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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Take an inventory of your shoes and determine how many pairs are most comfortable for walking. How many did you choose? One? Two?  Choosing the right walking shoe is essential in preventing foot injuries and other problems.

Sure, buying a pair of the latest styles might be fashionable, but can you honestly wear them all day without grimacing in pain?  Years ago, a good pair of walking shoes consisted of one style which was not at all flattering.  Today, however, you have a wide variety of good walking shoes to choose from, and it is in your best interest to keep your feet healthy by selecting the appropriate walking shoe.

Some of the types of shoes which you can choose are those that are shaped like your feet and provide more toe room.  With tight shoes, you run the risk of bunions, blisters, calluses, and a host of other conditions which can make your life miserable.

According to leading podiatrists, shoes should be comfortable. You should be able to wiggle your toes, and the shoes should have a sole that flexes at the ball of your foot.
Also, it is important to wear the proper size. More often than not, if there is a pair of shoes we have to have, but are a bit smaller, we make the sacrifice. The end result, however, is more pain.

Have your feet sized when you go to the shoe store. As you get older, changes occur to the feet in that their size and shape become more pronounced.  (Especially after a pregnancy or two!)

The next time you are sitting at your desk or at home, and you suddenly find you’ve taken off your shoes because they are causing pain, this may be a good time to visit a good shoe store. They will not only measure your feet, but provide you with a variety of shoes more comfortable for wearing.

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Are you getting bored with your traditional workout?  Is going to the gym just too bothersome?  Well then why don’t you get your next great workout at the local dance hall?  Dancing is not only fun to do; it’s great exercise too.

There’s nothing that gets your heart pumping like dancing.  You don’t have to be good; you just have to move around.  The simple act of moving your arms and legs around is enough to get you a great cardio workout.  Studies have shown that ballroom dancing is almost as effective at working your heart as common workouts such as running.  It also doesn’t matter much what kind of dancing you’re doing, whether it’s ballroom, country line dancing, or even belly dancing.  You can even just dance around your living room to the radio (also a great way to work out with the kids!)

Dancing works all the different muscle groups.  Activities like jogging and swimming feature repetitive movements that work the same muscles over and over.  That’s why it’s easy to tell a runner from a swimmer, just by looking at what muscles on their body are developed.  Unless you do the same dance over and over, you’re going to be doing various different movements.  This allows you to work all your different muscle groups giving you a great total body workout you’ll be able to see in a mirror.  This is also a great motivation to take classes and try new styles of dance.

Normally, workouts can be a bit boring, and boredom is actually one of the most common reasons for quitting an exercise program.  With dance, not only do you get to listen to music that is fun and entertaining, dancing can have the benefit of being a social event.  If you have one or more people there with you, you can enjoy the conversation and excitement; you’ll probably completely forget you’re working out.  Try getting a group of friends to go dancing once a week with you.  You can even use the fact that it’s a great workout as a selling point to convince them to join you.  Just be careful; depending on the venue, you may be encouraged to drink.  Don’t burn off all your calories just to add them back with alcohol. 

Dancing makes a great family activity.  You can use it as a time to bond with your spouse or your children.  Remember, they need to get regular exercise too!  If you want to get closer to your spouse, sign up for some lessons you can take together.  And while you can’t take kids out to a lot of dance clubs, you can get a kids dancing tape, teach them to dance at home, or just play around to the music on the radio.  It’s a great way to exercise while stimulating their creativity. 

So what are you waiting for?  Why not change a workout this week to a fun time dancing?

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Heart disease is one of the number one killers of women. Though women suffer fewer heart attacks than men, they are less likely to survive when they do have a heart attack. Men and women should be mindful of the risks of heart disease and take steps to reduce their risk.

