FAQ About Exercise


Q: I'd like to implement a full-body strength-training and stretching program, but for right now, I'd just like to know a few good exercises for my lower back and abdominals. Can you help me?

Of course. Simply select the muscle group you wish to strengthen or stretch and you'll find a list of the very best strength-training and stretching exercise along with complete how-to instructions, including what not to do, safety precautions, alternative exercises, and  demonstrations. 

Q: When is the best time to workout? Is it good for your body to exercise at night before you go to sleep?

Brandy Westfall

 Any time during the day is appropriate for exercise but it must have been past one hour before you have eating something and at the same time you need to keep yourself off food for another 45 min after exercise to burn your body fat.

You can read the article on The best time to do aerobic exercise at www.womenfitness.net/cardiotiming.htm. The most important thing is that you need to exercise for a healthy body, and if you find it hard to take out time to exercise in the morning then evening is a very good option.
In Fitness

Q: Advise me some exercise equipment like exer cycle to reduce abdominal fat?

Dr. Natasha K

Dear Natasha,

Cardio-vascular exercises are the only permanent way to melt away fat from any part of your body. There is nothing as spot reduction, it is only when you adopt a regular cardio regime composed of low and high intensity workout can you achieve your health and fitness goals. Aerobic cross-training is effective for weight loss because you are toning and training the fat-burning systems more of your muscles. It turns more of your muscles into 24-hour fat-burning machines! You are also more likely to exercise on a regular basis and for longer periods of time. this also promotes weight loss and fitness.

Walking, jogging, biking, rowing, stair climbing, swimming, exercise videos, etc are excellent form of cardiovascular exercises and can help you achieve a successful fat loss if you follow the principles and guidelines of a healthy weight loss program.

What you need is a complete fitness program based on the five components of complete fitness, like the one offered by WF to achieve a healthy and permanent fat loss. If you are interested to know more about WF fitness programs, log on to www.womenfitness.net/membership.htm.
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Q: I have a very pronounced abdominal area. I have tried sit ups, curls and most exercises to strengthen this area but every exercise hurts my lower back. I am on a low fat and low sugar diet. I weigh 153 lbs and am 5'5". I walk everywhere I go, approx. a mile three times a week maybe more. I would appreciate any information.
Thank You for this wonderful website.
Lynn Jackart


Hi Lynn,

Welcome to www.womenfitness.net, a complete online guide for women to achieve healthy weight and optimum fitness .

Aging has lead to sagging of both external and internal abdominal organ. Women after the age of 30 begin to lose 1% of their muscle content every year. So the need for an adequate fitness program composed of cardiovascular and strength training exercises become essential for women above 30 yrs of age to prevent muscle loss, achieve healthy weight and gain muscle strength and tone.

A complete fitness program includes strength training exercises for every part of the body split into two workout, one composed of exercises for shoulder, chest, triceps, abdomen and the other to workout the legs, biceps, back and the abdomen.

The abdomen consist of several muscle groups which are located in the middle just below the chest going down to the public bone. These include upper, middle and lower abs, which start near the middle of the sternum and run vertically to lower part of the pelvis. The transverse ab muscles run horizontally and are the deepest muscular layer of the abs and run around the body. The oblique ab muscles lie around the lower eight ribs and are responsible for helping you to twist and bend sideways. It is important to have strong abdominal to perform day to day activities besides over coming low back pain common in women. You need to work on each of these muscles individually to strengthen them. Log on to  www.womenfitness.net/programs/strength/exercises.htm for some of the best abdominal exercises included with information regarding the specific muscle group's worked, along with thorough explanation of how to do each exercise. Besides you need to add variety and increase and decrease the intensity of the workout to keep your muscles guessing.
In this way you will be able to overcome monotony and achieve excellent results. At the same time do not forget to workout your lower back, each time you workout the abdomen. This will help in building strength in and around the area of abdomen and help you overcome back pain .

Do not forget to warm-up and stretch before a workout ,you can log on to www.womenfitness.net/programs/flexibility/exercises.htm for some of the best stretching exercises. Completely relax and cool down after the workout .

To sum up, a healthy diet, cardiovascular regime and a strength training routine is the only way to achieve a fit body. Any improvement for now would do you good and if you are regular in your workout regime you will definitely be able to achieve your goal. You need to be patient for the progress will be slow but as you increase the frequency, duration and intensity of exercise you will see results.

