What is Runner’s High?

What is Runnner's HighWhat keeps marathon runners going mile after mile? What motivates a person to crank out another 10 minutes on the treadmill at the end of a long day? Some (although not all) people who run long distances report a feeling of well being, even euphoria, in the middle and end of their workout. In early studies, the feelings were attributed to the release of endorphins (brain chemicals) triggered by prolonged exercise. More recent research is exploring other factors, but there is no doubt that runner’s high does exist. (more…)

What is Functional Exercise?

What is Functional Exercise Bodies move in many ways, and for many reasons. You may hear fitness professionals or personal trainers talk about “functional exercise.” This refers to practicing and using muscles in the same ways that you would use them in the daily activities of life. For example, yoga classes can include flexibility and strength moves that improve participants ability to get up and down from the floor, or in and out of a car. Learning to put your foot behind your head might be a welcome challenge, but that would not be considered a functional exercise. (more…)

Want to Walk More? Try This!

Want to Walk MoreWalking is a great overall exercise to keep in your bag of fitness tricks. It doesn’t take special training. It doesn’t take fancy equipment to get started. You can do it almost any time. If you walk on a treadmill, you can do it any kind of weather. The trick is to move walking from that thing you do to get from one place to another, to an actual part of your exercise plan. How about walking more, to see the benefits of fitness walking in your daily routine? (more…)

What Foods Are Good For You This Week?

What Foods Are Good For You This Week?Margarine is better than butter. Margarine is bad for you. Drink more coffee. Drink less coffee. Don’t eat meat. Follow a cave man diet. Sometimes it seems like there is a new health directive each week! Research is going on all the time, and while one study can point to a positive, another study can contradict the findings. How does a sensible person know which food studies are meaningful and when it is important to make a dietary change? (more…)

What is “Cardio” Exercise?

What is Cardio ExerciseThe word cardio is fitness shorthand for cardiovascular exercise. A broad definition of cardiovascular exercise is exercise that increases your heart rate and lung capacity. If you are talking with a personal trainer, he or she may call it cardiovascular exercise, cardiorespiratory exercise, or aerobic exercise. A personal trainer can work with you to develop a cardio program to help with a weight loss plan, to increase endurance and to strengthen your muscles. Cardio exercise belongs in any health program, whatever your fitness goals. (more…)

Does Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

Does Exercise Help You SleepYou’ve taken the dog for a long walk on a hot day. Now you feel exhausted. You finished a challenging yoga class. You feel pleasantly relaxed. You biked around the block before dinner. You feel refreshed. Sometimes exercise can increase your energy and alertness, and other times it can help you relax before sleep. With some advance thought into when and how you exercise, you can tailor your physical activity so it will have the desired effect on your sleep habits. (more…)

Three Ways to Improve Snacking

Three Ways to Snack SmarterAre you one of those motivated people who rarely snack? If so, you can skip this information! On the other hand, if you are like most people, snacking is a part of your day. Rather than having a constant fight with your inner snacker, have you thought about improving the way you snack? By acknowledging that you are going to snack, and integrating snacks into a healthy eating plan, you have a better chance of meeting your health and weight loss goals. (more…)

When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

What's the Best Time to ExerciseMorning, afternoon or evening? When is the best time to exercise? There isn’t one right answer to this question. The quick answer is that whatever time you will actually engage in your workout or class is the best time to do it. If you spring from bed ready to grab your gear and head to the gym, then morning is the time to work out. If your day doesn’t wind down until after dinner, then fit your walk in then! If the best time for you to hit the weights is midday, then go for it. (more…)

Foot Care Tips for Walkers

Foot Care Tips for WalkersHave you heard the suggestion of “10,000 Steps a Day?” It is a great goal to make sure you keep moving throughout the day. Too much sitting is hard on your system. You can track your steps with a simple pedometer, or using any number of more high tech wrist monitors or smart phone apps. If you’ve added more walking into your workout regimen, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your feet don’t hold you back. (more…)

Tips to Avoid the After-Lunch Slump

Tips to Avoid After Lunch SlumpLunch time is a great break in the day. It can be a chance to catch up with an office colleague, or text a friend. Rather than feeling rested, have you ever returned from lunch ready for a nap? Unless you are lucky enough to have a cot in your office, this after-lunch slump can put a dent in your workday. Afternoon caffeine is only a short term fix. There are things you can do on a regular basis, to keep your energy up for the second half of the work day. (more…)