  1. Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease. If you are having trouble, try using a nicotine patch or the gum.
  2. Know your blood pressure. When the arteries of the body and the heart are narrowed due to plaque buildup in the vessels, blood pressure will increase. When blood is under such pressure, it can dislodge pieces of arterial plaque into the bloodstream. This could lead to a heart attack if the plaque lodges in a coronary artery or a stroke if the plaque lodges in the brain.
  3. Have your cholesterol checked. High blood cholesterol leads to plaque deposits on the walls of arteries. As more plaque builds up, the vessels will narrow. There are three main components: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. HDL lowers total blood cholesterol by removing plaques that have been deposited on the walls of arteries. LDL causes the plaques to stick to the arteries in the first place. Triglycerides are a fatty substance in the blood. High triglyceride levels have been linked to heart disease. The doctor may prescribe medication to lower your blood cholesterol. A number less than 200 mg/dl is desirable.
  4. Lose weight if necessary. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to lowering your risk of heart disease. Carrying too much weight, especially around the midsection, increases the strain on your heart, not to mention your back and your legs.
  5. Start an exercise program. Performing an exercise for at least thirty minutes most days of the week will increase your cardiovascular health and your oxygen output. Aerobic exercise also helps you sleep better at night and maintain an overall good mental attitude.
  6. Check for diabetes. Developing diabetes puts you at risk for developing heart disease down the road. If you are diabetic, get your blood sugar under control with insulin shots or a change in diet. Your doctor will determine which is better for you.
  7. Change your eating habits. A healthy diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, and low-fat dairy products. Lean beef, chicken, and pork will provide daily protein along with fish and seafood. Invest in a good multivitamin to provide the nutrients that you may miss from day to day.

Heart disease doesn’t have to affect you. Know the warning signs and the risks. Work with a doctor to lower your chances of suffering a heart attack.

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Everybody rode their bike as a kid. It was a means of transportation and just a good way to get from here to there. As we age, we realize that we need some steady form of exercise and bike riding can be just the ticket! Read on to see just how great riding a bike is for your health.

It’s Great for the Heart!
Riding a bike is great cardiovascular exercise and increases the health of your heart. Everybody needs a minimum of thirty minutes of aerobic exercise at least three days a week. Purchasing a bike with several speeds will allow you to increase you fitness level as your cardiovascular function improves. Begin by riding at an easy speed over even ground. If a challenge is what you desire, change your terrain.

Bicycling is Kind to the Joints!
Women often experience joint pain especially in the knees as they get older. Osteoporosis causes joint problems to worsen because of the lack of proper calcium levels in the bones. Bike riding offers exercise without pain. The aerobic benefit is comparable to jogging or running without the strain. Make sure that the seat height on your bike is adjusted to allow your legs full range of motion with each revolution. Full range of motion also promotes better circulation to the lower extremities which do the majority of the work in moving the bicycle.

You Get Great Looking Legs!
Bicycling whips those leg muscles into shape. For muscular endurance, stick to a flat terrain, but adjust the speed of the bike as your strength improves. To avoid cramping, stretch thoroughly before and after each bike ride. If you are looking to increase muscle definition, vary your terrain. Off-road biking on dirt trails helps to flex leg muscles as you keep the bicycle under control even on uneven ground. Steep hills are great for working the quadriceps and hamstrings.

The Backside Gets a Little Boost Too!
The gluteus muscles also reap rewards from bike riding. For maximum power, raise your body about an inch off of the seat as you pedal. Squeeze your butt to control the pedaling motion. After a mile or so, those glutes should be on fire.

Increases Your Balance!
Learning to ride a bike is all about staying upright. To do that, you have to find a balance between your body and the bike. Maintaining that balance strengthens the core muscles of the abdominal region. Tightening the core muscles keeps you from falling off of the bike. The lower abdominals pull your legs back towards you body from the bottom of the cycling revolution. The lower back is also kept pain free by a strong balanced core.

Riding a bike is not just for kids. I am a great testament to this because I had not been on a bike for at least 15-20 years. The last bike I had was a 10-speed in high school. My husband just bought me a bike and we have started going out as a family. Man…my legs BURN like you wouldn’t believe! Even though there’s pain, the benefits are great and I know this too shall pass. This is something that the entire family can do together and have fun at the same time. Get on out there and try it!

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So, you’ve been to the doctor and they’ve told you that you have high blood pressure, now what? The bad news is that high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. The good news is that most people don’t even need medication to lower their blood pressure; they just need to adopt some simple lifestyle changes.

Here are some steps you can take to get your blood pressure down to a healthy level.

