‘No pain, no gain’ not a good motto for working out

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Q: The warmer temps have inspired me to get back into my workouts and lose some weight. In the past I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too soon, do you have any tips?

A: I would advise including functional exercises in your program. Our muscles are needed for pushing, pulling, bending or climbing, and any number of tasks. Functional exercises are especially valuable because they assist in keeping you prepared for these everyday movements. A bonus is that they are time efficient, using multiple muscle groups at the same time and providing both strength and endurance benefits. Examples include pushups, pull-ups, deadlifts, squats, lunges and stair climbing.

When you work out consistently and with proper intensity, you will increase your lean muscle mass. This causes the body to burn more calories and will keep your metabolism speedier all day and night. As a result, as long as your diet is also in order, you will lose body fat over time as you continue to gain muscle.

It is important to be patient with this process as you may not always see a reduction in weight, especially if you rely solely on the scale. Far better to measure progress by changes in your body composition, so look at inches lost, how your clothes fit and how much better you look and feel.

When I refer to the intensity of a workout, this simply means pushing yourself safely and gradually to increase strength and aerobic capacity. If you are a walker as an example, you would increase speed, duration or choose a more challenging route.

Although some soreness may occur after a workout, the more conditioned you become, the more resilient you will be and the less likely to notice soreness after your workout. Bottom line, “no pain, no gain” is not a good motto to live by when working out. Pain is your body’s way of letting you it is in trouble, so respect this signal and train accordingly.

It is a myth that if you perspire a lot when exercising you’re not physically fit. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself, and the more conditioned you are, the more efficient your cooling system. Other things can affect how much a person perspires that have nothing to do with level of physical fitness, so check with your doctor if excessive sweating becomes a problem, or if you find you do little perspiring under conditions where you would normally expect to be sweating, such as when working out in higher heat and/or humidity.

When you perspire you lose valuable minerals and can become easily dehydrated, so drink appropriate amounts of fluids throughout the day, even on days when you are not as active. Generally speaking, try to consume about one half your body weight in ounces of fluids daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, this would be 75 ounces of fluids per day. The majority of this should be water, but any healthy fluids can count toward your goal.

Marjie Gilliam is an International Sports Sciences Master certified personal trainer and fitness consultant. She owns Custom Fitness Personal Training Services LLC. Send email to marjie@ohtrainer.com.

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