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

1. I just recently quit smoking, and I want to start implementing an exercise routine that will help boost my cardio levels. Do you have any suggestions?

First of all, congratulations on your decision to quit! The fact that you have decided to begin a fitness regime at the same time you stop smoking will greatly increase your chances to stay smoke free!

For ex-smokers cardio can be difficult. Heck, it’s difficult for a lot of people!  As many smokers know walking up stairs alone can be a tedious task. so starting slowly will be key to your cardio success. Begin with a brisk walk every day for 30 minutes. Once you’ve gotten in the routine of walking, start increasing the pace. After a five minute warm up try running for one minute followed by a two minute break. By doing this for eight intervals you will have reached a full 24 minutes of cardio. Follow this by a five minute cool down.  If you’re finding your lungs constricting on cold fall or winter days, you may want to think of doing your cardio indoors. Cold dry air may constrict your already delicate lungs and make walking or running harder than it needs to be.

2. How safe is it to wear contacts on a daily basis?

Well, what I do know is that the danger of long term contact lens wear is hitting the tabloids much more frequently than it used to. Repetitive contact lens wear can create eye ulcers such as ulcerative keratitis or ulcers in our cornea (the transparent layer covering the front of our eye). In fact, avid contact-lens-wearers may increase their eye ulcer risk by up to nine times that of non-contact lens wearers.

No matter what you choose to do, take your contact lenses out at night. Although the risk for eye ulcers with contact lenses is already there, the chance increases 10 to 15 times when you wear contacts in for extended periods of time. In other words, when you’ve gotten lazy and keep them in overnight. The type of contacts you wear will also play an important role in the length of time you wear your contact lenses.  After all, one-day disposable contact lenses are called “disposable” for a reason. Ask your eye doctor and read the labels to know the amount of time that your contact lenses should be worn!

3. I loved your fake Twix bars recipe!! Do you have any more healthy sweet treats?

Fall is such a wonderful time for apple picking! Many of my clients have made fun family trips to apple farms and have returned with more apples than they know what to do with! So let’s put those apples to good use, let’s bake them!

This recipe is quick and easy. To be honest, I did not discover it through a cookbook. Instead, as many of you may find, when autumn hits I was too cold and tired from the change in temperature to make an actual apple recipe.

Baked Apples



  1. Heat oven to 350? F
  2. Core the apples and cut into half and place in a deep baking dish
  3. Place a small glob of honey on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour apple juice around apples. Bake for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlicia Jones is the owner of Destination Fit and can be reached via @mississaugalife!