. Any aerobic activity which you enjoy doing enough to do 3-5 times a week at a moderate intensity for at least 20 continuous minutes at a time will help you burn lots of calories; dance/step aerobics, bicycling, swimming, basketball, soccer, running, skating, hiking, and walking are all good examples.

Q. I have never exercised before. Where do I begin?

A. It is a good idea to start slowly and build up to a  full program. Walking is the easiest way to begin a program. Start with a stroll for a mile or so and build up to walking 3-4 miles per hour.  As you become proficient at walking, you might want to try another activity such as jogging, running or even aerobic or step classes. The best aerobic program is the one you enjoy and will stick to. Oh and here is a tip for you 10,000 steps=5 miles.

Q. Why can’t I look like as fit as that person?

A. Every person is genetically different. For example, an exercise, nutritional program and calorie intake that works for one person, may not be suitable for another. An exercise routine that may create impressive results in one person may not achieve the same results as another. We are all our own body shape and bone structure. Do the best you can with what you have is all you can do.

Q. If I eat fat free foods, will I lose weight and get into shape?

A. Fat-free foods are exactly that, “fat free”, not calorie-free nor are they sugar-free. Just because a food is fat-free, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is OK to eat as much of it as you want. The amount of weight a person loses is dependent on their caloric balance. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weigh. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Some people get caught up on how many fat grams are in a serving and don’t worry about total calories.

Q. I saw work out machine on television. If I buy one of them, will I be able to achieve the look that those models have?

A. Nope, and those girls/models did not get that way by using those machines either. They were extensively trained and made to lose weight just for that exact reason, to get to you through your emotions. To make you think just what you have asked. It's the same trickery that is being used in magazines to sell wrinkle creams and other diet programs also. It is bogus(for lack of a better word)

Q. Can I get really nice abs from sit-ups?

A. Nope.. your body fat percentage must be low. Lowering one’s bodyfat percentage comes from proper diet and exercise. You can do all the sit-ups you want. If your body fat isn’t low enough, you will never see your abs.

Q. Do women get the same benefits from exercise as men?

A. Studies of the positive effects of exercise have been done with men. The few studies that have included women have indicated that women may benefit even more than men from being  fit. Early indications show the reduced rates of death by heart disease are higher for women who are physically fit than for men.

Women who do not exercise regularly have twice the chance of dying from heart disease than women who do exercise, just as women who smoke double their chances of dying from heart disease than women who don't smoke. Women may live longer than men, but they don't necessarily live better. Elderly women who have not exercised experience more disability in their daily function than women who have been active.

Q. What's the leading cause of death in America?

A. Cardiovascular disease. CVD was responsible for about 930,000 deaths in America last year, accounting for 38% of all deaths.

Q. Is it safe to exercise when I am pregnant?

A. Yes it is safe to exercise when pregnant. Although if you have never exercised before your pregnancy, very light exercise is recommended. Your body already has enough adjustments to make regarding the pregnancy. Also consult your doctor before you begin. Remember to keep your eating habits healthy and light also.

Exercise Pregnant

Q. Is it true that I am eating for two now that I am pregnant?

A. MYTH, MYTH, MYTH..You are technicaly eating for two, but the food that your baby is requiring from you is purely nourishment coming from you. Your baby is not taking fat or calories. So keep in mind that you must eat healthier, YES. But not more. Too many women feel the need to over eat. It may be due to the nausea and changes that they feel when they first become pregnant. Rememder healthy, not more.

Eat Normally while Pregnant

Q. Is it really important to be fit before I get pregnant, I mean I am going to gain weight anyway? Can`t I wait til after the baby is born?

A. A female who is in good physical shape,  can cope with many of the pregnancy-related complications that may or may not come along. Being fit can help prevent hemorrhoids and constipation by keeping you regular; it can help you sleep better at times when you are going to have difficulty sleeping; it can prevent leg cramps and back aches if your posture is in good shape. You qill just be able to cope better with the physical stresses of pregnancy and delivery will be easier for you as will your recovery time.

Q. What are some exercises that I can do while I am pregnant?
  • A. Pelvis
    Kegel exercises help prevent hemorrhoids and urinary problems after delivery. A Kegel is when you contract the floor of your pelvis. An example of a Kegel is, if you are in the middle of going pee and you use your muscles to stop the flow, those are the muscles you're trying to work.
  • Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and do 20-30 of them each day to keep the muscles in shape because the enlarged uterus and growing baby tends to weaken them.
  • Abdominals
    Lower, upper and middle abdominal exercises as well as those to strengthen the lateral obliques help posture. However, after the first trimester, women shouldn't be doing anything lying flat on their backs,  Ask a doctor at this point.
  • Upper and Lower Back
    Women want to build up their chest muscles because their breasts will enlarge. Push-ups are a simple way to go about this, do them against the floor or even a wall. Push-ups work the chest, triceps and back muscles.
  • Ankles
    Calf stretches and ankle circles because that's going to help prevent fluid retention that can occur later on in pregnancy



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