10 Ways to Make Your Treadmill Workout Safer

hxfkyjWith the news of SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg’s accidental death on a treadmill, we are reminded that there are risks to exercise, particularly when using gym equipment. Because a treadmill is powered by a motor, rather than self-propelled, accidents can happen, especially when people lose their balance. Injuries can include bruises, sprains, broken bones, concussions, and sometimes, even death.

While the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported over 24,000 emergency room visits associated with treadmills in the United States in 2014, deaths are rare. That said, it’s important for people to know their physical limits and keep safety in mind when using a treadmill.

“On those days when you can’t walk or run outside due to heat, cold, or rain, treadmill exercise can offer the same benefits plus the added benefit of being able to add hill-specific workouts and pacing strategies,” advises Chris Eschbach, PhD, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

Treadmill Training and Safety Tips

Exercise can help you lose weight, make your bones and muscles stronger, relieve depression

Can Exercise Control Back Pain

gjnhgkhjkMost people know regular exercise will improve their appearance and general health, but few realize the positive effects that good physical conditioning can have on their low back pain. Many studies show dramatic improvements of low back pain in individuals who are physically fit. In addition, the person in good physical shape is much less likely than the average person to injure their back during work or daily activities.

The benefit of exercise for your low back depends on three key principles. First, you must attain satisfactory aerobic fitness. Second, you should focus part of your work-out on the muscle groups that support your back. Third, you must avoid exercises that place excessive stresses on your back.

The ideal aerobic exercise involves the large muscle groups of your body (arms and legs) in a smooth, cyclical fashion. Recommended exercises include swimming, fast walking, cycling, and using a ski machine or elliptical exerciser. You should achieve the appropriate heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week. Of course, you should consult your family physician and review your aerobic program before getting started.

Fitness May Lower Death Risk Even Without Weight Loss

gfznjyhkjA man’s fitness level may be more important for his overall health than his body weight, a novel finding that runs counter to conventional wisdom.

A new study appearing online Dec. 5 in the journal Circulation finds that improving or even just maintaining your fitness level can help you live longer, regardless of whether your body weight has stayed the same or even gone up.

“We all tend to assume that it’s weight loss and obesity and seeing a change in pounds that is having the true effect on overall cardiovascular disease and, ultimately, mortality,” said Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “For these researchers to draw the conclusion that really it’s fitness that may have more of an impact than seeing actual changes in pounds, that’s big news.”

Narula was not involved with the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Coca-Cola Co.

Given that two-thirds of the U.S. population are overweight or obese, the observation could change the way millions approach health.

Strength of brain connectivity varies with fitness level in older adults

A new study shows that age-related differences in brain health — specifically the strength of connections between different regions of the brain — vary with fitness level in older adults. The findings suggest that greater cardiorespiratory fitness — a measure of aerobic endurance — relates to stronger brain connections and likely improves long-term brain function in aging populations.

The study results are reported in the journal NeuroImage.

Michelle Voss led the study while a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois with Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer and kinesiology and community health professor Edward McAuley. Voss now is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa.

“Our study provides the strongest evidence to date that fitness in an older adult population can have substantial benefits to brain health in terms of the functional connections of different regions of the brain,” Kramer said.

There are many ways to measure brain health across the lifespan. One popular technique measures the strength of connections between different parts of the brain while the person is completing a task or during wakeful rest. The latter is known as resting-state functional connectivity. Research has shown that some of these connections weaken with increasing age and indicate deteriorating

Guidelines For Beginning Fitness

So you weigh yourself on the scales and realizethat you have to do something or you’re not going to be able to zip your jeans up soon. You want to start a fitness plan. These suggestions are valuable in beginning your fitness plan safely.

Seek the Advice of Your Doctor

Before you start any fitness plan, verify with your physician. Your physician knows what your overall health level is at and will tell you what workouts you can and shouldn’t do. Comply with your medical doctor’s guidance.

