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Exercise & Fitness Archive
When replenishing fluids, does milk beat water?
An ad campaign sponsored by the milk industry claims that milk is better than water for hydration. A few studies appear to support the claim, but they involved a small number of subjects and have important limitations.
Rethinking cardio exercise
Standard guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. But many older adults have trouble reaching this mark, as they either don’t enjoy aerobic workouts or have physical or medical issues that make traditional cardio exercise a challenge. Breaking down the weekly requirements into smaller daily segments and trying a variety of activities that can qualify as moderate intensity can help people meet their exercise needs.
The best exercises for your warm-up
Warm-ups prepare the body for the physical demands of a workout or sports. They should be tailored to the types of activities that are about to be performed. For a strengthening routine or moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking), marching in place for a few minutes makes an effective warm-up. For vigorous physical activity, such as swimming or playing tennis, or for activity involving strenuous physical movements, such as golf, a more extensive warm-up is necessary. For example, a golf warm-up should include marching in place and movements that gently swing the arms and trunk.
Do activity trackers make us exercise more?
Activity trackers appear to motivate people to walk 40 more minutes per day, resulting in about two pounds of weight loss per person over time, according to an analysis published in the August 2022 issue of Lancet Digital Health.
Meeting your exercise goals online
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down many gyms, spawning new online fitness class options that included Spin, Pilates, dance, and yoga. Maintaining an exercise routine during the pandemic offered multiple physical and mental health benefits by boosting mood-related brain chemicals and enhancing sleep. People exercising virtually could stay fit and maintain contact with others without risk of COVID infection. Even beyond pandemic-related concerns, virtual workouts can offer convenience, variety, privacy, and a sense of shared experience.
Get a lift from body-weight workouts
Body-weight exercises are ideal substitutes for regular workouts when people are short on time or looking to shake up their usual routine. These types of exercises are not only versatile—as they can be done anytime, anywhere, without any equipment— but they also help improve everyday movements by activating the smaller stabilizing muscles that sometimes get missed when a person uses gym machines or dumbbells.
Hybrid exercise training
Hybrid exercise training combines heart-pumping aerobic action with muscle-strengthening moves in the same exercise session. The strategy has the advantage of meeting two key goals of the federal Physical Activity Guidelines in one fell swoop. And it also appears to be one of the best—and most time-efficient—ways for people who are overweight to lower their risk of cardiovascular-related risk factors. Strong muscles boost a person’s basal metabolic rate—the amount of energy the body needs to keep working during rest. That improves weight-loss efforts by ramping up the number of calories burned.
Three moves for functional fitness
Older adults can benefit from functional fitness exercises—those that focus on the muscles needed for basic everyday actions, like squatting, bending, reaching, and twisting. An all-around exercise routine that addresses the major muscle groups is ideal for improving functional fitness. Still, people should add specific exercises that mimic basic movements, such as getting up and down from the ground or a seated position, bending down and lifting objects, and carrying heavy or bulky items.
Waist trainers: What happens when you uncinch?
Splashy advertisements suggest that compression devices called waist trainers can help you sculpt inches off your waistline. The claims far outweigh the evidence, but exercises that strengthen core muscles can also help shape your waist.
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