Summer Is Ours!

Be Healthy! Be Happy!


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7 Most Effective Exercises

No. 1: Walking

Why it’s a winner: You can walk anywhere, anytime. Use a treadmill or hit the streets. All you need is a good pair of shoes.

How to: If you’re just starting to walk for fitness, begin with five to 10 minutes at a time. Add a few minutes to each walk until you get to at least 30 minutes per walk. Add time to your walks before you quicken your pace or add hills. 

No. 2: Interval Training

Why it’s a winner: Interval training lets you boost fitness, burn more calories, and lose weight. The basic idea is to vary the intensity within your workout, instead of going at a steady pace.

How to: Whether you walk, run, dance, or do another cardio exercise, push up the pace for a minute or two. Then back off for two to 10 minutes. Exactly how long your interval should last depends on the length of your workout and how much recovery time you need. A trainer can fine-tune the pacing.. Repeat the intervals throughout your workout.

No. 3: Squats

Why it’s a winner: Squats work several muscle groups — your quadriceps (“quads”), hamstrings, and gluteals (“glutes”) — at the same time.

How to: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair. Keep your knees right over your ankles.

*Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, barely touch the chair’s seat before standing back up. Work up to doing the squats without a chair, keeping the same form.*

No. 4: Lunges

Why it’s a winner: Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of your lower body. They can also improve your balance.

How to: Take a big step forward, keeping your back straight. Bend your front knee to about 90 degrees. Keep weight on your back toes and drop the back knee toward the floor. Don’t let the back knee touch the floor.

*Extra Challenge: Try stepping not just forward, but also back and out to each side, with each lunge.*

No. 5: Push-Ups

Why it’s a winner: Push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

How to: Facing down, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your toes on the floor. If that’s too hard, start with your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from shoulders to knees or feet. Keep your rear-end muscles and abs engaged. Bend your elbows to lower down until you almost touch the floor. Lift back up by pushing through your elbows, Keep your torso in a straight line throughout the move.

Too Easy? To Hard?: If you’re new to push-ups you can start doing them by leaning into a kitchen counter. As you get stronger, go lower, using a desk or chair. Then you can move onto the floor, starting with your knees bent. For a challenge, put your feet on a stair, bench, or couch while keeping good form.

No. 6 Crunches: Method A

Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your head resting in your palms. Press your lower back down. Contract your abdominal muscles (abs) and in one smooth move, raise your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Tuck in your chin slightly. Lower back down and repeat.

Method B

You can also do crunches with your feet off the floor and knees bent. This technique may keep you from arching your back. It also uses your hip flexors (muscles on your upper thighs below your hip bones).

Mastering Crunches

Keep your neck in line with your spine. Tuck in your chin so it doesn’t stick out. Breathe normally. To keep chest and shoulders open, keep your elbows out of your line of vision.

No. 7: Bent-Over Row

Why it’s a winner: You work all the major muscles of your upper back, as well as your biceps.

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and bend forward at the hips. Engage your abs without hunching your back. Hold weights beneath your shoulders, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lift both hands toward the sides of your body. Pause, then slowly lower your hands to the starting position.

Mastering Bent-Over Rows

First, do this move without weights so you learn the right motions. If you have trouble doing bent-over rows while standing up, support your weight by sitting on an incline bench, facing backward.

Credits To: Web MD. Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on April 16, 2012

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7 Risky Exercises and Better Bets

Some exercises are great and some you thought are good but end up actually weighing you down even more. Here are 7 types of exercises are not as effective as we all thought it would be and 7 solutions to those types of exercises.

No. 1: Lat Pull-down Behind the Head

The problem: Only people with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spines straight enough to do this exercise properly. So the move — done wrong — can lead to shoulder impingement or worse, a tear in the rotator cuff. And if the bar hits the back of the neck, it could injure cervical vertebrae.

A Safer Lat Pull-down

On the pull–down machine, lean back a few degrees, use a wider–than–shoulder grip, and bring the bar down in front of your body to the breastbone, pulling shoulder blades down and together. Contract your abdominals to stabilize the body, and avoid using momentum to swing the bar up and down. The lat pull–down works the muscles of the upper back.

