Don't wear heavy clothes while exercising

Q and A

April 29, 2005|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There's a trainer at my gym who's always working out in thick sweat pants. He's really fit and seems to know exactly what he's doing when it comes to everything from the chest press to wind sprints.

If you want to lose weight this way, how exactly would heavy clothes help shed the pounds?

If you're trying to "make weight" for the next season of The Contender, that's one thing. For everyone else, working out in heavy clothing is a mistake.

Why? The extra weight you're shedding through perspiration is water weight. You've simply kicked your body's cooling system - sweating - into overdrive, and you'll gain the weight back after a few bottles of water.

Also, by allowing yourself to overheat by exercising in heavy clothes, you're speeding up fatigue, so your workout will probably be shorter and less efficient. Most importantly, you're risking dehydration, which could possibly lead to fainting, heat stroke and hospitalization.

By the way, wearing something light and form-fitting allows you to see the results you're creating through exercise. And let's be honest, who wants to run with 3 pounds of cotton and polyester weighing you down?

We often hear about how one glass of wine, one beer and one shot of liquor have equivalent amounts of alcohol. But how do the three compare in terms of calories? Is one more fattening than the others?

We posed your question to Eileen Eisenberg, clinical nutrition manager at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. As far as calories go, she advises: "Alcohol is alcohol is alcohol." In short, pure alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, regardless of the type of alcohol.

Overall, a 12-ounce bottle of light beer, a 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor and a 4-ounce glass of wine all have the same amount of alcohol and roughly 100 calories (a regular beer weighs in at about 140 calories per 12-ounce bottle).

Alcohol calories are called "empty" calories, meaning they contain no nutrients. So enjoy every sip, but don't overdo it (wine is heart-friendly, at least). Avoiding sugary mixers like Coke, tonic and juice will also help keep you trim.

Do you have a fitness question? You can submit questions via e-mail to fitness@baltsun.com, or online at baltimoresun.com/healthscience, or in writing to The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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