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Fitness: Seeds for Thought

FITNESS:  Tips for your health

Feeling drowsy at work? Don’t reach for a soda. The sugar can cause slower reaction times and attention lapses for the next 70 minutes.

A study found that dieters who include exercise in their weight-loss program are able to specifically target belly fat. Researchers believe abdominal fat cells may be more responsive to exercise.

Do saunas and steam rooms have any real health benefit? Yes, but not in ways you might think. They won’t help you lose weight or improve the look of your skin. You won’t “sweat out” toxins or ease tense muscles. So how can a sauna improve one’s health? By promoting relaxation and relieving stress. So go ahead and steam yourself.

A little caffeine can boost endurance in long-distance activities like a 10K, but may hurt performance in short term, high-intensity workouts.

In a study, those weighing themselves daily were 82% less likely to bulk back up, than those weighing in weekly.

Six keys to efficient running

  • Run tall… pulling you shoulders up slightly.
  • Relax… tension in arms, neck, face & shoulders reduces efficiency.
  • Breathe right… rhythmically and deep; exhale with controlled force.
  • Land on the midfoot… a heel-first landing is a brake-and it’s shakier. Shorten your stride.
  • Run softly… the louder your footfalls, the less efficient; try running more quietly (midfoot strike, shorter stride).
  • Swing symmetrically… one arm bent more or swinging more creates an imbalance that can slow you.

Research finds that just 10 minutes of brisk walking can give you up to two hours of increased energy so there’s no reason to skip exercise when you’re tired.

If possible, work out in the morning. A.M. exercisers are better at sticking to a fitness regimen. In the evening a jolt of caffeine beforehand may get you motivated.

Your diet may be depleting your energy for workouts. Refuel with carbos such as a PowerBar, bagel or banana up to an hour ahead of time.

Reschedule your sweat sessions. Working our within a few hours of bedtime elevates body temperature and heart rate which can keep you awake.

Interval Training for Faster Results!

Dust off your running shoes and head to the local track – you’re about to learn the benefits of ‘interval training’. Football, soccer and basketball are sports characterized by short bursts of explosive speed. Intervals prepare you for that by alternating brief periods of hard running with ‘rest’ periods of easy jogging. Start out with 4 sets of 2-minute intervals – 1 minute of hard running followed by 1 minute of light jogging. Do these 2 days in a row, and then do a long, easy run on day 3. Repeat this 3-day cycle twice a week, gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts to four sets of 4-minute intervals.

Do Cardio workouts after your strength workout; you’ll dip into fat stores faster. Work you biggest muscles first, last and in between. Your small muscles will take care of themselves.

Some realities about building fab abs:

  • The best ab exercises are bicycle maneuvers, captain’s chair (lifting legs to chest) and crunches on an exercise ball. Traditional crunches do work but for maximum benefit, do them slowly.
  • Like any other muscle, your abs need rest to get stronger, at least 48 hours.
  • You don’t have to do hundreds of reps to strengthen your middle. Just two to three sets of 15 to 20 will do the trick.
  • Ab exercises won’t get rid of love handles. The only way to reduce them is to cut calories or increase aerobic activity.
  • Incline benches are fine – if you already have a rock-hard middle.

What’s your excuse?

Excuse #2 for not working out: I’m too busy.” Many people don’t exercise they feel weighted down with work, but a good sweat session will make you more productive on the job. You’ll have less stress, a clearer head and a better perspective. A recent study suggested that people who thought they were too busy to exercise really did have the time but chose not to make it a priority. Try exercising at lunchtime. You don’t have to pack all your exercise into one time block. Break it up. A 20-minute walk around the neighborhood works.

To learn how to improve your overall health and wellness, call Natural Wellness Centre!


Natural Wellness Centre | (740) 687-0279

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