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Allium porrum

Botanical Name : Allium porrum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Leek, Garden leek

Habitat : Allium porrum is said native to Europe & west Asia. It grows on Cultivated Beds.

Description:
Allium porrum is a  bulb growing to 0.9 m (3ft). It  is not frost tender.  The leek is an underrated but magnificent vegetable that grows tall and cylindrical in shape with a spray of grey green strap foliage at the top. It is in flower from Jul to August.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil but succeeds in most soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an open situation. Does best in a soil that was well fed for a previous crop. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The leek is a widely cultivated vegetable, there are many named varieties. Young plants are often planted quite deeply in the soil (8 – 10cm deep) in order to blanch the lower stem, it is also a common practice to earth up the growing plants in order to blanch right the way up the stems. Whilst this does make the stems more tender, it also results in a loss of minerals and vitamins. Although commonly treated as a biennial, this plant is a true perennial, perennating by means of small lateral growths and often developing a roundish bulb at the base of the main growth. A relatively slow-growing plant, it can be interplanted with faster maturing species such as lettuces. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, celery, celariac, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – for an early crop, or for larger plants, sow the seed in early spring in a greenhouse and plant out in May. For smaller or later plants, sow April in an outdoor seedbed and plant out as space permits in July or even August.
Edible Uses:
The leaves and long white blanched stem are eaten cooked. They can also be cut into thin slices and be added to salads. A mild onion flavour with a delightful sweetness. Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is produced in the plants second year of growth (that is, after it is normally harvested). The bulb is somewhat larger if the plant is prevented from flowering. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads, though they are rather on the dry side and less pleasant than many other members of the genus.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiasthmatic; Anticholesterolemic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Cholagogue; Diaphoretic; Diuretic;  Expectorant; Febrifuge; Stimulant; Stings; Stomachic; Tonic; Vasodilator.

This species has the same medicinal virtues as garlic, but in a much milder and less effective form. These virtues are as follows:- Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit. It is also said to have anticancer activity. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The crushed bulb may be applied as a poultice to ease the pain of bites, stings etc.
Other Uses:
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ampeloprasum
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+porrum

http://www.gardensonline.com.au/GardenShed/PlantFinder/Show_2678.aspx

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Burns

Definition:
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns only affect the skin (epidermal tissue and dermis). Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured. Burns may be treated with first aid, in an out-of-hospital setting, or may require more specialised treatment such as those available at specialised burn centers.

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Managing burns is important because they are common, painful and can result in disfiguring and disabling scarring, amputation of affected parts or death in severe cases. Complications such as shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress may occur. The treatment of burns may include the removal of dead tissue (debridement), applying dressings to the wound, administering large volumes of intravenous fluids, administering antibiotics and skin grafting.

While large burns can be fatal, modern treatments developed in the last 60 years have significantly improved the prognosis of such burns, especially in children and young adults.  In the United States, approximately 4 out of every 100 people with injuries from burns will succumb to their injuries. The majority of these fatalities occur either at the scene or enroute to hospital.

According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 500,000 burn injuries receive medical treatment yearly in the United States.

Classification:
Burns can be classified by mechanism of injury, depth, extent and associated injuries and comorbidities.

By depth

Currently, burns are described according to the depth of injury to the dermis and are loosely classified into first, second, third and fourth degrees. This system was devised by the French barber-surgeon Ambroise Pare and remains in use today.

Note that an alternative form of reference to burns may describe burns according to the depth of injury to the dermis.

It is often difficult to accurately determine the depth of a burn. This is especially so in the case of second degree burns, which can continue to evolve over time. As such, a second-degree partial-thickness burn can progress to a third-degree burn over time even after initial treatment. Distinguishing between the superficial-thickness burn and the partial-thickness burn is important, as the former may heal spontaneously, whereas the latter often requires surgical excision and skin grafting.

First degree burn:..
A first degree burn is superficial and causes local inflammation of the skin. Sunburns often are categorized as first degree burns. The inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, and a mild amount of swelling.

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The skin may be very tender to touch.It takes about a week’s time to heal & there is no complecation.

