Showing posts from December, 2013

Does Muscle Soreness Mean You Had a Good Workout?

The question: I went to the gym yesterday and now I have sore muscles. That means I had a great workout, right?The expert: Josh Feldman, a certified personal trainer and fitness manager at Crunch Fitness in New York CityThe answer: Not really. While working your muscles until they’re achy means you technically did tax your muscles, which helps them get stronger, it’s actually not beneficial work in the long run.The reason? Pushing it to the max one day means you’re going to be too sore to hit the gym the next day, or the day after that. And that’s a serious issue, because consistency is the ultimate goal here. “It’s way more important to be able to exercise every day or every other day than to just kill it one day and not be able to move for four or five days after that,” explains Feldman.In other words, it all comes down to the basic fact that moving more often is better for you than going all gung-ho for a bit, and then proceeding to kick it on the couch while muttering all sorts of…

Formulas for Your Calorie Calculator

There's no getting around this fundamental truth: You can't have weight-loss success unless your calories burned are more than your calories in. Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., a sports nutritionist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, recommends these formulas for figuring out how many calories your nutrition plan should include. Everyone is different, but it will give you a basic idea.

Lazy-Day Calorie Goal
(use on days when you're taking it easy/not exercising): 
A. Your weight, in pounds: ____
B. A x 15 = _____
C. B - 500 = _____

Busy-Day Calorie Goal
(use on days when you're active/exercising):
A. Your weight, in pounds: ____
B. A x 18 = ____
C. B - 500 = ____
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 14, 2007 Women's Health Magazine

10 Things That Slow Your Metabolism

Need another reason to love your body? It burns calories all by itself—as long as you don't get in the way. See, every cell in your body plays a role in energy metabolism—the process of turning the food you eat into energy that keeps your heart beating, lungs pumping, and muscles moving. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. And just like there are ways to speed it up—by working out, for instance—certain habits can hit the brakes on your natural calorie-churning engine.Here are 10 things to avoid in order to keep your metabolism humming.
A Weird Eating ScheduleIn a 2012 Hebrew University study, mice fed high fat foods sporadically gained more weight than mice that ate a similar diet on a regular schedule. Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals.The fix: Learn the best times to eat—and stick with them.
Pesticide in ProduceOrganochlorines (chemicals in pesticides) can interfere with your body'…

Can Hot Yoga Hurt You?

How does Kate Hudson stay so fit even with a crazy schedule and two children? In the December issue of Harper's Bazaar, the 34-year-old actress revealed that hot yoga, SoulCycle, and dance are all part of her fitness routine.Hot yoga—also known as Bikram yoga—involves a series of 26 postures, or asanas, performed in a studio heated between 90 and 105 degrees at 40 percent humidity. If getting bendy in a steamy room sounds super challenging, that’s because it is: A new Duke University review of 76 yoga-related injuries found that Bikram was commonly linked to injuries, along with Pranayama (a style focused on breathing control) and Hatha (an umbrella term for physical yoga practices).Hot practice in general wasn't necessarily to blame. The study suggests that these specific postures could be the culprits, since they were associated with the most injuries: headstands, shoulder stands, and lotus position. The most common injuries were musculoskeletal, including fractures, ligamen…

6 Fun Ways to Stay Fit This Winter

The thought of doing every exercise sesh over the next few months inside a sweaty gym doesn’t exactly get you pumped for winter workouts. So head outdoors—really!  These creative ways to stay fit in the cold are WAY more enjoyable than another trip up the StairMaster. Take Up a Winter SportJust because you can’t play beach volleyball right now doesn’t mean you can’t get sporty in the winter. Trysnowboarding or skiing (the downhill or the cross-country variety). And don’t forget your helmet!Have a Snowball FightCould there ever be a more fun way to break a sweat in the wintertime? Nope. While pelting snowballs isn’t necessarily the most hardcore outdoor workout ever, "snow is heavy for your feet, so the muscles on your legs are getting worked just running around trying to dodge a snowball," saysMonica Nelson, American Council on Exercise-certified fitness expert.Go RunningDon’t let the chilly temps stop you from logging miles outside! As long as you follow these 5 tips and wea…

The Waist-Cinching Workout for Toned Abs and Obliques

Give your workout routine a new twist—literally. These six moves hit all of your major muscle groups with extra emphasis on your obliques to whittle your middle. Move from one exercise to the next without resting, then repeat this four-minute circuit three times with a 1-minute break in between sets. In less than 15 minutes, you’ll be on your way to defining your waist. All you’ll need: a 6- to 10-pound medicine ball or dumbbell.—Amy Roberts, NASM-CPT MOVE 1Criss-Cross Jacks Jen Weaver Get your heart rate pumping with this variation to the standard jumping jack. Jump out to widen your feet and send your arms into a T position (A), then jump in, crossing your legs and your arms (B). Repeat, alternating the cross of your hands and feet. Do 20 reps. MOVE 2Squat To Twisting Overhead Press Jen Weaver Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell goblet-style in front of your chest (A). Sit back into your squat (weight in your heels, sending your butt back) (B). As you stand, press your arms straight up while…