Welcome to our first Fitness Friday post with Alicia Jones! Every Friday, she’ll be answering your questions about health, fitness and nutrition! Here are today’s questions from city residents.

What’s the earliest age you can start giving your child multivitamins? Is it even a good idea?- Tanya S., Meadowvale

Did you know that children between the ages of 2-11 who consume a well selected and varied diet get over 100 percent of their daily vitamin and mineral needs? This takes into consideration finicky eaters that skip meals or children who don’t finish dinners.

Much like our own bodies, children can only process the amount of vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function. Excess fat soluble vitamins (such as A,D,E,K) are not excreted easily and can lead to toxicity. So, unless your household is vegan or your child suffers from various food allergies that limit a healthy diet, it is strongly recommended that your child receives nutrients from the fabulous whole food meals that you as a parent are providing!

I’ve seen some crazy diet plans and strategies that offer someone to lose a pound a day. Is it possible for the human body to shed a pound per day? – Michael L., Mississauga

Absolutely! Your body can most definitely shed a pound a day! However, the more important question is a pound of what? In order to lose one pound of fat, we must deprive our body of 3,500 calories! Since our average daily calorie needs are not even close to 3,500, it would be virtually impossible to lose a pound of fat a day.

These crazy diet plans fail to tell you that the pound you are losing is usually fluid/water weight. This is why many crash dieters say they feel “less bloated” when adhering to the plans.

Not only are you losing fluid, but you are also depleting yourself of very precious muscle—not only do muscles increase our metabolism, but it is important to remember that our heart is a muscle!  It only takes 30 hours of fasting and restrictive calorie intake for our body to start breaking down our heart, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, “eat your heart out!”

What’s the difference between a “crunch” and a sit-up? – Ania M., Mississauga 

A sit up starts by lying down with your feet flat on the ground. You literally “sit up” lifting your shoulders, mid-back and finally your lower back off of the ground.  Your objective is to sit on your bum, or what my clients hear me refer to as “the Tush.” This exercise works both the upper abs and the middle portion of the abs. I must warn you, it can be taxing on the spine.

A crunch takes away the worry of hurting your lower back. It is a modified sit up that is especially beneficial for individuals dealing with back issues. The lower back remains on the ground in a neutral S shape position. Sometimes this exercise is also performed engaging the lower back by pushing it into the ground and flattening it out. Exhale while lifting the shoulders off of the ground and inhale as you lie flat again. Although this exercise is a fabulous lower back protector, it focuses mostly on the upper ab plaque and decreases emphasis on the middle portion of the abs.

Ultimately both exercises are wonderful, depending on your back health and individual capabilities!

Alicia Jones is the owner of Destination Fit and can be reached via email or by calling 647-233-7827. Don’t forget to check Alicia out  in the May/June edition of Spirit of the City in our first Spirit of Enterprise issue!  

Submit your questions to [email protected].