Articles:Small Changes - BIG RESULTS!
7 Good Reasons
Back to Basics Part 1 and 2
Exercise May be More Important
Stairs!Always use the staircase and avoid elevators. It is a free cardiovascular workout and helps keep the weight off.
Stretch!Ideally, we should be holding our stretches for 30 seconds. But if need be, even shorter stretches are effective. A study a few years ago published in the British Medical Journal suggests significant benefits from holding each stretch at least 15 seconds as opposed to five seconds or not stretching at all. Twenty-four college students (average age 20) participated in the five-week training study. Those in the five-second group performed each stretch nine times, while those in the 15-second group did each stretch three times. While both groups improved their passive range of motion, those who held their stretches longer showed greater improvements in active range of motion as well.
Walk more!If you are driving to the mall or anywhere else, don’t look for the closest parking space, but rather park far away. Walking another five or ten minutes a few times per week to your car and back can help contribute to your goal of 10,000 steps per day and can help you prevent 3-5 pounds of weight gain per year.
Walking is good for your memory, too!You can add a sharper memory to the long list of benefits of a brisk walk. A study of older adults found that those who walked about 45 minutes, three times per week for six months performed substantially better on several cognitive tasks than those who did stretching or strengthening exercises. All 124 study subjects had previously been sedentary.
Use your lunch break!When you take a lunch break, use part of it to eat, but save yourself 20 minutes to go out for a brisk walk. If the weather isn’t cooperative, use the staircases inside your building, or any and all available indoor hallways. Not only will this help you maintain cardiovascular fitness and keep your weight in check, but it will increase your productivity for the rest of your day AND give you an immediate shot of energy. This 20-minute walk, combined with your other daily activities, will help ensure you that your heart and lungs receive at least the minimal exercise every day.
Try some cross trainingTired of the same old workout? Looking for a level of fitness that your current exercise routine can’t offer? Are you experiencing nagging injuries that just don’t seem to heal? If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are a likely candidate for cross training.
Cross trainingCross training is simply a way of adding variety to your exercise program. You can vary your aerobic routine by doing a different exercise 2 days a week and incorporate some muscular strength and flexibility training as well. If you are a runner, swim or bike a few days a week. If you are a biker, try some brisk walking too.
Intervals!If you want to get a little more benefit out of your daily walking, every 4 minutes, break into a slow jog for one minute, or at least increase the speed of your walk for that minute. This is an example of interval training and is very useful in getting the most out of your exercise time. Tip: Another way to accomplish the same thing is to put staircases or up-hills into your walking.
Summer Outdoor WorkoutsOutdoor workouts in the summertime can certainly be challenging. Between the heat and the humidity found in the eastern and southern parts of the United States, or the heat and excessive dryness you might find in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Arizona, it can be difficult to get outdoors. But here are a few pointers for you remember. First and foremost, stay hydrated, drink water before, during and after exercise. Wear a hat along with loose and light clothing for your workouts. Early mornings and evenings are the preferable and more comfortable times to be doing your walking, jogging or other fitness activities.
Get Moving after that MealWhen you finish a meal, whether during the day or at night, take your family and go out for a moderate walk. Even a moderate walk after meals will help keep your metabolism high after eating. (We don’t advise intense exercise for at least 30 minutes after completing a meal). Also, it is very important to not fall asleep immediately after eating. And even a little bit of activity is a lot better than remaining completely inactive after a large meal.
Do you need help managing your arthritis pain?For many years, we have recommended that people with arthritis engage in flexibility training to help improve range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. Now we also know that flexibility training reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, increases joint stability and lessens the physical and psychological pain that often accompanies a diagnosis of arthritis.
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