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Answers to your exercise questions

Answers to your exercise questions

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to set new exercise goals and work toward a more active and healthy life.

Something special has the first of January that motivates people to want to improve their lives. The beginning of a year is the ideal time to set new exercise goals, try a new exercise routine or evaluate your nutrition habits. But with so many choices and too much health and exercise information we see online and in magazines, it’s no surprise that many people are wondering how to start a new plan.

Use these answers to common exercise questions to help you meet your 2017 exercise goals:

I’m new to an exercise routine. Where do I start?

Starting a new exercise plan can be intimidating, but once you start it will become something natural. The most important thing is to listen to the body. Boost your body enough for you to feel the challenge, but not too strong that you run the risk of injuring yourself or feel too sore the next day.

Here are some steps to getting in shape:


  • Perform simple stretching exercises to make sure you are moving your muscles and joints at full amplitude every day.
  • Increase your daily activity level by using stairs, parking in a distant place, working in the garden, dancing or playing with children. Keep on moving.
  • Start adding regular walks to your day. You can slowly increase the time until 30 minutes is a comfortable time. Then the intensity increases walking faster. Add different terrains like hills and then start jogging or running.
  • Perform resistance exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups and then move forward and use weights.


How much exercise do I need?

There are different sources that recommend 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week, to lose weight and for general health. The activity should be moderate to intense. However, let’s say your goal is to run a marathon, in this case you need to train more than 30 minutes a day. If your goal is simply to lose weight or improve your exercise level, 30 minutes is all you need. Attempting to achieve the recommended minimum of physical activity is important.

What should I eat before exercising?

Eating a snack that contains carbohydrates and protein before you exercise can give you energy, stay alert and give your body what it takes to develop muscle mass once you finish your exercise routine.

What is the best exercise to achieve a flat abdomen?

There are many wonderful exercises for the abdomen area, but your diet is the most important factor for losing weight. One of my favorite exercises that I add to my weekly routine is:

Forearm iron (60 seconds)

Place your forearms on your workout mat at the same distance as your shoulders. Place your fingers on the floor so that you use the strength of the trunk to hold the iron. Take a deep breath and make sure you do not put too much pressure on your neck or back. Your abs should be working to support you.

Ireland Rugby Squad Training, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales 6/10/2015
Rob Kearney
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

What is the most common mistake people make in the gym?

Use the computer incorrectly. They exercise improperly and end up injuring themselves. Do not be afraid to ask a coach how to use the equipment.

What can you recommend for a 20-minute workout?

When you only have 20 minutes for an exercise routine, try doing 10 minutes of cardio exercise. It can be a mixture of rope jumping, scissor heels, burpees or running knees up. Use another 10 minutes focusing on endurance exercises such as squats, lunges, chest bends or irons. If you exercise at a high intensity and take short breaks, 20 minutes can feel like an hour.

If I feel very tired after work, should I exercise?

It’s okay to exercise if you feel a bit tired, since exercise can give you energy. Regular exercise has several benefits: strengthens muscles, improves endurance, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues for the cardiovascular system to work more effectively. When the heart and lungs work more effectively, you will have more energy to accomplish your daily tasks.

Use the New Year for your benefit. Set new goals, draw up an exercise plan and make it your best year.

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