Category Archives: Exercise

A Little Plank Movement Does a Lot of Work

If you are familiar with performing a traditional elbow plank, try this new variation for an extra challenge to your core muscles. Just remember to make your movements very small in order to keep it safe and effective.

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Begin on all fours. Position your elbows directly below your shoulders and place your hands and forearms flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Straighten your legs behind you. Balance on your toes and forearms as you bring your hips down to shoulder level. Keep you knees straight and press your heels back. Pause for two breaths.

On an exhalation, contract your abdominals and use your core muscles to raise your pelvis a few inches higher. Pause, continuing to hold your abs firm to support the weight of your pelvis. Slowly lower your hips back down to shoulder level and pause. Repeat this small movement three to six times. Release by bending your knees and sit back on your heels to rest. Repeat the entire exercise one more time.

Source : Los Angeles Times

 

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The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast

A new study suggests that exercising in the morning, before eating, can significantly lessen the ill effects of a poor holiday diet.
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Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.

According to the New York Times:
“Working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.”


Resources:

New York Times December 15, 2010
Journal of Physiology Nov 1, 2010;588(Pt 21):4289-302

Posted by: Dr. Mercola | January 04 2011

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Going to the Wall

The wall can be an excellent prop when practicing yoga poses or other stretches that require balance and strength as well as flexibility. It helps you feel stable so you can get in the proper position to gain maximum benefit from the exercise.

Stand approximately 3 feet away from a stable wall with your back toward the wall and your feet together. Bend forward at the hips and place your fingertips on the floor directly below your shoulders. (Place your hands on two yoga blocks if you cannot reach the floor.) Place your left foot flat on the wall at hip height, with your knee and toes facing the floor. You may have to adjust to make sure your right ankle is below your right hip. Inhale and look forward, sliding your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Exhale and focus on keeping your hips and legs stationary. On the next inhalation, rotate your ribs, chest and shoulders to the right. Reach your right arm upward, with fingers pointing to the ceiling. Look toward your right thumb. Pause for three to six breaths in this position, feeling a deep stretch in your back. Return your right hand to the floor, change legs and repeat on the other side.

Source :Los Angeles Times

 

Enhanced Bent-Over Row

Here’s a challenging variation of the traditional bent-over row that will strengthen your core and your upper body muscles. Remember to hold lighter dumbbells while you master the technique, then increase the weight once you’re comfortable finding your balance. Practice patience because this exercise is harder than it looks.

Stand upright grasping a 3-, 5- or 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, with your arms hanging below your shoulders. Slowly begin to tilt your torso forward, bending at the hips. Bend your right knee slightly and shift your body weight off your left leg. Find your balance with just your left toes touching the floor behind you. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders, chest and hips facing squarely toward the floor.

When you feel ready, begin to raise your left leg off the floor until it reaches hip level. At the same time, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells to your hips. Pause. Continue to hold your leg up as you lower and raise your dumbbells eight to 12 times. Return to an upright position and repeat, this time balancing over your left leg while lifting your right leg.


Source
: Los Angeles Times

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Regular Exercise Reduces a Large Number of Health Risks

Regular exercise can reduce the risk and symptoms of more than 20 physical and mental health conditions, and can also slow down how quickly your body ages.

A review of research, which summarized the findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010, found that exercise affects conditions including cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.

Science Daily reports:
“… [A]part from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health.”

A separate study also found that women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more could be reducing their risk of endometrial cancer, whether or not they are overweight.

Researchers examined data collected from a case-control study that included almost 700 women with endometrial cancer and compared them to a similar number of age-matched control women. Those who exercised for 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer.

Newswise reports:
“This association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or underweight women, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25, or what is commonly considered overweight.

Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight, but still active, had a 52 percent lower risk.”

Resources:
Science Daily November 16, 2010
International Journal of Clinical Practice December 2010; 64(13):1731-4
Newswise November 12, 2010

Posted by: Dr. Mercola | December 09 2010

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