Read the first post here.

Evil Jillian is back for Fitness Fridays!  Err…. I mean Rachel. Nice, kind, sweet personal trainer Rachel who can hurt me if I don’t behave.  Yeah!  Anyway….

This past week I reached out to folks via Twitter to discover what they would like Rachel to address in this week’s Fitness Friday post.  I got some good suggestions and a wide range of topics.  Many thanks to you all!

Let’s get down to business, shall we?

Q. What’s the most reliable way to measure body fat? Any recommended devices to do so? (Submitted by @cgcumber)

A. The most reliable way to measure body fat is hydrostatic, or underwater, weighing. However, it is not the most practical.The most reliable AND practical way of estimating body fat Ouch!is by using skin-fold calipers (aka, “the Pinch Test”) which have a standard margin of error of about 3-4%.Calipers measure skin-fold thickness in millimeters at several areas of your body (anywhere from 3-10 sites).

I recommend having a skilled professional test your body fat with calibrated calipers as results are likely to be more accurate. Also make sure the same person tests your body fat each time since results can vary from tester to tester.

A number of Twitter folks asked for a recipe or two. Love this one! Rachel got me addicted to this last year.  At first I thought she was crazy because of the weird mixture of ingredients but it is truly one of my favorite things to eat now.  (I make one small adjustment – I add jalapenos to the recipe. Spicy!)

Fiber Bomb

  • One small baked sweet potato or yam, about 6 oz
  • ½ cup cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 tablespoon 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Add beans to baked sweet potato and microwave for about 1 minute on high. Top with salsa and cheese. Enjoy!

Nutrition info: Calories 282 / Fat 2 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Carbohydrates 55 g / Fiber 10.5 g / Protein 12 g / Vitamin A 236% RDA

And finally, I got a couple of more questions about water consumption.  Most people want to know HOW MUCH.  We are all pretty much clueless on this one.

ONE LAST NOTE ON HYDRATION: We all know how important water is to sustain life. But do we know just how much we should have on a daily basis? Experts recommend consuming a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. You can meet this up to half of this requirement through a variety of healthy fluids and foods such as fruits, vegetables, low-sodium soups, smoothies, coffee, and tea.

If you are physically active, staying properly hydrated during your workout is essential to performing your best.

Before exercise:
Drink 16-20 ounces of water two hours prior to exercise.
Drink 8-10 ounces of water about 10-15 minutes prior to exercise.

During exercise:
Drink 8-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise.
If exercising longer than 90 minutes it is okay to drink a sports drink (but not juice or soda)
8-10 ounces every 15-30 minutes to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates.

After exercise:
Drink 16-24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

If you are exercising in hot or humid weather, you should drink more water to replace the fluid lost through increased perspiration.

Remember, don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink!Rachel

ABOUT RACHEL: Rachel Swartz-Hartje is an NASM certified personal trainer and is currently completing her degree in community health promotion.  She enjoys running, bodybuilding and torturing her clients (and friends) into submission.  She is definitely a bad-ass.  Don’t let her nice profile picture fool you. Her mantra? “Discipline is the Bridge Between Goals and Accomplishments.” Oh yeah, she also used to be in the Navy.  Don’t. Mess. With. Her.