Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New federal exercise guidelines include strength training

At a block party at the Henry R. Benavidez Community Center in Las Cruces, N.M., Erika Lopez and her daughter Brianna, 7, do push-ups after tossing dice that tells how many and what exercise to do. More Americans need to incorporate strength training through push-ups, weightlifting or resistance bands, the government recommends.
By Norm Dettlaff, Las Cruces Sun-News, AP

The US government raised the bar for physical activity levels today and nobody's exempt, not even kids or older adults — everybody needs to get moving. The new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are the most comprehensive federal recommendations ever and the new gold standard.

Read the guidelines and federal toolkit

read more | digg story

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fitness Over 50

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
I'm not hiding the fact that I've already turned the big five-o — in fact, I want to tell the world just to prove that you can keep fit and healthy at any age! However, there are realities about exercising at this age that everyone has to face. If you're over the age of 50, your risk of an exercise-related injury is increased, especially when it comes to muscle strains in the neck, back, shoulder, knee, and ankle. These are the areas most susceptible to injury, say health experts from Barnes-Jewish St. Peter's Hospital.

But that doesn't mean you should stop exercising! In fact, consistently working these muscles correctly will help them stay strong. Just be sure to:
  • Warm up. Spend at least 10 minutes preparing your muscles for a workout.
  • Switch it up. Alternate your activities instead of doing the same workout over and over. You'll exercise all of your muscles rather than overworking the same ones.
  • Start strength training. To first build your muscle strength, start with machines instead of free weights. Don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration before using new equipment.
  • Cool down. Be sure to slowly lower your heart rate with a cool-down and stretching session after each workout.
  • Get your doctor's orders. Check with your doctor before starting a fitness program to be sure you're choosing the right intensity and activity for your fitness level.
Training materials by Denise Austin

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Shape Up That Walking Workout!

by Denise Austin
Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mike
Sick of padding along on a treadmill?
You're not alone! Boredom often jeopardizes our get-fit plans! So shake things up with advice from Fit Forever! members and make your walking workout less of a bore:
  • Change locations. Instead of walking on a treadmill, try a trail or track near your home. If it's too cold, why not walk a few laps around the mall or shopping center?
  • Turn on the tube. Those 30 minutes pass a lot faster if you've got something else to watch besides the timer on the treadmill. Tune in to your favorite program while you walk and you'll be done before you know it.
  • Mix it up. Start with 5 minutes of stretching, then climb up and down stairs for five more, jump on the treadmill for 10, jump rope for another five, walk for ten, then cool down with five more minutes of stretching. The change will do you good!
  • Sweat to some tunes. Think about what type of music makes your heart race, then pop it in and get walking! You'll get so into the tunes that your workout will fly by!
Training materials by Denise Austin

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Benefits of HIIT High Intensity Interval Training

A study at Laval University in Quebec, Canada found that HIIT cardio helped trainees loose nine (yes, 9!) times more fat than those who trained the traditional way (moderate speed for 20-60 minutes). Combine HIIT with your weight program and you boost your metabolism through the roof!

The Reason HIIT Is So Successful Is This:
  1. When you work at a high intensity, you burn more total calories per pound of body weight.
  2. High Intensity workouts such as weight training and HIIT boost growth hormone levels.
  3. Elevates the body's metabolism throughout the entire day!

Read more at TeenBodyBuilding.com

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pedometers Help You Get Healthy

Pedometers help people count steps to get healthy
By Michelle L. Brandt

Steve Gladfelter/VAS

Pedometer users increased their physical activity by more than 2,000 steps per day, or more than 1 mile of walking, according to a review by Dena Bravata of studies done on the effectiveness of pedometers.

The pedometer, a small and inexpensive device that counts the number of steps walked per day, could be key to ramping up a person's physical activity.

Researchers at the School of Medicine have found that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.

"Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day," said the study's lead author, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, a senior research scientist in medicine. "This goes a long way toward helping people meet the national guidelines for daily physical activity."

See pedometers at Amazon.com

Read more at Stanford.edu

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sexy Arms This Spring!

Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mikeby Denise Austin
Warm weather and sleeveless tops are just around the corner! So here's an oldie-but-goodie exercise that will give you sleek, sexy, arms — bicep curls!

Here's how:
  • Sit on the floor with your feet crossed in front of you.
  • With an underhand grip, hold a weight in each hand to your sides with your arms extended.
  • Exhale slowly as you raise your arms toward you, bending at the elbows.
  • Feel the movement in your biceps — the muscles Popeye is famous for!
  • Hold the position momentarily before returning to the starting position, inhaling.
  • Repeat two sets of eight to 12 repetitions each, resting for 15 seconds between sets.

