All Entries For exercise
Could when you work out help you drop pounds, or even boost your overall health? “The best time to exercise boils down to what works for you consistently,” says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. That said, there are times when exercising will keep you at your physical peak, improve your mental health and maximize your calorie burn. And there are other times that are best avoided, as they up your chances for illness or injury. Here’s how to be sneakily strategic.
1. Exercise in the Late Afternoon
If you're looking for the sweet spot for exercise, science says to lace up your sneaks between 4 and 5 P.M., when your body temp is at its highest. Studies have shown that boosts your workout—your muscles are more flexible, your strength is at its peak and your perceived exertion is at a low (read: exercise feels easier). This doesn’t mean you should quit lunchtime Zumba if that’s what works for you, cautions Matthews. But next time you’re considering upping the intensity with a boot camp class, schedule accordingly! Read More ›
Up until seven years ago when I discovered my passion for running, I, like many of you, found myself doing all that I could to meet my calories burn goal by the end of the week. When I first began my journey to healthy living, getting on the elliptical for just 10 minutes at a time was a challenge. But over time I no longer had the motivation to get on it each morning to log-in my 60 minutes of activity. The elliptical was no longer a challenge for me. I began to despise my workouts even though I knew of the benefits. I needed something new to change up my exercise routine.
Having vowed I would never give up my quest for healthy living, I joined a gym not too far from my home. In the beginning it was so much fun. I was exposed to so many new and exciting things; everything from new cardio equipment, to weight machines, free weights, even spinning, yoga and Pilates classes. I was like a kid in a candy store. Every day allowed me the opportunity to try something new. But even with all the exposure to new things, I soon found my motivation waning after a few short months. I started viewing exercise as a punishment.
This is when I decided to give running a try. I love being outside and I love a good challenge. I love competing against myself. Running fits all the criteria that best suits my personality which is why I believe I am still running after all these years. Read More ›
It's no secret that there are many people who don't like to exercise for one reason or another, but at the same time, there are many others that really enjoy it. Why is there such a love it or hate it attitude towards exercise? There are numerous answers to that question and some might say that they had a really bad past experience, they find it boring and haven't found something that is enjoyable, or they may not see the instant gratification (weight loss) that they are looking for when it comes to exercise. As many of you know, what motivates one person to do something may not work for the next person.
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Want to know what's really zapping your zip? Don't blame your bed—or the lack of time you spend sleeping in it. The real problem may be sitting on your plate. Find out the surprising reasons behind your energy crisis and take steps to fill your tank.
Energy Buster: Sugar Substitutes
Since you can't digest them, low-calorie sugar alcohols—including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol—can cause stomach distress like bloating and gas, which are major energy drainers. Read More ›
Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time to get a good workout in during the day? No need to fret because you can still get an effective cardio workout in just 10 minutes. I gave up the all-or-nothing thinking years ago and have done my best to commit to at least 10 minutes of exercise each day. It all really DOES add up! Even if you did just 10 minutes of exercise a day, that is 70 minutes of exercise for the week, which is better than not doing anything at all and you can still see the benefits from doing that.
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You don't have to splurge on a gym membership to get ready for swimsuit season. Three simple moves can flatten your tummy while toning the muscles that support your back makes it easier to sit up straight. Click through for three good-for-you workouts (demonstrated by health editor Abby Cuffey), and do them daily for best results.
1. Wall Push-Ups
Stand about 3 feet away from a wall and lean forward, placing your hands shoulder-width apart against the wall. Bend your elbows and bring your chest toward the wall (your heels may come off the floor), then push away until your arms are straight again. Repeat 10 times. Read More ›
1. Get centered. A two- to three-minute mini-mindfulness meditation -- simply focusing on your breathing as you inhale and exhale, keeping thoughts to a minimum -- can release body tension, stop stress in its tracks and make you more alert, says stress expert Kathleen Hall.
2. Make a change. Experiencing new things gives us a little adrenaline rush, even if it's something as minor as wearing a new lip color, driving a different route to work or hitting a lunch place you've never tried before, says Hall.
3. Have a balanced snack. Going more than a few hours between meals can make blood sugar and mood crash, says Los Angeles dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., coauthor of Mom Energy. You should always plan a carb, good fat and protein pick-me-up for you and your kids -- apples with almond butter, hummus with veggies, a handful of a good high-fiber cereal mixed with nuts -- between lunch and dinner.
More from Family Circle:
Join our Rise and Shine challenge this April! Read More ›
Do you remember elementary school recess? Can you conjure up vivid images of your play time?
I think I jump-roped around the globe over the course of my elementary school recess hours. The traditional, two-people-hold-one-jump rope game was my forte. I can even hear the song in my head: "Strawberry shortcake, cream on top, tell me the name of your sweetheart..." The group then sang out a letter of the alphabet with each jump. Hopefully, if the boy you "liked" started with an S or T or W, you would be able to jump long enough to land on the right letter.
