Note: Everyone’s physical state is different so remember to trust your judgement (or your doctor’s advice) when it comes to exercising because only you know how you feel!
Q: Should I stretch before or after a workout?
A: You don’t want to stretch cold muscles. For that reason, I usually stretch after a workout. However, if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, it’s probably wiser to fit in some stretching in the beginning. So do a light warm up before you stretch. And if you want to be even more thorough, you can do the following: 1.) Warm up –> 2.) Stretch –> 3.) Work out –> 4.) Stretch again
Q: Cardio or weight lifting?
A: BOTH. I’ve seen many bad examples of people who only do one or the other, especially when done to such an extreme level. Athletes like Tiger Woods have thankfully set good examples of how important conditioning in the gym is in addition to practicing their sport out on the field. Golf included, a lot of athletes suffer sports injuries from over-usage/repetition. As a general rule of thumb, one should consider working out opposing muscles (ie. if you work out your abdominal muscles, don’t forget to work out your back muscles). I practice running backwards and sideways in addition to the traditional forward direction. I also practice both martial arts and dance – In dance, I am often told to point my feet and rotate them outwards, whereas in martial arts I am told to point my feet slightly inwards with the knees slightly bent. Bottom line? Mix it up!
Q: Work out in the morning or in the afternoon?
A: This is one is entirely up to you. I personally like to fit in a good workout at the gym before the rest of my day begins (so that I’m not in there at the end of the day when I’m feeling tired out). Martial arts or dance practice is usually in the evenings and afternoons so on many occasions, I end up working out both morning and afternoon or at night. And I certainly move a lot in between too. To sum, in order to be “fit” you need to “fit” it in there at some point in time.