Last updated: Sep 03, 2008
Q: Ive heard its good to “carbo-load” before a marathon workout. Is that true?
A: Done right, carbo-loading can give your body the energy it needs to power you through a long workout or race. But dont turn to a bottomless bowl of pasta. Instead, the day before the event, eat moderate amounts of nonrefined carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grains throughout the day. Cant plan that far ahead? For a smaller (but still helpful) energy boost, eat some fruit and whole-grain cereal with skim milk three hours before you head out.


Q: If I only have time to do strength or cardio, which should I choose?
A: Most women believe cardio is king, but the two are equally important. Strength work helps build bones and muscle, and cardio increases calorie-burning and keeps your heart healthy. But you dont need to do both at every workout, as long as you get in four to five 30-minute cardio sessions and two full-body strength-training sessions a week. To knock off one session of each in a single, short workout, do a circuit: Start with your usual full-body strength routine, and do jumping jacks or jump rope for 30 seconds after each set.
 



Michele S. Olson, PHD, is a professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery.