By Brad Smith, Owner of Anytime Fitness Norterra

What are the worst foods to eat?

Some of the worst foods to eat include processed bake goods of pretty much any kind (Twinkies, Ding Dongs etc). The amount of sugar and calories for the size of what you are eating is just not worth it. When it comes to protein and calories bacon doesn’t look so bad, until you take a look at the fat and sodium. The negatives so far outweigh the positives that you should just stay away from bacon all together. Another problem food can be smoothies. Although some smoothies aren’t so bad for the most part they are far from healthy. The amount of sugar, fat and calories in the average smoothie can just about satisfy the total amount for a full day worth of meals.

How do I find time to exercise?

Exercise has to be a priority or else it just won’t happen. In life we get to put three or four things up high on our daily to do’s, if exercise isn’t one of those things it’s not going to happen. For example, family, work, religion, friends, exercise, television are a few of the top priorities in most people’s lives. If you want to stay fit you must put exercise in the top three or four priorities in your life.

How should I mix cardio and strength training during the week?

The balance of cardio vs. strength training should rely heavy upon your individual goals and the current shape your body is in. For example, if I have very little muscle mass on my body and I am overweight, doing cardio alone, although in theory, sounds like a good idea it really isn’t. Every pound of fat on our body burns 7-10 calories in an hour in daily living and each pound of muscle burns between 60-90 calories. Muscle burns fat, fat doesn’t. I would need to first work to build a good base of lean muscle mass and then amp up my cardio, using my muscle as a tool, to effectively burn fat.

How much protein do I really need?

When your body is effectively utilizing the protein that you are taking in you can just about double your weight in grams of protein in a day. Protein is the building blocks of muscle, so when the muscles are torn you want to take in higher amounts of protein to assist in the development of building new muscle. However, if you aren’t doing heavy strength training and tearing muscle, protein is not as important.