Tag Archives: Physical exercise

400 Calorie-Burning Interval Treadmill Workout

Running burns an insane amount of calories and it also targets your tush and legs, so it’s the perfect workout if you’re trying to slim down and tone up below the waist. Add hills to your workout and you’ll tone your lower body even faster and more effectively.

Set the treadmill incline to zero, and after warming up begin this workout. For each three-minute brisk walking interval, you’ll need to raise the incline to 15 percent (or as high as it’ll go), and for each 60-second sprinting interval, you’ll need to lower it to zero. Adjust the speed as necessary if either the walking or sprinting pace seems too slow or fast.

Time Pace (mph) Incline % Calories Burned*
00:00-05:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 0 20
05:00-8:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 15 36
8:00-9:00 7.0 (8.5 min/mile) 0 11
9:00-12:00 4.0 15 36
12:00-13:00 7.0 0 11
13:00-16:00 4.0 15 36
16:00-17:00 7.0 0 11
17:00-20:00 4.0 15 36
20:00-21:00 7.0 0 11
21:00-24:00 4.0 15 36
24:00-25:00 7.0 0 11
25:00-28:00 4.0 15 36
28:00-29:00 7.0 0 11
29:00-32:00 4.0 15 36
32:00-33:00 7.0 0 11
33:00-36:00 4.0 15 36
36:00-37:00 7.0 0 11
37:00-42:00 4.0 0 20

Total calories burned: 416

*Calories burned calculations are based on a 130-pound woman





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Pre-Workout Watercress Repairs DNA Damage

English: Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is...


The health benefits of exercise are well known, but did you know that when you work out, your body produces free radicals, which can stress your body and potentially damage your DNA?

But don’t worry — there’s no need to cancel your gym membership! A new study investigates what might be the perfect, free radical-fighting pre-workout snack, and you can find it right in your produce department.

The amazing snack? Watercress! There are already a lot of reasons to eat this pretty veggie. A 2010 study found that watercress might reduce your risk of breast cancer, thanks to a compound that inhibits a protein related to tumor growth, and it’s also packed with vitamins A, C and K (in fact, one cup of watercress provides your RDA of vitamin K!). But what does that have to do with your exercise routine?

To find out, researchers from Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster tracked 10 healthy young men over 16 weeks. For eight weeks, the men ate about a bowl of watercress before intensive treadmill sessions; for another eight weeks, they did the same exercise without eating their greens. The researchers took blood samples before the men ate their watercress, before they exercised and then after they hit the treadmill.

The results, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, revealed that exercise does indeed increase DNA damage, but eating watercress seems to diminish the damage caused by exercised-induced free radicals by increasing the availability of antioxidants in the blood.

Angela Ginn, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, explains that free radicals are the byproduct of your cells burning oxygen. “Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to tissues and cells,” she explains. Exercise creates a build-up of free radicals, but so do a variety of other factors, like smoking and exposure to UV rays and air pollution, Ginn says.

“Keep in mind that this was a small study, using a small sample size,” she says of the watercress research. Nevertheless, antioxidants do fight against those free radicals, and watercress and other dark leafy greens such as collards, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and spinach are rich in antioxidants, she says.

It’s always a good idea to eat a wide variety of dark, leafy greens to maintain your optimal health, says Ginn, whether you exercise every day or not. “Once or twice a day, make sure you have at least a quarter if not a half of your plate filled with dark leafy greens,” says Ginn. “You can fight against those free radicals in your body!”



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Foods That Boost Muscle Growth

Whether you’re a girl or a guy, if you’re trying to get fit, you’re in the testosterone-boosting business. (Unless you have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, in which case your body produces too much testosterone.) Testosterone gives us energy, builds muscle, and heightens our libido. It also helps protect our bones and brains — all good stuff. Some foods can help increase this helpful hormone — here’s how you can take advantage of them.