Begin Slowly

Professional athletes did not begin out that way. They started gradually and worked their way up to exactly where they are at nowadays. You are required to begin your new exercising routine gradually and work your way up as well. Practice to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries.

Invite a Friend

It is challenging to commit oneself to a fitness routine. Grab a buddy and you are going to be far more most likely to continue with your routine and stick it out. Your buddy can act as your accountability partner and you can act as your pals -partner. Working out with each other can each make it through.


When beginning your fitness routine one of

Cardio Fitness Equipment How to Select The Best Cardio Workout Equipment

Many people today are looking to cardio fitness equipment to accomplish their workout goals. Everyone wants the “best” machine to burn the most calories in the least amount of time.

To accomplish this goal, users often evaluate and try multiple pieces of equipment. But, instead of looking for the top solution, you should realize it’s often not the choice of cardio fitness equipment but the workout intensity that will deliver the best results.

Results from Interval Training

Users often use interval training to maximize cardio sessions. Interval training refers to breaking up your workout session with alternate periods of high-intensity. Instead of jumping on a treadmill, for example, and walking at one speed for 30 minutes, you’d break up your walk with short, more intensive spurts of walking fast or running.

It’s important to include a recovery period after the high-intensity period. Different approaches to interval training might include different exercise to recovery ratios. In other words, a one-to-one ratio would mean you run for two minutes on a treadmill and walk for two minutes.

Everyone, from professional athletes to novices, can use interval training to help jump-start workouts and get quicker results from their cardio fitness equipment. You can adjust your exercise to recovery

Why Does My Face Flush When I Exercise

The first thing you can do about it is relax! There’s nothing wrong with getting red — or even fuschia — in the face.

When you exercise, capillaries in your face and throughout your body dilate and blood flows through them in an effort to move the heat your body is generating to the skin’s surface, where it can be radiated off. This effort helps to keep you cool while you work out, but it can also make your skin look flushed — especially in the face.

“Patients who get pink in the face following exercise usually have more superficial blood vessels in the skin of the cheeks and chin,” Dr. James Marotta, a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon in practice in Long Island, NY tells HuffPost Healthy Living. “The result is that temporarily more blood is flowing through these superficial vessels resulting in a pink or ruddy complexion.”

But Dr. Naila Malik, a dermatologist in practice

The Three Best Exercises for Sleek Summer Arms

After a chubby tummy and thick thighs, flabby upper arms are the next most-hated body part on the list for many women.

And while we don’t condone keeping a list of body parts you’d like to change, we do have some good news about your arms. Because your body stores less fat in your arms than in other spots, it’s relatively easy to change their shape for the better. This means that though June is upon us, if you eat well and perform fat-burning cardio exercises, you still have time to be strutting your stuff in tank tops and strapless dresses well before Labor Day.

How to Tone Your Arms

To find the most effective exercises to tone your upper arms, the fitness experts at the American Council on Exercise turned to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, to determine which moves target triceps most effectively. Researchers tested eight triceps exercises on 15 healthy females between the ages of 20 and 24. All participants had previous weight-training experience to ensure the use of proper form.

Participants lifted 70 percent of their one-rep max seven

Smart Fitness

As it happens, many if not most of the boomeritis complaints I see in my office, including rotator cuff injuries and low-back pain, aren’t the result of sports injuries. Rather, they occur in people who are just going about daily chores, like bending over to strap a child into a car seat or picking up a bag of groceries. While some of these injuries are simply the result of weak core muscles and poor flexibility, I also see these problems occurring in the fittest of my patients — or at least the ones that look to be the fittest.

This gets me to another important point. Many people who think they’re doing smart workouts may be doing themselves more harm than good. Conventional strength training, sometimes called classic gym, can be counterproductive because it tends to isolate muscle groups and train them in a manner that is not naturally functional. In other words, the workout does not mimic everyday human activities, and it usually neglects the core muscles. The result is muscles that may look good in the mirror or on the beach but aren’t much help when it comes to injury prevention or performing active sports

How to Exercise With Health Conditions

There are many benefits to be gained from regular exercise. It can lower blood pressure, improve heart function and blood sugar control, alleviate depression, ensure good sleep, decrease risk of cancer, and help manage weight, says Susan Joy, MD, director of the Women’s Sports Health Program at the Cleveland Clinic.

Exercise Benefits for Every Body
Those benefits aren’t limited to people who are able to exercise strenuously. Even a little bit of daily walking and physical activity has health benefits. As Dr. Joy says, “Physical activity is something everybody should build in, pretty much no matter what your health.” People of all ages and levels of fitness can benefit from regular physical activity done at a moderate level of intensity.

If you have a disability, regular exercise may improve your ability to do everyday tasks. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established physical activity guidelines for adults with disabilities, recommending at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity, as well as muscle-strengthening activities, when possible.

When to Talk With Your Doctor Before Exercising
If you’re under age 35 and in good health, it’s generally agreed that you can

The Many Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai chi, or “moving meditation,” is a slow, graceful, and relaxed series of movements that combines aerobics, flexibility, balance, and weight-bearing exercise with deep breathing and meditation. Tai chi dates back to 12th century China and it is believed that the Taoist monk Chang San-Feng developed the practice as a martial art form. It is said that the movements were derived from observing a snake and a crane in battle. Chang San-Feng believed that these creatures were the ones most able to overcome a stronger opponent.

Tai chi has grown in popularity in the United States as a safe, low-impact exercise that can be practiced alone or in a group. Many practitioners of tai chi believe that it improves their fitness level, physical health, and emotional well-being.

A review, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, that looked at 47 studies on the effects of tai chi, concluded that this ancient Chinese discipline has physical and psychological benefits. The authors stated that tai chi is safe and effective in promoting balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, and is particularly valuable for older people with chronic health conditions.

The Flow of Life Energy

Tai chi

Exercise Controls Weight in White Girls Better Than in Black Girls

Exercise appears less likely to prevent obesity among black teenage girls than their white peers, a new study shows.

British researchers who gauged the effect of exercise on more than 1,100 girls, aged 12 to 14, surmised that black teen girls may be less sensitive than white teen girls to the effects of physical activity to prevent obesity.

“Higher levels of physical activity were associated with lower risk of obesity among white girls but not among black girls,” wrote study authors James White and Russell Jago.

This is of concern because obesity rates are increasing at a greater rate among black teen girls than other U.S. youths, putting them at greater risk for heart disease, according to background information in the study. Black American girls were 80 percent more likely than white girls to be overweight in 2007-2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health reported. And about four out of five black American women are overweight or obese.

Sitting Can Kill Even If You Exercise

Even women who meet the national physical activity guidelines still sit far too much to be healthy, concludes a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

The federal government and the American Heart Association recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week for all adults. Recent guidelines also suggest two strength-training sessions per week.

In the study, 100 women between the ages of 40 and 75 recorded their physical activity, including time spent sitting and walking. (None of the women had any physical conditions preventing them from exercising.) Regardless of the amount of time each woman spent working out, they all spent about the same amount of time sitting — more than 60 percent of their day.

There was no difference in sitting time between the women who met or exceeded the weekly exercise recommendations and the most inactive women, researchers reported in the study. Even the women who exercised more than 450 minutes a week still sat for more than nine hours a day.

This indicates that “almost every sector of our society

Quick Fixes for Sore Muscles

There’s nothing like the sense of satisfaction (and the sensation of all those endorphins) after a tough workout. But as you trudge home from the gym, you know something else is probably coming, too — muscle soreness. “Fitness-related muscle soreness is so common it has a name, delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS,” says Samantha Clayton, ACE- and AFAA-certified personal trainer, Olympic sprinter, and women’s sprints coach at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. “DOMS sets in a day or two following a strenuous fitness routine and is caused by microscopic tears within the muscle tissue created during your intense exercise activity.” This bittersweet reminder of how hard you pushed yourself actually serves a biological purpose during the workout recovery period. “Your body responds with pain so you don’t over-train while it heals itself,” Clayton explains.