Do not forget to take permission of your doctor on the level of activity you can indulge in at a stretch.

In fitness

Q: I have lost a total of 19lbs in the last 3 months, and have been going to the gym for the past 3 weeks, I do str. training 4 days a week and cardio about 30-45 min. 5 or 6 days a week. My question is, if  this is enough and how long will I see real results? also I would like to know how much more does muscle weigh than fat?

Hi Debbie,

 Keep up the great work. As indicated in your mail it seems that you have succeed in melting away the fat. If you have been regular on a workout for 3 months as indicated, you must definitely must have begun seeing positive changes in your physical, mental, emotional and social lifestyle . You can rest assured that even at times when you are not able to view significant results there are positive internal developments taking place as a result of which you will see increase in energy level, improved sleep pattern, less heightened emotional states etc.

 The true measure of success in our program is not how much fat, not weight, you lose. The old adage "muscle weighs more than fat" is absolutely true, so the amount you weigh is really not all that important. If you replace 6 pounds of fat with 3 pounds of muscle (toned, firm, shapely muscle, not bulging body builder muscle) you will be miles ahead of someone who just managed to lose 6 pounds.

If you replace body fat with muscle, you will notice that your clothes look and feel better on your body, you will have more energy and more stamina and you will be much more pleased with yourself, regardless of what you weight.

Adequate balanced diet also should be an important part of your fitness program to achieve lifelong success. Eating a controlled number of calories at one daily meal will result in the loss of more muscle, and the deposition of more fat, than eating the same number of calories over three daily meals. The best way to lose body fat is to combine an exercise program with a balanced diet, but one that reduces caloric consumption so that one's projected loss is 1.5-2.0 pounds per week.

The scale is probably one of the biggest causes of failure in weight loss programs. Society has conditioned us to step on a scale whenever we want measure our success at losing or maintaining our weight, but what does a scale really tell us?

Two people with different body styles can weight the same, but look and feel completely different. It is impossible for you to know if you are losing fat, muscle, water-weight or anything else based solely on your weight.

You should recondition yourself to judge your success by the inches you lose, the way your clothes look and feel and by how much your body fat reduces (if you have a way of measuring it).

In fitness,

Q: I am just wondering if you might have anything on Swimming? Like where I can get a "Swimming Software Coach". So, I can try to see which workout suits me for my level. Or, just give me anything on Swimming you have.

Jennifer Hoover

A:  Hi Jennifer

Welcome to www.womenfitness.net a complete on-line guide for women to achieve healthy weight and optimum fitness. Regarding Swimming, you can log on to www.womenfitness.net/programs/cardio/exercises.htm and check out swimming under the exercise category to know more on the principles and guidelines of a complete swimming cardio workout.

Q: Why is it important to allow a full day of rest after training a particular muscle group? What are the negative effects of lifting weights with the same muscle group two days in a row, and not allowing a day between? Will NOT RESTING DECREASE muscle? HELP!!!!!!!!!! I have been searching high and low and and I can't seem to find a straight forward answer! 
(The Lumbs )

A: Hi Kristen,

 When you use muscles you have not used for a while or try a new exercise or training technique, it is normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by microscopic tear in the fibers of the connective tissues in your body´┐Żthe ligaments that connect bones to other bones, and the tendons that connect muscles to bones. 

When blood is forced into your muscles during your weightlifting program it potentate's the 'microtrauma' or tiny little tear in your muscles that we mentioned above. When this happens, your muscle tissues repair and rebuild themselves bigger and stronger than they were if you allow ample resting time. This is why you never train the same muscle group two days in a row; if you do, you cut off the rebuilding process.


Q: The exercise instructions,  demonstrations, and 12-week programs look great, but how will I remember what to do when I get to my health club?

A: We've made it very simple. Just print out the demonstration along with the exercise instructions; they'll show you exactly how to do the exercise, the common mistakes to avoid, and the precautions to take in order to insure your safety. In addition, each of the 12-week strength-training programs lists the name of the exercise, the recommended number of sets and repetitions for your goals, and the order in which to perform the exercises for each muscle group in order to get maximum effect. You can also print out these lists and take them with you to your club.