Second degree (superficial partial thickness):
Second degree burns are deeper and in addition to the pain, redness and inflammation, there is also blistering of the skin. Healing time is appx.2to 3 weeks.Complecation is  Local infection/cellulities.
click to see the picture
Third Degree:
Third degree burns are deeper still, involving all layers of the skin, in effect killing that area of skin. Because the nerves and blood vessels are damaged, third degree burns appear white and leathery and tend to be relatively painless. It needs  excision. It is scarring, contractures (may require excision and skin grafting)

click to see the pictures….....(1)...……………………………………

Fourth Degree:….CLICK & SEE
It extends through skin, subcutaneous tissue and into underlying muscle and bone.Needs excision.Complecated may need  amputation, significant functional impairment.

By severity:
In order to determine the need for referral to a specialised burn unit, the American Burn Association devised a classification system to aid in the decision-making process. Under this system, burns can be classified as major, moderate and minor. This is assessed based on a number of factors, including total body surface area (TBSA) burnt, the involvement of specific anatomical zones, age of the person and associated injuries.

MajorMajor burns are defined as:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial thickness burns >25% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns >20% TBSA
*Full thickness burns >10%
*Burns involving the hands, face, feet or perineum
*Burns that cross major joints
*Circumferential burns to any extremity
*Any burn associated with inhalational injury
*Electrical burns
*Burns associated with fractures or other trauma
*Burns in infants and the elderly
*Burns in persons at high-risk of developing complications

These burns typically require referral to a specialised burn treatment center.

Moderate:

Moderate burns are defined as:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial thickness burns involving 15-25% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns involving 10-20% TBSA
*Full thickness burns involving 2-10% TBSA

Persons suffering these burns often need to be hospitalised for burn care.

Minor:
Minor burns are:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial-thickness burns <15% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns involving <10% TBSA
*Full thickness burns <2% TBSA without associated injuries.

These burns usually do not require hospitalisation.

By surface area:
Burns can also be assessed in terms of total body surface area (TBSA), which is the percentage affected by partial thickness or full thickness burns. First degree (erythema only, no blisters) burns are not included in this estimation. The rule of nines is used as a quick and useful way to estimate the affected TBSA. More accurate estimation can be made using Lund & Browder charts which take into account the different proportions of body parts in adults and children.The size of a person’s hand print (palm and fingers) is approximately 1% of their TBSA. The actual mean surface area is 0.8% so using 1% will slightly over estimate the size.Burns of 10% in children or 15% in adults (or greater) are potentially life threatening injuries (because of the risk of hypovolaemic shock) and should have formal fluid resuscitation and monitoring in a burns unit.

 

Symptoms:
There may be obvious and immediate damage to the skin, which can be very painful.

With partial thickness burns, the skin may be pink, red or mottled. Blistering may also be seen.

With full thickness burns, the top layer of skin is destroyed and may look white or black, and charred. Full thickness burns are painless, as the nerves carrying pain signals have been destroyed.
Causes:
Burns are caused by a wide variety of substances and external sources such as exposure to chemicals, friction, electricity, radiation, and heat.

Chemical:
Most chemicals that cause chemical burns are strong acids or bases.[11] Chemical burns can be caused by caustic chemical compounds such as sodium hydroxide or silver nitrate, and acids such as sulfuric acid.Hydrofluoric acid can cause damage down to the bone and its burns are sometimes not immediately evident.

Electrical
Electrical burns are caused by either an electric shock or an uncontrolled short circuit. (A burn from a hot, electrified heating element is not considered an electrical burn.) Common occurrences of electrical burns include workplace injuries, or being defibrillated or cardioverted without a conductive gel. Lightning is also a rare cause of electrical burns.

Since normal physiology involves a vast number of applications of electrical forces, ranging from neuromuscular signaling to coordination of wound healing, biological systems are very vulnerable to application of supraphysiologic electric fields. Some electrocutions produce no external burns at all, as very little current is required to cause fibrillation of the heart muscle. Therefore, even when the injury does not involve any visible tissue damage, electrical shock survivors may experience significant internal injury. The internal injuries sustained may be disproportionate to the size of the burns seen (if any), and the extent of the damage is not always obvious. Such injuries may lead to cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and unexpected falls with resultant fractures or dislocations.