  1. Add some garlic and onions to your meals. A study conducted with rats found that garlic coupled with a high-protein diet increased testosterone levels. Allicin, a phytochemical found in garlic and onions, may also inhibit cortisol, which can compete with testosterone and interfere with its normal function.
  2. Get more niacin in your diet. Niacin, a B vitamin, has been shown to boost HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), high levels of which have been associated with high levels of testosterone. Niacin is found in many foods, including dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, and eggs.
  3. Choose healthy vegetable fats. Vegetable fat intake has been shown to increase dihydrotestosterone, a form of testosterone responsible for the growth of body hair. Just take it easy on the soybean, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils — instead get your vegetable fats from heart-healthy canola and olive oils.
  4. Eat zinc-rich foods. These include oysters, Dungeness crab, beef, pork, dark-meat chicken and turkey, yogurt, cheddar cheese, cashews, almonds, baked beans, and chickpeas. One study found that restricting zinc in healthy young men led to a 75 percent reduction in their testosterone, while supplementing zinc-deficient older men doubled their testosterone.




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Burning Calories



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Is The “Fat-Burning Zone” A Myth?

Until about five or so years ago, most exercisers and fitness trainers embraced the idea of the fat-burning zone–a moderate exercise intensity range associated with burning more fat. Today, you’ll find countless articles about “The Fat-Burning Zone Myth”. These articles say you need to exercise at a high intensity to burn the most fat. Myth or no myth, the important question is how this all affects your personal weight loss strategy.

The idea of a fat-burning zone has its roots in solid science. When you exercise–and even when you’re at rest–your body uses the carbohydrates, proteins and fats it obtains from the foods you eat as fuel. Under normal conditions, the amount of protein your body uses for energy is so small (under 2 percent at rest and for exercise sessions lasting less than an hour) that we don’t consider it in the fuel-burning equation. The battle is between carbohydrates and fats.

When your body burns food to create energy, it uses oxygen and produces carbon dioxide.  You remember the elementary school diagrams: While plants “breathe in” carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, people do the reverse.  By analyzing the air you breathe out, scientists can measure the amounts of these gases produced and consumed.  Then, they can determine how much fat and carbohydrate you are burning.

The relative levels of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen used are expressed in a ratio called the respiratory quotient, or RQ. This number reveals the relative use of carbohydrates and fats in the energy equation. A quotient of 1.0 would point to complete use of carbohydrates for energy, while a quotient of 0.7 would indicate pure use of fats. Most people have a number that falls somewhere in between.

Your body uses varying percentages of fats and carbohydrates throughout the day, largely determined by the level of activity you are engaged in. The less intensely you are working out, the higher the ratio of fat burning to carbohydrate burning. As you increase the intensity, a greater percentage of your calories are burned from carbohydrates rather than fat. In this respect, the low- to moderate-intensity fat-burning zone exists.

Now for the myth part. You might infer that you burn more total fat per session when exercising in your “fat-burning” zone than at a higher intensity during which carbohydrates are used more. Minute for minute, this isn’t true. Here’s why: Because you burn more total calories when exercising at higher intensities, the overall total calories burned from fat is still greater at those intensities, even though the percentage of calories coming from fat is slightly lower.

Here is a hypothetical example: If Sally exercises at 65 percent of her maximum heart rate, she burns 150 calories in 30 minutes. Of those, 50 percent (or 75 calories) will come from fat. If she increases her intensity to 85 percent of her maximum heart rate, she burns 210 calories. Only 40.5 percent of those come from fat, but that totals 85 fat calories–10 more than she would burn at the lower intensity. So even though your body uses a higher percentage of calories from fat at the lower intensity, it still uses more overall fat at higher intensities because the total number of calories you burn is higher.

So is the fat-burning zone a myth? No. Is it a myth that you should exercise in that zone to burn the most fat or lose the most weight? Sometimes. It all depends on your personal preference, how much time you have to exercise and your physical condition.

Personal preference:  If you do not enjoy working at high or moderately high intensities, you will likely not do it very often or very long. And if you don’t do it often or only do it for a few minutes, you’re not going to burn many calories from any fuel source. From a fat-burning/weight loss perspective, you would be better off working out for 45 minutes at 65 percent of your maximum heart rate than for 20 minutes at 85 percent. If you’re into high-intensity workouts, shoot for a longer duration of 30 to 60 minutes.