Q. I want to know how to lose the fat in my legs and reshape it. I've always had big legs and a small top, but I want to balance it out without putting more weight on top. What should I do?

What can I do to get rid of my large butt and thighs. I am a secretary and sit on them all day long every day. Please help!

A: Well, there are two issues here. One is weight loss and fat reduction, and the other is leg training. I'll get to some leg exercises in a minute.

We all store fat in particular places on our bodies. Women tend to store it more on their hips and thighs, men around their middles. By the way, storing fat on the hips and thighs is healthier in terms of risk for cardiovascular disease.

If you reduce the overall amount of fat stored on your body, you will lose some from your hips and thighs as well. Aside from doing aerobic exercise four or five times a week for 45 minutes or more -- this frequency and duration are suggested goals to work to and by no means the amount of exercise you should start out doing -- do some upper-body weight training to help maintain and increase the amount of lean muscle you have on your frame. More muscle translates into a higher resting metabolism, making it easier to keep fat off once you lose it.

To kill two birds with one stone, select cardiovascular exercises that recruit the leg muscles to help shape your legs and also boost overall calorie burning. Swimming won't work as well as cycling, walking, in-line skating and running for burning calories and toning leg muscles. In-line skating is particularly good for working your gluteus (butt muscles) and so is using a stepper.

If you have access to a gym, the leg extension, leg curl and leg press machines are great for training your leg muscles. Also try the AB/AD machine, (abductor/adductor, the inner and outer thigh muscles). But don't think that spending 15 minutes doing a thousand reps each session will make your hips smaller. Use it as you would any other weight machine: one or two sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Squats and lunges can be done in the home or gym, and they're great for attacking those "problem areas." If you're working out in your own at home, an exercise video like The Firm or Kathy Smith's Great Buns and Thighs can make your workout a little less boring. A wide selection of videos can be purchased at Fitness Videos.

Q. I have been working out for around a year now and I cannot get my lower abs into any type of shape. Despite doing 900 various crunches, ab roller, and 100 sit-ups four days a week, along with running and my regular workout on the weights, I still have a tire around my waist. What else can I do?

A: "What should I do to get abs?" I am still asked this question more often than any other. Although the question is often phrased differently, the answer is always the same: Seeing your abs - or any other muscle group for that matter - is strictly the result of having low body fat levels. You get low body fat from proper diet and cardio, not from doing hundreds of ab exercises every day.

It may seem like your lower ab muscles are hard to develop, but it's not really an issue of muscle development at all - you simply store your fat in the lower abdominal region more readily than other parts of your body.

Most people don't have their fat distributed evenly throughout their bodies. Each of us inherits a genetically determined pattern of fat storage just as we inherit our eye or hair color. In other words, the fat seems to "stick" to certain areas more than others. Men often tend to store fat more readily in the lower abdominal region (the "pot belly"). In women, the "stubborn" areas are usually the hips, thighs ("saddlebags") and the triceps ("grandmother arms"). These are the first places the fat goes to, and the last places the fat comes off.

You could focus on more "lower ab" exercises like hanging leg raises, reverse crunches and hip lifts, but even these won't help as long as you still have body fat covering the muscles. You can't "spot reduce." I would suggest cutting back the volume on your ab training and spending the time on more cardio work instead. Personally, I do about 15-20 minutes of ab work two times per week. (About 8-12 sets of 10-25 reps). Here is a typical ab routine that I use:

1.Hanging leg raises 3 sets, 15-25 reps Superset to:
2.Hanging knee ups (bent-knee leg raises) 3 sets, 15-25 reps
3.Incline Revere Crunches 3 sets, 15-25 reps
4.Weighted Cable Crunches 3 sets, 10-25 reps For maximum fat loss, you should do cardio 5-7 days per week for 30-60 minutes. You could continue running or mix up the type of cardio you do (stationary cycling, stairclimbing, elliptical machines, and other continuous aerobic activities are all excellent fat burners). Once you are satisfied with your level of body fat and your abdominal definition, you can cut back to 3-4 days per week for 20-30 minutes for maintenance.

