Encouraging Health and Happiness

Posts tagged “Exercises

5 tips to improve treadmill workouts

Follow these five tips for improving your treadmill workout to see better results, says fitness columnist Kelly Turner.

By Kelly Turner

On Fitness

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…)

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

By Jenna Bergen
Dec 05, 2012

Despite study after study supporting the benefits of strength training, many women still opt for cardio over weights. Maybe they’re worried about “bulking up.”Women have seen a few too many beefy men grunting it out in the weight room and fear that if they pick up a dumbbell, they’ll suddenly start to resemble a linebacker, too.

This can happen, although it’s extremely rare, as we reveal in 6 Ways to Beat Your Bad Genes. But for most women, “this just isn’t possible,” says personal trainer and Prevention fitness expert Chris Freytag.“Ladies have too much estrogen in their hormonal makeup.”

So what is the secret to looking toned (think: Michelle Obama’s arms, which we have the secret to) but not tough? Strength training. (more…)

25 Most Deceiving Exercises (They Tone More than You Think!)

By Charlotte Andersen
Pistol Squats

Pistol Squats

One-legged squats don’t seem very tricky—after all, you did manage to pick up that cotton ball you dropped without putting your newly pedicured foot on the floor—but squatting on one leg seriously challenges your balance. It also activates your core and just about every other muscle in your lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Try it: Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body and raise your right leg off the floor. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.Tip: Modify this move by using a resistance band or do them in front of chair or weight bench in case you lose your balance or get stuck (It happens). (more…)

The Top Moves to Tone Your Trouble Zones

By SHAPE magazine | VitalityWed, Apr 4, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

Tone your trouble zones!

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:


Upgrade Your Abs Exercises

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

Side Plank and Row

SIDE PLANK AND ROW(Replaces: Side plank) (more…)

Brrrr: 10 tips for cold-weather runners

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…)

Kick Up Your Core

The Editors of Men’s Health
Fri, Sep 30, 2011

A fighter’s body should be a streamlined machine, as lean and muscular as it needs to be—no more, no less. That requires efficient training, says mixed martial arts trainer Chad Waterbury, M.S., author of Huge in a Hurry. This cutting-edge workout develops upper-body strength, size, and endurance simultaneously, packing so much exercise into just 15 minutes that you’ll shrink your waistline in the process. And to find out the regimen and training secrets that turned welterweight king Georges St-Pierre into a champion, read The Ultimate Fighter Workout.

Do this:
Start with 6 reps of each exercise, with no rest between moves. Then do 5 reps of each, and continue to count down until you do 1 of each. If you complete the workout in less than 15 minutes, add a rep to your first set next time—so you’ll start with 7 instead of 6. If you can start with 8 reps and finish in 15 minutes or less, consider yourself ready to rumble.

1 Judo pushup
Judo pushup
Start in a modified pushup position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet far enough forward that your hips rise. Now lower your body until your chin nearly touches the floor. In a continuous motion, raise your head and shoulders while lowering your hips until they almost touch the floor. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Want to see more variations of this classic exercise? Then try out these 14 Smart Pushup Improvements.


The Squat, Supercharged

From the Editors of Men’s Health
Thu, Sep 15, 2011


You know squats are essential. But they come in so many variations—how can you tell which one is right for you? We asked Chris Proulx, D.C., M.S., a professor of movement science at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, to help sort them out. Proulx and his students tested five different squats—the four freestanding versions shown below. Volunteers performed the exercises standing on force platforms, which are high-tech devices that measure the pressure exerted through a lifter’s feet. The researchers also attached electrodes to the volunteers’ legs to see how hard the moves made their quadriceps and hamstrings work. Their pain, your gain. Looking to master the move before trying one of the variations below? Then use The Secret to the Perfect Squat to perfect your technique. (more…)

How to Do the Perfect Pushup

By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health
Aug 15, 2011

When was the last time you did a pushup? Choose the most applicable answer:

A) “Gym class, sixth grade.”
B) “Why would I ever do a pushup?”
C) “Yesterday.”