The true incidence of electrical burn injury is unknown. In one study of 220 deaths due to electrical injury, 40% of those associated with low-voltage (<1000 AC volts) injury demonstrated no skin burns or marks whatsoever. Most household electrical burns occur at 110 AC volts. This is sufficient to cause cardiac arrest and ventricular fibrillation but generates relatively low heat energy deposit into skin, thus producing few or no burn marks at all.

Radiation:
Radiation burns are caused by protracted exposure to UV light (as from the sun), tanning booths, radiation therapy (in people undergoing cancer therapy), sunlamps, radioactive fallout, and X-rays. By far the most common burn associated with radiation is sun exposure, specifically two wavelengths of light UVA, and UVB, the latter being more dangerous. Tanning booths also emit these wavelengths and may cause similar damage to the skin such as irritation, redness, swelling, and inflammation. More severe cases of sun burn result in what is known as sun poisoning or “heatstroke”. Microwave burns are caused by the thermal effects of microwave radiation.

Scalding :.…CLICK & SEE

Two-day-old scald caused by boiling radiator fluid.Scalding (from the Latin word calidus, meaning hot  is caused by hot liquids (water or oil) or gases (steam), most commonly occurring from exposure to high temperature tap water in baths or showers or spilled hot drinks. A so called immersion scald is created when an extremity is held under the surface of hot water, and is a common form of burn seen in child abuse.[19] A blister is a “bubble” in the skin filled with serous fluid as part of the body’s reaction to the heat and the subsequent inflammatory reaction. The blister “roof” is dead and the blister fluid contains toxic inflammatory mediators. Scald burns are more common in children, especially “spill scalds” from hot drinks and bath water scalds.

Treatment:
Cool small burns immediately under cold running water for at least ten minutes. Rinse chemical burns for 20 minutes.

Briefly rinse larger burns, avoiding excessive cooling.

Remove clothes in the area of the burn where possible, without causing further damage to the skin. Then either wrap the burned area in a clean clear plastic bag or place a clean smooth material, such as cling film, over the burn to prevent infection.

Minor burns can be treated at home with painkillers and sterile dressings (don’t pop blisters). Deep or extensive burns, or burns to the face, hands or across joints, need to be assessed and treated in hospital.

The extent of burns can be estimated using special charts. More than ten per cent burns need hospital treatment (including intravenous fluids). Burns to more than 50 per cent of the body’s surface carry a poor chance of survival.

Severe burns need specialised long-term management, which may include skin grafts or treatments to prevent contractures, as well as psychological support to deal with scarring.

Pathophysiology:
Following a major burn injury, heart rate and peripheral vascular resistance increase. This is due to the release of catecholamines from injured tissues, and the relative hypovolemia that occurs from fluid volume shifts. Initially cardiac output decreases. At approximately 24 hours after burn injuries, cardiac output returns to normal if adequate fluid resuscitation has been given. Following this, cardiac output increases to meet the hypermetabolic needs of the body.

Management:
The resuscitation and stabilisation phase begins with the reassessment of the injured person’s airway, breathing and circulatory state. Appropriate interventions should be initiated to stabilise these. This may involve aggressive fluid resuscitation and, if inhalation injury is suspected, intubation. Once the injured person is stabilised, attention is turned to the care of the burn wound itself. Until then, it is advisable to cover the burn wound with a clean and dry sheet or dressing.

Early cooling reduces burn depth and pain, but care must be taken as uncontrolled cooling can result in hypothermia.

Intravenous fluids:
Children with TBSA >10% and adults with TBSA > 15% need formal fluid resuscitation and monitoring (blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and urine output).Once the burning process has been stopped, the injured person should be volume resuscitated according to the Parkland formula . This formula calculates the amount of Ringer’s lactate required to be administered over the first 24hrs post-burn.

Parkland formula: 4mls x percentage total body surface area sustaining non-superficial burns x person’s weight in kgs.