As far as diet goes, here are a few fat-burning nutrition guidelines in a nutshell:

1.Eat about 15-20% below your calorie maintenance level
2.Spread your calories into 5-6 small meals instead of 2-3 big ones.
3.Eat a source of complete, high quality protein with each meal.
4.Choose natural, complex carbs such as vegetables, oatmeal, yams, potatoes, brown rice and whole grains. Start with at least 50% of your calories from complex carbs and reduce carbs slightly (esp. late in the day) if you are not losing fat.
5.Avoid refined, simple carbs that contain white flour or white sugar
6.Keep total fats low and saturated fats low. Aim for only 15-20% of your total calories from fat. A little bit of "good fat" like flax oil is better than a no fat diet.
7.Drink plenty of water - a gallon is a good goal to shoot for if you are physically active.

1000+ reps of ab work four days a week is an amazing feat of endurance, but that's not how you get abs! You probably have outstanding development in your abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, if your abs are covered up with a layer of fat, you won't be able to see them no matter how many crunches or sit ups you do. You "get abs" from reducing your body fat and you reduce body fat mostly through diet and cardio.

Q.  I'm pretty lean overall, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get rid of this last little bit of fat on my lower abs. What are the best ab exercises to burn the fat off?

A : 
If I hear this question one more time, I'm goanna scream! Ok, let me clear this up once and for all: You can't "spot reduce" fat from one specific part of your body! You lose fat systemically. That means you can't control where it comes from. When fat is oxidized for energy, you will draw it from all areas of the body, and the first place you tend to put it on will be the last place it comes off. Everyone has certain "stubborn" areas where it seems "hard to get rid of" but the fat WILL go, it will just be the last place to go. The best way to burn fat off your abs is not to do more ab work, but to do more cardiovascular work: bike, Stairmaster, treadmill, elliptical machine or rower - they're all great fat burners. Work at about 70-85% of your age-predicted maximal heart rate (220-your age) and maintain it for 30-45 minutes 5-6 days a week for optimal results. Train your abs about twice a week, just as you would any other body part. Doing your abs every day will do almost nothing to remove the layer of fat covering the muscles. In fact, it is possible to have a great set of abs that you can't even see because they are covered up with a layer of fat! And don't forget, nutrition is half the battle when it comes to fat loss! If you're drinking beer and eating pizza, it doesn't matter what you do in the gym, you'll never have a great set of abs.

Formula for ripped abs:
Nutrition 50%
Cardio 49%
Ab exercises 1%

Q. How Is Arthritis of the Shoulder Treated?

A: Dear Radha,

Most often osteoarthritis of the shoulder is treated with non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or cox-2 inhibitors. (Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder may require physical therapy and additional medicine, such as corticosteroids.) When non-operative treatment of arthritis of the shoulder fails to relieve pain or improve function, or when there is severe wear and tear of the joint causing parts to loosen and move out of place, shoulder joint replacement (arthroplasty) may provide better results. In this operation, a surgeon replaces the shoulder joint with an artificial ball for the top of the humerus and a cap (glenoid) for the scapula. Passive shoulder exercises (where someone else moves the arm to rotate the shoulder joint) are started soon after surgery. Patients begin exercising on their own about 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. Eventually, stretching and strengthening exercises become a major part of the rehabilitation program. The success of the operation often depends on the condition of rotator cuff muscles prior to surgery and the degree to which the patient follows the exercise program.


Q. If I practice Pilates, what results am I likely to experience?

A: Here are some specific benefits most regular Pilates practitioners experience:
increased core strength and stability longer, leaner, more flexible muscles increased strength without bulk improved posture enhanced ease of movement heightened body awareness improved sports performance improved balance, coordination, and circulation 

Q. What does fitness consist of?

A: True fitness involves a combination of activities that enable you to perform physical tasks well. It has several components,

STAMINA A healthy heart provides stamina, or endurance. The best exercise for the heart is aerobic- meaning that it burns oxygen. To be effective, aerobic exercise has to be energetic enough to make you slightly breathless, walking, running, cycling, swimming and aerobics increase stamina.

SKILL - Being fit also means being able to control and coordinate our movements, and being able to balance and tract quickly. We use these sills whenever we move, but many sports and physical activities also develop mental and social skills.

MUSCULAR STRENGTH - Powerful muscles can improve posture and protect against injuries and back pain, as well as helping with every day activities such as carrying the shopping. Muscle -strengthening exercise is called an-aerobic - it does not require extra oxygen. Activities such as swimming and cycling combine anaerobic and aerobic exercise.

