SparkPeople’s Exercise Reference Guides offer an in-depth look at the principles of fitness.
Stretching comes naturally to all of us. You might notice that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch unco... Read more
I’m the first to admit that stretching is not high on my priority list. When I’m crunched for time, the last thing I want to do is spend an extra 5-10 minutes stretching after a workout. Consequently, my body has paid the pric... Read more
You hear about them. You see people using them in the gym. They’re in stores, on TV, and have entire fitness classes designed around them. You think about these stretchy bands and what good (if any) they do. You want to know: What are the b... Read more
Are you sick of the same-old cardio machines at the gym? Bored by the treadmill? Tired of the elliptical? Can't stand to do another mile on the stationary bike or another flight on the stair climber? Well, then, it's time you head over to the... Read more
Does this sound familiar? "My joints are achy, I feel stiff all the time, and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning." If there were ever a good excuse not to exercise – if there were ever a defensible time to throw in the t... Read more
Visible abs come from diet more than exercise. Those who have them also have extremely low body fat. In most cases, their body fat is below the "healthy ideal" range (18-22% for women). You can damage your health if your body fat % is too low.... Read more
No matter how much pain I am in, I know that the only thing that is going to help me feel better is to get up and move. As I am moaning and groaning as I move across the room, I make that special effort to do my stretches and warm up for that work ou... Read more
Although not everyone agrees about when to stretch, how long to stretch or what to stretch, most people include stretching as a regular part of their exercise routine. Research has shown that flexibility and range of motion decrease as we age. Regu... Read more
By now, you probably know how important it is to warm up before you work out. Warming up prepares your body for the increased demands of physical activity, reducing your risk of injury and complications. Beyond sending more oxygen and blood flow to y... Read more
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