I've had a few questions thrown my way, and I think it's best to post the questions and my answers every so often.You can imagine, everyone has questions about nutrition and exercise. It's funny, these questions usually get posed along hearing about my profession, while out at a social event with glasses of wine (or vodka) in our hands! Nonetheless, I'm always happy to answer.
We'll actually start on the wine tip, since one of the most common questions I get is about alcohol!
Q: What's the best drink to have if you are trying to lose weight?
A: In terms of calories, you want to go for something light in colour / clear. White wine is typically lower in calories than red, and vodka, gin or rum are probably your best bets for liquor. Avoid sugary mixes, sugary mixed cocktails, and shots! Shots add calories to your drink load quickly, because you typically consume them ON TOP of your regular cocktail. Water, as a mix, is best. Sure, red wine has antioxidants, and packs more nutrition than white. So if you are having only one glass, red is great. Otherwise, there are many other great sources of antioxidants beyond alcohol! Eat 1/2 cup of blueberries instead ;) Now, we like to meet our friends, let loose and "celebrate" (especially those of us in our 20s and 30s!). But your guidelines, although we are all guilty of breaking the rules on occasion, are as follows: Stick to 6 drinks / week. If you can spread them all out on different days, that's best. If you're an all-in-one-night kinda girl or fella, women - we should be stopping at 4, and boys - 5, to prevent too much damage. And if you ARE doing this "celebrating", you need to keep the indulgent evenings at once / week, and you need to eat really well and clean the rest of the time.
Q: I get bored on the treadmill or elliptical. Tips?
A: If you are committed to keeping your routine somewhat as is, try new music mixes (grab some new mixes HERE: Workout Music). Taking your regular treadmill workout outside is a surefire way to re-inspire yourself. You can try some new activities such as rock climbing, playing soccer with friends or going on a long bike ride. Or, finally, add some intervals to your cardio routine indoors. Go for one minute at a level 6 out of 10 (10 being the most difficult you can do), and one minute at a 9. Alternate for the duration of your session. Chopping it up into varied minutes helps to pass the time.
Q: My mother has escalating osteo arthiritis. Should she be working out, and what activities are best for her? A: I get this question often, and people who are suffering arthritis and joint pain, but NOT doing any strength training make me want to cry. Strength training / resistance training is one of the fastest ways to improve joint mobility, lessen pain and strengthen bones. It should be approached carefully, however. Swimming is a fantastic activity, because the water is protective, rehabilitative, and provides immediate resistance. The amount of resistance is in the swimmer's immediate control, based on the swimmer's speed or force. If you want more resistance, you simply push harder, and the water pushes back. This resistance strengthens joints - and there is no impact! So it's all progressive mobility, all the time. Risk vs. Benefit is always an important concept for people suffering arthritis. You want to move forward with as little risk for injury as possible. Activities that are very low impact are best. Stability exercises (on the Bosu, for instance) are fantastic for recruiting stabilizers, and isometric contractions (such as a wall squat or plank) are great as well for building strength with little pain through the joints. Strength training helps to produce synovial fluid in the joints, easing arthritis. Pilates is another low-impact alternative for strengthening muscles.
Keep sending your questions along, I'm happy to answer.