Tag: exercise

Exercise May Not Only Make You Fitter, But Happier Too

by in Fitness, February 9, 2017

Those of us who (try to) exercise regularly often do so with our weight or overall health in mind. Both great reasons, obviously. But there’s another benefit to staying active: It could make you a happier person.

“Exercise on a regular basis can keep your mood elevated,” says Ramona Braganza, a fitness expert and celebrity trainer whose clients have included, among others, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, Zac Efron and Ryan Reynolds. “Mood swings don’t occur as much, and overall wellness is achieved when balance takes place in the body.”

Exercise’s mood-boosting benefits were recently underscored by researchers at the University of Cambridge in England, who asked more than 10,000 study participants to track their happiness and physical activity using a specially developed smartphone app. The participants’ self-reported activity data (the researchers asked them what activities they were engaged in the last 15 minutes) was then tracked against information collected directly from built-in activity monitors (accelerometers) on their phones.

At the end of the 17-month-long study, published in the journal PLoS One, the researchers concluded that people who are more physically active are happier than those who are less active. “We found that, regardless of whether we looked at self-reported physical activity or physical activity sensed via the accelerometer on their phones, people who were on average more active were also on average happier,” says study co-author Gillian M. Sandstrom, Ph.D., who contributed to the work as a postdoctoral research assistant at Cambridge and is now a lecturer at the University of Essex. Read more

6 Tips for Integrating Exercise Into Your Workday

by in Fitness, January 29, 2017

So many of us worker bees spend our weekdays glued to our desk chairs, wondering, perhaps, if tapping at our keyboards counts as exercise. (Sadly, it doesn’t.)

But the prospect of spending a huge chunk of our day working out may seem daunting and frankly, unworkable. A new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity indicates that, in fact, spending just five minutes getting up and engaging in moderately intense exercise (like a walk) every hour may actually be better for us, in many respects, than a solid 30-minute daily workout before we slide into our cubicles in the morning and start our long sit.

The study, conducted by researchers affiliated with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, among others, concluded that introducing short periods of activity spread throughout the day would help not only boost workers’ energy levels, but also elevate their moods and lower their sense of fatigue and appetite, calling it “a promising approach to improve overall well-being at work.” Read more

Why Exercise Doesn’t Always Lead to Weight Loss

by in Fitness, January 8, 2017

Exercise more and lose weight: So many of us resolve to do both those things in the new year. Every year. But do they actually go hand in hand? And why does it sometimes feel like we actually gain weight when we increase the amount of exercise we get, and lose weight when we moon around the house like a lump? (I know, it’s cold outside, but still…).

That question was recently put to the Well bloggers at the New York Times, who confirmed that studies show that our hunch is correct: We don’t always lose – and sometimes gain – weight when we exercise more. That’s mostly because exercise makes us hungrier and so we eat more – off-setting the calories we’ve burned.

What’s a health-minded person to do? We asked nutrition coach, consultant and yoga teacher Alexandra Caspero MA, RD, CLT, RYT of Delish Knowledge, and the author of the book Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation, for her perspective. She works to help clients find their “happy weight.” Here’s what she had to say:

Why do we sometimes gain weight when we start exercising? Shouldn’t it be the opposite? And does that mean we should not exercise if we want to lose weight?

Weight loss is just one of the many benefits to exercise, so I still encourage movement, even if weight gain is a side effect. It’s beneficial for cardiovascular, mental and skeletal health, among other things. And, this isn’t true across the board. The more important thing to focus on is that exercise alone doesn’t equal weight loss; the diet still counts. I break it down to 80/20: Exercise is 20 percent of the equation; diet is 80 percent. Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill likely burns 300-400 calories for the average person, which can easily be negated by an extra serving of pasta. Additionally, exercise may increase appetite and many of my clients think exercising gives them a reason to “eat more,” which isn’t always the case. Read more

Tips for Exercising in the Heat

by in Fitness, July 30, 2016

Don’t let the summertime heat and humidity ruin your exercise enthusiasm. Following these simple rules to help make outdoor workouts a success.

