Follow these five tips for improving your treadmill workout to see better results, says fitness columnist Kelly Turner.
By Kelly Turner
As the cold and wet of winter set in, many prefer the shelter of a gym to the great outdoors. With that, many people head to the treadmill for their cardio workouts.
But many people make critical mistakes while using the treadmill. Simply racking up minutes isn’t going to get you results. Don’t waste your time and effort. Make every one of those minutes count. There are several variables you can play with to get the most out of your treadmill workout. Try one or try them all, in any combination, to burn more calories and see better results in less time. (more…)
by Brian Dalek February 10, 2012, 10:00 am EST
Thomas Dold has mastered the stairwell of the Empire State Building. See how you can get on his tail.
On Wednesday night, 666 people (seriously) put themselves through their own form of hell by taking the long way to the top of one the tallest buildings in the world when they scaled the Empire State Building from its stairwell. That’s 1,576 steps and 86 flights of hamstring- and gluteal-writhing agony all the way to the building’s glowing observation deck. (more…)
These genius tricks will help you drop pounds and sculpt muscle in record timeIt flies. It’s tight. You rarely feel like it’s on your side. Of course, we’re talking about time. You can blame it–or more accurately, the lack of it–for standing in the way of many things, but scoring the body of your dreams is no longer one of them. The latest research shows that sculpting lean legs, a tight tush, and flat abs doesn’t require extra hours at the gym. (more…)
Walking has more health benefits than most people realize.
Can you really walk your way to better health? Research continues to show both the physiological and psychological benefits of the exercise, yet many individuals continue to underrate walking as a health booster.
“The studies are overwhelming; the data is there to show that walking provides all of these health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, as well as reducing blood pressure and enhancing mood,” said Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of and specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, Minn. (more…)
Don’t forget to improve your flexibility as you work on fitness.
By Kelly Turner
Special to the Seattle Times
Cardio is great for the heart, strength training is great for the muscles, and both are amazing for burning calories, but there is one more part to the fitness equation many people overlook: flexibility.
Improving flexibility, or the range of motion of a joint, is important for proper muscle balance, and alignment and to prevent injury. (more…)
Happier, Healthier You
Our Drop 10 cardio plan will turn you into a calorie-torching machine. Find your weekly fat-melting schedule below. You can do the routines with any form of cardio you enjoy. Some days, you’ll HIIT it—as in, high intensity interval training; other days, you’ll dial it down. Begin each session with a five-minute warm-up, and end with a cooldown. Fat, you’re on burn notice.
Why it works HIIT, which alternates all-out cardio bursts with active recovery, releases high levels of hormones that target pudge, especially body fat. Proof: Women who did 20 minutes of HIIT three times per week (8-second sprints, followed by 12 seconds of recovery) lost 5.5 pounds over 15 weeks; those who sweated for twice as long at a steady pace put on 1 pound, a study in the International Journal of Obesity finds. What’s more, the HIITers lost 9.5 percent of their tummy fat, whereas the cruisers gained 10.5 percent. Take that, jelly roll!
What to do Below are five weeks’ worth of effective workouts, all mapped out for you by your Drop 10 trainers, Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn, the California girls dubbed “the new faces of fitness” by Jane Fonda. You choose which days to HIIT it hard; for every two intense workouts, you’re rewarded with a take-it-easy day—not to mention a hotter-by-the-day bod. (more…)
Lots of muscles don’t make you the picture of health. For one, your fingernails say a lot more.
By Shannon Clark,
As more and more people are starting to take action to improve their health, it’s helpful to have a few standards to which to compare yourself in order to see how you’re doing.
One error many males make is mistaking their “health” to be how they appear on the outside. While a high level of muscle mass definitely does represent a high fitness level, health encompasses much more than that.
In order to feel and function your best, you also need to focus on the body as a whole. The following signs are good guidelines to use to determine where you stand and if there are any areas upon which you need to improve.
Familiarize yourself with the following and periodically self-check to monitor your progress.
You have a resting heart rate of around 70 bpm
The first health check to look at is your resting heart rate. Ideally your resting heart rate should be around 70 beats per minute or lower. If it’s higher than this, take it as a sign it may be time to devote a little more time to your cardiovascular training to make your heart stronger and more efficient.