No. 2: Military Press Behind the Head

This shoulder move, in which you lift weights or a barbell up and down behind the head, can cause the same problems as the lat pull–down behind the head.

A Safer Military Press

A safer shoulder alternative: When doing the military press, keep the bar or dumbbells in front of your head. Stand with the weight no lower than the collarbone and keep your upper body upright. The exercise can also be done seated. Always sit straight against a back support, and keep the natural curve in your spine, with upper back and glutes pressed to the chair.

No. 3: Upright Row

The problem: Pulling weights, a barbell, or a weighted cabled bar up under your chin is a big no-no because it can compress the nerves in the shoulder area, impinging the shoulder.

Safer Alternative to the Upright Row

Instead of doing an upright row, work your shoulders with a front or lateral shoulder raise, lifting weights out to the front or side of the body.

No. 4: Leg Press with Cramped Knees

From a reclining position, you push the plate up and bring it down in this common exercise to work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The problem comes when you bend your legs too far — past a 90-degree angle — which can hurt your back and knees.

Leg Press: Safer Moves

If you want to do a lying leg press, keep your butt from rotating off the back of the machine, and don’t bend past 90 degrees at the knee.

No. 5: Squats on the Smith Machine

The problem: The bar on the machine doesn’t give, which can force the body into risky positions. Plus, people tend to put their feet farther in front of their bodies when doing squats on the machine, which makes matters worse.

Squats: A Safer Alternative

It’s not necessary to use weights when doing a squat, but if you keep good form, adding weight will intensify the move. Standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly lower your body, back straight. Move the hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair. Try to maintain your weight directly over your feet, keeping heels on the floor. Lower yourself to about a 90 degree bend in the knee. Slowly return to a standing position.

No. 6: Bad Form on Cardio Machines

The problem: Hunching over or using a death-grip on the handrail cheats your body and can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders, and elbows.

Better Technique on Cardio Machines

Don’t set the incline or resistance so high that it causes you to hang on to the machine too tightly. Use a natural gait with a light grip. For a more challenging workout, hold on lightly with one hand and move the other arm, switching arms periodically. And save the reading for after your workout so you can focus on good form.

No. 7: Exercises for Spot Reduction

People who do strengthening and toning exercises in an effort to trim fat from a certain area — thighs, hips, stomach, or arms — have the wrong idea. Although these exercises can help firm muscles, if the targeted area still carries an extra layer of fat, it won’t look much different. You can’t isolate fat loss to one part of the body.

Best Ways to Reshape Your Body

Cardiovascular exercise will torch calories, but resistance training is a big part of the equation if you want to burn fat. Boosting your muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories all the time, even when you’re not working out.

Suggestions

1.  Do You Need a Weight Belt?

Too many people wear weight belts too often. Unless you have a back injury or other medical reason — or are lifting a lot of weight — the weight belt may let your core muscles slack off. And you need your core muscles all the time in everyday life.

The solution: Back off the weight belt unless it’s necessary.

2. Can Bad Shoes Trip Up Your Workout?

Even if you’re doing everything else right, your efforts can be undermined by improper footwear. Working out with the wrong shoes increases pounding on the joints, and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis or tendonitis.

Shoe Solution

The key, experts say, is to choose a shoe that is specific to your activity and that suits your particular foot. They recommend shopping at stores specializing in athletic shoes, where you can seek advice from a knowledgeable salesperson. And don’t forget to replace your shoes when they show signs of wear.

Credit To: Web MD. Reviewed by Andrew Seibert, MD on September 09, 2011


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Makeover Your Grocery List!

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When you get hungry and have no healthy foods in your house, it can be tempting to reach for something unhealthy, like junk food. Fix this by keeping a few staple items in your house, so you can reach for those instead of that bag of chips.

You can use these items in so many different ways and in tons of dishes:

Lean protein

  • I love the Applegate Farm brand of deli meats, such as turkey and chicken slices. Not only do they taste delicious, but they also don’t have any preservatives!

