@GOOD Asks: Send Us Your Health-Related Questions. Personal Tainer Kevin Asuncion Answers

Last week on Twitter and Facebook, we asked our friends to send us your health-related questions for personal trainer @KevinAsuncion to...

Last week on Twitter and Facebook, we asked our friends to send us your health-related questions for personal trainer to answer.

Kevin Asuncion is the founder of Movemo, a Los Angeles based mobile personal training company for remarkable people. Asuncion believes health and wellness is a cornerstone to doing amazing and creative work. So he’s on a mission to teach, inspire, and empower the people who are solving meaningful problems to establish healthy habits so they can increase the impact they make in the world. Feel free to tweet him @kevinasuncion or send him an email at—he's happy to help.

We pose a question to our Twitter and Facebook faithfuls once a day, so if you’re not yet a @GOOD follower or fan, make sure to sign up and participate in the conversation.

Here's a sampling of questions from our Twitter with Asuncion's answers.

KEVIN ASUNCION: In terms of health and fitness benefits, the differences are negligible enough to ignore. The bigger issues arise when it comes to the amount of control you have over your environment and how that effects the length, frequency and enjoyment of your walks. For some people, they love walking outside because it introduces variety and “interestingness” in their lives that they otherwise wouldn’t experience. They walk with friends, they walk in different places and on different terrain (which could be good or bad, depending), and they look forward to the conversations and unique opportunities that happen while they are walking about in new territories. With a treadmill you’re stuck in one place probably staring at the wall or TV, but it may be the right solution if the weather is bad, you can’t leave the house or just enjoy the predictability and control you have with treadmill walking. Ultimately what I have found is that people don’t just want physical and health benefits when it comes to exercise they also seek social connections & variety which come more often with outdoor walking than with treadmill walking. The bottom line is this: do whatever inspires you to walk longer, more consistently and with more joy.

ASUNCION: I’d suggest doing both at some point whether in the same workout or not. Do you plan on running a marathon? or how about playing golf or soccer? or possibly climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro? Then you’d probably benefit from doing both types of interval training you mentioned above. The reason for this is that our bodies consist of three energy systems (ATP-PC, Anaerobic, and Aerobic) and the rest and work intervals in your interval training will depend on which of the three energy systems predominates during the activities you plan on doing. Here are some basic principles when designing your own interval workouts:
• The shorter the rest periods, the more aerobic the session becomes meaning if you’re training specifically for something like a marathon then a light jog in between might be beneficial.
• The higher the intensity, the longer or more complete the rest periods can be, meaning you should rest enough so you feel ready to put full effort in the next work interval. As you get fitter, you may do intervals with short very high intensity bouts and even shorter rest periods, one of which is the Tabata Interval that aids fat loss.
• Train for specificity: For example if you play soccer and you’re a midfielder it’s likely you’ll need to develop all three energy systems. So you may have times when you have long periods of complete rest, while others you may sprint and then jog for a bit, then sprint again, then jump quickly, then walk for a bit, then sit for awhile. It will all depend on the energy system demands of the types of activities you aspire to do.

ASUNCION: The first thing I would say about protein supplements is to figure out whether there is a gap in your diet at all, you may be taking in enough protein and calories already. If you take in enough, then other factors are at play like the effectiveness of your workouts. Depending on your goals you may require .8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight for everyday consumption, or for most athletes, 1 to 1.5 g per kg of bodyweight. So since you are currently 150lbs you would consume anywhere between 54 to 102 grams of protein.

To figure out if you have a gap I’d suggest tracking your diet for a week. A good old notebook will do the trick, but you can also use other online offerings like Daily Burn or cobble together social media tools like Instagram & Twitter to track what you’re eating visually. If you notice there is a gap in protein, and your goals dictate that you require more than the minimum amount then the next step would be to see how you could include more protein from real foods. Sometimes a gap can be filled by some smart planning and some simple lifestyle changes.

If you still need to take in more protein to meet your goals then you have two choices, animal based (whey or casein) or plant based (soy, rice, hemp etc.). Which one’s healthiest? Well that depends on your needs and values. For example if you’re a vegan or vegetarian or care about your impact on the environment then reducing your dependence on animal based products might be the best choice. If personal athletic performance matters the most and your values don’t restrict you from consuming animal based products then whey or casein protein supplements would be better since they are complete proteins meaning they have all the essential amino acids needed (most plant based proteins are incomplete). I personally supplement with whey versions, but also have on hand plant based versions like soy and take those on occasion. The bottom line is before you purchase any protein supplement first see if you have a deficit in your diet, second see if you can make some simple lifestyle changes to make up for any deficits, and third, if you still lack the needed amount of protein to support your goals consider your values, budget and lifestyle and see which protein supplements are the best fit for you.

ASUNCION: Before even thinking about the workout schedule the first thing you should look to do is to make sure what you’re eating is aligned with your goal, which means in most cases you’ll want to decrease the amount of calories you get from carbohydrates as well as the overall calories you consume, and an increase in calories from lean proteins and good fats. Your eating habits should be the first thing you should focus on.

If you have your eating habits down, then I’d make metabolic resistance training the core of your weekly workouts. Metabolic resistance training is an exercise protocol where you elevate your heart rate with resistance exercises like push-ups or squats while giving yourself little amounts of rest. What this does is create a metabolic disturbance which increases EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which is an increase in oxygen uptake following an intense anaerobic workout. Basically it increases your metabolism for hours after your workout. A simple example would be to see how many sets of 10 push ups and 10 squats you could do in 10 minutes.

A specific weekly schedule will depend on your personal commitments and energy levels. For example some of my clients are busy folks so sometimes they only get 2 workouts in a week or less, but others find they have the energy and motivation to do more than that. In general, since the goal is losing fat and maintaining muscle mass, it’d suggest getting your good eating habits down and then working in 3 metabolic resistance training sessions at least, and 2 anaerobic interval training sessions if you have the time. Any other exercise or movement throughout the week would be a bonus.

ASUNCION: The short answer is no. It’s suffice to say that there isn’t a consensus on where the rule actually started and why it perpetuates to this day. Water requirements depend on many things including climate, activity levels and personal health factors meaning that there isn't one hard or fast rule that fits everybody. With that said there are a few intuitive ways to know when you should drink up. One way that some readers might not know is to take note of the color of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow you’re good to go, but if it is a darker shade then perhaps you should down a glass. If you’re an otherwise healthy individual then here’s what I suggest, drink water when you wake up, when you eat, when you exercise, when it’s hot, when you sweat, when your urine is dark, and of course when you are thirsty.

ASUNCION: The best time to work out is the best time for you. That might seem like a cop out answer but it’s true. Some people prefer the morning, others are night owls, while some like to break up their day with a 2pm workout. It really depends on you and when you feel inspired and energetic enough to exercise. Personally I’ve found the morning works best for me as it helps set a more active tone for the day and doesn’t allow me to rationalize out of my workout. So whatever your schedule permits and your body promotes go with that time.

In terms of how often to train with weights as I’ve suggested in some of the previous answers, it really depends on your goals. For general health benefits 2-3x a week should suffice if you train your entire body in an integrated way, but you can adjust frequency and other factors depending on your personal goals.

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