From time to time, people e-mail me questions about fitness. Here are a few I received this week, along with the answers. Names have been changed to protect identity. And answers have been changed to make them sound better than they did in the emails.
Q: Hey Miss Fitness, What’s the best energy booster?
Sincerely, A Guy Who Does P90X With Co-Workers
A: Well, let’s see–I just woke up from a 2 hour nap, so perhaps I’m not the best person to ask right now. Additionally, I prefer to be called Fitness Friday Girl. Please and thank you.
I do lots of things to boost my energy. Depending on the time/place/situation, here are all the things I have done at one time or another:
–herbal tea (I have a couple of green teas that I love as well as a Yogi mint tea that is actually called “Vital Energy” Go figure.)
–ice cold water
— a brisk walk outdoors
—vitamin D3. During winter months I take 5,000 IUs daily. In the summer, I get it from the sun.
–a serving of fresh fruit with a little protein. Like an apple and cheese or banana and peanut butter.
—Shakeology (This is not a sales pitch. Shakeology is amazing and gives me tons of energy.)
Speaking of, here is a funny new commercial about Shakeology. Tony Horton cracks me up.
And finally (and obviously), naps. Truly–sometimes you lack energy because you need more sleep.
Q: What is the most reasonable Beachbody exercise program to start out with? I’ve been slacking for a while now, and I have the time to get back with the program, but I don’t want to kill myself right off the bat. Also, I have to take it easy on weights right now, due to tennis elbow. I like to do the treadmill and I like variety.
Sincerely, Ready for a Fresh Start
A: I think it’s going to be challenging to find a recently released workout program that is not heavy on planks, pushups or weights. Planks and pushups are very popular right now because they require no weights and are so effective. P90X workouts are very heavy on weights and plank moves. Insanity is 100% jumping or plank moves.
I really like the instructor who does Turbo Fire. She’s fun and the music is great. But that program is super-duper dancey, like old-school step aerobics. You don’t actually use a step, but unless you are very coordinated in a dance way, you won’t like that. (Blocking out bad memories of turning my ankle during aerobics class in 1993, requiring a trip to the ER and a few weeks on crutches.)
I have never done Slim in 6, but I know people who have and really like it. I think it’s more light cardio and light resistance moves. It may be a good place to start.
Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, often recommends starting out with Power 90. This was the workout before P90X hit the market. I have never done this one, but I heard Tony Horton wears short-shorts in it.
This isn’t BeachBody, but I really like Jillian Michael’s workouts. I did her 90 Day Body Revolution this summer and I loved it. She does a lot of plank moves, too, but you could drop down to your knees or just flip over to your back and do a set of crunches. Her workouts are less intense than P90X, but still with a lot of variety.
I’ve also done Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred, repeatedly, before I ever started P90X. The workouts are only 20 minutes, but they are really good. If you’re just starting out, it will kick your booty.
If you ever get to the place where you get your elbow stronger and it’s less painful, I would highly recommend starting with P90X3, then to P90X and then P90X2. In that order. I’ve done a lot of workouts over the years, and they really are the best thing on the market. Easily modified, challenging, tons of variety, super-effective.
(Disclosure: I am a Beachbody coach–If you would like to order any of the Beachbody workouts mentioned, click here. I will make a small commission on the sale. I do not receive any commission for telling you about Jillian Michaels. For all my favorite workouts, click here. For everything you’d ever care to know about Beachbody, click here.)
Q: I would love to hear your tips and advice for dealing with social situations. We had a lot of those this weekend and food is a big part. I like the social aspect and don’t want to give it up! And who wants to be the girl that just drinks water and eats only lettuce??
Sincerely, A Girl With Both Fitness Goals and Friends
A: You have a few choices and I have done all of these at one time or another:
1) You can plan ahead and “budget” in your food for that event. I do this a lot. If I know I’m going somewhere where I’ll want to eat the food, I just make sure I’m extra clean and lean in the couple meals before and after that event, and then I eat and enjoy without guilt at the event.
2) If it’s something where everyone is bringing stuff, you can bring something really healthy (that you love) to share. I do this a lot, too. There’s a salad I make that I really enjoy and it’s really pretty so everyone else enjoys it, too. I take it to a lot of places.
3) You can do the whole, “I’ll just have a bite of a few favorite things.” I have a hard time with that because I still end up eating more than I want, usually. But it’s a good approach if you are caught off guard with the event and/or the food.
4) If I have multiple events back to back (that happens a lot in December for me) I pick and choose which ones I’ll eat at. Sometimes I have to remind myself that just because food is served doesn’t mean I have to eat it. Sometimes I really CAN just have a glass of wine and a small plate of veggies and dip. And sometimes it really IS perfectly fine and good to tell myself “no.” It doesn’t mean I’m not living or that I’m depriving myself or whatever. It just means I’m making healthy choices because I care about my health and I’m trying to reach some goals that are really important to me. THAT is also living!
YOU CAN DO THIS!!
Q4U: Do you have any questions for Fitness Friday Girl?
(Do you see what I did there? My question for you is “do you have any questions for me.” Clever, huh.)