Welcome to the seventh edition of "Ask Paul," where I answer a few of the questions I receive on the site. I get literally hundreds of questions every month from people all over the world, and a lot of them follow a pretty common theme. I've picked quite a few from June and done my best to provide people with some insight and assistance.
If you have a question for me, click here and fill out my online form. I can't answer them all, but I'll try my best to get to yours.
I was wondering if there is anywhere in the city to run stairs, outside? I really enjoy doing stairs but I am fairly new to Halifax and I am not sure if there are any around. Any information would be great, Thanks 🙂
Danielle from Halifax
I am not from Halifax I live in Edmonton. However in season 1 of X-Weighted we did film there. I remember I did a workout at the Citadel. I think there were just over 100 stairs. Try for 10 sets as fast as you can. Time it and try to better it each workout. A good goal is to complete the ten sets in 30min or less. Have Fun.
What are a few good lower back exercises you can recommend? How much cardio should I do in a day if my goal is to drop weight and become fit? At my work we have a gym that has an infrared sauna, do you of any healthy benefits to infrared sauna or sauna's for a person like me who is trying to lose the weight and become fit?
Nadir from Vancouver
The best thing to help a lower back is to strengthen the deep stabilizers of your spine which protect the spine like a corset wrapping around it. Do body weight exercises that incorporate movement in both the legs and upper body with a load. An example is a forward lunge with a side to side twist holding a medicine ball. You want to activate the core incorporating all the muscles in your body at the same time.
Please Note the infrared sauna will not help you lose body fat. Just sitting still with your body heating up will not expend the calories necessary to lose any significant body fat. You must create the heat build up on your own through the friction of your muscles working. The more muscles your engage and the greater the stress or load you place upon them burns the most calories. Did you really think you could lose fat just sitting around?
I would love to know how much extra protein i need because of my workout.
I walk 1 hour 5 days a week, weight train (then jog for 10 minutes) 4 days a week, and jog/power walk 1 hour 2 days a week.
I got the book "nutrition for Canadian dummies" and worked out that for my age and weight I need 3 oz of protein a day to exist.
How much more do i need with my workout schedule?
April from Edmonton
The general guidelines for protein intake is 1.2 to 1.4 gms per kilogram of body weight. This should be plenty to maintain your muscle mass and avoid going into a catabolic state.
Do you have any upcoming seminars in Edmonton??? If not can you recommend any good Personal Trainers in Edmonton, I have changed many aspects of my life and have lost 164 pounds but need to work on many other things but need help, I would appreciate any help or information. Thank you
Manny from Edmonton
Of course I would have to recommend the trainers at my personal training studio “Custom Fit”. They are all fantastic. They have a great knowledge base, experience and fun to train with. Check out our website www.customfit.ca and give me a shout for a free consultation.
Do you ever eat anything "bad"? An ice cream cone? A doughnut? Ever?
Jody from Kamloops
The only foods I consider bad are artificial ones. I don’t eat anything with preservatives, artificial flavoring or manufactured commercially. I will eat good dark chocolate, fresh homemade Italian pizza, a good homemade hamburger, real full fat ice cream, etc. But I don’t consider these bad foods. You just have to eat them in moderation or do the extra training to justify the calories.
I was wondering what you think of the TRX training system!
Tina from Montreal
I think the TRX is a fantastic training tool. For those that do not know what this is, think of two nylon straps hanging from the rafters. Each strap has a handle for the hands and straps for the feet just underneath the handle. I like it because you can do body weight exercises that can train every muscle in the body. If used properly you can work on core strength, muscular endurance, balance, flexibility and cardio training. I use it all the time to train my clients.
I am a very fit triathlete, as is my husband. However, his 16 year old daughter who recently moved in with us is far from it! She keeps a poor diet, does zero exercise and is terribly unfit. She is by no means overweight; in fact she's quite thin (though not dangerously so). Because of this, her father thinks she's perfectly alright. I completely disagree with him. She once rode my mountain bike along side us while we did an XC run, and on anything that wasn't downhill, she couldn't even keep up! She is at risk for high blood pressure (her father has it), and she often has digestive issues (stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, etc.) which usually occur after a high-fat or processed carb meal. I have tried to talk to my husband about but he "doesn't want to pressure her" or "he'd be more concerned if she was fat". He just doesn't understand that healthy and skinny can often have nothing to do with each other. How do I get through to them?
Heather from Kamloops
I totally agree that just because someone is thin that does not mean they are fit. The key is to introduce activity to her that she may enjoy doing. For some people training too seriously puts them off because of the pressure of trying to keep up to others. People are always scared of failure. Ask her what she would like to do and take some time and participate along. I think you are good role models when you show by example exercising regularly is a habit one should develop early in life. Some people may get hooked on one sport while others like variety. It does not matter as long as you are doing something you like.
Hi Paul,I've watched some of the family x weighted shows and I think they're great. I'm a 13 year old girl and I'm 5ft 6 inches tall and I currently weigh 9stone 12lbs. In your opinion is that overweight? I think I'm quite fat, so I'd really like to lose weight but also get very toned. What are the best kind of exercises to do this?
Sab from Birmingham
or your height I don’t think the weight you are at is a problem. I would get a body fat test performed if you are really concerned. I recommend getting a DEXA Scan for the best accuracy. Ideally girls should be around 24-26%.
Do not get caught up on having a specific body image just because you see it in magazines or on TV. Often these bodies are unrealistic to maintain long term. In magazines pictures are photo shopped. The models are not as perfect in real life as they appear in the picture.