As a follow-up to the post yesterday on fitness, I thought it would be interesting to share a few fun facts that I learned recently from reading Alex Hutchinson’s book, Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?.
FUN FITNESS FACTS
But if there’s one overriding theme in the research presented here, it’s that any exercise, in almost any amount, brings significant and immediate health benefits. Start doing it, and worry about getting it right later.
#1: SO WHICH IS IT, CARDIO OR WEIGHTS?
It’s both. To keep our bodies in tip-top shape we need regular aerobic exercise and strength training. By working our lungs just 30 minutes a day, five times per week, we can cut our risk of dying from all causes in half. Yes, in half!
#2: SHOULD I HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER?
The short answer is yes, if you can afford one. Studies show that trainers are great motivators for pushing us beyond our comfort zone. If you can’t afford one, a workout buddy can also do the trick.
#3: WILL STRETCHING HELP ME AVOID GETTING HURT?
Got me on this one! Studies show that stretching before a workout does not reduce injury. Instead, we should stretch afterwards. This does not mean that when we start off exercise we should not go slow to warm up the muscles, just that static stretching like I was taught growing up is not overly helpful.
#4: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SHED A FEW POUNDS?
While entire industries exist to answer this one, the short answer is diet, exercise AND good sleep. One study showed even a single night of poor sleep increased cravings for food linked with overeating. It’s also clear now that even with these tools, losing weight as we get older is a challenging endeavor. It takes significant motivation, commitment and time.