Keep in mind that to get results from this and other weight-bearing exercises, you need a weight that challenges your muscles enough that they have to grow to keep up. Need help finding the right load? Start with weights you can lift without difficulty (perhaps 1- or 2-pounds). If you can easily complete the two sets and still keep going, move up one weight size. When you find a weight that leaves you feeling that two sets is all you can possibly do — but isn't so heavy that you can't complete both sets — you've found your match! When that weight becomes easy-breezy, move up again!

Training materials by Denise Austin

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Monday, February 25, 2008

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise strategy that is intended to improve performance with short training sessions.

A HIIT session involves a warmup period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cooldown period. The period of alternating effort and recovery intervals typically lasts a total of 15 minutes.

Studies by Tabata [1], Tremblay[2], and others have shown this method to be more effective at burning fat and maintaining, or building, muscle mass than high-volume, lower intensity aerobic work-outs. According to a study by King [3] , HIIT increases the RMR (resting metabolic rate) for the following 24 hours due to EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), and may improve VO2 max more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.[4][5][6][7] Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes of training. HIIT is somewhat counter intuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this, including an increase in RMR, and possibly other physiological effects.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Strength Training Interval Program

Source: strength-training-woman.com
  1. Chest Press
  2. Bent Over Row
  3. Squats
  4. Lunge
  5. Bicep Hammer Curl
  6. Tricep Skullcrushers
  7. Ball Crunches
Sequencing of Events During Your Interval Strength Training Routines
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Chest Press
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Bent Over Row
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Squats
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Lunges
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Bicep Hammer Curls
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Tricep Skullcrushers
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Ball Crunches
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
Do this sequence a total of three times. This is just one example of how to set up interval strength training routines. Basic weight lifting rules apply. Change something in your routine every 4-6 weeks. You can change the exercise, the strength training method or the intensity level. Use interval strength training routines to jump start your program.

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Kiss Your Treadmill Goodbye

Source CBN.com and The Cardio Free Diet

Author and weight-loss expert Jim Karas says you can kiss your treadmill goodbye. He says cardiovascular workouts burn a few calories, but far fewer than you think. From 1987-2000 the number of people exercising on treadmills increased by 900 percent, meanwhile obesity doubled. Using this and other research, Jim developed a new approach to weight-loss: The Cardio Free Diet.

Your body functions like an equation, Jim says, where we look at calories in and calories out. For too long we’ve focused on the first part of the equation when trying to lose weight. Instead, Jim notes that looking at dieting like that is what has led many people to fad dieting. We need to burn calories and interval strength training is the best way to do that for these reasons:
  1. It provides absolute enhanced heart health. It’s our heart-rate variability that counts, how fast we respond to stimuli. If we’re walking at one pace for 30 minutes on a treadmill, our heart rate is at a steady rate. That doesn’t replicate real life. “We live our lives in spurts, not marathons,” Jim says.
  2. Interval strength training provides greater flexibility.
  3. Interval strength training increases lean muscle tissue and increases metabolism. Jim says that we can lose weight doing intervals of cardio exercise also, but that cardio will not build your lean muscle tissue in the same way that interval strength training does. Jim says cardio can be detrimental. “It kills your time, your energy, your joints, and your motivation.” He says the only people who should ever do cardio are those who really enjoy it. Others should cut it out completely.

Read more more from The Cardio Free Diet include first two chapters: Cardio's Reign of Terror and The Body Weight Equation.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Thwart a Sweet Tooth!

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
Are you a softie for sweets? The empty calories from sugary treats are a big reason for many people's battle with the bulge. Find out what tricks other Fit Forever! members use to temper a sweet tooth:
  • Cut back gradually: If going cold turkey on sweets only makes you want them more, try cutting out one or two each day over time.
  • Keep a food journal: You'll be less likely to reach for those empty calories when you see in writing how fast they add up.
  • Substitute: If you must have a sweet, pick a small one. Have a Tootsie Pop instead of a candy bar, for example.
  • Clear out: If you can't resist temptation, don't keep sweets in your cupboard at home or in your desk at work.
  • Load up on aqua: Drink a big glass of water when a craving hits, or have a cup of fruit-flavored herbal tea. That's usually all it takes to make it pass.
  • Be active: Take a walk, put on an exercise video, or take a spin on the bike when your sweet tooth strikes. By the time you finish, the craving is usually gone and you've burned calories instead of eating them.
  • Get back on track: Don't beat yourself up or abandon your goal if you slip up. Managing your weight isn't about perfection, it's about persistence!
Books and DVDs by Denise Austin

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Monday, February 4, 2008

No Equipment Necessary: Ab Crossover

No Equipment Necessary: Ab Crossover
From the blog:

The Ab Crossover (aka the Ab Chopper) is a great way to work your abs while working your shoulders a little bit too. It's a good alternative to boring old crunches so try it out.

