6 fitness questions, answered – MD Anderson Cancer Center

Some people make exercise look so easy. They’re at the gym several times a week, posting running times from their fitness app. It’s like they know something the rest of us don’t.

So, what do they know that the rest of us don’t? We talked to MD Anderson fitness specialist Carlos Duncan and got his take on common fitness questions.

1. What is the secret to staying motivated?

Motivation comes and goes. Planning and discipline are key to attaining any goal you want to accomplish.

Find fitness activities you enjoy so working out doesn’t feel like a chore. Get an accountability partner who shares similar goals. If you are someone who struggles with time management, put exercise on your calendar. If you start to lose motivation, try something new to give you a boost.

2. Which is better for losing weight: diet or exercise?

Controlling what you eat will make a greater impact on weight loss. Your energy intake has to be less than your energy expenditure. But it will take a combination of both diet and exercise to keep the weight off. Exercise will help you gain strength and stamina while sculpting the body.

Without exercise, you can lose weight, but you also lose muscle, strength and endurance in the process.

3. How long does it take to see results?

This can vary depending on many factors including nutritional habits, frequency of exercise, and intensity and duration of workouts. On average, most people will see noticeable physical changes after 6 to 8 weeks of consistent exercise.

But don’t focus on aesthetics only, especially if you are undergoing cancer treatment. Listen to your body and notice the other benefits of exercise — increased energy, stamina, and strength, which may start to appear in as little as two to four weeks.  

4. Can I get the same results if I don’t have exercise equipment?

You don’t need a lot of equipment for an effective workout. Many simple household items can easily be used to simulate common gym equipment. An example is water bottles for weights or stairs for step-ups. Additionally, there are many exercises you can perform that require only your body weight as resistance – for example, lunges or squats into a chair.

5. Do I need to exercise every day to realize health benefits?

Physical activity needs vary depending on …….

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