Encouraging Health and Happiness

Posts tagged “personal fitness

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…)


The Hardest Workout You’re Not Doing

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…)


10 Shape-Up Shortcuts

By The Editors of WOMEN’S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Aug 8, 2012 7:02 AM EDT

These genius tricks will help you drop pounds and sculpt muscle in record time

 

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 Your Way to Health

Walking has more health benefits than most people realize.

By Shelby Sheehan Bernard

McClatchy-Tribune

Margie Warden, left, and Gladys Johnson walk along a trail at Kansas City, Kan., Community College. Warden and a group of friends have been walking six miles a day for 41 years.

Enlarge this photoSHANE KEYSER / MCT

Margie Warden, left, and Gladys Johnson walk along a trail at Kansas City, Kan., Community College. Warden and a group of friends have been walking six miles a day for 41 years.

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…)


Flexibility a key component of staying fit

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…)


Wanna lose 10? Just HIIT it!

Apr 26, 2012

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…)


Top 10: Signs You’re A Healthy Guy

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.