Time: If you want to lose the most weight and burn the most fat as efficiently as possible, meaning with the least amount of time spent, ramp up the intensity.

Physical condition: If you have circumstances that make exercising at high intensities unsafe or uncomfortable (such as excess weight, cardiac issues, arthritis, body alignment challenges or multiple sclerosis), you are better off going lighter (light to moderate exercises) and for longer. In a nutshell:

Good: Short duration (20 minutes total) at higher intensities.

Better: Long duration (45 minutes total) at moderate intensities.

Best: Long duration (45 minutes total) at higher intensities.

The next time you workout, also keep these points in mind: Calories are cumulative. They don’t have to be burned in one workout session. Four 5-minute sessions are as good as a 20-minute bout–and maybe better, because you can likely work at higher intensities in the 5-minute sessions and burn more total calories. Also, all calories are created equal. It doesn’t matter if you’re burning calories from formal exercise, recreation, romance or work.  Calories are calories, and burning them from any physical activity will reap benefits.  Last but not least, when it comes to exercise and weight loss, more is more. The more you workout, the more you calories you’ll burn.



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Burning Calories – 150 at a Time

English: A breaststroke swimmer, in a hotel sw...

For a 150-pound person, doing these exercises will burn about 150 calories:

  • Walking a mile at a pace of 15 to 20 minutes per mile
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Bicycling for 30 minutes
  • Running a mile at a pace of 10 minutes per mile
  • Climbing stairs for 15 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Playing basketball for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Playing volleyball for 45 to 60 minutes
  • Gardening for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Dancing for 30 minutes

If you want to run a few miles every day or swim for long periods of time, speak with your doctor first. She may be able to suggest exercises and activities specifically geared toward your hypertension and individual health needs.




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How to Exercise in 30 Minutes or Less

Leonard Bernstein



World renowned composer and director Leonard Bernstein said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” How true! Fitness is no exception — without a plan, it is all too easy to let your exercise program slip right through the cracks. But if you can squeeze just 30 minutes out of your day, you can fit in a great workout. Here are some tips to turn your plan into a “great thing” for your body:

  • Schedule it. Don’t wait for extra time to show up in your day—because it won’t. Mark off 30 minutes for exercise, just as you would schedule a doctor’s appointment, and then make it a priority.
  • Don’t worry about the “right time” to exercise. It matters little if it’s morning, noon or night. Choosing a time that works within your schedule will help you establish a permanent routine and keep other obligations from undermining your plan.
  • Recruit a workout buddy. For many people, an exercise partner is the glue that helps you stick to your commitment. Choose someone with compatible fitness level and goals so that you can each progress comfortably together and feel successful.
  • Start slowly. If you are not accustomed to exercise, don’t try to do too much, too soon. Walking is a great way to begin an exercise program. It’s simple—you already know how to do it! It requires no special equipment other than a good pair of walking shoes, and best of all, you can do it anywhere.
  • Make working out fun. Consistency is a key ingredient for any successful fitness regime, so seek out activities that you like doing. It doesn’t matter what the latest craze is that’s “guaranteed” to burn thousands of calories per workout. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you will never keep it up. Choose activities that add joy, not dread, to your day.
  • Mix it up. You need cardio, strength training and flexibility-based activities for a well-rounded exercise program. Rather than walking the same route every day, mix things up by doing some strength training a couple of days per week. Try this awesome 30 minute strength training program that requires no equipment.
  • Break it up when you must. On some busy days, 30 minutes straight is just not happening. On those days, three sessions of 10 minutes of exercise is better than writing it off completely. Do some body squats at your desk, take 10 to run the stairs, or find a quiet place to stretch. You will feel better and be more productive when you get back to your daily tasks.
  • When (not if) you have to miss a day, you are not a failure. You cannot fail unless you quit. Redouble your efforts for the next day, and keep your good habit going. Don’t let a missed day turn into a missed week and a missed opportunity for success.

Source:  By Leigh Crews


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