The Risks

Feeling the burn in hot conditions can increase your risk for injury, dehydration and heat illness. Issues can range from minor fatigue and muscle cramping to a more serious case of heat exhaustion. The worst-case scenario is a condition referred to as heat stroke, where the body loses the ability to cool itself. (This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.) The good news is you can protect yourself by following these five rules.

Rule #1: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Around-the-clock hydration is imperative for folks who exercise multiple days a week. Water is ideal for moderate activity, but consider choosing a sports drink with calories and electrolytes for more vigorous activities lasting longer than 60 minutes. The American Academy of Sports Medicine recommends 8 to 12 fluid ounces of water 10 to 15 minutes before exercise and 3 to 8 fluid ounces every 15 to 20 minutes for workouts less than 60 minutes. For guidelines on longer-duration workouts, visit the American College of Sports Medicine website or download the Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness brochure. Read more

Hotels That Put Your Fitness First

by in Fitness, Healthy Tips, April 30, 2016

Long gone are the days when a hotel gym meant a small, smelly room tucked away in the basement that housed nothing more than a couple of treadmills and a few sad sets of hand weights. Hotels are increasingly going out of their way to provide guests with ingenious ways to work up a sweat. And their efforts are not going unnoticed. According to a recent survey by the research firm MMGY Global, 45 percent of 18-to-35-year-olds, and 38 percent of 36-to-49-year-olds, say that a hotel’s wellness offerings influence where they decide to stay.

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Hot Fitness Trends

by in Fitness, April 16, 2016

Looking to heat up your exercise routine? Try one of these hot workouts on for size.

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How Much Do You Have to Ski to Burn Off Vacation Foods?

by in Healthy Tips, February 19, 2016

Planning on hitting the slopes for some fun and exercise this winter? Common ski-resort offerings can cause an avalanche of fat and calories. Here are some of the worst offenders and how much ski time you’ll need to work them off.

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Nutrition News: Cut Carbs, Cut Fat or Just Exercise? Plus: Raise a Healthy Eater

by in Food News, August 21, 2015

Cutting Carbs Not So Key

Attention, carb cutters: A new study has found that, contrary to the belief of die-hard Atkins fans, it is not necessary to cut carbs to burn fat and lose weight. According to researchers at National Institutes of Health, who published their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism, those who cut an equal caloric amount of fat from their diet are just as, if not more, likely to burn fat as those who cut carbs. “Our study suggests it’s probably the calories in a diet that matter much more than the carbohydrates or the fat,” lead author Kevin Hall, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, told the Los Angeles Times. The key to losing weight is to reduce calories and keep them down over the long-term, Hall said.

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Eating for Exercise: What, When, Why and How Much?

by in Fitness, April 16, 2015

Like a car, your body needs fuel — the right kind in the right amount — in order to work properly. “You can’t put 10 miles worth of gas in your car and expect to drive for 30 miles without breaking down,” reasons Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning coach in New York City. “The same goes for your muscles.”

For that reason, Rumsey recommends not working out on a completely empty stomach. She suggests timing your exercise for three to four hours after a meal or within an hour of a small snack that provides some carbohydrate and protein (like half a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter). And skip anything that’s too high in fat or fiber — both digest slowly, which can interfere with your workout. Read more

Grab-and-Go Sport Snacks

by in Healthy Tips, October 18, 2014

trail mix
Being a recreational athlete means you take your sport and training seriously, but you have other priorities as well, such as work, family, and friends. Multiple demands can create a hectic schedule, and result in imperfect fueling choices for training – from heavy, fat laden snacks to eating nothing at all. Thankfully, there are a number of easy grab-and-go food options that you can pack with you at the beginning of the day that can keep you fueled anytime your training happens.

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