You have firm pink nails
While you’d never think your fingernails are a sign of good health, they are very telling of your current health condition. You ideally want them to be pink in color, firm to the touch and have a smooth surface.
If you have white spots or a few ripples, it may be time to speak to your doctor, as this could point to diabetes. If your nails are yellow, this can indicate respiratory disease, so take care immediately.
Your urine is the color of a manila folder
While it may be the last thing you want to do, checking the color of your urine after you use the washroom is a great way to tell if you’re hydrated. If your urine is a deep yellow color, you’re not taking in enough clear fluids.
Additionally, if you notice any change in odor or any spots of blood in the urine, this is definitely reason enough to seek out a physician.
You can perform 20 pushups
One great health standard is how many pushups you can perform in a row without rest while maintaining proper form.
Performing 20 straight full pushups, maybe even during a lunchtime workout at the office, is a good benchmark of what a typical male should be able to complete. If you come in at less than this, it might be time to devote a little more effort to your strength-training routine.
You can run a mile in under 15 minutes
To test your cardiovascular fitness on the other hand, try a one-mile run. If it takes you longer than 15 minutes to complete, you’re below average in your fitness level. The faster you can run the mile and the lower your heart rate after running, the better physical conditioning you’re in.
You have bowel movements at the same time daily
In a body that’s healthy and functioning properly, bowel movements should be a very regularl thing, occurring each day at the same time.
If yours only occur periodically or are often too hard or soft, it may be cause for alarm. Check your fiber intake, make a few changes as needed and then reassess the situation before seeking medical advice.
You are able to wake up without an alarm at approximately the same time daily
Staying well rested is very critical to good health, as not only does lack of sleep cause you to feel mentally fatigued during the day, but is a sign you may be at risk of having a stroke, obesity or heart disease.
If you’re well rested, your internal rhythm should be functioning effectively, and you should easily be able to wake up naturally without an alarm at around the same time each morning.
If you can’t remember the last time you woke up without a buzzer ringing in your ear, it may be time to consider calling it a night a few hours earlier. Remember that making up for sleep on the weekends is not an effective strategy to overcome sleep deprivation.
You’re within 10 pounds of your ideal body weight
Your body weight is the next health standard that you must assess if you want to check your overall health level. A great idea is having your BMI assessed, as this is the medical standard that places you either in the underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese categories. Additionally, you should also have a body-fat test taken.
These two together can be much more telling than the BMI alone, which can place more muscular individuals in the overweight category. A healthy male under 40 should have 8-19% body fat and those over 41 should be in the 11-22% range.
After a cardio session, your heart rate returns to normal within 5 minutes
Our next quick and easy assessment of your health is to time how long it takes for your heart rate to return back down to normal after completing a cardiovascular session.
The sooner it springs back down, the better shape you’re in. Ideally, it should return to resting in five minutes or less.
You know the date of the last time you had a full medical
Last but not least, ask yourself if you know when you had your last medical. A full medical is something that far too many men put off for years, and this is one big reason why unexpected health concerns come about.
While it may feel like a nuisance to do and something you dread, it’s a must. If you can’t remember your last date with your doctor, it’s time to schedule one.
So there you have some of the top signs that you’re a healthy guy. If you’re falling short on any of these, it’s time to look at making a few changes to your diet, workout or lifestyle to get yourself in better overall shape.
Tone your trouble zones!While you can’t target exactly where you’ll lose body fat (aka spot reduce), you can tailor your workouts to help build more lean muscle in certain spots. We’ve got moves to hit all your problem areas (no equipment required). And since targeted training means you’ll be adding lean muscle to your frame, these exercises can also help you burn more fat! Add a few of these toning moves into your regular routine to see a difference:
By Heather Bauer, RD,CDN, REDBOOK
Whether you’re trying to shed some lbs or just stay fit, these tricks to increase your metabolism from nutritionist Heather Bauer, RD,CDN, will help you reach the finish line even faster.
