Looking to kick up your fitness this summer? WebMD's Barbara Russi Sarnataro recently talked to medical experts and came up with effective exercises to be as efficient in your workouts as possible.
Any exercise program should include cardiovascular exercise, which strengthens the heart and burns calories. And walking is something you can do anywhere, anytime, with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes.
2. Interval training
Whether you're a beginner or an exercise veteran, adding interval training to a cardiovascular workout will boost your fitness level and aid in weight loss.
Strength training is essential, especially strength training exercises that target multiple muscle groups. Squats, which work the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals, are an excellent example.
Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of the lower body: gluteals, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Here's how to do them right: Take a big step forward, keeping your spine in a neutral position. Bend your front knee to approximately 90 degrees, focusing on keeping weight on the back toes and dropping the knee of your back leg toward the floor.
If done correctly, the pushup can strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps and even the core trunk muscles, all at one time. Here's how to do a perfect pushup: From a face-down position, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your toes or knees on the floor, and try to create a perfect diagonal with your body, from the shoulders to the knees or feet. Keep the glutes and abdominals engaged. Then lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows, keeping your torso stable throughout.
6. Abdominal Crunches
Who doesn't want firm, flat abs? When done correctly, the familiar crunch (along with its variations) is a good choice to target them. You won't get a flat stomach with crunches alone, says Cotton. Burning belly fat requires the well-known formula: using up more calories than you take in.
LINK OF THE WEEK
A Web site with a wealth of different of health tips, from exercise and diet to pregnancy and parenting.
Want to burn some calories at the beach? A 150-pound person can burn up to 400 calories swimming in the ocean for an hour!
Issue 3.27: July 3, 2008