Have a question for our expert? This line is open until Friday, August 27th. April will be answering a few questions Monday and post her answers right here and on the forums.

Q: Can walking provide the same benefits as running?

A: You will burn around 100 calories per mile regardless to if you are walking or running. The difference is that you can burn approximately double the calories running in a particular time frame. For example, you could burn 100 calories with 10 minutes of running but it may take 20 minutes of walking to burn the same 100 calories. This statement is true simply because you are covering ground at a faster pace when you are running. Just be sure that you are walking fast enough to elevate your heart rate.

Q: Is it okay to walk with a head cold?

A: Although I am not a physician, if it is just a head cold and you feel good enough to walk, it should be safe. If you are experiencing other symptoms such as fever, body aches, congestion etc., I would not recommend walking and you may want to consult your physician.

Q: How much do I have to walk to lose weight?

A: According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) .Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week or Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week and do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. To lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

Q: Can you reduce fat from just one part of your body? Like doing crunches for stomach fat?

A: No, there is no such thing as spot training. You must include cardio, strength training, and a healthy balanced diet to lose fat overall. Then you can sculpt and tone specific areas of your body.

Q: Do women really need to do weight training?

A: Yes, women need to participate in a strength training routine. This will help tone and shape your body while maintaining muscle that will burn extra calories even while you are sleeping.

Q: I’ve been exercising and eating right but my weight has plateaued. How can I jumpstart my weightloss again?

A: You made need to change your workout or include interval training. Our bodies learn how to perform tasks more efficiently the longer we continue to do the same exercise, therefore we must continue to keep the body working hard with changes to our workout. A change could be as simple as performing your activity in less time but with more intensity.

Q: How can you start an exercise program and stick to it?

A: Start with small exercise goals that you are 100% positive that you can complete and then gradually increase the time and intensity of the exercise. It doesn’t matter how small the goal is, everybody starts somewhere.

Q: What kind of shoes should I look into buying for my workout?

A: Your primary activity should determine the type of shoe you need. If you like aerobics, step, kickboxing, and other high impact workouts, you need a shoe that’s going to support high impact activity along with a lot of lateral movement. Look for an aerobics shoe with great forefoot cushioning, good shock absorption and stability. If you’re a strength training and cardio equipment lover, who occasionally likes walking, or court sports, you need a good cross trainer that is lightweight, durable, and offers moderate cushioning and stability. If you like running, jumping, or working with a trainer, you need a cushiony running shoe that supports explosive plyometric movements, heavy pounding, and stop-start activity. If you enjoy walking, hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities, a hybrid walking shoe with excellent roll through and ankle support is your best option. (with advice from Monica Neave)

Q: Do I really need to consult my doctor before starting to exercise?

A: Yes, you should consult your physician before starting any workout program. This is to ensure that there are no unknown issues that could be further exacerbated by exercise.

Q: How can I make sure I’m doing my exercises properly?

A: The best way to make sure that you are performing exercises properly is to consult a qualified fitness professional. You may only need to consult with them for one or two sessions. They will be able to design a workout for you and ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly.