Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Common Exercise Mistakes
- Warm-up phase: This component prepares your body for the conditioning segment of your exercise session. By gradually increasing the intensity of the physical activity over a 5-10 minute period, you avoid abrupt increases in your heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP). Sudden increases in HR and BP can place excessive demands on your heart and, consequently, trigger an abnormal heart rhythm or chest discomfort.
- Cool-down phase: Dizziness and/or fainting can result if you abruptly stop the exercise activity. The purpose of the cool-down component of your exercise session is to gradually lower your heart rate and blood pressure toward pre-exercise levels over a 5-10 minute period. By gradually lowering the intensity of your activity, you prevent the blood from pooling in your legs, which could result in an insufficient supply of blood and oxygen to your heart and brain. The cool-down phase reduces your risk for experiencing an episode of dizziness and/or fainting by helping to bring the blood and oxygen back to these vital organs.
- If using exercise equipment at home, read the machine's entire instruction manual prior to use to ensure that you have adjusted its components (e.g., pads and seat) correctly for your body type/frame to avoid injury. For instance, riding a stationary bike with the seat set at the wrong height is a common mistake and can cause knee discomfort/problems. The seat should be set at a height that allows for a slight bend in your knee during the down stroke phase of pedaling.
- If using exercise equipment at a fitness center, take advantage of the personal training sessions that many of these places offer as part of your membership so that you can receive instructions on proper use.
- Remember to breathe while lifting weights. Exhale as you exert the force.
- While performing squats and lunges, do not allow your knees to bend beyond your feet. Also, lift with your legs, not your back, while performing these types of exercises.
- Do not rush your repetitions. Follow a tempo that will allow you to complete the exercise in a smooth and controlled fashion. Typically a 3-digit tempo method is followed with each notation representing the number of counts (e.g., seconds) it should take to complete the exercise through the joint's full range of motion. The first digit represents the eccentric phase (lowering the weight); the middle number represents the "bottom" of the exercise or the point at the end of the eccentric phase; and the third digit represents the concentric phase (lifting the weight). Therefore, if you are following a tempo of 4/0/2, you would lower the weight in a count of four; not pause at the end of the eccentric phase; and, would lift the weight for a count of two.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Mind Over Matter
- Exercise in the here and now. Don't think of it as weight loss tomorrow, but a bit of health today, right now.
- Own it! Invest in your well-being as you would a home or a car. Every nutritious food you eat and active thing you do is a deposit into the bank of good health.
- Progress is the goal, not perfection!
- Be thankful that you are alive today and recognize that you have the ability to live a better tomorrow.
- There is no futility in trying. Only quitting results in time lost.
- Renew and reuse your body each day for sustainable living.
- Lessons from the past lead to a healthier tomorrow.
- There are many drummers. Only you can find your own rhythm.
- A single step gets you closer to the finish line.
- Breathe, embrace, and savor.
- Inner growth sprouts from the seed of hope.
- Good balance is achieved by a centered approach.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A Little Annoyance That Can Become A Big Problem
- Red/swollen skin
- Burning, stinging, or raw sensation
- Inner thighs
- Groin area
- Under the breasts/around the bra line
- Sweating - moist skin can yield higher friction forces than dry skin when rubbed
- Loose fitting clothes
- Ill-fitted exercise gear
- Wear clothing that is snug, but not constricting and that wicks moisture away from your body. Garments made of synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, are best.
- Choose articles of clothing that are seamless or have flat seams.
- Lubrication. Although petroleum jelly is popular because it is relatively inexpensive, many sports lubricants are on the market that come in a variety of forms such as roll-ons, sticks, and sprays (e.g., Trislide, BodyGlide, etc.,). These products decrease friction and are applied to the affected areas before physical activity.
- Keep your skin dry by using talcum powder or corn starch.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in the formation of salt crystals on your skin, increasing friction.
- Wash the affected areas with warm water and soap.
- Apply an antibacterial ointment and cover with a sterile gauze pad and/or bandage.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Valentine, Will You Be My Fitness Partner?
- Improved exercise adherence. A year long study that evaluated the monthly exercise adherence and drop-out rates in married couples who exercised together compared to married couples who exercised independently found that those who exercised together were more likely to regularly attend a fitness program and less likely to drop out than those married individuals who exercised alone.
- Greater motivation to exercise. Encouragement and support from your partner can help you to "go that extra mile."
- Quality time.
- Fosters respect for your significant other. Witnessing your partner overcoming barriers to exercise and rebounding from setbacks helps you to develop a sense of pride in who he/she is as an individual.
- Enhanced libido (sex drive).
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Exercise Mardi Gras Style
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The Shake on WBV
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Red for Life
- High cholesterol levels
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Physical inactivity
- Family history
- Birth control pills
- Elevated triglyceride levels appear to pose a greater risk of heart disease for women than for men
- Chest discomfort (e.g., fullness, pressure, squeezing, numbness, burning, etc.,)
- Pain or discomfort (e.g., numbness, tingling, etc.,) in the arms (typically the left), jaw, neck, and/or back
- Shortness of breath
- Women are more likely than men to experience back discomfort, jaw pain, shortness of breath, and nausea and vomiting
- Health care professionals tend to attribute women's symptoms to non-cardiac causes compared to men who present with similar symptoms
- Women delay seeking medical attention more often than do men
- For nearly 2/3 of women, the first sign of cardiovascular disease is sudden death (i.e., they had no previous symptoms)
- Certain diagnostic tests, such as an exercise stress test, are not as reliable at detecting cardiovascular disease in women
- After a heart attack, women are less likely than men to receive proper medication therapy known to increase chances of survival (e.g., aspirin, beta blockers, and ACE inhibitors)
- Women typically respond more favorably to healthy lifestyle changes compared to men
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Can you be Allergic to Cold Weather Exercise?
- Children and young adults, although it can occur at any age.
- Genetic predisposition - family member who has/had the condition.
- Recent viral infection (e.g., mononucleosis or pneumonia).
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Over-response of immune system to cold exposure that results in the release of large amounts of histamine.
- Taking antihistamine medication prior to exercising in the cold.
- Prevention - avoiding exercise in cold environments, especially aquatic activities in cold water.
- Wear a medical alert bracelet.
- Carry an injectable epinephrine.
- Exercise with a partner.