BUILDING STRENGTH - Weightlifting is one of the purest anaerobic, or strength, exercise. To be truly fit, you need aerobic exercise too.

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE - Repeated movements, such as pedaling a bike inflating a tyre with a foot pump or beating up a cake mixture, improve your muscles' ability to keep on working hard without tiring.

SUPPLENESS - Flexible muscles are strong and healthy, and help to preserve mobility and independence ion later life.

DEVELOPING ENDURANCE - The big muscles of the body, such as the quadriceps in the thigh and the biceps in the arm, need slow, rhythmic exercise to build their ability to keep going. Cycling, swimming and walking all serve the purpose.



Q. Thank you for your prompt reply. Since I didn't give you my aerobic workout and cardiovascular regime in my last e-mail (which is below your e-mail), I would like to do that now. I run for 30 minutes (about 3-3.5 miles) every other day. I also use Stairmaster machine for 20 minutes every other day. Then, I lift weights that concentrate on my arms, such as my triceps, biceps, and shoulders. Consequently, I think that my exercise habits are strong, but I am still unsure why my stomach is getting bigger. Does one's stomach usually get bigger when it gets more muscle? And could it possibly be that I need to improve my diet? I'm not the most healthy eater. I love cereal, and so I eat 1-2 bowls for breakfast and then maybe 1 or 2 for lunch or dinner along with my meal. Also, I eat a salad for dinner about once a week, and I haven't had any sweets/desserts for about 3 weeks. I was also thinking that it could be my body type. I notice that I tend to develop fat around my stomach rather than my thighs.

Sorry that this is e-mail is so long. I hope it covers everything that you need to know in order to help me try to lose some of the fat around my stomach and love handles.

Thank you and have a great day!


You need to get your basics clear that, by following a fitness program based on the five components of complete fitness namely, cardiovascular strength training, flexibility training, nutrition and weight management only you can achieve lifelong healthy and fit body. Not following any one of these components will interrupt in achievement of your health and fitness goals.

Body fat and muscle are two different layers, fat being the uppermost followed by muscle layer. In your instance the muscle layer has seemed to develop with less effect on the layer of fat. Another aspect, which you need to understand, is that the fat cells once created cannot be eliminated from the body (only by surgery) completely. What happens is that these fat cells are squeezed down, as long as you follow a healthy diet and exercise pattern. But these cells will swell up as and when you get down from the track and adopt unhealthy eating habits .

Now, To lose weight a calorie deficit needs to be created to facilitate breaking down of fat as a source of energy. Similarly if appropriate amount of exercise is not rendered to the body, and proper dietary pattern is not followed ,there will be breakdown of muscle content of the body instead of fat. The Body tends to derive its energy first from the muscles if you go on a diet or do not consume needed calories bringing about a drop in the body's metabolic rate.

Therefore to conserve the muscles and achieve optimum fat loss it is essential that you follow a fitness program essentially composed of cardiovascular exercise and strength training along with a balanced diet composed of cereals, fruits and vegetables .

The other aspect is plateau. In the fitness arena, a plateau happens when the improvements you've grown to expect start leveling off, or stop happening altogether. Actually, it's a problem that can occur in any area of your life: You're going to the gym every day, but your muscles aren't responding, and your body is looking any better. You're eating right, but your waistline isn't getting smaller.

Here are few suggestions for you :

.Keep a food journal. Better, keep track of your nutrition with a computer program that gives you a nutritional readout on everything you eat. This will let you know if you're eating more calories than you thought you were, and how balanced your meals are.

.Spend 20-40 minutes on every aerobic exercise session. Just remember, the shorter the aerobic workout, the more intense it needs to be to burn maximum calories. If your workout is longer, intensity is lower.

.If you've been eating an ultra-low fat diet, add back some healthy fat, such as fish, olive oil, nuts, and avocado. Cut out a serving or two of starchy carbohydrates to make up for the extra calories. Adding a small amount of fat helps you feel satisfied sooner, and longer.

.Quit starving yourself. This is what causes your body to hold on to fat for dear life. Eat enough healthful food throughout the day to keep your blood sugar steady, your metabolism up, and your energy high.