  1. Lose weight. The incidence of hypertension is much higher in overweight and obese individuals. If you have a lot of weight to lose, don’t be discouraged. Even losing a few pounds should cause a drop in your blood pressure. You can use that to keep you motivated to lose more.
  2. Exercise more. Getting regular physical activity can help to lower blood pressure levels. If you don’t work out at all, try walking for half an hour everyday. You can then work your way up to more strenuous activities. Just remember, even a small amount of physical activity can help.
  3. Eat less salt. Instead of pouring salt on as a seasoning, add some spices instead. You’ll probably find a great flavor that’s a lot better for you. You should also start reading labels of prepackaged foods. Many of them have a lot more sodium than you’d imagine. Try replacing high sodium boxed dinners with a low sodium homemade dinner. Not only is it better for you, it also probably tastes better too.
  4. Quit Smoking. Not only does cigarette smoke cause irreparable damage to your lungs, it also raises your blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure is just one of 1000 reasons you already have to throw out those cigarettes today.
  5. Drink only in moderation. If you drink more than one (women) or two (men) servings of alcohol a day, you may be increasing your blood pressure levels. Try cutting back to just a beer or glass of wine with dinner and you’ll probably see some improvement.
  6. Relax. While it may seem impossible to stop zipping around during the day, having a little bit of time set aside for relaxation can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Why not try yoga or meditation? If you have a bit of extra money, you could get a weekly massage. If none of these appeal to you, you can always just sit quietly and listen to music. As a bonus, if you take some relaxing time before you go to bed, you’ll sleep better and feel more energized in the morning.
  7. Eat more fruits and veggies. Having an ample supply of vitamins and nutrients will help your body function more properly and lower your blood pressure. You can get these nutrients by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.

While making one or two of these changes may help you a little bit, the best method for lowering your blood pressure is to make all these changes. They each make a little difference that adds up to a much healthier lifestyle and a better life.

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If you’re a new mom, you probably know that getting exercise can be tough. Taking care of a baby takes up a lot of your energy. It’s often difficult to find someone to watch the baby while you go to the gym or you may not want to leave baby with someone yet. To stay healthy and take off those extra pounds, try incorporating your baby into your workout routine. This way, baby can be entertained and you can work up a sweat. Plus, once you’re used to it, exercise can give you a great energy boost to get through your long, stressful day.

Here are some great exercises to try today:

  • Walking – There are some great multi-terrain strollers which you can use for walks with your baby. You can also buy a sling and go for walks with baby. This will make your baby easier to tote around with you. Plus a walk can be a great way to stimulate your baby with new sights, sounds and smells.
  • Running and biking – Instead of buying expensive workout equipment, why not check out the specialized strollers the next time you’re at a sport supply store? They make devices specifically for running and biking safely with your child. And like walking, this also exposes your baby to new stimuli.
  • Move, shake, and dance with your baby – Next time your baby is crying, instead of jiggling and rocking them, try putting them in a sling and dancing with them. If this doesn’t work to quiet them, you can still do it when they’re happy.
  • Take a class – Take a look on the internet or at a local gym. You can probably find a class in your area designed to give you and your baby a workout at the same time. If you’re serious about getting in shape with your baby, find a personal training who’s also a mom. She’ll be able to give you exercises you can not only do with your baby, but one that is also specifically tailored to you.

Working out with your baby can not only get you back into shape, it can also give your baby the stimulation they need to lead and active, healthy life. Just remember to be safe and always make sure your baby is secure.

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Considered a fantastic workout DVD, Get Ripped! With Jari Love: Slim and Lean is suited for people of all fitness levels. This DVD comprises squats; lunges; chest presses; pushups; curls; and a multitude of exercises designed to tone and work on all muscle groups.

While some users found this DVD to be more advanced, most found that by using low weights they could still keep up with the pace. Users found exercise DVD increased their energy levels; incorporated a full body workout using weight training; and found the mix of exercises targeted all of the right areas.

If you have any knee problems, you may want to buy Jari Love’s first DVD entitled, “Get Ripped.” This 55 minute program is designed to increase muscle definition and get rid of body fat in three to four weeks. The exercises encompass resistance and cardio vascular workouts as well as increasing your metabolic rate. Touted by doctors as one of the best calorie burning exercises available, this DVD produces the most effective weight loss results to date.
Some of the comments made about this DVD include: “This is an endurance style weight workout – meaning that your weights are kept fairly light and you’ll be doing a lot of repetitions.”

Another woman commented, “Jari gives great directions and information about the exercises. She makes you think about your form and breathing which is really important. I’ve done many videos where breathing and form are hardly mentioned. I absolutely enjoy this workout! There is a piece on Nutrition. Nutrition is just as important as exercise.”

“These exercises are 100% no-nonsense, consisting of high repetitions of classic, tried-and-true exercises like forward and plie squats, lunges, bicep curls, dead-lifts, overhead presses, lying inner & outer leg lifts, and minimal abdominal work. Jari’s queing and instruction is right on the mark, and she gives clear explanation and attention to form.”
Where can you buy it? Amazon.com

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