1. Keep Hydrated I’m sure the general population thinks dieticians sound like a broken record when it comes to the whole water thing, but it really is important. Drinking the recommended eight cups of water a day will help your body function at peak performance levels. (more…)
By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health
Ask 10 experts for their definition of fitness, and you’ll hear 10 different answers. That’s because how you define the word depends on the type of performance you expect. Some athletes need to develop a particular type of fitness over all others—powerlifters at one extreme, marathoners at another—but most of us are at our best when we achieve balanced fitness. In other words, we’re good at everything a healthy, active man needs to be able to do. (more…)
If your belly refuses to flatten, your workout is probably stale. Upgrade your favorite exercises with these tweaks and revisions. Plan on putting these moves into practice and get ready to experience transformed abs.
SIDE PLANK AND ROW(Replaces: Side plank) (more…)
Posted by Don Shelton
If you’re a Seattle runner like I am, you’re no stranger to running in cold, rainy weather. But the kind of bone-chilling temperatures and ankle deep snow that’s hitting the area now is a different matter.
We’re here to help. If you’re looking for some advice on how to stay safe and avoid a pratfall or injury, look no further. Here are 10 tips for runners to weather any kind of nasty extremes, courtesy of running coaches Jess Cover and Sam Davis from RunVermont. These folks seem to know their cold-weather stuff.
So read up and run on.
1. Layer, layer, layer: Layering clothes provides the perfect balance needed for winter running to avoid over- or under-dressing. When done properly, layers will trap the air warmed by your body while still allowing moisture and sweat to be wicked from your skin. Choose layers that can easily be tied around your waist once you begin to warm up; it’s important not to overheat while running since this can put you at risk of hypothermia. (more…)
Thu, Sep 15, 2011
Why not get a workout while you watch TV? After a hard day at work many people, including myself, want to relax and watch television. Break the habit of eating while watching your favorite show and create a new custom. Get into a new routine by working out while watching your favorite program.
#1 Pedal during the program
With a mini pedal exerciser you can pedal during your favorite television program. This compact piece of exercise equipment allows you to sit in the location of your choice, and it is low in cost. I first noticed the mini pedal exerciser when I was at my friend’s house, who is in her 60s. This is a great form of exercise for people of every age.
By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health
Aug 15, 2011
Get out of that chair and move
New exercise guidelines released by the American College of Sports Medicine Tuesday may be more detailed than the last, but don’t worry — the overriding message is that pretty much any kind of activity is better than sitting on the sofa.
Thanks to copious new research the guidelines, last updated in 1998, got an upgrade. The 150-minute or more per week rule for cardio is still there, as is information on strength training. Perhaps the biggest change is the relaxing of stringent exercise guidelines, says Carol Ewing Garber, ACSM vice president and associate professor of movement science at Columbia University. The previous approach emphasized reaching goals for cardio and strength training, a la, “You must do this or you won’t improve your fitness and health,” Garber says. Sure, it would be great for people to reach those goals every week, but that probably won’t happen. “Research now supports the fact that you can do less than what’s recommended and still get benefits. Your weight may stay the same, but your overall health may improve.”
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS for the New York Times
Let’s consider the butterfly. One of the most taxing movements in sports, the butterfly requires greater energy than bicycling at 14 miles per hour, running a 10-minute mile, playing competitive basketball or carrying furniture upstairs. It burns more calories, demands larger doses of oxygen and elicits more fatigue than those other activities, meaning that over time it should increase a swimmer’s endurance and contribute to weight control.
So is the butterfly the best single exercise that there is? Well, no. The butterfly “would probably get my vote for the worst” exercise, said Greg Whyte, a professor of sport and exercise science at Liverpool John Moores University in England and a past Olympian in the modern pentathlon, known for his swimming. The butterfly, he said, is “miserable, isolating, painful.” It requires a coach, a pool and ideally supplemental weight and flexibility training to reduce the high risk of injury.
Ask a dozen physiologists which exercise is best, and you’ll get a dozen wildly divergent replies. “Trying to choose” a single best exercise is “like trying to condense the entire field” of exercise science, said Martin Gibala, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
But when pressed, he suggested one of the foundations of old-fashioned calisthenics: the burpee, in which you drop to the ground, kick your feet out behind you, pull your feet back in and leap up as high as you can. “It builds muscles. It builds endurance.” He paused. “But it’s hard to imagine most people enjoying” an all-burpees program, “or sticking with it for long.”