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Ask the Anytime Gal

Posted February 04, 2015 in Advice Column, Johnston

Question: Do I really need to wipe down every piece of workout equipment after I use it?

Answer: Yes. Sweat and germs can linger on weight benches, cardio equipment handles, exercise mats and other equipment. When not disinfected frequently or properly, gym goers are more likely to get sick with the cold or flu virus. If you are working out with multiple machines (e.g. circuit training), cut down on cleaning time by placing a towel on whatever piece of equipment you are using, making sure to always keep the “clean” side down. Most gyms provide disinfectant spray or wipes, so keeping a clean workout environment is easy and shows good gym etiquette.

Question: I’ve heard a lot of talk about the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar? Can it really help me lose weight?

Answer: As with any “magic trick” pertaining to weight loss, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. The claim states that drinking an apple cider vinegar drink before meals will help curb appetite and will boost metabolism, however, there is little scientific evidence to back this up. There are partial truths to the claim, however. Our brains can perceive thirst as hunger, leading to the overconsumption of food. By simply staying hydrated throughout the day and drinking a glass of water before meals – with or without vinegar – we tend to take in fewer calories, and thusly, weight loss may follow.

Additionally, the acetic acid in vinegar has been shown to raise G6P, a sugar molecule involved in metabolic processes (that’s where the increased metabolism claim comes from). However, if energy is not expended, G6P can also be converted to starch and ultimately stored – similar to excess fat. So the basic rule still applies – expend more energy than you take in, and you will lose weight.

Studies show that consuming apple cider vinegar does have an affect on insulin sensitivity in people who are insulin resistant. Essentially, the acetic acid suppresses enzymes responsible for breaking down sugar, producing a similar effect to that of Metformin. For that reason, it is very important that people with Type 2 Diabetes consult with a registered dietitian before consuming a daily mixture of vinegar.

About the author: Shannon Jungman is the club manager & Personal Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Johnston. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at

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