Each week our resident expert Tabitha Klausen answers your health, life and fitness questions right here. Tabitha is a fitness model and certified trainer who helps others strike the right balance with her realistic approach to health and fitness.
Is a sauna or steam room worth my time after a workout?
Aside from relaxing your muscles, some of their other benefits include cleansing your skin and detoxing your body through sweating, increased circulation, decongestion and arthritis relief.
While saunas and steam rooms have similar benefits, they are different: saunas are dry heat, while a steam room is moist heat. There are no differences in terms of the affects they have on you because they both relax you, the heat forcing your blood vessels to dilate, slowing your heart rate. You don’t sweat out toxins but you’ll sweat out salts, so hydrate properly. Research in the Annuls of Medicine discovered regular saunas also helped people avoid colds, but only slightly.
I’ve heard that you should be able to talk when you are running? Is this true or just a myth?
It’s totally true and it’s commonly called the ‘talk test’. A study by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, US, had subjects recite aloud the Pledge of Allegiance while on treadmills and found if you can talk while running, you are most likely in your target zone, while if you can’t talk, you’re probably overexerting yourself. So talk away while running, but don’t get caught taking to yourself because that would be awkward.
How many times a week do I really need to train to see results?
This depends on a couple different factors. If you’re entering a show you’ll most likely have to train more frequently than someone who just wants to get in shape or lose a couple pounds. A bodybuilder can be in the gym working out 5-6 days a week while someone looking to get into better shape can train as little as twice a week.
The second factor is diet. Are you eating the proper foods for optimal weight loss or muscle gain? Check out Bodybuilding.com for innumerable healthy recipes that will provide the great taste and results you’re looking for.
The third factor is genetics. I’ve seen people with abs who’ve never lifted or dieted a day in their life, but I’ve also seen people who need to work incredibly hard to see any kind of result. Everyone is different and it’s important to focus on your own journey and not compare yourself to others when looking to record gains. What works for one person may not work for another. If you’re unsure about what you need to do to reach your goals you might need a trainer, which brings me to the next question.
How can I know if I need a personal trainer?
If you’re new to the gym it couldn’t hurt to hire a trainer for a general introduction to all the equipment, to ensure you have proper form and you don’t get injured.
You’d also benefit from hiring a trainer if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, need motivation, want a fresh workout plan or need to be held accountable in the gym by someone. Even trainers can benefit from hiring trainers. As a personal trainer myself I’ve trained personal trainers and, in turn, been trained. Many trainers specialise in different things, and it’s great to try something new or learn new exercises.
Find expert advice and more in every issue of TRAIN for HER magazine.