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Staying Fit – Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions

April Williams February 07, 2012 11:00 AM This chat has ended. Thank you for participating.
Angela (Moderator) - 10:46 AM:
Welcome! Today's chat: Staying Fit - Sticking to your New Year's Resolutions will begin shortly. Please start submitting your questions and April Williams, exercise physiologist will begin answering them as soon as we get started. While you are waiting for the chat to begin, feel free to read our recent blog post, Fitness First - Losing Weight and Staying on Track We will do our best to answer all of your questions, but because this is such a popular topic, she may not be able to answer all of your questions in the time allowed. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.

Nancy (Chicago, IL) - 10:59 AM:
I had a hemorraghic stroke on Feb. 7, 2010. I began chemo for CLL, a form a leukemia on April 20, 2011. Chemo ended in Sept 2011. I get very fatigued easily. I do exercise. I recognize when I am getting tired. Where should I begin? Or continue?

April Williams (NorthShore):
That is great you are exercising! When you do exercise start out by doing small bouts like 5-10min then you can rest. If you can repeat them a couple of time during the day would be great. Exercise does not have to be done all at once to helpful.

Roger (Evanston) - 11:03 AM:
I’ve never had a workout routine. I frequently go for long walks and jogs. What recommendations would you have for me to start a more regular schedule for exercising?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Roger, First I would recognize when do you do most of your exercise now? Do you like to exercise before work or after work in the evening? Once you have nailed that down make it part of your day just like you have an standing appointment with anything else and go exercise. I always recommend that you should exercise for at least 30min 5 times a week. If you can go longer some days go for it! If weight loss is your goal you should shoot for 45-60min of aerobic exericse like your walking and or jogging will do.

Pam (Highland Park, IL) - 11:10 AM:
I have an extremely busy schedule. What can I do keep myself active?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Pam , if you can try and find small bits of time during your day take the stairs instead of the elevator. Try to mostly going up the stairs if you can. While you are on the phone in your office don't sit and talk on the phone, walk around your office. If you can get away for 10min at least 3 times during the day go take a walk outside or in your hallways. Taking these mini breaks to exercise can also help get rid of a little stress, too. If those are not options for you during the work day, try to exercise before you go to work. This way, you can get it in and out of the way before your busy day gets started.

Tom (Chicago, IL) - 11:17 AM:
I am overweight and am having a really hard time getting motivated to start working out. I know I will be slow and I know I won’t see results right away. What do you recommend?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Tom- Try to do this if you can: walk outside or on a treadmill. Have your goal time be 30min. Do 5min increments, at your normal regular walking speed for 4 min then for 1 min out of that 5min try to increase your walking speed slightly. Then go back to normal walking speed for the next 4min. Keep repeating this over your 30min. Then try to increase your time that you are walking a little faster each week by adding 1min. Also try to figure out what works better for you exercising in the morning or the evening and stick to it. Yes, it will be slow at first but you are getting in shape and it does not happen overnight! You can do it!

Diane (Chicago, IL) - 11:26 AM:
I am very interested in working out to lose weight. What exercises will help me burn the most calories?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Diane- I always say find something you like doing because if you don't like doing it you will not do it. Exercises to help you burn the most calories will be things like running if you like to run. Other ways to burn more calories would be using a rowing machine or elliptical. Walking on a treadmill with an incline would help burn calories. Good rule of thumb is to move more body parts (arms and legs vs. just your arms or just your legs). The more you move the higher your calorie expenditure. Always remember if you use a machine for your exercise make sure you enter your weight into the computer so it will give you accurate calories burned. Most of those machines have a default setting of 150lbs person. If that is not your weight the calories will not be your actual calories burned.

Jeana (Chicago, IL) - 11:34 AM:
What is the difference between aerobic and non-aerobic exercise? Is one better than the other?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Jeana- Aerobic exercise are things like walking, biking and/or swimming. Your non-aerobic or anaerobic exercises are exercises like resistance training- weight training or sprinting. Both are important for a total body conditioning. Sometimes people can do both during a workout (like interval training). During this you could either walk or jog (depending on how hard you would go for short bouts like 30-60sec), then go back to your more moderate speed for the next 5min or so, and then go back to your work interval for 30-60 seconds. Keep repeating this over your amount of time you desire. During your small bouts you could interchange with using weights/resistance instead for those short bouts concentrating on a specific body part. Like doing squats for 30-60secs for one interval. The next interval do as many push ups as you can during that interval, etc.

Steve (Chicago, IL) - 11:43 AM:
My family and I live in the city. I find it hard to stay active. What are some activities we can do to be more physically active?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Steve- If you have Comcast cable there are several exercise videos in their ONDEMAND program that you use for free and don't have to leave the house. Pick out one of those to do as a family. Another free option is to head to the library to find different exercise DVD/videos to do as a family.

Kelly (Waukegan) - 11:48 AM:
Why is it so important to warm up and cool down after exercising?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Kelly- Warming up your body is important because you are getting it ready for exercise. You are warming up the muscles you are about to exercise. You can do this by just walking at a slower speed before you start your exercise. It is important to take a few minutes to slow down your speed before you hop off the machine to cool down. Sometimes you can feel like your legs are really heavy if you stop exercising, which could lead to you being dizzy/ lightheaded. Cooling down helps return your body to its pre-exercise state so you will not feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Angela (Moderator) - 11:51 AM:
Thank you everyone for your great participation. The chat will be ending in approximately 10 minutes. Please submit your final questions.

Anne (Evanston, IL) - 11:56 AM:
I often wonder if my kids are getting enough exercise. Do some of the more active video games count as exercise?

April Williams (NorthShore):
Anne- Yes, the Wii and Xbox Kinect have great games that keep your children moving. Keeping them moving for 30-45min would be great! But, to a kid that may seem like a long time. Maybe by you playing with them will help keep them engaged for 30-45minutes.

Angela (Moderator) - 12:00 PM:
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