FAQ: July 2014

By AFM Staff – July 1, 2014
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

Q: Does sweating mean you are burning more calories?

A: No, our bodies produce sweat as a way to cool us down. Therefore, if your body is beginning to overheat and needs to cool off, you will begin to sweat. Women typically have more sweat glands than men; however, men’s sweat glands are more active. If you want to burn a lot of calories at the gym, focus on high-intensity workouts, not how much you sweat.

Q: There is a track at my neighborhood school. I’d like to go run on it, but I have no idea if that’s even OK. And then, what about once I get there—any rules? I’m a bit intimidated by some of the folks out there.

A: The neighborhood track is a wonderful place to get your run in. Most school tracks are open to the public outside of school hours and when school events are not in progress. Check out the fence; most have signs posted regarding usage.

Once you’re at the track, there are a couple of guidelines to follow that will make your experience more pleasant. The outside lane is for warm-up and cool-down, and that’s the best lane to use if you’re planning a leisurely walk. If you have small children running and walking with you, use that outside lane for their safety. The inside lane closest to the center is for those who are doing a workout (notice that this has nothing to do with speed, only with intensity and purpose). All different speeds are welcome to use the inner lanes—the further in, the closer they are to the accurate 400-meter distance—but slower runners should yield to faster runners. Pass on the left, and call out a warning as you come up behind a slower runner: “On your left” or “Track” are acceptable.

All runners should move in a counter-clockwise direction, unless cooling down or warming up in the outside lane. Please don’t bring dogs or kids on wheeled toys to the track.

Q: The new boardwalk is amazing. It looks like a great place to fish—can I? My kids would love it.

A: Fishing is allowed in Lady Bird Lake (Austin’s old timers will remember when it wasn’t), and you can catch largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, and carp. However, you can’t cast a line just anywhere—it’s a safety issue, what with all the pedestrians and cyclists about on the trail. While bank fishing is fine and you can certainly get out on a boat, fishing from the boardwalk is limited to a designated fishing pier; visit Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website (tpwd.state.tx.us) for more information about resources and regulations concerning fishing in Austin-area parks.


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