Fitness FAQ: Part 1 - Balance Chicago Physical Therapy

Fitness FAQ: Part 1

Did you know your vestibular system controls your balance?

How many times per week should you workout?

  • Walk daily for at least 30 minutes. To increase cardio, walk briskly to the point where you could not carry a conversation.
  • Strength train 3-5x per week.
  • If you only have time to work out 3x per week:
    • Day 1 – Full body
    • Day 2 – Upper extremity (shoulders, arms, back)
    • Day 3 – Lower extremity (buttocks, legs, calves)
  • It is important to incorporate both strengthening and cardiovascular to see optimal health benefits.

How many reps and sets should you do when you exercise?

A set is how many repetitions you do at one time before taking a break. For example, 2 sets of 10 reps means you will do the exercise 10 times, take a break, then repeat.

Depending on where you are in your fitness journey will determine how many sets you should complete. Generally, you should start with 2 sets of 10 reps and if that is too easy, progress to 3 sets of 10 reps (a total of 30 repetitions total).

Does getting 10K steps per day truly matter?

A clever advertising firm came up with getting 10K steps a day, but there is no scientific evidence that supports the importance of getting 10K steps/day.

However, 10K steps is a good daily goal as it forces you to move more. The more you move, the better it is for your body.

Is it better to work out at night or in the morning?

It is completely up to you if you work out at night or in the morning. Some people like working out in the morning because it gives them energy for the day and they can get it out of the way. Other people like working out at night because it relieves some stress from the day. 

What do you do if you have back pain?

Your spine is divided into 5 regions:

  • Cervical (neck area)
    • Neck pain can occur due to sitting at the computer for long periods of time
  • Thoracic (mid back; where your ribs attach)
    • The thoracic region tends to be more stiff due to rib attachment
  • Lumbar (low back)
    • Low back pain in the lumbar region can be due to disc degeneration, pinched nerves, stiffness, or being sedentary
  • Sacrum
  • Coccyx

Remember, if you feel numbness and/or tingling, you should consult a physical therapist or another medical specialist, as that could indicate nerve involvement. 

Depending on the patient’s condition, a physical therapist can help reduce back pain through soft tissue mobilization, exercise, and other modalities.

What are good exercises for low back pain?

  • Cat-Cow: Start on your hands and knees in a table-top position. Take a deep breath in and round your back as much as you can and then exhale while you try to arch your back as much as possible. There is no need to rush these, as it is meant to be a good stretch.Do these 10x.
  • Lower Trunk Rotation: Start on your back with your knees bent to the side and arms out to you as if you are in a t-position. Bring your legs across to the other side. Repeat on each side 10x.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Lay on your back and bring one leg straight up toward you until you feel a stretch on the back of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. NOTE: There are various ways to stretch your hamstrings. Find the one that works best for you or alternate versions.

No matter what workout you choose, the most important thing is to stay consistent. Have fun with your workouts and enjoy your fitness journey!



The Balance Chicago Team is here to help you! For more information, or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or click the link above. We look forward to working with you soon!

Blog Written By: Dr. Isabella Badalament, PT, DPT

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Is it better to work out at night or in the morning?