10 Aug 8 Personal Fitness Questions You’ve Been Afraid to Ask
Personal fitness is a complex topic.
It touches on a wide range of subjects including human physiology, nutrition, exercise routines, and psychology.
Because it is so complex, it’s completely normal to have plenty of fitness questions.
Unfortunately, many beginners feel too embarrassed to ask certain personal fitness questions.
As a result, they avoid certain types of exercise or they make mistakes that limit the effectiveness of their workouts.
It’s important to remember that the old adage ‘There’s no thing as a stupid question’ when it comes to fitness!
In this post, I’m going to share the answers to 8 personal fitness question you’ve been too afraid to ask.
#1 – Should I Use Light Weights Or Heavy Weights?
This is a very common question from people who are just getting into weight lifting.
The answer is that both light and heavy weights can be beneficial.
Light weights are fantastic for building muscular endurance.
When you perform dozens of repetitions with a light weight, you will achieve “metabolic overload”, which occurs as the muscle becomes fatigued.
Regularly putting your muscles into a state of metabolic overload will make them more efficient at storing glycogen in the muscle (a form of energy storage).
This causes the muscle to expand and gives you additional endurance.
Heavy weights are better for achieving “mechanic overload”, where the muscle is damaged from repeated contractions.
The body then repairs or replaces the damaged muscle fibres.
These fibres are thicker or greater in number, which also causes muscle growth (hypertrophy).
#2 – Will Sit-ups Get Rid Of My Belly Fat?
You might be surprised to learn that sit-ups are not effective at targeting belly fat.
Losing belly fat is mostly about diet (about 80% diet, 20% exercise according to some experts).
So it is crucial that you modify your diet in addition to working out.
If you are still eating cheeseburgers like there is no tomorrow, no number of sit-ups will give you a six pack abs.
#3 – Why Do I Feel Sore The Day After a Workout
The soreness that you feel after a workout is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
It occurs as a result of the damage intense exercise does to muscle fibres.
It is particularly noticeable if you have used untrained muscles during your workout (usually by doing exercises that you aren’t used to).
DOMS is a normal part of building muscle.
The body will reap the damage you have caused to the muscle through exercise and come back strong, with thicker and more numerous muscle fibres.
You will experience the soreness most strongly between 24 to 72 hours after your workout.
There are several strategies you can use to relieve DOMS including:
- Having a massage
- Wearing compression garments
- Do some light exercise to speed up recovery (hiking, riding a bike, swimming)
- Using a foam roller to roll out sore muscles
#4 – Why Do I Feel Less Hungry After a Workout?
Have you ever noticed that you sometimes feel less hungry after completing an intense workout?
This occurs because of the effect that high-intensity exercise has on your hormone levels.
When you perform strenuous exercise, your “Ghrelin” levels will decrease slightly.
Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for feelings of hunger.
Several studies have confirmed this effect, including one from published in the Journal Of Obesity.
It monitored the hormone levels of slightly overweight men after they had performed workouts of varying intensity over 4 days.
The researchers found that the more intense workouts caused a greater reduction in ghrelin levels.
Subjects also had elevated blood sugar and blood lactate levels, which further reduced their appetite.
The ghrelin-lowering effect of intense exercise can last anywhere between 1 to 24 hours, depending on a person’s fitness levels, gender, and weight.
If you are attempting to lose weight but struggle with portion control, exercising at a higher intensity may be the answer!
#5 -Why do I feel Hungrier After a Workout?
On the flip side, many people find that they feel hungrier after a workout.
The obvious reason is that exercise involves expending energy and afterwards the body demands more energy in the form of food.
The likelihood that you will feel hungry after a workout is associated with the kind of exercise you are performing.
One study found that ghrelin levels decrease more when you after a cardio workout compared to a weight lifting workout.
fitnesIn other words, you are less likely to get hungry post-workout if you do more cardio.
If you do feel hungry after a workout, you should eat.
However, try to eat foods that restore energy levels and give you fuel you need for building muscle.
#6 — Why Do I Cough Up Phlegm During Exercise
This is a slightly disgusting side effect of exercise that most people are embarrassed to ask about.
It occurs because exercise changes the way you breathe.
While resting, you are usually breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
The nose filters out debris and moistens the air because it reaches the lungs.
However, when exercising at a high intensity, you are more likely to breathe through your mouth.
This increases the volume of oxygen reaching the lungs.
It also increases the amount of irritating air particles making it to the lungs, because the nose isn’t filtering the air.
The lungs respond by creating mucus for protection, which makes you feel like coughing.
#7 – Do I Need To Drink Protein Shakes?
Protein is one of the most heavily debated topics in the world of fitness.
It seems like gym junkies can’t get enough of the stuff.
They are are always walking around with a smoothie in one hand or carrying a giant canister of protein powder back to their car.
But how much protein do you really need?
It depends on how active you are, your weight, and what you are trying to achieve.
According to most nutritional organisations, a sedentary person require about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
That’s 56 grams for an average man and 46 grams for an average woman.
That could easily be achieved with a healthy diet that contains protein rich foods like dairy, meat, nuts and so on.
But active men and women who are attempting to gain muscle will need anywhere between 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kg of body weight (depending on which study you accept).
That’s about 112 to 154 grams of protein for an average male and 92 to 126 grams of protein for the average woman.
So, how much food is that?
Well to give you an indication of how much protein is in common foods, there is:
- 12 grams of protein in 2 large boiled eggs
- 5 grams of protein in 30 grams cheddar cheese
- 7 grams of protein in a ¼ cup of nuts
- 8 grams of protein in a half cup of beans
- 23 grams of protein in a cup of greek yoghurt
- 8 grams of protein in 2 slices of bread
- 26 grams of protein in 100 grams of beef
- 27 grams of protein in 100 grams of chicken
Once you start adding those numbers up, most people could reach 150+ grams through diet alone.
However, if you are having trouble obtaining enough protein through diet alone, feel free to supplement your diet with a protein shake.
Just don’t feel like you ‘must’ use protein supplements to gain muscle, it’s not always necessary.
#8 – I’m Naturally Slim, Does That Mean I Don’t Need To Exercise?
No, you still need to exercise!
Exercise isn’t just about maintaining a healthy weight.
It provides several important health benefits including better heart health, stronger bones, improved strength, better flexibility, and good joint health.
On top of that, exercise provides some excellent benefits for your mental health and cognition.
Even if you are happy with your current weight, try to have a quick 20 to 30 minute workout each day.
Thanks for reading 8 Personal Fitness Questions You’ve Been Afraid to Ask.
For more health and fitness articles, bookmark my site!