April 29, 2008

"I really want to lose weight right here."

Have you ever said that while pointing to a certain region (or plural) of your body? I'm sorry to tell you, but Spot Training -- or losing weight in a specific part of your body -- doesn't happen. Usually the body rids itself of fat where it was most recently gained. Or, your body rids itself of fat wherever it decides. You personally don't have control of that. Yes, of course you can train specific parts of your body, but that does not increase the likelihood of the fat going away any faster.

If you've been lifting weights (strength training) then yes, your muscles are getting stronger and shapelier even though you can't see this due to the fat covering them. Think of it like this: cardio burns the fat that is hiding your trained, sculpted muscle. Be patient and continue your cardio and weight training. After some time and hard training, then you can point to that region and say, "I lost weight right here."

Best time for a workout?

A question was posted asking:
"Is there a 'best' time of day to exercise (morning, night, afternoon)?"

You can find all sorts of science to support whatever you want this answer to be. IMO, the best time to exercise is when you can get a great workout in your schedule.

Some people can't/won't exercise at night because the extra energy will keep them up at night. Sleep is an important benefactor to helping you lose weight and build muscle. (However, I do know plenty of people who can workout at night and it helps them sleep better. Every body is different.)

Other people can't/won't exercise in the afternoon due to work, carpooling kids around, etc.

Then there are those who can't/won't exercise in the mornings because they have a hard time getting out of bed or have to go to work super early.

Pick a time that's best for you. My preference is in the morning, but that's because my kids are very self-entertained, if not asleep, at that time. That's when I can get a hard workout with very little interruptions, and I have the rest of the day to utilize that extra surge of energy I get from exercise.

Just make sure when you do exercise, you get plenty of water before and after your workout. If you can drink water during your workout, that's very beneficial as well!