Half of this total volume should be administered over the first 8hrs, with the remainder given over the following 16hrs. It is important to note that this time frame is calculated from the time at which the burn is sustained, and not the time at which fluid resuscitation is begun. Children also require the addition of maintenance fluid volume. Such injuries can disturb a person’s osmotic balance.  Inhalation injuries in conjunction with thermal burns initially require up to 40–50% more fluid.

The formula is a guide only and infusions must be tailored to the urine output and central venous pressure. Inadequate fluid resuscitation may cause renal failure and death but over-resuscitation also causes morbidity.

Wound care
Debridement cleaning and then dressings are important aspects of wound care. The wound should then be regularly re-evaluated until it is healed. In the management of first and second degree burns little quality evidence exists to determine which type of dressing should be used. Silver sulfadiazine (Flamazine) is not recommended as it potentially prolongs healing time  while biosynthetic dressings may speed healing.

Antibiotics:
Intravenous antibiotics may improve survival in those with large severe burns however due to the poor quality of the evidence routine use is not currently recommended.

Analgesics:
A number of different options are used for pain management. These include simple analgesics ( such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen ) and narcotics. A local anesthetic may help in managing pain of minor first-degree and second-degree burns.

Surgery:
Wounds requiring surgical closure with skin grafts or flaps should be dealt with as early as possible. Circumferential burns of digits, limbs or the chest may need urgent surgical release of the burnt skin (escharotomy) to prevent problems with distal circulation or ventilation.

Alternative treatments:
Hyperbaric oxygenation has not been shown to be a useful adjunct to traditional treatments. Honey has been used since ancient times to aid wound healing and may be beneficial in first and second degree burns, but may cause infection.

Home Remedy:..
One of them that is pretty popular but equally dangerous is the old, “butter on burns” procedure. Many people around the world apply butter (or margarine) to the skin to treat minor burns;
Complications:
Infection is a major complication of burns. Infection is linked to impaired resistance from disruption of the skin’s mechanical integrity and generalized immune suppression. The skin barrier is replaced by eschar. This moist, protein rich avascular environment encourages microbial growth. Migration of immune cells is hampered, and there is a release of intermediaries that impede the immune response. Eschar also restricts distribution of systemically administered antibiotics because of its avascularity.

Risk factors of burn wound infection include:

*Burn > 30% TBS
*Full-thickness burn
*Extremes in age (very young, very old)
*Preexisting disease e.g. diabetes
*Virulence and antibiotic resistance of colonizing organism
*Failed skin graft
*Improper initial burn wound care
*Prolonged open burn wound

Burn wounds are prone to tetanus. A tetanus booster shot is required if individual has not been immunized within the last 5 years.

Circumferential burns of extremities may compromise circulation. Elevation of limb may help to prevent dependent edema. An Escharotomy may be required.

Acute Tubular Necrosis of the kidneys can be caused by myoglobin and hemoglobin released from damaged muscles and red blood cells. This is common in electrical burns or crush injuries where adequate fluid resuscitation has not been achieved.

Prognosis:
The outcome of any injury or disease depends on three things: the nature of the injury, the nature of the injured or ill person and the treatment available. In terms of injury factors in burns the prognosis depends primarily on the burn surface area (% TBSA) and the age of the person. The presence of smoke inhalation injury, other significant injuries such as long bone fractures and serious co-morbidities (heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric illness, suicidal intent etc.) will also adversely influence prognosis. Advances in resuscitation, surgical management, control of infection, control of the hyper-metabolic response and rehabilitation have resulted in dramatic improvements in burn mortality and morbidity in the last 60 years.

You may Click to see :List of Burn Centers in  US

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.umm.edu/imagepages/1078.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/burns2.shtml
http://www.doctorsatyourhome.com/blog/?p=77

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Bend and Stretch those Hamstrings

Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs.

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Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot. Pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

As your legs become more flexible, practice a more advanced version of the stretch — placing your right foot on the top of the chair backrest and resting your hands on the top of the chair on each side of the foot. As before, pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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100 Steps to Healthy Heart

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Counting 100 steps a minute may be an easy way to maintain pace during brisk walks, burning calories and reducing the risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, a study suggests.