Low-Fat Cheeses And Yogurt

  • The brand Horizon makes great organic and hormone-free cheeses. And for yogurt, always look for 0% fat Greek yogurt, like Fage or Chobani.

Whole-Wheat Pasta

  • As long as the pasta you buy says “made with 100% whole wheat or whole grain,” you’re good to go! If you’re a picky eater and don’t love how whole grain pasta looks, try Dreamfields, or Ronzoni Smart Taste—both look and taste just like white pasta!

Frozen Fruits and Veggies

  • Always keep these handy! I love mixing frozen fruits with ice-cold non-fat milk or yogurt for a mid-day treat, and frozen veggies can be heated up for a quick, healthy stir fry dinner—just throw in chicken and brown rice.

Seventeen Magazine
“Nutrition Tips From The Biggest Loser Expert!” Seventeen. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.


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The Flavor Quest!

This summer, I know for a fact, it’s going to be BLAZING HOT! Why? Well it’s Houston for goodness sake!
All of us are going to find something cold to eat; ice cream, snow cone, etc. However, we all know that all those goodies comes with A WHOLE BUNCH of sugar, which leads to gaining weight and getting almost all of us….well…moody.
Instead of getting those brand name ice cream (Blue Bell, etc.), why not get some nonfat yogurt?
ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU GET. (Remember: Eating what you REALLY want is okay, as long as you know not to go overboard or get more than you need.)

 

Here are some stores you can get yogurt at in our area:

http://www.yogurt-land.com/
303 Memorial City Way, Houston, TX (memorial city mall)

http://tcby.com/
11700 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077

http://www.tfyogurt.com/
19901 Kingsland Blvd, Houston, TX 77094

http://www.berripop.com/
3825 Richmond Ave, Houston TX 77027

Yogurt bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert top...

Yogurt bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert topped with yogurt ice cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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GET THAT BOOTAY!

CREDIT TO: Livestrong.com

Having a nice, round rear end can be a nice way to fill out a new pair of jeans or a new swimsuit. But like any other body part, you can’t spot reduce to get the firmer, rounder butt you want. With the right combination of diet and exercise , you can slim your bottom down. Add the proper lower body exercises to your daily workout and you will have the firm, round butt you want in ample time.

Running

Running is an easy exercise that aids in weight loss, reduces stress and builds muscle in the legs, thighs and especially the butt. To increase the butt-building potential of running, add hills to an outdoor run. If you’re running on a treadmill, add an incline to the routine. Also, doing a sprinting-running combo will also increase the intensity of your workout to give you a rounder, firmer butt.

 

Squats

According to Fitnessmagazine.com, squats are small, yet powerful moves to tone your butt. Squats are also a total lower-body workout that builds the thighs and hips. Begin squats by standing shoulder-width apart and placing dumbbells at shoulder height. Bend your knees, making sure that they are behind your toes. Lower yourself into a sitting position, pushing your butt slightly out behind you. Tighten your abs and keep your upper body straight. Return to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 reps for two to four sets.

 

Lunges

Womens-health-fitness.com says that doing lunges is a great way to work out your butt, quads, inner and outer thighs, and hamstrings. Lunges will give you a round, firm butt while also slimming and toning your legs and thighs. Begin lunges by placing your hands on your hips and standing with your legs together. Step forward with your left leg and as you land, lower your body toward the ground. Make sure to keep your front knee behind your toes and your back knee close to, but not touching the floor. Rise up, push your weight on your front leg, and lunge forward with your back leg, repeating the previous move. Complete 10 to 15 reps on each leg for two to four sets.

Step-ups

Step-ups will give you a nice round butt, as well as work your hips, thighs and legs. Begin by standing in front of the step and placing your left foot on the step heel first. Step up with your right foot. Finally step back down with your left foot first, then right. Repeat. Complete 15 to 20 reps on each leg for two to four sets.

 

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/146188-exercises-for-girls-to-get-a-round-butt/#ixzz2RFn3edUa


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Exercise To Live Longer!

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.
No. 1: Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
No. 3: Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

No. 6: Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

No. 7: Exercise can be fun

Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
CREDIT TO: MAYOCLINIC