.MOVE YOUR BODY in the weight room - do circuit training, allowing as little time as possible (or NO time) between sets. This is an excellent way to rev up your metabolism. No more "shooting the breeze" with others. Get in, work hard, get done. THEN socialize.

.If you've been working out mostly on weight machines, try out free weights or bands. Get a trainer to show you proper technique and use a spotter for heavier weights.




Q. Hi WF! I just joined and was hoping you could offer suggestions on how many fruits and vegetables I should eat daily, the benefits of doing so, and easy-to-follow ideas for improving the nutritional value of my diet. I really look forward to your program and I'm excited to begin achieving good results. Thanks!


Sure, here comes the answer, you should eat a minimum of 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for optimal health. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition, they also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, shown to prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.

Make a list of all the fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating. Think of ways to include them in convenient snacks. Carrots, celery, apples, kiwi bananas, oranges, mango, and berries are great choices. Also, decide which fruits can be added to other snacks to enhance flavor.

For example,
bananas and dried fruits can be added to cereal or low/non fat yogurt. Also, think of ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your recipes or meals. This will not only add flavor and texture to your meal; it will help you get the nutrients you need for a healthy diet.

Some ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal:


  • Instead of coffee, drink fruit or vegetable juice.
  • Put a half-cup of fresh, frozen, or dried fruit on your cereal, pancakes, or yogurt.


  • Instead of soda, have an 8-oz. glass of vegetable juice, grape juice, apple juice, lemonade, or cranberry juice.
  • Eat fruit or raw vegetables. Many come conveniently packaged for your purse, pocket, or briefcase.


  • Have a salad. Add as many of your favorite vegetables as possible. A large salad with mixed vegetables can count for 2-3 servings.
  • Add as many of your favorite vegetables to your sandwich or soup as possible.


  • Make vegetables a part of the main dish: Add vegetables to chicken or tofu stir-fry. Add plenty of vegetables to low fat lasagna.
  •  Instead of pepperoni or Canadian bacon, add your favorite vegetables to a pizza with low/nonfat cheese.


  • Put fresh or frozen fruit onto frozen yogurt or nonfat ice cream.
  • Add fruit to angel-food or other low fat cakes.

Also, in the WF On-line Nutrition Book http://www.womenfitness.net/programs/nutrition/contents.htm, you'll find many more tips like these to improve the nutritional value of your meals, which will improve the results you achieve with your fitness program. You'll not only learn the role, food sources, and RDA's of each vitamin and mineral, I'll also personally figure out the amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates YOU should consume each day. Simply reply with your weight, age, and activity level (how often you exercise and the intensity) and I'll reply ASAP.

In fact, as a WF member, you can also e-mail us with a list of foods you enjoy and we'll provide easy-to-follow ways to improve your nutrition, ways tailored to YOUR lifestyle and preferences. And with our hundreds of Healthy Recipes ( http://www.womenfitness.net/programs/wtmngmnt/rec.htm ), you can be sure that you're eating a very healthy, well-balanced diet sure to help you achieve all your goals! And our new Free Nutritional Food database ( http://partners.calorieking.com/foods/?partner=womenfitness) is perfect for analyzing the nutritional value of more than 16,000 foods, it also serves as a great way to keep track of your meals and whether or not you've met your daily goals.

I really hope this helps. Keep up the excellent work and let me know how else I can help!




Q. Could this be IUGR? My wife just gave birth to our third child, a 6 lb 13oz baby boy at 40 weeks. Our first child, a girl, weighed 7 lb 8 oz at birth and our second, a boy, weighed 8 lb 10 oz and he was over two weeks overdue. I am wondering why out third child is smaller than the other two. The obgyn said everything looked normal and the placenta looked healthy and the pregnancy was uneventful, still, me and my wife want a second opinion. Do babies come in all sorts of sizes, even within the same family, for completely normal reasons? Thank you

A Dear Jeffery,

Your obgyn is right if everything looks normal to her. In fact, babies weighing 3.3 pounds (1,500 grams) or less are classified as very low birth weight. There are a number of factors which can to some stage affect the weight of the baby like the mother's age during conception, alcohol use and smoking, High levels of caffeine intake, mother's nutrition, health and fitness before and during pregnancy. Nutrition is one of the most important factors affecting the health of your baby.