Here's how:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands straight overhead, clasped together.
  • Crunch up (contract your abs) while bringing your hands over to the outside of your left thigh. That's is one rep.
  • Lower back to start position and repeat to the outside of your right thigh. That is another rep.
  • Do two sets of 20 reps.

If this is too easy then hold a light medicine ball in your hands. You can also make it more difficult by doing more reps.

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Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really Trying

Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really TryingStealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really Trying
By Reader's Digest

Discover The Everyday Health Plan - the simplest program available to enhance your health by promoting weight loss while increasing your energy level and strengthening you immune system. This east-to-use plan contains more than 1,200 tiny modifications to make you healthier. The ideas are fresh, unusual, simple, fast, and thoroughly researched and doctor-approved.

This book has changed my life!5
I thoroughly recommend buying this book. Its simple, easy to read guide is well organized and thought out. I've been easily incorporating the changes it recommends in my life without overwhelming me. This is a must read for anyone who wishes to de-stress their lives and add health with ease. Judea Eden

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Easy Ways to Lose Weight: 50+ Ideas

Look slimmer, feel trimmer! From Reader's Digest Stealth Health Simple Slimming

Spring is right around the corner and retailers have already begun stocking their floors with warm-weather goods -- including swimsuits. Besides looking great on the beach, commonsense tells us that one of the best things you can do for your overall health is to drop a few pounds. Or maybe more than a few pounds.
Being overweight significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer ... the list seems almost endless. Plus, if you do get sick or need surgery, being overweight can make any treatments riskier.

1. Once a week, indulge in a high-calorie-tasting, but low-calorie, treat.
2. Treat high-calorie foods as jewels in the crown.
3. After breakfast, make water your primary drink.
4. Carry a palm-size notebook everywhere you go for one week. Write down every single morsel that enters your lips -- even water.
5. Buy a pedometer, clip it to your belt, and aim for an extra 1,000 steps a day.

Books about health and diet from Reader's Digest

Read more at RD.com

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Take a Walk! by Denise Austin

Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mikeby Denise Austin
Want to know one of the best deals around on exercise? Walking! You don't need to join an expensive gym or hire a personal trainer, and you can do it anytime, anywhere — with little more than a pair of comfortable shoes!

The American Council on Exercise says walking is probably the best way to get active and stay healthy. After following 13,000 people for over eight years, they found those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. Their advice? Start slowly and build up from there. Even five minutes a day is better than nothing!

Just walk at a comfortable pace, focusing on good posture, and breathe deeply. If you're having trouble catching your breath, slow down and avoid hills until you increase your ability. You'll know you're walking at the right pace if you can comfortably carry on a conversation while you stride. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day, and you'll be well on your way to a longer life! It's as easy as that!

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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Friday, February 1, 2008

AM Fat Burn, When to Do Cardio

AM Fat Burn, When to Do Cardio: "Here are 7 of the additional benefits of doing cardio early in the morning:
  1. It makes you feel great all day by releasing mood-enhancing endorphins.
  2. It 'energizes' you and 'wakes you up.'
  3. It may help regulate your appetite for the rest of the day.
  4. Your body’s circadian rhythm adjusts to your morning routine, making it easier to wake up at the same time every day.
  5. You’ll be less likely to 'blow off' your workout when it’s out of the way early (like when you’re exhausted after work or when friends ask you to join them at the pub for happy hour).
  6. You can always 'make time' for exercise by setting your alarm earlier in the morning.
  7. It increases your metabolic rate for hours after the session is over."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keep Your Heart Healthy!

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
If you were asked what the number-one cause of death among American women is, you'd probably say breast cancer, right? If so, you'd be wrong. It's cardiovascular disease that holds that title, and on average, 1 out of every 2.6 American women loses her life to this silent killer.

There are things you can do to prevent heart disease, though — including quitting smoking if you smoke, eating a healthy diet, and losing weight if you're overweight. Physical activity also plays a crucial role in keeping the heart healthy, and the American Heart Association recommends exercising for 30 minutes each day at a moderate-intensity level. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs sufficient exercise in order to stay fit and healthy! Regular exercise helps you to maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It's the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Get the exercise ball rolling with these DVDs

10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!
Perfect for someone who doesn't have a lot of time for strength training.

