Throughout my career in the health and fitness industry, I am constantly asked “what’s the best” cardio equipment, snacks, health bars, time of day to exercise, etc. Hopefully I can shed some light on some simple but important questions and answers.What is the best time of day to exercise? Typically, the morning is best. As I say, get it over with before your day gets out of control. If you planned to exercise at 1pm and a friend invites you out for lunch, I would think you would accept the invitation and skip your workout. If you exercise in the am, your day is wide open for any of those last-minute invitations. Research does not indicate that one time of day for exercise proves more beneficial to the body than others, but again starting your day with a workout helps to avoid it getting skipped. Do not let your workout suffer due to social engagements.
What is the best form of cardio equipment? Very simple, the one you like and enjoy using. If you hate running or walking, the treadmill would not be the best fit even if it is a good piece of equipment. If you watch tv or read while you do your cardio workout, a recumbent bike where you are supported may be the safest option for you. Follow you brain, if you enjoy the activity, let the piece of equipment you use guide your choice of equipment.
What is the best snack? There are many organic options but the simplest with the least ingredients is always the best. Fresh fruit, cut up vegetables, lean protein like Greek yogurt or cheese or good old fashioned air popped popcorn are good choices. If you have a sweet tooth and are craving ice cream, pick up some frozen fruit bars. They are only 100 calories per bar, and some have actual fruit in them.
What should I eat in the morning if I’m not a breakfast person? By now you have all heard the importance of eating breakfast. Think of your body like a car, would you ever let your oil or fluids go low? Same thing with food. Do not deprive your body of food and please do not deny your body carbohydrates. They are the fuel of your body. Some simple ideas include an apple with peanut butter, fresh fruit, or yogurt with berries.
What is the best health bar? This goes back to you, which bar do you enjoy? Choose options that are low in sugar and have at least 10 grams of protein.
What’s the best exercise? I’m a big fan of push-ups! When done correctly, they work your core and are a complete upper body strength movement. Plus, there are a variety of modifications that can be used to maintain proper form by using a wall or countertop versus getting all the way down on the floor. Perform push-ups for the upper body and sit-to-stands for the lower body and you have worked the major muscle groups of the body with those two movements alone!
My balance is terrible - should I not exercise? Yes, you should absolutely exercise! By not actively engaging your muscles your balance will worsen. Start slowly, you didn’t lose your balance in a week, and you will not gain it back in a week. Work with a fitness professional to begin an exercise program customized to your needs that will allow you to safely build your strength and endurance over time.
As we get older, the answers to our questions 30 years ago are not the same answers. With so much misinformation out there, continue to listen to your body and keep moving!