Easy Ways to Turn Your Holiday Shopping into a Workout.
Although you simply cannot reap the benefits of a good workout by just shopping, Geralyn Coopersmith, director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute points out that there are still ways to improve your health while making your rounds at the mall and the supermarket. Learn how here:
Spice up your workout routine and get involved in one of Fox News’s Top 10 Fall Workouts:
October has the perfect weather to get outside and go for a walk or run. There are many benefits to walking and here are a few:
The challenge this month is to exercise at least 90 minutes per week. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast in Ireland had 93 healthy adults ages 40 to 61 complete at least three half-hour brisk walks per week. The walkers saw average drops of at least 5 points in systolic blood pressure and 1 inch off their waistlines in 3 months--without any dietary changes. Participants were even allowed to break the walks into smaller chunks (of no less than 10 minutes), so long as they totaled 30 minutes daily, at least 3 days per week. A stroll at lunch, and 10 minutes before and after work, should enable you to reap the benefits.
So give this walking challenge a try and walk 30 minutes a day for at least three days a week! You can switch up your workout by walking around neighborhood one day, the park the next day, and going for a hike the next day. And if it’s raining, you can even walk on a treadmill or around the mall!
Yoga for Workaholics
Yoga at the office: Use yoga workouts to relieve the pains of your desk job.
Even if you love your job, spending 40-plus hours at a desk every week can sometimes lead to more than just a headache; it can also be a pain in the neck, shoulders, back, feet, and eyes. Being chained to your desk starves your extremities of blood, oxygen, and other fluids, resulting in tight muscles and stiff joints. But before reaching for the industrial-size bottle of ibuprofen, try these poses from Karin Wiedemann, yoga instructor and director of Urban Yoga in Washington, D.C. She suggests spending 3 minutes every 2 hours doing the following moves to relieve some tension.
The pain: Wrists and hands
The cause: "Typing is a very repetitive motion, and we do it for hours," Wiedemann says. On top of that, we hold our hands in a very tense position, so the muscles get stiff and blood doesn't circulate as well (as evidenced by how chilly your hands can get even in summer.)
The yoga fix: Sitting at your desk with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, lengthen up through the crown of your head and let your shoulders gently drop away from your ears. Bring your hands together on your lap, interlacing your fingers. As you take a deep breath in, reach your arms out in front of you and press your palms away. As you exhale, raise your arms overhead and try to straighten your elbows as much as you can without scrunching your shoulders. If your shoulders rise up, keep your elbows slightly bent. Hold this pose for 10 complete breaths and lower your arms on the last exhale. Repeat twice more.
The pain: Feet and ankles
The cause: High heels push body weight to the front of the foot. "And the pointy styles we wear shove our feet into unnaturally narrow spaces," Weidemann says. High heels throw off your entire skeletal system because your foundation, your feet, doesn't have a solid connection with the ground.
The yoga fix: Remove your shoes. Next, sitting in a chair, cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Weave the fingers of your left hand from the bottom of your foot up between your toes as if you were holding hands with your foot. Begin making circles with your ankle. Make 10 circles in each direction. Next, carefully release your fingers and hold onto the top of your foot. Bend your toes back towards your shins and then down toward your heel. Do this five times in each direction. Now, using your thumbs, gently massage the bottom of your foot, especially the arches. Switch sides.
The pain: Neck and shoulder
The cause: Typically, we slouch, rather than sit. Your head is as heavy as a bowling ball, so when you push, drop, or tilt your head forward to squint at your strategic plan, your neck is bearing a lot of weight.
The yoga fix: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the corners of your lower back with your fingers pointing toward the floor. Rotate your shoulders up, back, and down, bringing your elbows close together without pressing your hips, shoulders, or head forward. Take a deep inhale. Now, root your feet firmly into the floor as you lift up through crown of head and bend back very slightly. Press your elbows closer, lifting up through your heart. Hold for five deep breaths.
The pain: Eyes
The cause: "You may be unaware of it, but while staring at your monitor or reading, you probably tense up your face," Wiedemann says. Plus, recent studies say hours in front of the glowing computer screen may fatigue the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain.
The yoga fix: Turn away from your computer so your eyes are focused on a completely different object. Sit up in your chair with your chin parallel to the floor. Now, without moving any other part of your body, look up to 12 o'clock, over to 3 o'clock, down to 6 o'clock, over to 9 o'clock, and up to 12 again. Do that five times in each direction.
The pain: Back
The cause: When you're sitting at your desk, the discs in your back are bearing three times more weight than when you're standing. The result? Spinal fluid—which keeps your spine flexible instead of brittle—gets squeezed out. This means discs can slip out of place, rub up against each other, and cause excruciating pain. To top it off, a brittle spine increases your risk of injury because there's less fluid to act as a shock absorber, which means bending down and lifting your 5-pound purse can cause a lot of damage one day. The remedy? "Twisting poses strengthen and lengthen your spine to create more space," Wiedemann says. This allows fresh fluid to flood in, relieving compression and bringing sweet relief.
The yoga fix: Keep your chair facing forward, but turn your entire body to the right. Keep your thighs parallel and knees over your ankles. Next, place your hands on the back of your chair. As you inhale, lengthen up through the crown of your head. As you exhale, rotate from your belly, ribcage, and shoulders (but keep your shoulders relaxed and chin parallel to the floor.) To enhance the twist, push with your right hand and pull with your left hand.
