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The question

I have a few queries about your boot camp. Should the cardio exercises be done before the circuit or after them? What cardio workouts can I do at home? Also, what are good cool-down exercises?

The answer

If by "cardio exercises" you mean the jumping jacks, bum kicks and burpies that are part of the boot-camp circuit, do them every time you go through the exercises. They're integral to the circuit.

If by "cardio exercise" you mean a full 20- to 30-minute cardio workout, note that my boot camp actually calls for circuit training and cardiovascular workouts on separate days. But if you have extra time, feel free to add in an extra cardio workout a week by doing an additional full cardio workout on the same day as the boot-camp circuit.

If you have decided to do both on the same day, and are new to weights and worried about your form, do the circuit first. (You should always do first whichever workout component you want to be more mentally and physically "fresh" for.)

As for cardio workouts that can be done at home, try skipping, climbing stairs, walking or running outside, doing an aerobics DVD, or using a mini trampoline to jump up and down in your living room.

For good cool-down exercises, I would suggest going through some of the stretching videos on the Globe website.

Stay away from the dynamic flexibility exercises, which are best for a warm-up. Instead, do the static stretches.

Trainer's Tip: To beat boredom, do different cardio options on the same day. Try five minutes of skipping, five minutes of running stairs and five minutes of dancing around your living room. Repeat two or three times.

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com. She will answer select questions, which could appear in the Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.



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