If you didn’t make it to last week’s online Women’s Weight Loss Chat, we hope you’ll join us at the next one. In the meantime, you can read below the highlights from last week, when Dr. Emily and trainer John Chung were on hand to field questions about working out.
Questions about Gym Equipment
Q: What execise machine makes you lose weight more–treadmill or elliptical?
Dr. Emily Splichal: I think the biggest thing to remember is that it’s not the equipment but the way you use the equipment that makes you meet your fitness goals.
John Chung: Yes, Emily is right. Also, it’s wise to choose a machine you like better and maximize it!
Q: I was doing hamstring curls on the machine, and it bothers the back of knees. Is that weird?
DES: That’s a great question. When you are doing hamstring curls, make sure your feet are flexed, or pointed upward. When you put your foot up during hamstring curls, you relax your calves. If your foot falls down you are actually using your calves to do the hamstring curl and not your hamstrings.
JC: Also make sure you warm up on the machine with light weights.
Q: What is the difference between kettlebell weights and freeweights? Is one better than the other?
JC: I love kettlebells. The grip is different. It is designed so you can play with momentum–controlled momentum–while dumbells are all about control.
Q: When you’re on the treadmill and you get pins and needles or numbness in your feet, what causes that?
DES: Numbness in feet during walking is most likely from tight shoes. As we work out, our veins dilate, and we “swell”, for lack of a better word. Which means your shoes will be tight and block nerves
Q: Speaking about swelling, is it normal for your hands to swell during a workout?
DES: Yes, it’s normal for your hands to swell for the same reason as your feet.
Questions about Medical Concerns
Q: I had gall bladder surgery years ago and have not worked my abs since. I took a class that worked the abs, and whoaa! I thought I needed to go to the hospital from pain. What would be the best way to start building the abs?
DES: I would be careful after surgery. Depending on how long after the surgery, you will have to worry about scar tissue. Start slow. Focus on more Pilates-based exercises, and if the pain persists, then see your doctor.
JC: Always listen to your body. You know your body better then anyone.
Q: Some say you should visit your doctor before starting to work out for the first time. Do you agree?
Q: I am interested in whether it is safe to perform strenuous exercise while menstruating.
DES: Yes, it is totally safe. You may feel a little weaker due to low iron and blood loss; however, exercise is a great remedy for cramping. Most women feel low energy at this time of the month, so if this is the case, do not get hard on yourself for missing the gym. Understand that it is normal for your body to feel weak at this time. There is no reason why you cannot work out during this time.
Questions about Fitness Classes
Q: What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?
DES: Pilates is focused on building core strength and postural strength while yoga is more about flexibility. Both are a great addition to everyone’s fitness program, as core strength and flexiblity are important parts of fitness.
Q: How many group exercise classes per week should I limit myself to avoid any injuries?
DES: That’s a good question. I think what’s more important is that you do a variety of classes. Its when you take the same style of class over and over and over (like every day) that you increase your risk of injury.
Questions about Personal Training
Q: Which do you think is more beneficial to a member–one-on-one training or small group training (SGT)?
JC: I have clients that do both. I really believe it depends what your cup of tea is. There are some things that small groups have that personal training can never have.
DES: I think both one-on-one and SGT are beneficial. It really depends on budget, fitness goals, and personality. Some people work better if their friends are there. One of the biggest benefits of personal training is that you have an appointment to keep and have someone who you must be accountable to. SGTs are a great option at Lucille Roberts. They provide that extra push and attention. We have kettlebell, rebounding, and boxing to name a few!