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top fitness tips…

you were afraid to ask!

OK, if you need serious exercise advice, you ask your trainer. But what about those other questions – you know, the basic stuff? Maria McHale gets the answers to 10 fitness questions we’ve all wondered about.

Fitness - Sláinte Magazine

Should I exercise with a cold? Almost certainly not, unless you have something very minor. There is evidence that raising your heart rate

and cramps, especially if the food is high in protein or fat, because they take a long time to digest. But don’t exercise on an empty stomach, either.

through physical exertion when you have a virus or cold can cause serious harm.

The general guideline is to eat a light,

Taking a couple of days away from the gym

carbohydrate meal (such as toast, a baked

may help you recover more quickly.

potato, pasta or bagels) two to three hours before you exercise. This should be a way

Should I eat before working out? Most people find that eating a meal

of topping up your energy stores and not the main source of energy itself.

too soon before exercising can lead to feelings of discomfort

Frequent, small meals and healthy, low-fat snacks are the best ways of making sure that the body’s energy levels are kept high.

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What causes a stitch and how do I get rid of it?

because they are running on

And you don’t have to run

an unforgiving surface like

What’s best, running or walking?

particularly fast to gain the

important part of any fitness

concrete,” he explains.

Many people don’t realise

benefit. In a US study of

programme. Some classes

Experts are unsure about

“Running shoes should be

this, but you can burn the

around 2,000 women

like yoga and Pilates work

before you want to fit into

the author of America’s best-

precisely what causes a

replaced every 300 to 500

same number of calories

joggers, the women who ran

predominantly on stretching

your dress (or bikini) are not

selling guide to reducing

stitch, the stabbing pain in

whether you run or walk –

the furthest distance each

and lengthening muscles,


the side that commonly

about 100 mile for mile. The

week had the narrowest hips

but if you prefer to do your

occurs during physical

important difference is time,

and waist, regardless of how

own flexibility routine, then

Regular aerobic exercise is

aerobic exercise like jogging,

low-fat eating plan and

exertion, but it appears to

it takes longer to burn the

fast they ran.

be sure to stick to the

essential for reducing body

swimming or power-walking

regular aerobic workouts will

recommended healthy

fat. It has been shown to

combined with strength-

help muscle to form in

As you get fitter, however, try

guidelines or you could

raise your metabolic rate

training exercises is the

cellulite-ridden areas and fat

flexibility should form an

so panic diets and exercise

How do I get rid of cellulite?

the skin, giving it a bumpy

programmes just weeks

According to Joyce Vedral,

appearance,” she explains.

healthy rate of weight loss,

just beneath the surface of

“There’s no mystery to

cellulite “Bottoms Up”, a

getting rid of it. Weight-

combination of fat-burning

training exercises, a healthy,

occur most commonly in

same total calories if you

people who exercise too

walk. Walking for a mile

soon after a meal, or who

might take you 15 to 20

varying the pace and

easily end up with a strain

even after you stop working

proven way to get rid of

to disappear. Diet alone

take an inappropriate drink

minutes, whereas jogging

intensity as well as

rather than a nicely

out – so you are burning

dimpled thighs.

won’t do it and exercise

or food while they are on

will take only half as long, so

increasing the distance you

flexed limb!

calories while you sleep.

the move.

in one half-hour workout

cover. Fartlek running

you’ll get more benefit from

involves adding short bursts

Experts say don’t bounce

Try to do at least three, 30-

enlarged fat cells that join

of speed to your regular run.

when you touch your toes,

minute sessions a week of

together and attach

If you get stitches frequently

running because you’ll

when you run, try leaving

cover a greater

two to three hours between


eating and exercise. But


because the condition is a

for maximum protection.”

result of the diaphragmatic muscles going into a spasm,

Do I need a sports bra?

you can lessen the likelihood

The answer to this is a

of it happening by

resounding yes, say experts.

strengthening your

A study at Herriot-Watt

You can burn the same number of calories whether you run or walk – about 100 mile for mile. abdominal muscles. If you

University showed that even

do get a stitch while running,

34A cups require support,

try bending forwards or

but that only around a

alone won't do it either.” “Cellulite is formed by

It increases your aerobic

but reach slowly down and

aerobic activities like cycling,

themselves to

threshold and burns extra

hold the stretch for between

aerobics classes, running,


ten and 20 seconds. Studies

swimming or power-walking.

fibrous tissue

calories than plain jogging.

have shown that the greatest

What’s the best way to stretch a muscle? Stretching to improve

gains in increasing your

Resistance work is

range of motion will occur if

important, too. Research by

you do no more than four

the American College of

repetitions of each stretch.

Sports Medicine

What’s the quickest way to drop a dress size?

some strength training two or three times

According to the British

a week.

recommends including

Nutrition Foundation, two pounds a week is a

twisting your trunk gently to

quarter of women wear the


ease the pain.

right sort of bra when they

“Recent studies have shown that

work out.

muscle temperature and other

How often should I buy new trainers?

Since breasts are made up

later afternoon, so your body is ready

Choosing a well-cushioned

of fat and no muscle, their

to exercise,” says Dr. Michael

pair of trainers is definitely

natural support is in the form

Hastings, a Cambridge University

advised. Trevor Prior, a

of the Cooper’s ligaments,

physiologist who specialises in

leading podiatric surgeon,

which extend from the

chronobiology, the study of the

says that poorly-equipped

nipples to the pectoral

body’s natural rhythms.

runners and joggers are

muscles. These ligaments

often the ones who suffer

are stretched as the breasts

aches and pains.

bounce, and will lose

the ideal time to go to the gym,” he

elasticity for good if they are

adds (US research backs this up).

physical parameters reach a peak in

“For example, most joggers

not supported by a proper

get injured because they

sports bra, specifically

don’t replace their trainers

constructed to keep them

shoes often enough, not

in place.

“Between 4pm and 6pm is probably

Top 10 fitness tips you were afraid to ask...  
Top 10 fitness tips you were afraid to ask...