Making Fitness Crystal Clear – Fitness Q&A – September

crystal-gaynorCrystal Gaynor Making Fitness Crystal Clear



Dear Crystal,

What is the minimum amount of weekly cardio recommended for healthy weight loss? – Sheila, 49, New York, NY

Dear Sheila,

According to the American College of Sports Medicine you need “60-90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, 4-5 times a week” to achieve weight loss.  Moderate intensity is classified as working hard enough to break a sweat and raise your heart rate. You should be able to talk.  If you are just starting out, begin with a 15-20 minute workout and gradually increase your time to the recommended 60-90 minutes.  And remember to watch what you eat; you don’t want to undo all the work that you’ve put in.

60-90 minutes is a long time and can be intimidating. Therefore, I always recommend at least 30 minutes of mixed walking and running to keep your heart rate active and challenged.

Dear Crystal.

My body fat percentage and weight is increasing even though I’m working out more than ever and have made no changes to my diet.  Why? – Michelle, 39, Austin, TX.

Dear Michelle,

My question to you is “why aren’t you changing the way you eat”?  An exercise program for weight loss without a change in diet is a real waste of time.  In order to lose the fat or to see more tone in your body, you have to change your diet.  Here’s a great read for you – Tosca Reno’s “The Eat Clean Diet” book.  I recommend that you pick it up.  Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by eating a diet that does not support your efforts. Be safe and be smart.

Dear Crystal,

My name is Kay, and I am 46 and reside in Missouri.  I want to know a simple and effective exercise that will tighten and lift my butt.  It’s starting to blend in with my upper thigh.  I’m a very active person, but this is a problem area. – Kay, 46, Missouri

Dear Kay, 

Everyone admires a tight, round, bottom.  Nice to look at and even nicer to have.  First make sure that your diet is filled with whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean proteins. To keep the fat at bay, eating healthy is always a must, along with 30 minutes of cardio most days of the week.  Now let’s concentrate on the work.  Hip Raises are easy and since no equipment is required, you can do them at home.  Lay on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Hands are beside the body for support.  Action:  Lift the hips toward the ceiling. The weight of the body is between the shoulder blades.  At the top to the movement give your bottom a nice squeeze (hold for 5 seconds).  Lower hips to the floor and repeat.  Do 12-15 reps for 2-4 sets.  Here’s to looking at you, especially from behind!

Dear Crystal,

On days that I have too many meetings or it’s icy or way too hot, I do 30 minutes on the treadmill: 3.5 mph, ramp level 1.  On other days I walk 3 miles to the post office and back, weather permitting.  The treadmill really feels like it’s as good as walking outdoors and I work up a lot more sweat.  Which is better?  I also lift weights or swim a half mile on alternate days. – Edith, 72, Milwaukee, Wis.

Dear Edith,

Wow, you are a shinning example of health and exercise at any age.  As far as which is better, indoor treadmill walking vs. outdoor walking, the treadmill is indoors and something that can be done regardless of the weather.  Outdoor walking gives you sunshine, fresh air, and a chance to see the neighbors.  My advice to you is just keep doing what you’re doing.  Go by how you feel and what makes you feel good at that moment in time.  If it’s nice out, why not take advantage of the fresh air and sunshine?  Keep up the fantastic work Edith, you are a real inspiration.


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