As children, we looked forward to running free during that period of time during the day. No hall pass. No permissions needed. Little teacher interference. Fresh air. Pure and simple play. That was the 1970s and 1980s for me. Over the course of the past two decades, however, fewer children have been able to experience the freedoms of recess.
Perhaps the biggest contributor to the decrease in recess for children has been increased academic expectations. In a nutshell, in came academic standards and out went recess. It made sense to many: If there are higher demands academically and more accountability of schools, teachers, and children, then recess (the perceived "perk") must go.
The problem: Children need recess! Read More ›
Keep your batteries charged well into the evening
Recharge the Right Way
If you feel a yawn coming on not long after lunch, you’ve fallen for the P.M. slump. Stay awake the healthy way with natural energy boosters. From simple tricks to smart snacks, getting back on track is surprisingly simple. Click through for the perfect pick-me-ups. Read More ›
Editor's Note: Coach Nicole partnered up with Family Circle magazine to create a walking plan to help you shed major pounds in a month.
Walking is a triple threat. It not only gets you where you're going, but also serves as a form of relaxation and, of course, as a route to weight loss. How do you make sure those extra steps lead to a smaller jeans size? Follow one of our three expert-designed programs to help you shed up to 10 pounds in one month. Just don't expect a leisurely stroll to success.
If you really want results, you've got to push the pace. Aim for roughly 4 to 4.5 mph and a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of 5. (RPE is a self-measurement of how hard you feel you're working out, with 0 being no effort and 10 being heart-pounding, sweat-dripping super hard.) You'll also need to eat smart, but that won't be difficult thanks to our menu planner. Ready to become a slimmed-down sensation in 28 days? Let's get started with Coach Nicole's walking training plans from Family Circle.
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You do the rowing machine at the gym and walk outdoors when weather permits. So why does your back hurt and why don't your skinny jeans still fit? Poor form can up injury risks and common calorie-burning misconceptions can sabotage weight-loss results. Here, top experts share the biggest exercise mistakes women make and safer ways to get the most out of your favorite workouts. Read More ›
When I find my mood is going downhill, I usually take an exercise break to try and lift it back up. The mood boost that we get is just one of the many benefits we experience from exercising. Not only do I know that I burned some calories, improved my overall health, but I feel a lot better in general and come back with a much more positive outlook on things for quite some time afterward.
A few weeks ago, I had a spot removed from my shoulder. My dermatologist cut out a pretty hefty chunk that required several stitches and has left me with a one-inch scar.
Relief that the sketchy spot was history was soon replaced by panic when I was given post-op instructions:
- no lifting more than 10 pounds
- no lifting my arm past 90 degrees
- no running
- no bike riding or Spinning
- no yoga involving arms or any weight on the wrists
I exercise for a lot of reasons: for my health, to keep my weight in check, to get stronger, to help deal with stress, for the feeling it gives me, because I like it. I like staying active, and I find that the more I move, the better I feel. My back pain flares up if I skip even two days of yoga, I notice my anxiety levels rise on days I don't work out, and I just feel like something is missing from my day if I haven't sweated at least once. In addition to running two or three days a week, I usually take a weekly Pilates and Spinning class, and I walk a lot on weekends and in the evenings.
I had been forewarned that yoga would be out--no weight on the arms or wrists. But running? No running? And no Spinning? I actually cried a little.
As I lay face down on the table, I thought about all I could do, and I decided to use this as a chance to focus on exercises that I usually skimp on--power walking, core exercises, and strength training.
These two weeks would be good for me.
So what did I do?
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When you think of what an athlete or bodybuilder eats, what foods usually come to mind? Chicken breasts? Egg whites? Tuna? These foods are all packed with protein and many athletes and bodybuilders eat them because they need the extra protein to build and repair body tissue after intense workouts. Read More ›
Americans watch, on average, almost five hours of television per day, according to the Nielsen Corporation. Actual programming only accounts for 42 minutes of every hour, meaning that as part of our time in front of the tube, we see nearly 90 minutes of advertisements. In addition to being exposed to ads for things we don't need or want--like double bacon cheeseburgers and soda--it's taking time away from the shows we tuned in to see.
You've probably heard the tip to fit in a workout during commercial breaks, but what should you do? It can be hard to spontaneously decide which exercises to do, so we decided to take the guesswork out of it. We created a workout game of sorts that you can use when you're watching TV. Each time you see one of the commercials listed below, do the exercise that corresponds to it.
If you already work out while watching TV, consider shaking up your routine by jumping off the elliptical or recumbent bike during commercials and fitting in some strength training.
Enjoy! Read More ›