Your Fitness Questions, Answered!

Should I do strength training or cardio first?
According to IDEA Health and Fitness Association, if your goal is to lose weight or increase endurance, cardio should come first. If you want to get stronger or build lean muscle, start with strength training. You get less out of a workout once you’re fatigued, so the best bet is to prioritize based on your personal goals.

How should I take care of my skin before, during, and after a workout?
Though it may seem like a good idea to wash your face before a workout, over washing can dry your skin out. You’re better off making sure you’re not wearing makeup before your sweat session and then washing your face well immediately after your workout. Try not to touch your face while exercising, as you can transfer dirt and oil that can clog pores.

What should I eat before I work out?
Try a light carbohydrate-rich snack, like a steel-cut oatmeal, whole fruit, or a piece of bread. Eating too much will surely slow you down, so pay attention to your portions. If you’re trying to tone up, protein is your best bet – we’re loving the new Zumba® Shake Shake Shake™ as a great source of protein to fuel your workout. Note that protein before a workout may help you burn more calories overall, while protein after a workout helps muscles repair and grow.

Should I apply heat or ice to a pulled muscle?
Both, but make sure you start with ice when the muscle is swollen immediately after the injury. You can follow up with warm compresses once the muscle is no longer swollen. Doing it the other way around can exasperate your injury!

How can I improve my endurance?
Endurance is all about oxygen intake and efficiency. Improved endurance can be achieved through high intensity interval training, getting good rest, and drinking beet juice (really!).

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at www.TheZBeat.com. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Jennifer Lauren

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at www.TheZBeat.com.

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