Don’t want to miss your favorite shows because of exercising? These simple calorie burning tricks can be done right in front of your TV.
SOURCES: Nutritionist Heather Bauer, founder of Nu-Train nutrition counseling center in Manhattan; dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot, creator of the F-Factor Diet; personal trainer Brooke Maronne, founder of Brooke Maronne Fitness
Get Fit at Work!
For each exercise, keep your abdominal muscles tight to develop a strong core.
The Chair Squat: While sitting up straight, slowly proceed to a standing position. Keep your arms straight out for balance. Repeat and perform 15-25 repetitions.
Chair Triceps Dips: Secure your chair against the wall and place hands at the end of the chair. Bend your knees so your thighs and lower legs form slightly more than a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body. Straighten the elbows to raise the body up. Repeat for 12-20 repetitions. This fitness tip is deceptively easy, because it will help build your muscle strength more than you realize!
In-Place Marching: Stand up straight with arms at your sides. Now, slowly lift your left leg until it is waist height. Next take your arms and-in a big fashion-circle them. As your arms circle forward, drop your left leg to the ground and follow by raising your right leg. You will proceed in this fashion for 25 total repetitions of total forward arm circles. After completing 25 forward circles, continue marching in-place and circle arms backwards for 25 repetitions.
How to - Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lift up the bar bell. Lift up your chest so that your shoulders are lower than your chest but your back is still straight. Curl the bar bell up to just above your pectoral muscles and slowly lower back down.
It is of paramount importance that your elbows do not move during this exercise. Make sure they stay solid next to your side.
How to - Lie on a flat bench and take light bar bell. Lift the weight over your head with your palms facing the roof. Now shift the weight backwards so if you were to drop it it would land on the floor behind your head and so that your triceps are pointing behind you instead of straight up. In this fixed position, lift the weight up until you have a straight arm and then lower it slowly until you get a deep stretch.
This is one of my all time favorite triceps exercises and has allowed me to make some significant growth.
How to - Take two dumb bells and stand with your back straight. Assuming the same position as in the bar bell curl, curl one dumb bell up to your shoulder as if you were trying to curl it PAST your shoulder. This gives a tighter contraction. Slowly lower the dumb bell and rotating it until it is in the resting position by your side, lift the other weight at the same time.
Tip - Make sure this exercise is down slowly and with extra control.
How to - Take a medium bar bell and lie on a flat bench. Push the bar bell up until you arms are locked and then lower it down slowly. Just before it hits your chest push it up quickly with a little bouncing motion for about two inches. This short stop and bounce stops your chest muscles coming into play here and keeps the weight on your triceps. It’s a great secret.
How to - It is exactly the same as the bar bell curl but there is a constant tension on your muscles because the cable is always trying to pull the weight back down. For this reason you will fid it much harder to handle a lot of weight. Remember to keep your elbows still and your chest up.
The 20-Minute, 300-Calorie Treadmill Cardio Challenge
Burn fat and calories and build your lower body with this 300-calorie-burning treadmill routine.
20 Minutes to a Better Body
Miles Per Hour: 3.0, Incline: 1
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 2
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 4
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 6
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 7
MPH: 4.0, Incline: 1
MPH: 4.5, Incline: 2
MPH: 4.5, Incline: 4
MPH: 4.5, Incline: 6
MPH: 4.5, Incline: 7
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 1
MPH: 6.0, Incline: 1
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 1
MPH: 5.0, Incline: 2
MPH: 5.0, Incline: 4
MPH: 5.0, Incline: 6
MPH: 5.0, Incline: 7
MPH: 3.5, Incline: 1
MPH: 6.0, Incline: 1
MPH: 3.0, Incline: 1
About one in four Americans is overweight, but whether or not you have weight concerns, cardio workouts are important for your overall health. They're also good for your emotional wellbeing. Cardio workouts increase endorphins, which give you a sense of well-being. A good cardio workout will exercise your heart muscle, increase your lung capacity, burn calories and reduce stress.
Enjoy the year's most beautiful season: In many parts of the United States, autumn is a near-sacred season, with its warm, sunny days, cool evenings and postcard perfect colors. Get outside and enjoy the season by bicycling, walking, hiking, jogging, and playing golf and tennis. Explore parks in your area; find a new bike path through the woods, take a walk around a lake. The time spent out in nature will do as much good for your mind as for your body.
Benefits of Hiking
There are many benefits of hiking. The most common benefits are:
Spring cleaning time is here. This month take a day off from the gym by burning calories while you channel your inner Mr. or Ms. Clean!
Top 12 Spring Cleaning Calorie Burners!
(per 30 minutes)*:
Mopping the floor
Mowing the lawn (push mower)
Raking the lawn
Washing the car
Weeding the yard
*Based on a 150 lb. person.
Put on some fast music -- rock and roll, salsa, whatever you like. This helps you pick up speed. Whenever you're doing chores, tighten your abs. This prevents you from slouching. Carry heavy baskets of laundry or supplies up from the basement, if your conditioning allows. Climb on a stepladder every chance you get.