Q: What’s the difference between someone eating vegan vs. eating vegetarian?
A: Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat (including game, slaughter by-products, fish, shellfish and poultry), and within this practice of eating there are four categories. Vegans only eat plant-based food, eliminating not just meat, but also dairy (and all by-products), eggs and honey. The most significant difference when someone says they are vegan vs. vegetarian is the philosophy behind the vegan way of life, whose adherents seek to also exclude the use of animals for clothing or any other purpose. Lacto-vegetarians eat plant-based foods and milk products. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat plant-based foods, dairy and eggs. Flexitarians eat plant-based food and limit their frequency of eating meat.
Q: I keep hearing that CrossFit workouts are unsafe. What should I be aware of if I decide to try CrossFit?
A: The possibility of injury is an increased risk with participation in any type of exercise, especially a high-intensity fitness regimen like CrossFit. A CrossFit workout combines strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, Olympic and power-style weight lifting, kettlebell work, body weight exercises and endurance exercises. Training the CrossFit way requires you to workout three to five times per week at a very intense pace. Most workouts are performed in a circuit style, moving from one exercise to another with little to no rest. It’s best to have a sufficient strength base before starting CrossFit. If you are new to Olympic weight lifting and plyometric exercises, don’t worry, as each CrossFit affiliate has a one-month initiation course, which newcomers must complete to learn proper training technique for all of the major exercises performed in the CrossFit program (or they should, and you should participate for best results). Ask about credentials and references for any affiliate coaches and personal trainers who will be responsible for teaching you the essential CrossFit exercises. You’ll want a coach who is trained in sports and conditioning and has a degree in exercise science or related field of study.
Joe Nguyen is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Norwalk. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at JoeN@anytimefitness.com.