Bell Express 15 Cardio Fitness Kit
This DVD comes with a stability ball and jump rope.

Billy Blanks Tae Bo Amped

The new set of five workout DVDs comes with a weighted bar. Blanks' energy is contagious.

Get Ripped & Chiseled With Jari Love
She does tons of repetitions, so you really exhaust your muscles.

Jennifer Kries New Body Pilates
Informative and very well-taught, this workout is a great introduction to Pilates.

Ellen Barrett Fat Burning Fusion
The fun hybrid barefoot workout integrates muscle toning with ballet, Pilates, balance and athletic movements.

Rockin' Body Cardio Jam by Michelle Dozois
This is great straightforward cardio workout with no tricky choreography.

Element Yoga for Beginners
Clear directions and a fluid series of easy-to understand postures make this a perfect class for someone new to yoga.

Jeanette Jenkins: The Hollywood Trainer 21 Day Total Body Circuit Workout
Great for beginners. The moves are all ones you've seen before crunches, push-ups, lunges but have modifications to keep them from being boring.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stay Safe in the Sun!

Playing in the sun

Hot, sunny weather can be dangerous. We enjoy exercising outdoors, but high temps can be dangerous without proper precautions. Experts at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommend lowering your risk of heat injury. Keep their tips in mind when you play outside:

  • Drink plenty of water. Don't wait until you become thirsty — keep yourself hydrated throughout your workout.
  • Take breaks, especially if you're trying a new activity or if you weren't active during the colder months.
  • Schedule your workouts in the morning or evening, when it's cooler. Avoid working out during the hottest part of the day — between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Slow your pace on hot days. Your workout may take longer, but heat exhaustion can come on quickly when you exercise at an intense pace. Take it easy!
  • Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics; light colors will help reflect the sun's heat.
  • If you suspect heat exhaustion, stop what you are doing immediately. Move to a shaded area, remove excess clothing, fan or wet your body to reduce your core temperature, and seek medical care immediately.

Keep safe outdoors, and stay cool this summer!

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Ten tips to keep fit at home

The American Heart Association gives us these ten tips to stay fit at home. Their expert's tell us it's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows our children to see us active, setting a great example for them and our spouse. We can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV. If we buy good quality exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense that the whole family can enjoy. It makes it easy for us to have short workouts several times a day.
  1. Do housework ourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.
  2. Work in the garden or mow the grass, not with a riding mower! Rake your leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
  3. Take a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
  4. Walk or bike to the corner store.
  5. Pick up the pace when walking. Walk a hilly route. When watching TV, sitting up. Walk on your treadmill or pedal on your stationary bicycle while watching TV. Hide your remote controls. Don't ask someone to bring you a drink, get up off the couch and get it yourself.
  6. Stand while talking on the telephone.
  7. Walk your dog.
  8. Park farther away and walk the extra distance with a smile. Wear comfortable shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall.
  9. Stretch to reach things in high places and squat or bend to look at items at floor level.
  10. Keep your exercise equipment repaired and use it!

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Exercise: The Mood Booster!

DVDs and books by Denise Austin

by Denise Austin

While it's not news that exercise is good for the body, researchers say it's also good for the brain! One study divided a group of depressed patients into two sets — those who walked on a regular basis and those who took medication. To their surprise, researchers found those who walked recovered from their blues just as well as the antidepressant group!

Even if you're not clinically depressed, regular exercise will strengthen your mental reserves against the stresses and strains of everyday life. While scientists don't understand exactly why this is, they know exercise sets in motion many chemical reactions in your body that work to your benefit. So when you're feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk instead of a nap! You'll be surprised how much calmer and in control you'll feel!

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Can a pill peel off pounds?

Saturday, December 10, 2005 by Denise Austin

Do you wish you could pop a magic pill and get fit and trim? Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mike
Denise Austin DVDs

Well, keep wishing, say the results of a new study by the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

Researchers compared the weight loss results of subjects taking a weight loss tablet with those of subjects who combined the medication with a healthy lifestyle. Sure enough, the group who changed their eating habits and started exercising lost twice as much as the group who only popped the pills!
It just goes to show you, there's no magic bullet when it comes to managing your weight. While medications may help in extreme cases, changing your lifestyle, in other words, eating right and working out is the only way to take off the pounds and keep them off. So don't get caught up in wishful thinking! Instead, realize there's just one way you're going to get that healthy body you dream about: work for it! Furthermore, there aren't any health risks or nasty side effects caused by eating right and being active!

Send us your favorite fitness tips, maybe we will add them to our fitness blog. Remember to give your source!

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