Its important that the baby be healthy rather than being heavier. Consult your pediatrician for a view on the baby's physical health. I hope the above information helps.

Dr Tandon


Q. Can you please explain to me a "crunch" for your abs? Many people told me its these easy steps

A: *Lie down on your back and put you hands behind your neck.
* Bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground.
* Pull your upper body off the ground until your elbows touch your knees. 



Q. What are the home made food to be taken to keep the body fit and fine?

A Dear Monika,
All foods (refer, food guide pyramid) cooked in low fat especially carbohydrates and proteins accompanied with fruits and vegetables serve the body well. Lay less significance to fried foods; look for alternate cooking methods to enjoy your meals, Eat sweets in moderation etc. Whenever you feel hungry in between meals, snack on popcorn, fruits, few dry fruits (carry healthy fat), yoghurt etc  Click here, to read more on A Healthy Diet for Life.

Good Health,
U. Malthotra


Q. What happens when you eat a lot of dietary fiber and not enough water?   what causes water retention?   why don't i lose weight when i exercise and eat the same amount?

A :

Dear Maggie

Fiber generally refereed to as 'roughage' is essential for the healthy functioning of your body. It plays a very important role in nutrition and is very beneficial to many aspect of health. The first is weight management. A diet rich in fiber can help to promote fat loss if fiber food replaces fats and sweets. This is possible because fibrous foods offer fewer calories per gram (4 calories/gram) than fats (9 calories/gram) they are not easily converted to fat and also have the ability to expand to up to 10 times their weight and size in the stomach. Fiber gives you an edge on weight management, not only by satisfying your appetite but also by slowing down calorie absorption and keeping energy levels up.

It's important to drink more fluids when you increase the amount of fiber you eat to prevent constipation and facilitate better absorption of nutrients by the body. If you don't already drink over 6 glasses of liquid a day, drink at least 2 more glasses of water a day when you increase your fiber intake.

After 30 women begin to loose 1% of muscle mass every year which brings about drop in the level of metabolic rate, hence lesser food is required for survival. This is not the case with women who follow a strength training routine.

Good Health

Q. How can I lose the weight from around my stomach & hips? I've been working out for about a year already and have lost inches, but this area is very difficult! I do have children and this area seems like a little pouch.


A : Dear Dee
To keep on achieving results from your fitness routine, it's important to mix it up and keep the workouts interesting and productive.  Every time there occurs a plateau in weight loss or fitness program there lays a clear indication that there is a need to revamp the fitness routine to keep the body guessing and respond effectively to exercise routine. Click here, to check out the article on, Revamp your fitness routine.

Find ways to change your exercise routine and if you desire WF health and fitness experts to help you go forward, then Join Women Fitness Today.

In fitness


Q. I just bought a bowflex. I am not overweight. I am 5'3" tall and weigh 105lb I would like to build more muscle. I am wondering what sort of diet I should go on to help me build muscle while I am working out. I don't want to bulk up I just want to tone.

Thank you Dawn


Dear Dawn

Check out the link on,

If you need further help, Contact Us.

In fitness


Q. I was writing to you to ask your advice on weight loss. I am a 30yr old African American. I weight about 230lbs, I can't seem to get motivated to workout, I really don't eat a lot of junk. I believe it's the times I eat my meals, can you help push me in the right direction?

A :

Dear Lisa

Start looking for real, strong reasons to lose weight and stay healthy . With the rise in number of disease, it has become the need of the hour to begin taking positive steps in the direction towards maintaining Good health.

How would you feel, finding yourself rushing to the hospital every other day, taking 6-7 medications and not being able to enjoy food and life? Life is meant to be enjoyed, to enjoy one needs to remain healthy and fit and that's the reason why one needs to make exercise an inseparable part of daily routine, even if that sums up to be 15-20 min. Is, putting in a 15-20 min daily in a workout too much to ask for all the gains? These are the questions you need to answer yourself, as long as you remember the benefits you will never be discouraged. Play it as a game, you have set out to win. For motivational articles, click here.

 If you wish to make Women Fitness a partner in your fitness routine simply log on to http://www.womenfitness.net/wfmembership.htm to learn the many benefits of being a WF member.

