Working out can be a daunting task. Especially if you're a newbie, it can be intimidating to lace up your sneaks and hit the pavement with the pros. So we went straight to our fitness expert Sara Haley to ask the questions you've been dying to ask, but are too afraid to admit.
Q: When I wear my running shoes to kickboxing class, I always leave with blisters. Should I change up my footwear for a group workout class?
A: Definitely. A cross-training shoe is best for kickboxing and many other group fitness classes. Try my favorite, Reebok's DMX Ride Sculpt Fresh.
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Q: I'm just starting to try to find the time to exercise on my lunch hour. What cardio workout tends to blast the most calories?
A: Stop thinking about what you're doing and instead focus on how hard you are doing it! You can run for hours at a light to moderate intensity and not burn nearly the amount of calories you might in a 45-minute cycling class or run on the treadmill where you change your intensity every 5 minutes. I say choose your favorite cardio exercise (dancing, running, walking, kickboxing) and vary your intensity throughout your workout for the most efficient and best results!
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Q: What causes shin splints, and how can I prevent/get rid of them?
A: There are several causes for shin splints. They can be caused by not landing properly on your feet. Make sure you know when you are supposed to land heel to toe (such as when you walk) or toe to heel (such as when you jump). Shin splints are also an overuse injury, so you may simply need to change up your workout. Last, they may be caused by a muscle imbalance - your calves might be stronger than your shins. Strengthen the front of your leg by doing toe raises. (Heels stay on the floor. Lift the toes as high as you can while keeping the body in alignment.)
Related: The Easiest Way to Sexy, Strong Abs
Q: What's better - doing a higher number of halfway push-ups (where I only go halfway down), or a lower number of full push-ups (where I go all the way down)?
A: Essentially, both - always perform as many reps of an exercise with proper form. In this instance, do as many full push-ups as you can with your core engaged (this means with no break or sway in the back). If you feel you are beginning to lose your form, that is the time to start going halfway. When halfway starts to suffer, it's time to go to your knees.
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