4 Common Fitness Questions, Answered

From the best way to lift weights to whether or not you should eat during a workout, Dr. Oz answers your fitness FAQs.

ask oz fitness

Getting healthy and making time to exercise should be a top priority this year. Fitness helps all aspects of your life, including your mental and physical health. Read on for answers to fitness FAQs, then lace up those sneakers and get moving!

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1 Should you do fewer reps with heavier weights or more reps with lighter ones?

Oz Says: Your choice. A recent study from the Journal of Applied Physiology found that people who did 20 to 25 reps of an exercise with lighter weights had exactly the same strength gains as people who did only eight to 12 reps with heavier ones. Whichever weights you pick up, the key is to work to the point where you couldn't do another good rep if you tried, says study author Rob Morton of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

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2 Are the calorie readouts on exercise machines accurate?

Oz Says: Don't plan your meals around them. "We all burn calories at different rates, and machines don't take into account that some people move more efficiently and burn fewer calories," says Carol Torgan, PhD, an exercise physiologist in Bethesda, MD. If you're really into numbers, use the readout to compare today's workout with your last one. "Challenge yourself to either increase the number or reach the same target faster," she says.

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3 When do you need to eat during a workout?

Oz Says: Not as often as the overstuffed energy bar aisle would make you think. The only time you need to add calories is if you're working out for significantly more than an hour, that's when your body's reserve fuel sources can use a fill-up (a couple of bites of an energy bar or a few sips of a sports drink in addition to water) so you can keep going strong without fading.

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4 How often do you need to change your routine?

Oz Says: Switch it up about every month if you workout two or three times a week. One of your body's amazing powers is that it gets better at any activity the more you do it. The downside: You'll burn fewer calories. Megan Dahlman, the owner of Dahlman Elite Training Systems in Newberg, OR, suggests making a change every few weeks to keep the burn going. Do the activity longer or harder (add hills or intervals if you're walking, for instance), tack on an extra day a week, or just try something altogether new.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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