Exercise Questions and Answers – Tips To Help You Succeed


We receive hundreds of exercise questions every month from our visitors. Everything from diet concerns and meal planning to workout frequency and training issues. We wanted to share some of the exercise questions in the hopes that they will help inspire, motivate and answer many of the concerns you may have when it comes to health and fitness. These are real life questions from real life people:

Exercise is essential in order to live a healthy lifestyle, but a regular exercise routine is unfortunately very easy to neglect in our tightly scheduled and sedentary lifestyles. Many people don’t like working out, but it can help you live a longer and better quality life.

Exercise increases blood circulation in the body and it also burns calories and can help people maintain flexibility and joint mobility as they age. People who exercise are often happier than those who don’t because exercising releases endorphins which are essentially your brain’s “happy chemicals”. However, in addition to the exercise itself, working out can increase happiness by giving the athlete a greater sense of accomplishment when their fitness level increases.


Exercise is also is a great means of practicing self-discipline. Your body will be healthier with regular exercise and it will look better. This boost in confidence can carry into other areas of your life as well. All in all, it’s really a win-win by including a regular exercise routine into your daily regimen.

Although some people see exercise as a free pass to eat whatever they want, if you care about your performance and improvement, including exercise into your fitness plan can be a huge motivator to eat healthily. You will feel a difference and see much greater results once your diet is optimized.

Success can be defined in many different ways, but in the context of exercise it usually means continual safety and improvement. Success isn’t about accomplishing a single skill but merely being better than you were before. Many do not realize that getting help from others is integral to this process and might think the road to fitness is solitary. However, you will learn a lot more if you are willing to ask for help when you need it or, better yet, even when you don’t think you need it! You just might learn new exercise techniques or how to perfect your form which are both essential to safety. You never stop learning and there are always ways you can improve so take advice from others to help you make progress.

It’s also great to learn what not to do because it’s better to learn before you make a mistake which could leave you injured and unable to exercise for a long period of time. If you make fitness a social affair, you will also increase the likelihood of sticking to your plan. If you have friends or family who can keep you accountable, you will be far more likely to follow through and reach your goals. It’s one thing to stop working out when no one knows you’re doing it, but what if you have a group of friends who meet you at the gym every other day? You’d be far less likely to quit! Networking can be great because you can gain supporters for not only when you have a setback but also when you succeed!

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    • shapefit

      Hi t. singh – You should not have any issues if you walk and carry a dumbbell but make sure you position it correctly so you don’t put any excess stress on your lower back.

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    I had surgery on my left foot a couple of weeks ago. I use a knee walker to get around at work, so my right leg is getting some exercise. My left calf, however, is starting to get noticeably flabby. Is there an exercise I can do from my wheelchair? All of the calf exercises I’ve found require standing and I have at least 4 more weeks off my foot. Thank you.

    • shapefit

      Hi NGallups – Since you just had surgery on your left foot, it’s very important to consult with your doctor before performing any exercises using your leg since it could cause complications to your recovery. Any type of calf exercise will require movement in your foot and this pressure could easily cause excess stress to your foot that is trying to heal. You might just want to take it easy for the next few weeks and then once your foot has fully recovered you can start on a calf workout routine to get it back into shape.

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        Thank you for your reply. Since the surgery is on the side of my foot (a screw in the 5th metatarsal), I can use my heel. I have been trying to stretch the calf muscle just a bit by placing my foot on a chair and rocking/sliding back and forth on my heel. I think it may also help with the blood circulation to my foot. I guess I’ll have to be content with that until I have full use of my foot and leg. Thank you again for the quick response, I really appreciate it!

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          I have a similar question to these. Are there any exercises that are specifically designed for those of us who have health issues? I have asthma and arthritis. Anytime I begin an exercise routine, I seem to injure myself or become exhausted quickly. I either pull a tendon, strain/sprain my ankle, wrist or elbow or some other type of injury. Then I have to wait before beginning an exercise program again. I do start slowly, yet still somehow experience these injuries. Any suggestions?

          • ShapeFit

            Hi Sydney – We highly recommend contacting a doctor, physical therapist or personal trainer who specializes in creating exercise programs for individuals with your type of ailments (asthma and arthritis). They require specific routines to ensure you don’t injure yourself, so make sure whoever you choose has an extensive background with treating people just like you.

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    I have a nerve disorder and have been able to get around the walking/cardio issue by using a recumbent bike 30-40 minutes daily. This isn’t helping much with fat loss though. I can lift light weights but because I drop even light-weight things with alarming frequency, I’m afraid to drop something on my feet or face. Would a rowing machine tone my upper back, stomach and arms?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Grace – Yes, rowing is an excellent form of cardio exercise that burns a lot of calories and it will work great for toning up your upper back, stomach and arms.

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    I have a question about post-workout soreness. Sometimes after a workout, I don’t hurt the day after, but two days after I do. Is that normal? Have you ever experienced that? I’ve been very curious. Thank you very much.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Elena – This is totally normal and it’s called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The first day after your workout, hormones called cytokines are released in response to the injured area (the muscle group you trained) and they are directed to heal your inflamed muscles. Along with cytokines, there are hormones called prostaglandins that send blood directly to the area to help heal it. This migration of cells takes a while and usually around day two, it reaches its peak and that’s why you feel the soreness around this time frame.

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    I want to become fit for running. I entered to run in a half marathon later this year, but I also lost a lot of weight recently, so I need to strength train to tone up. I exercise first thing in the morning for about an hour before I start my day. How do I mix the two exercises and have enough time for running?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Maggie – You can either do your weight training workout in the morning and then run later in the day after work. Or, vice versa. You could also mix both into your morning workout and strength train first, followed up by a few miles of running on the treadmill or outside.

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    I’m a 46 year old male and I weigh 325 pounds. I’ve been overweight since childhood, but I have an athletic background and have been socially active (sports and exercise) off-and-on for most of my adult life. I have gained 30 pounds in the past 3 years. Two months ago I began to exercise at the gym 3 times a week. I miscalculated my Target Heart Rate and thought I should be exercising at 152 BPM. It was rough at first, but after starting at 10 minutes, I have been able to increase my exercise time to 25 minutes, at 152 BPM, but have not seen any weight loss. Having recently discovered my miscalculation, I began searching and reading online and learned about anaerobic exercise and I’m very confused about what I am finding. I read that anaerobic activity occurs when you exercise above your THR (Target Heart Rate), but can only be sustained for short bursts. But, then I read that aerobic activity happens after anaerobic burns off all the sugar and you begin to burn fat. Some say it can benefit you. Others say it causes acid to build up in the blood. I’m feeling lost and confused and I’m hoping to get some direct answers and advice.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Richard – It’s important to not overthink things when it comes to exercise. Keep it simple and make sure to break a good sweat when doing cardio. Sometimes you need to forget about all the BPM, THR and everything else and just listen to your body. If you’re walking slowly on a treadmill for an hour, this is not going to be the ideal way to burn calories and lose weight. You need to kick it up a little and sweat it out. If you’re not sweating within 10 minutes of your cardio workout, you should pick a different exercise. This is the reason why the elliptical machine is so much better than the treadmill for burning fat. You are using more large muscle groups (back, chest, shoulders, arms, legs) when you’re using both your arms and your legs on the elliptical versus just using your legs on the treadmill when you’re walking at a slow to moderate pace. If you have not tried the elliptical, then jump on and give it a shot for 3-4 weeks and see what happens. You should be drenched in sweat by the time your workout is finished.

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    I know I have abs but they just are not visible because I have a little stomach fat covering them. What can I do to make them stand out?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Abishek – It all comes down to your diet when the goal is to attain lean and shredded 6-pack abdominals. You can review our Abs Diet Meal Plans article for tips and ideas about which foods to eat to help you optimize fat loss.

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    I am 72 years old, my weight is 175 pounds and my height is 5’11”. Up until six years ago I was very active coaching baseball, volleyball and playing racquetball. Nearly all at once for different reasons, everything stopped. For the last six years I have been very inactive and have gotten lazy. I’ve started back with racquetball, but I run out of breath easily, my lungs hurt, my shoulders and across the back of my neck hurt and I feel as if I don’t have any energy at all. How do I, at 72, try to build some of these things back up? What exercises should I do (weights), or should I just do stretching or maybe tai chi, walking or running? When I try to run, I get out of breath quickly and it’s hard to get it back. How should I start? Or, should I just relax and enjoy the rest of my life?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi JD – You might want to begin by getting your hormone levels checked to see if your testosterone is low. As you age, this key muscle building hormone drops significantly and getting these levels back up to an optimal level will do wonders for your energy levels, muscle mass, strength levels and libido. It’s best to contact a local anti-aging clinic in your area since they are specialized in hormone replacement therapy. You can review our TRT Guide for Men article to learn more about it.

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