Scoring: If you answered A or B, you’re like most men. If you answered C, you probably work at Men’s Health.

Most guys abandon the pushup for the bench press sometime around puberty. That’s a shame—pushups have a lot going for them. You can do them anywhere. They don’t require any equipment. And they’re more effective at building rippling muscles than you probably realize.

In fact, researchers recently discovered that performing pushups as quickly as you can is one of the best ways to build explosive upper-body strength, according to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. This pushup method was more effective than doing plyometric pushups (think: clapping between each pushup), and fall pushups, where you drop from a kneeling position and try to push your way back up to the starting position.

Why is quicker better? Take a look at a vertical jump: “If you do a quick knee bend before jumping, you’ll always jump higher than if you don’t,” explains N. Travis Triplett, Ph.D., one of the study’s researchers. The same type of action occurs when you do pushups as fast as possible. Dropping your chest toward the ground and pausing ever so slightly enhances the motion of pushing yourself back up—and ultimately helps you build more explosive strength, says Triplett.

You won’t be able to maximize your strength if you don’t perform the pushup correctly, though. Here’s the right way to perform the move:

1. Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms and legs. Your body should form a straight line from you head to your ankles.

Dig Deeper…

Yoga Exercises May Alleviate Lower Back Pain

7 Yoga Exercises That Help Osteoarthritis

By Kate Hanley, Special to Lifescript

Published April 24, 2011

Are you fed up with the back pain and misery of osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease? Regular yoga practice can help. Here are 7 easy exercises to improve mood and mobility, build strength and stability and increase circulation for osteoarthritis sufferers. Plus, how much do you know about yoga? Take our quiz to find out…

What do yoga and osteoarthritis have in common?

Osteoarthritis is an age-old, degenerative joint disease that takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Yoga is an ancient therapy that can restore both. Recently, science has begun to connect the dots between the two.

A 2008 randomized, controlled study revealed that dozens of women eased their chronic low-back pain by participating in a one-week intensive yoga program to help osteoarthritis.

“By its very nature, yoga is good for arthritis because it relieves the disease’s major disability” – reduced range of motion – “without causing further trauma to joints,” explains Loren Fishman, M.D., co-author of Yoga for Arthritis (W.W. Norton).

It also:

– Builds strength, which provides greater stability to joints.

– Improves posture, which minimizes joint trauma caused by misalignment.

– Increases the circulation of synovial fluid, which nourishes and protects joints.

– Promotes a confident attitude, and reduces anxiety and irritability.

“The key is practicing regularly,” says Ellen Saltonstall, a New York City yoga teacher and co-author of Yoga for Arthritis, who also has arthritis in both hands, one foot and lower back.

The best part is you can do yoga on your own whenever you have time. To help osteoarthritis, aim to complete at least one pose each day, she suggests. If that’s too ambitious, make it every other day.

Before starting, consult your doctor and an experienced yoga teacher to learn the right alignment. To find a qualified teacher, ask a chiropractor, acupuncturist or other trusted health-care provider for referrals, or search the website of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Here are 7 easy yoga exercises for low-back pain adapted from Yoga for Arthritis by Fishman and Saltonstall. (Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton.) During each pose, breathe slowly through your nose.

Dig Deeper

Get Sleek, Toned Arms

By Jen Ator, Women’s Health

Here’s something you’ll love to learn: Your shoulders and upper back tend to carry less fat than the rest of your body, so the right exercises can give this area a nearly instant makeover, says Ramona Braganza, a celebrity trainer who has worked with stars such as Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba. Braganza’s workout, below, hits every major upper-body muscle and will help stabilize your shoulder joints, improve your posture, and build that strong, toned look you’re after.

Using five-to eight-pound weights, perform 15 to 20 reps of each exercise and go from one move to the next with little or no rest between. Do two or three sets three times a week.

Hold it right there: Build strength with this muscle-isolating isometric workout.

Four Top-Tier Moves

1. Reverse fly

Learn More…