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Fitness Q&A by Richard Weil, MEd, CDE

Are there any exercises or stretches I can do to prevent shin splints?

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MedicineNet's Fitness Expert Richard Weil
  • Are there any exercises or stretches I can do to prevent shin splints?
  • Which types of exercise are safe during pregnancy?
  • All of the women in my family have horrible bunions. Are there any exercises that can ward off or help bunions?
  • I get agonizing cramps in my feet when I exercise. Are there any stretches or exercises that you would recommend for this problem?
  • My trainer is always telling me to stay hydrated. How much water should I drink when exercising? What will happen if I drink too much?
  • When you engage in an exercise like walking, why do you lose weight all over your body rather than in specific parts like the arms, thighs, and waist?
  • I am ACSM personal trainer and have a possible new client with spondylolisthesis and stenosis. Could you please advise me on how this condition is affected by exercise and what restrictions are necessary?
  • Will exercise make my skin look younger? What are the benefits, if any, of exercise with regard to skin's appearance?
  • I am 70 years old. In 2000, I fell and broke both ankles and my leg. I also have severe back problems. I would like to know what kind of exercises I could do at home, as I can't walk.
  • I'm 19-year-old male who's 5-foot-8. I've considered taking human growth hormone (hGH) pills as a supplement for my workouts and to increase my height. Will hGH pills really make me taller, and are there any major associated health risks?
  • I sometimes feel dizzy while doing some yoga stretches where the head is lower than the heart (like downward facing dog). What types of exercise should you avoid when you have low blood pressure?
  • My 16-year-old son has high blood pressure and loves weight training. His doctor recently told him he shouldn't lift weights. Are there other exercises he could do to add definition to his biceps and triceps without elevating his blood pressure?
  • I'm a track and field sprinter. Though I warm up and do at least 30 minutes of stretching before running, I still have hamstring pulls. Do you think a vitamin or mineral deficiency could be causing my problem?
  • When relying on body fat percentage as a measure of fitness goals, how rapidly should one's body fat composition change with diet and exercise? What is a normal/healthy rate of decrease in body fat percentage?
  • Which muscle of the human body is the strongest? Will I lose weight faster by focusing most of my training on developing this muscle?
  • After I work out, I break out in a very itchy rash all over my arms, legs, and abdomen. Is this normal? What causes this?
  • My doctor recommends exercise for my lupus. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and limited mobility. He has suggested stretching in bed and walking 30 minutes a day. What do you suggest?
  • After working out for two months, I've noticed that I have small stretch marks on my arms from lifting. How can I prevent them?
  • I've been exercising a lot in anticipation of my upcoming high school reunion. How do I know if I'm overdoing it?
  • I would like to start taking yoga classes. Please explain the different types of yoga and the benefits of each type.
  • How often should I change my workout routine?
  • My doctor just told me I have high cholesterol. He prescribed a statin drug for me, but I'm afraid of its side effects. I'm not overweight, and I already exercise a couple times a week. Will exercising more help to lower my cholesterol? If so, what type of exercise is best?
  • Which exercises will help me get rid of my love handles?
  • Can you suggest some safe core exercises for someone with an enlarged spleen?
  • It's hard to motivate myself to exercise, because I always feel tired. I've tried eating a banana before working out, but it doesn't help. How can I boost my energy levels before exercising?
  • Which Pilates exercises are good for someone with Parkinson's disease?
  • Which exercises are best for people with osteoporosis?
  • Is it better to stretch before, during, or after working out? How much stretching do you recommend?
  • At my gym, I often see people working out backward on StairMasters and StepMills. Yesterday, I even saw someone running backward on the treadmill. Why do people do this? Is there some added benefit to working out backward?
  • I'm often confused about proper form and technique when lifting free weights. It seems as if everyone has a different technique at the gym. How important is it to maintain proper form when weight lifting?
  • My personal trainer recommended that I take a fat-burning supplement containing lipotropics to enhance my weight-loss results. What are lipotropics?
  • What causes abdominal cramps during exercise? What can I do to prevent them?
  • Both of my sons lift weights and take creatine. Is it safe to take creatine supplements?
  • How do I get rid of the cellulite on my thighs?
  • I've heard that exercising at a lower heart rate burns more fat but fewer calories than exercising at a higher heart rate. Which form of exercise (slow or fast) will help me lose weight the fastest?
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