 In fitness



Q. I was wondering which is more effective - performing cardio, then weight training, or performing weight training first, then finishing the workout with cardio?


A : Hi,

It is better to weight-train first. The weight training will deplete the glycogen in the body as a primary source of energy, also you need all the energy you can get in order to train hard with the weights.

Thereafter it is better for you to do your cardio workout as this will result in your body to burn up fat as an energy source as already you have depleted your glycogen levels.

Also this will facilitate the removal of lactic acid which builds up after weight training.

So first train weights then perform a 20 to 30 minute cardio workout at level of about 65 percent of your maximal heart rate to encourage fat loss.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards



Q. HELP!!! I cannot seem to loose any weight, I think I am at that all too famous "Plateau", what now? I am a 34 year old female with epilepsy. I take Dilantin, and Topamax. Shannen

A: Dear Shannen
Weight loss is a matter of simple calculation of what you consume (in form of food) and how much you burn in form of physical activity. There are other factors like heredity and hormones which affect the rate of weigh loss, but a healthy weight loss is possible through smart eating and exercise. However, do not forget to take permission of your doctor before you start on a fitness regime.

 In fitness



Q. How do you count your fat ratio?

Tammy Bartlett


Dear Tammy,
The body needs fat cells to store energy, but researchers at the National Institutes of Health report that people with high percentages of body fat have an increased risk of diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Generally, women should fall in the 18 to 25 percent range. Based on current information, a woman must have a minimum percent body fat of 13 - 17 percent for regular menstruation. If a woman's percent body fat is too low, her periods may stop and she may experience infertility.

There are several ways of measuring body fat, such as using skin fold calipers to find the amount of fat on the triceps or thighs.

 In fitness



Q. Wanted to get the view of a female expert , that is if you have the time with your incredible workload, sprained my ankle while I was mountain climbing in Ireland four weeks ago I immediately went to the hospital for x-ray no breaks or fractures but a lot of ligament tears ,got a clay cast put on for ten days removed swelling had only slightly decreased could not put any weight on it 3 weeks later , I am now able to walk with slight discomfort put the swelling is still there. is there a particular exercise I can do or is it simply time it needs any help will be greatly appreciated , I received the web site address from a ankle injury site ok
thank you jonathan

A: Dear Jonathan
Click on the link for 10 yogasanas for the feet http://www.womenfitness.net/ten_yogasanas.htm. Begin at your level depending on the pain with exercises that feel comfortable. Please consult your doctor before starting with these exercises.

 In fitness


Q. Marie, I was told that l-glutamine is a good amino for weight training, how much should I take? I have a bottle of 500mg. thank you (exe)

A :

Hi Justine,

In response to your question. Glutamine plays key roles in protein metabolism, cell voluminizing and anti-catabolism.

Glutamine is needed throughout your body for optimal performance. Glutamine may serve to boost your immune system. For bodybuilders this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels. It is a primary energy source for your immune system.

Regarding dosage if you are body building you should take 10 to 15 grams of L-Glutamine a day, supplementing it to 3 times daily, with each serving at around 5 grams. You should also know that you may already be getting some L-Glutamine in your diet from other supplements you're taking. Many protein supplements already have some L-Glutamine mixed into it. So read the labels to know for sure.

Best time to take L-Glutamine is in the morning, after a workout, and at night before bed time.
Just taking 2 grams of L-Glutamine can increase growth hormone levels.

I hope this answers your question.

Kind regards
Marie Saunders



Q. I have had to retire from work because I have degenerative spondylistis. I would like to know what kind of exercise I can do as I have put on a half stone in the last year was 8 stone 4lb.I would be please if you could me know.
Thank you Jan Finley.

A : There is no doubt obesity add to problems in spondlolosthesis. There is a vicious circle, Activity reduction adds to weight and weight adds to pain and reduction in activity. Therefore controlled caloric intake and simple activity as walking. Swimming (back stroke) playing games of low run are useful. All exercises should be isometric and avoiding aerobics, specially bending and high extension. Best are related to increasing pressure in  abdominal muscles, and stiff back exercises. Gluteus fold contractions have to be explained by a professional on spot. Flexion exercises are superior to hyperextension of back. But this does not mean person should make extensors weak and lazy. This controlled pay out rope activity have to be  explained by a professional on spot.