The study by researchers at the San Diego State University in the US has shown that 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise translates into 3,000 steps on a pedometer, a device that helps count steps.
…….Pedometer-
Doctors typically prescribe 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day for at least five days a week as a means to check obesity, improve blood pressure readings and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In the new study, Simon Marshall at the department of exercise and nutritional sciences and his colleagues at the San Diego university monitored oxygen uptake and heart rates of 58 women and 39 men walking a treadmill at different speeds. They found moderate-intensity exercise was achieved by women at counts between 91 and 115 steps per minute and by men at 92 to 102 steps per minute.

The study will appear shortly in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“This data supports the general recommendation of walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain,” said Marshall, who is investigating the use of step counts in the promotion of physical activity.

Preventive medicine specialists believe many people who exercise routinely don’t derive full benefits because they don’t push their hearts to required activity levels.

“To achieve moderate-intensity exercise, the heart rate has to touch 60 to 70 per cent of the maximum rate, which is linked to the age of a person,” said Dorairajan Prabhakaran, a cardiologist at the Centre for Chronic Diseases in New Delhi.

The maximum heart rate is computed by subtracting the age from 220. A 40-year-old would thus have a maximum heart rate of 180, and moderate-intensity exercise at that age would mean pushing the rate to 108 beats a minute.

The difference in the counts of women and men emerge because of stride lengths — men are taller and take fewer steps in 30 minutes, Marshall said. Step counts would be a simple method to help people gauge exercise intensity, Prabhakaran told The Telegraph.

But doctors warn that the 100-steps-a-minute target may not be appropriate for all.

“People above 40 who may have undetected cardiovascular risk or who have previous heart disease should ideally consult doctors before they embark on an exercise plan that is appropriate for them,” said Prabkaharan.

For otherwise healthy people, while the target should be 3,000 steps in 30 minutes, doctors say it may be approached gradually — starting with 1,000 steps in 10 minutes and increasing it steadily to reach 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.

The actual calories burnt depend on several factors, including the pace of exercise, body mass, the proportion of muscle mass, age and gender. But the burn-up rate is about 3kcal per kg per hour. A 70kg man will, therefore, expend 105 kcal during a 30-minute walk.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Keep Fit in 30 Minutes or Less

The biceps curl is sometimes performed on the ...

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Between parties and shopping, time is short these days. But that doesn’t mean your exercise routine has to be second-rate. A 20- to 30-minute workout done at a high intensity can increase the heart rate and tone muscles equally as well as a longer workout done at a lower intensity.

“Who made the rule that a workout has to be an hour?” asks Amy Dixon, group fitness manager at Equinox in Santa Monica. “If people can wrap their heads around the fact that it’s OK to do a shorter workout, especially if you do it right, that’s all you need.”

The key, these trainers say, is to keep moving. Taking breaks between exercises — even short ones — will lower the heart rate and not provide as much calorie burn. While some of these routines require equipment such as cardio machines or light weights, you can easily make your substitutions. Run at a nearby track, park or playground and use stairs and bars for exercises such as pull-ups. Use soup cans for weights. And scale back or increase the level of intensity according to your fitness level. No need to be a superhero — or a slug — just because it’s the holidays.

Angela Stovall
(Master trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Chino)

We’d start with five minutes of cardio, and that could be on a machine such as an elliptical trainer, a stair climber or a treadmill. If you’re exercising first thing and using this as a warm-up, do it at a low intensity. If you’re already warmed up, choose a moderate to vigorous intensity that gets your heart rate up.

Then do walking lunges for five minutes. This uses all the leg muscles, is a great fat burner and gets your heart rate up. You’re also using your core. If you’re a beginner, do stationary lunges, holding onto a chair if necessary. After doing 10, alternate between those and 10 ab crunches. Do three sets of each.

