Thursday, February 25, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: SKATER'S STEP-UP


Hold a pair of 5- to 15-pound dumbbells at hip level and stand facing a step with your right foot planted on the step. Leaning your chest forward slightly, lunge backward with your left leg, bending your right knee 90 degrees. From that position, bring your left foot up to meet the right on the step; squat and hold for 2 seconds. Stand and return to start. That's 1 rep. Repeat with the other leg; do 10 to 12 reps on each leg.

Monday, February 22, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: REVERSE LUNGE WITH OVERHEAD PRESS


Grab a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell in your left hand and hold it up next to your left shoulder, palm facing in. Step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees (your left knee should nearly touch the floor) while pressing the dumbbell directly over your shoulder without bending or leaning at the waist. Lower the weight back to the starting position as you push quickly back to standing. That's 1 rep. Do 12, then switch sides.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: HALF-SEATED LEG CIRCLES


Sit on the floor with your legs fully extended, leaning back on your elbows, your fingers cupping the sides of your hips. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, engage your core and lift your legs about 45 degrees. Point your toes, press your thighs together, and trace 12 large clockwise circles, then 12 counterclockwise circles. Repeat 2 more times.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: PULL CRUNCH


Grab a pair of 10- to 12-pound dumbbells and lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle. Bring your arms up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your legs until they're perpendicular to the floor. Return to start (don't let your legs touch the floor). That's 1 rep. Repeat 12 times.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: LATERAL LUNGE

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands clasped in front of your chest. Keeping your toes pointed forward and your abs braced, step to your right. Bend your right leg, keeping your left leg straight, and reach your hands to the floor on opposite sides of your right knee. Pause for 2 seconds, then return to start. Repeat with the left leg. That's 1 rep. Do 12.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: PRONE HIP EXTENSION

Lie facedown over a bench or padded stool with your legs hanging off the edge. Engage your abs and lift both legs until your body forms a straight line. Hold for 5seconds, then lower slowly. That's 1 rep; do 10 to 15.

Friday, February 12, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: LUNGE WITH ROTATION


Grab a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out. Take a big step forward with your left foot and, bracing your abs, twist your torso to the left as you bend your knees and lower your body until both of your legs form 90-degree angles. Twist back to center, push off your left foot, and stand back up. Repeat on the other leg. That's 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Keep your elbows straight but not locked. Also, make sure that your knee does not go over your toe during the lunge.

IT'S VALENTINES: ENJOY DARK CHOCOLATE

Recent studies have confirmed that there are health benefits to eating dark chocolate, the darker the chocolate the better. It can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and it is loaded with antioxidants. Of course, the benefits will be overturned if you eat too much. It is recommended that you eat about 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day which is about the size of a small business card if it is sliced thin (150 calories). Also, look for dark chocolate that lists 70% cocoa as the first ingredient.

So this Valentines Day indulge-but just a little :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: MEDICINE BALL INCH-WORM

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward, knees slightly bent, to place both hands on a four- to six-pound medicine ball on the floor. Slowly walk your feet away from your hands until your body is in a straight line from head to heels. You should move about an inch or two with each step. Hold for one second, then walk your feet back to the starting position. That's one rep; do 12.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: BOSU UP-DOWN


Place a Bosu on the floor, dome side down, and stand facing it. With your feet hip-width apart, squat, lean forward, and grab the sides of the Bosu. Jump your feet back into plank position and straighten your arms. Brace your abs and do a pushup Jump back into a squat, then stand. That’s one rep. Do 12 reps.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: DUMBBELL SUMO SQUATS

Grab a heavy dumbbell and hold an end with each hand at arm’s length in front of your waist. Set your feet about twice your shoulder width apart, your toes turned out slightly. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. Keep your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back naturally arched. Continue for one minute and then rest for one minute. Do for a total minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: STABILITY BALL WALK OUTS


Lie facedown with your torso on the ball, place your hands on the floor, raise your legs, and walk your hands out until just your thighs are on the ball. Squeeze your glutes and walk out until you're in the plank position, with just your feet on the ball. Pull your abs in tight to keep your body stable. Hold for five seconds, then walk your hands back to the starting position. That's one rep. Do a total of 15 reps.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: HIP-THIGH EXTENSION

Lie on your back on the floor with your left foot resting on the floor, knee bent, and your right leg extended. Rest your arms on the floor, palms up. Push your left heel into the floor and raise your torso and right leg a few inches off the floor Then raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your left knee. Hold this position for 2 seconds, lower back to start and repeat. That's 1 rep. Do 12 with your right leg straight, followed by 12 with the left leg straight.

WHY RUN?

1. It's so easy
True, some high-tech gear will make your run more fun, but really, all you need is a good pair of shoes, and a supportive sports bra. It couldn't be simpler.

And everyone knows how to run. You may not have perfect form yet, but you already know how to place one foot in front of the other and settle into a comfortable pace.

No new skills to master, no equipment to buy--just get out there and run.

