October 27, 2011

"Yoga Will Get You Lean and Long" and Other Myths:

If you believe gossip magazines then you may think yoga is all you need to get a long and lean body. Yoga can be a great supplement to any fitness program, but it is not enough by itself. No exercise regimen can make your muscles longer, and the key to leanness is burning more calories than you take in.  In fact, unless you take a power yoga class where you move quickly from one posture to the next, then you will not burn many calories in yoga.
This is not to disparage yoga; it has many benefits, including increased flexibility and reduced stress.  Research has shown that regular participants can reduce their blood pressure and cholesterol.  You do not need to be flexible to take yoga; in fact, those who are inflexible will probably benefit most.  Yoga is not a religion, but it does have a strong spiritual component.  Some instructors stress the spiritual more than others; you may need to try several classes to find your comfort level.  A good instructor is crucial; many postures need to be taught with modifications for those with physical or health issues.  Unfortunately, anyone can say he or she is a yoga instructor.  There are no requirements for training or certification.  Find out the instructor’s qualifications before you take a class; quality training programs require at least 200 hours of practice and instruction.    A good instructor will help you attain the physical and mental benefits yoga can give.

October 16, 2011

Risky Rows

The upright row is a weight training exercise designed to work the upper back and shoulders.  It is considered a high-risk exercise because the movement causes internal rotation of the humerus (long bone of the upper arm), which can cause or aggravate shoulder impingement. 
While it is still a popular exercise, most people (especially those with shoulder problems) should avoid it.  If you must do it (and it is amazing how many people do not want to give up a favorite exercise),  you can make it a bit safer by using lighter weights, a wider grip, and making sure not to lift the weight above chest level.
Alternative exercises to work this area include shoulder shrugs, bent over rows and lateral raises.

October 9, 2011

More Music To Move To

As requested, below are just a few of my favorite workout songs with a slower beat. 

Friday I’m In Love: The Cure
Giving Up The Gun: Vampire Weekend
I Need To Know: Marc Anthony
Another Brick In The Wall: Pink Floyd
London Calling: The Clash
Evacuate The Dance Floor: Cascada
2 4 6 8 Motorway: Tom Robinson Band
Fall On Me: REM
Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Four Seasons
Let It Rock: Kevin Rudolf
Crack The Shutters: Snow Patrol
Misery: Maroon Five
If You Leave: OMD
Crazy On You: Heart
Gives You Hell:  All American Rejects
Chain Of Fools: Aretha Franklin
Werewolves Of London: Warren Zevon
Mother’s  Little Helper;: The Rolling Stones
Solsbury Hill: Peter Gabriel
I Believe In You: Vertical Horizon
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic: The Police
Hot N Cold: Pink
Heard It Through The Grapevine: Marvin Gaye
Bad Romance: Lady Gaga
My Best Friend: Queen
Just The Way You Are: Bruno Mars
You Can’t Count On Me: The Counting Crows
Joey: Concrete Blonde
Steady As She Goes: The Raconteurs
Dream On: Arrowsmith
Take Good Care Of My Baby: Bobby Vee
Oh Dear: Matt Costa
Give Me Everything: Pitbull
Sir Duke: Stevie Wonder
Bungle In The Jungle: Jethro Tull
Weak In The Presence Of Beauty: Alison Moyet
Break Your Heart: Taio Cruz and Ludicis
Shattered: O.A.R.
Lookin’ Out My Backdoor: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Several programs allow you to digitally change the beats per minute without the “chipmunk” effect.  They can be found at:
Tempo magic pro (an i Tunes app)

October 3, 2011

No Time to Exercise?

“I would love to exercise but I don’t have time.”  Does that sound like you?  I hear it countless times, and what it tells me is that you are making excuses.  You do not have time to exercise, because to you, exercise is not a priority.
If you are ready to get fit and healthy, you will find the time.
Here are some tips to help:
Turn off the tv, computer, or smart phone. You will be amazed at how much more free time you have. 
If you cannot give up your favorite tv show, try to watch actively.  Do some jumping jacks, planks or squats while you are watching
Socialize during exercise.  Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, meet for a walk.
Schedule your exercise.  Write it down in your daily planner.  When someone tries to schedule something that hour you do not need to explain, just say you are busy.
Get up earlier.  This may sound too hard, but the extra energy you get from being fit will help you feel less tired all day.
Walk or bike ride to work.  If that is not possible, at least park at a distance from your destination.
Just say no.  You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.