Get on the treadmill for five minutes at 3.5 miles per hour (or a moderately fast pace — not a slow walk). At the same time, do biceps curls and shoulder presses with light weights (3 to 5 pounds), or no weights. When you do this while you’re moving, you get a better calorie burn and you’re toning the muscles. You should always concentrate on your form. For beginners, only do this if you’re comfortable on the treadmill, and slow the speed if necessary.

Next, go to a mat and do push-ups — straight-legged if you’re advanced, or on your knees if you’re not. Do 10 to 20 depending on how conditioned you are. Alternate those with triceps bench dips on a chair, also doing 10 to 20. Do three sets of each.

Then it’s on to the StepMill (a stair climber with rotating steps) for five minutes. You can push it here a little bit because you’re warmed up, but beginners who have never done this before can stay at Level 1. If that machine isn’t available, you can use another form of stair climber, or just go up and down some stairs.

After that, do 25 standing squats with no weight, then 50 side bends. For the side bends, stand with feet hip-width apart and bend your torso from side to side, trying to reach below your knees. This is for the obliques. This also brings down the heart rate a little bit.

Amy Dixon
(Exercise physiologist and group fitness manager at Equinox, Santa Monica)

With only 20 to 30 minutes, I would do a treadmill workout that’s interval-based, alternating bouts of resting and pushing. You’re going to burn the most calories, get your heart rate up and spike your metabolism.

For beginners, walk on the treadmill at a comfortable but challenging pace, and up your intensity with the incline. When you’re pushing, it won’t feel easy. If you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, you’re in the upper end of your endurance zone, so stay there and get to know what it feels like. You shouldn’t feel like you have to step off the treadmill to catch your breath. When you come down to a slower pace, you’ll feel a little spike in your heart rate, but then you should be able to ride it out.

If you’re more advanced and want to run, keep your speed between 5 to 7 miles per hour and start at a 3% incline before increasing to about an 8% incline. If you’re in better condition, you should be breathless on the push.

For all fitness levels, try alternating between two minutes of the easy phase and a minute of the difficult phase. Do this workout a maximum of three times a week if you’re fit. For beginning exercisers or those who haven’t done intervals before, do it twice a week. If you don’t have a treadmill and can go outside, do hills for the hard part of the intervals, or push the pace. This can also be done on an elliptical trainer or stationary bike.

Sharon Phillips
(Personal trainer at Crunch, Los Angeles)
I like to do short workouts, circuit-training style, moving at a relatively quick pace to keep the heart rate up, and incorporating plyometrics. Each of these sets should take about a minute, and the entire circuit should be done three times. By the third set you’ll be pretty fatigued. You still want to push yourself, but also pace yourself.

For warm-ups, do sprints with push-ups. Run about the length of half a basketball court, then drop and do 10 push-ups, sprint to the other end and do 10 more push-ups. Or, run in place for 30 seconds, keeping knees high, and drop into push-ups.

Then do squats into a shoulder press using dumbbells that are a comfortable weight, or just your body weight. With feet shoulder-width apart, go into a squat position holding the dumbbells, come up and do a biceps curl with both arms, and then go into a shoulder press. Bring the weights back down and go back into a squat. For another version, go into a squat, jump into the air, come back down into a squat position again, put your hands on the ground and kick your feet out behind you, then bring them back in.

Walking lunges with a twist are next. If you have a medicine ball or other weighted object, hold it out in front of you, arms straight and at shoulder height. Twist toward the leading leg so you get a contraction in your obliques. You can also do this with no weights, but still holding your arms up. If there’s no room to do walking lunges, do them in place and alternate legs, doing the twist.

Then do a round of leapfrogs, which is a plyometric exercise. Start in a squat position, lean forward and jump, landing softly so you don’t injure your knees. If there’s no open space, just do jump squats in place, and again be careful with your knees. Your arms can be used for momentum, so swing them as you jump.

Pull-ups are next, and you’ll need a bar, which you can find at a gym or a park. Sometimes gyms have assisted pull-up machines, which make this a little easier. This exercise really engages the core.

Now do full-body crunches with a Body Bar (a long, weighted bar), a ball or with no weight. Lie on the floor with arms and legs extended and bring the elbows and knees together. Extend them out again, keeping them about an inch off the floor.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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