2. Yet so hard
No other exercise matches running for its ability to soak that sports bra. The stair-stepper, bike, and other gym staples work you hard, but running blasts the most calories: In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, the treadmill (used at a "hard" exertion level) torched an average of 705-865 calories in an hour. The stair-stepper (637-746), rower (606-739), cross-country ski machine (595-678) and stationary bike (498-604) were all lower in overall caloric burn.

Running also gives your ticker a world-class workout. When your legs hit their stride they squeeze blood toward your heart, which in turn forces it to pump the blood right back. The faster you run, the harder your heart works and the stronger it gets.

3. Your knees will thank you
Contrary to what your mom says, running doesn't wreck your joints. Osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis), occurs when joint-cushioning cartilage starts to break down. The biggest osteoarthritis risk factor besides age? Body weight. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that obese women had nearly four times the risk of knee osteoarthritis than non-obese women; for men, it was five times the risk. Runners are much more likely to be at a normal weight than members of the sedentary population, significantly decreasing their risk of osteoarthritis.

It goes further than just the benefits of weight loss, too. Running bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints. Hitting the trail also gives your bones a boost, helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Though it's important to treat all running injuries and to replace your shoes often, in the end, running will build your joints up, not tear them down.

4. You'll stress less
Runners can provide tons of anecdotes about the stress-busting powers of their regular jog. "Nothing beats that feeling when you settle into a strong stride with a powerful rhythm," says Brooke Stevens, a four-time NYC marathoner, "The tension in my neck, back, and shoulders starts to loosen up, and I can think more clearly too."

Many women swear they work out all of their problems on the road, and there's research on exercise to back them up. The University of Georgia Department of Exercise induced anxiety (no worries, it was with caffeine pills) on subjects and then tested their physiological and mood symptoms after either resting for an hour or exercising for that hour. The exercise (in this case, on a stationary bike), was three times more effective at reducing anxiety.

Running is even used by mental health experts to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction.

5. It can prevent disease
Most experts agree that regular exercise reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer, including some of the scariest: colon, breast, endometrial, and lung. One recent study in the British Journal of Cancer calculated that the "most active" (e.g. walked briskly 5-6 hours/week) people were 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than the "least active" people (e.g. 30 minutes of walking/week). In a study by the National Cancer Institute, women of a normal weight who reported the highest levels of "vigorous activity" (running, tennis, aerobics) had about a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer when compared with women who did no vigorous activity. Becoming a regular runner may help you cancer-proof your life.

Joggers also have a leg up against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and running has been shown to lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, and boost immunity to colds and other viruses.

Your time on the treadmill can even prevent vision loss, it seems. Two studies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that running reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

6. You'll probably live longer
In perhaps the most surprising study done on the health benefits of running, a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984 until 2005. All of the subjects were over 50 and were asked to take a disability questionnaire each year measuring simple tasks like cutting meat, shampooing hair, and opening a milk carton.

Every year, the disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners than in the non-runners, and they became more different as both groups aged.

Even more interesting (though admittedly morbid)? At the end of the study, 85% of the runners were still alive, while only 66% of the non-runners were.

Based on the info gathered during the 21 years, the researchers concluded that regular exercise could reduce both disability and risk of death by increasing cardio fitness and bone mass, lowering inflammation, improving response to vaccination, and improving thinking, learning, and memory functions. We say, is that all?


(*Women's Health Magazine 2009)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: ALTERNATING DUMBBELL ROW


Using a set of 5 to 8 pound dumbbells, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips, keeping your lower back straight like a table top, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length from your shoulders. Now pull the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your torso by raising your upper arm, bending your elbow and squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. As you lower that dumbbell, row the dumbbell in your left hand to the side your torso. That’s one repetition. Continue to alternate sides for one minute. Rest and repeat 3 times.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: PLANK-UPS


Starting in a plank position with your forearms on the ground, extend your left arm straight in front of you and hold for 5 seconds. Lower your left arm back down to the forearm plank position and repeat with the right arm. That’s 1 rep. Repeat 12 times.

ON-THE-GO LOW CALORIE OPTIONS: HARDEES

BBQ Chicken Sandwich: 320 calories

Frisco Breakfast Sandwich: 420 calories

Original Thickburger Low-Carb: 420 calories


(Eat This Not That 2010)

Monday, February 1, 2010

EXERCISE OF THE DAY: NOSE TO KNEE CRUNCH


Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball. Draw your right knee toward your chest. Hold for 1 second, then return to plank position. That's 1 rep. Repeat 12 times.

*To make this harder, you can also do push-ups on the ball between each knee crunch.

ON-THE-GO LOW CALORIE OPTIONS: SMOOTHIE KING

20oz Coffee Smoothie Mocha: 160 calories, 17g of protein

20oz Slim-n-Trim Chocolate Made Skinny: 197 calories, 15g of protein


20oz The Shredder Chocolate: 311 calories, 39g of protein

(www.smoothieking.com)