Gilad's New "Ask Gilad" blog is now posted.
Find it HERE.
Question: What is considered a good body fat percentage?
Answer: Most women have somewhere between 15 and 38 percent body fat. They should have approximately 15 to 25 percent body fat. Marathon runners and other advanced athletes may have lower percentages. Most men average between 12 and 24 percent body fat. Men should have approximately 10 to 19 percent body fat. Physically fit men may go as low as 6 to 12 percent.
Find out more information about Gilad and his Fitness DVD's HERE.
Question: I am going to start a workout program. How long will it take me to get into shape?
Answer: How fast will you get to the goal you set for yourself? If you are committed to a program and really work at it, you can achieve noticeable results in 6 short weeks, good results in 12 weeks and excellent results in 6 months. The most important thing to remember is to let go of the idea that you can accomplish your goal faster if you take a short cut such as a crash diet or working twice as hard as your body can handle in its present condition. In fact, those are two sure ways to put you right into the 'roller coaster club' of those who gain, lose, gain, lose and so on.
Question: In your fitness programs you always recommend getting plenty of rest. Why is rest so important?
Answer: The three most important elements to your fitness program are healthy eating, a regular exercise program and REST! Rest is often overlooked! Making sure you get enough rest and a good night's sleep becomes even more important if you are exercising vigorously. A good night's sleep is essential to our physical as well as mental health and positively affects our memory, creativity and overall well-being.Many processes happen during our sleep time. Growth hormone, which is essential for recovery and improving fitness levels, is released during our sleep. Melatonin which is known as the 'sleep hormone' is often taken to recover from jet lag. Melatonin is released during sleep. It is an important and powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and helping to reduce cell damage.
Question: After reading your suggestion about a 'knee-friendly' swimming workout, I started to swim. I can hold my own with your aerobics workouts but I find myself getting winded much more easily when I swim. Why is this?
Answer: Swimming laps is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. However, even people who exercise regularly and think they are in good shape are often surprised to find that they can only swim a few continuous laps of the pool before feeling very out of breath. Part of the reason is that swimming, unlike cycling or running, involves working the whole body, and particularly the upper body. Also, more than other exercises, swimming requires the conscious control and coordination of breathing with motion, something that swimmers often find exhausting. However, as you spend more time in the water, your breathing will become as natural in swimming as it is in land based sports.
Question: Do you have any exercises that you can recommend for bone building?
Answer: The best exercises you can do for bone building are resistance exercises with weights. Outside of some of my DVD's such as 'sculpt and tone' 'cuts and curves' I would highly recommend getting into the gym and incorporate free weights into your regiment.
Question: I have been doing your aerobic workouts (the TV shows) for about 3 months now and like the results. However, I think I am ready for the next step. What do you suggest?
Answer: I suggest you mix it up a little. Jog, ride a bicycle, even start doing some weight training. This is what is referred to as cross-training. I find that cross-training is the best way to balance a good workout program. It eliminates the typical 'burnout' or 'boredom' syndrome of doing one single activity over and over. It is also more versatile and therefore easier for anyone with a busy schedule. It keeps your fitness activities more healthy, fun and alive. It also allows your body more rest between repetitions of the same activity.
Question: Why do we crave foods that aren't good for us?
Answer: That is a complex question with many different answers based on each individual. Let's just look at one all encompassing answer for now...advertising. We have been exposed to advertising our entire lives. We have seen so many commercials and print ads that advertise fast foods, sugar, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages that they have to affect us. They show beautiful people with beautiful bodies photographed in exotic locations holding in their hands cans of...you know the rest.
Question: I love meat....but I love fruits and vegetables too. I trim as much fat as I can from my steak whenever I eat it. If you make an effort to eat your steak as lean as possible, is it still bad for you?
Answer: You have probably heard that all calories are not created equal. It's true. Calories from fat are actually more fattening than calories from other sources. Carbohydrates and proteins (including fat-free steak) both weigh in at only 4 calories per gram while fats weigh in at a whopping 9 to 11 calories per gram! (Please note that it is impossible to trim ALL of the fat off of steak.) This means that you are getting 2 ½ times more calories from fat than from equal amounts of carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) or protein. As you can see, it is a lot smarter to get your calories from carbohydrates. Not only can you eat more with less calories to worry about, but the calories you get from carbohydrates are a lot more efficient and easily used by the body.
So keep trimming as much fat as you can from your steak and consider substituting fish or skinless chicken more often...and don't be afraid to eat large servings of vegetables.
Question: I want to start running to lose weight. My knees and joints are in good shape but I am uncomfortably overweight. Any suggestions?
Answer: If you are a beginner to exercising, or if you are more than 15 pounds overweight, you do not want to go outside and just start running. In fact, I would suggest that you go outside and start walking instead. Walking and running can produce the exact same cardiovascular benefits and will burn the same number of calories. The only difference is that with walking, you have to be out there longer. Runners can have a great workout in half an hour, while walkers would probably have to walk briskly for about an hour to get the same results.