Joseph A. Luxbacher

Dr. Joseph Luxbacher has more than three decades of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and competitive athletics. He holds a PhD in Health, Physical and Recreation Education from the University of Pittsburgh and has authored a number of books with Human Kinetics Publishing. Dr. Luxbacher conducts workshops and is a frequent speaker on fitness, exercise and weight management. He can be reached at joseph.luxbacher@gmail.com.

Diet or Exercise: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?

Question: “I have been exercising and trying to improve my diet to lose weight but am not having success. When it comes to weight loss, is diet or exercise more important?” Adequately answering this question requires a clear understanding of why we pack on extra pounds, what must be done to lose excess weight, and …

Diet or Exercise: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss? Read More »

The Home Gym

Question: “I want to get stronger, but I don’t like the gym scene. Can I build significant muscle mass at home without weight machines?” The short answer to your question is “yes,” assuming that you incorporate the essential elements of a successful strength (resistance) training program into your workouts. The first step in the process …

The Home Gym Read More »

Key Elements to Getting FIT(T)

Question: “Recently, I have begun running 10K races. I enjoy running and want to improve my race times. Aside from mileage, what other factors should I consider when making my workout plan?” To improve aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends a workout regimen that adheres to the FITT-VP principle of …

Key Elements to Getting FIT(T) Read More »

Physical Activity vs. Physical Fitness

Question: “I do not enjoy nor have the time to do formal workouts on a regular basis, but I think that I am an active person overall. I walk, hike and enjoy gardening. How hard do I need to exercise to get any benefits from the activity?” What we are really discussing here is the …

Physical Activity vs. Physical Fitness Read More »

How to Set SMART Fitness Goals

Question: “I would like to get in better physical shape. I’ve tried to do this in the past but have always had trouble staying with an exercise program for any length of time. Any suggestions to help me stick with it?” Transforming fitness resolutions into reality will not occur by chance. That is where the …

How to Set SMART Fitness Goals Read More »

Tips for Meeting Your 2020 Weight Loss Goals

Question: “I have been a yo-yo dieter for many years—losing weight, gaining it back, then switching to another diet and repeating the process! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose 15 pounds over the next year and maintain the weight loss. Can you provide helpful tips that will finally enable me to achieve …

Tips for Meeting Your 2020 Weight Loss Goals Read More »

Is Exercising Dangerous in Cold Weather?

Question: “Is it dangerous to exercise outdoors in extremely cold temperatures? I like to walk and jog year-round and am worried that breathing frigid air can cause lung damage.” The human body is designed to function in cold weather and has mechanisms that ensure the air we breathe is at body temperature and humidified when …

Is Exercising Dangerous in Cold Weather? Read More »

Climbing Past the Weight-Loss Plateau

Question: “I’ve been on an exercise plan for several months and have lost 20 pounds. I still hope to lose 5 more pounds but seem to be stuck at my present weight. Why is it so hard to lose those last few pounds, and what can I do to reach my target weight?” You are …

Climbing Past the Weight-Loss Plateau Read More »

Is It Possible to Target Areas of Unwanted Fat?

Question: “I’ve been on a diet and lost several pounds but still want to get rid of unwanted fat in a few areas, primarily on the back of my arms and hips. How can I target these areas?” Targeting specific areas of the body for weight loss, commonly known as spot reducing, has been a …

Is It Possible to Target Areas of Unwanted Fat? Read More »

Can Walking Do Much to Affect Health and Fitness?

Question: “I want to get in better shape and lose a few pounds. I am not very athletic but do enjoy hiking and being outdoors. How effective is walking as an exercise that will help me achieve my goals?” Walking is an excellent choice of exercise for people of all ages and ability levels whose …

Can Walking Do Much to Affect Health and Fitness? Read More »

Is Lifting Weights Safe for Older Adults?

Question: “I am 65 years old and recently read an article that said lifting weights is beneficial at almost any age. Is that true? I am interested in information on a strengthening program specifically for older adults. Can you provide guidelines or some suggestions?” People of almost all ages can lift weights and benefit from …

Is Lifting Weights Safe for Older Adults? Read More »

What is Cross-Training, Anyway?

Question: “Can you explain what is meant by “cross-training”? I see it advertised at my health club. Is it a special kind of workout program?” Many people, myself included, often fall into the routine of performing the same workout regimen day after day, week after week. This is not necessarily a good practice because by …

What is Cross-Training, Anyway? Read More »

Detraining: How to Maintain Fitness with Less Time

Question: “I recently completed the Pittsburgh half marathon. Although not a competitive runner I’m probably in the best shape of my life. However, over the next few months I won’t have time to run my usual 25–30 miles per week. Is there anything I can do to maintain my present level of fitness, or will …

Detraining: How to Maintain Fitness with Less Time Read More »

Getting Kids Moving: Sports vs. Free Play

Question: “I’m trying to get my kids to be more physically active. What are the benefits of participating in recreational youth sports, like soccer and baseball? Or is it better to simply encourage kids to play on their own?” I’ve spent a career in competitive athletics, first as a player and later as a college …

Getting Kids Moving: Sports vs. Free Play Read More »

Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Question: “I am a middle-aged man who has never had a weight problem until recently. Over the past two years I have gained about 10 pounds even though my diet has not really changed. I try to eat healthy and low-fat when I can and have been doing so for years. I do not understand …

Why Am I Gaining Weight? Read More »

Is It Okay for My Growing Son to Lift Weights?

Question: “My son will be entering his freshman year of high school in September. He plays sports and is interested in getting stronger. What are your thoughts on lifting weights for a teenage child who is still growing? I’ve heard it is dangerous. Should he simply wait until he is older?” A controversial issue among …

Is It Okay for My Growing Son to Lift Weights? Read More »

Small Steps – Major Results

Despite a large selection of best-selling diet books and an abundance of low-fat and non-fat foods, the latest data from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) shows that Americans are heavier than ever before. We spend more than $60 billion annually on diet and weight loss products yet four in 10 adults, over 90 million …

Small Steps – Major Results Read More »