If you have drastically changed your workout routine or amped up the volume or intensity of your fitness regimen, DOMS can’t be avoided, but there are some simple treatments that can help lessen the blow and help you feel better, faster. Try these tips to bounce back with ease.

Sore Muscle Treatments: During Your Workout

The best way to prevent soreness

A Simple Kettlebell Workout for Beginners

Originally from Russia, kettlebells — those rubber-covered metal weights with handles found in the free-weights section of most gyms — are gaining popularity in the United States, thanks to their ability to torch calories and increase strength in short order.

“Kettlebells are an effective fitness exercise because you’re using your whole body in interval-training fashion,” says Mark Reifkind, owner of Girya Russian Kettlebells in Palo Alto, Calif. Interval training is exercise that alternates between spurts of intense exercise to get your heart rate way up for a short time and more moderately paced intervals to bring it back down. Numerous studies have found that these short burst of intensity can do more to increase your strength, endurance, and calorie burn than longer periods of more moderate exercise.

It’s best to receive hands-on kettlebell instruction for your first time, but if you do want to try it on your own and your doctor has approved you for exercise, get started with these nine total-body toning moves.

Russian Swing

This beginner’s move is from Jeff Martone, author of Kettlebell Rx, a 300-page step-by-step guide to using kettlebells.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Center

Heart Friendly Exercise Advice

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, so becoming just a little more active can decrease your heart disease risk and increase your longevity. If you’re worried you’re too out of shape to get started, don’t be. “It’s more dangerous to remain sedentary than to start an exercise program,” says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, director of the cardiac rehabilitation program and exercise laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

Don’t think, though, that you have to become a marathoner to see such benefits. “Small increases in cardiovascular fitness through short bouts of exercise can lead to significant improvements in the health of your heart,” Franklin says, adding that physically active individuals experience up to a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack.

But what sort of exercise is best? Experts say you need two types: aerobic exercise and strength training.

Aerobic Exercise for Heart Health

Although aerobic exercise can include bicycling, swimming, jogging, and aerobic classes, walking may be one of the best activities. That’s because you can do it anywhere, and you need little equipment outside of a good pair of shoes.


Measuring Your Personal Fitness Level

Evaluating your fitness level is not a one-size-fits-all process. Differences in lifestyle, muscle tissue, genetic makeup, and overall health all help determine your personal fitness level.

“It is an individual measurement that is not always dependent on how much physical activity you do,” notes Jim Pivarnik, PhD, president of the American College of Sports Medicine and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health at Michigan State University in East Lansing .

So how can you tell if your exercise and healthy diet habits are paying off? There are several ways to measure your fitness level.

The Five Components of Fitness

“Measuring fitness is multi-dimensional,” explains Pivarnik. “Long-distance runners have excellent cardiovascular health, but if all you are is legs and lungs, you won’t have a lot of strength or flexibility. By the same measure, someone who is overweight and aerobically fit is healthier than someone who is in the normal weight range but doesn’t exercise.”

Overall physical fitness is said to consist of five different elements:

  1. Aerobic or cardiovascular endurance
  2. Muscular strength
  3. Muscular endurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Body composition

‘Dance Walk’ Your Way to Fitness, Baby

And what is that, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like: It’s dancing your way down the street to boost your calorie burn, have fun, and ideally, start a dance-walking revolution. That was the comedic goal of New York Live news personality Ben Aaron, who posted the video on YouTube last week, and it’s since become a reality. Since its posting, it has received more than 2 million views on YouTube and Facebook, generated dozens of copycat videos, and thanks to people all over the world who are organizing Dance Walking Groups for charity and fitness, turned into a full-fledged meme.

According to the outpouring of enthusiasm on Aaron’s Facebook fan page, people are starting dance-walking events to raise money for charities, encourage physical activity in schools, and more. Here are just a smattering of comments from Facebook:

“We’re going to Dance Walk for children with cancer through The Ashley Lauren Foundation in New Jersey,” Moncia Vermeulen wrote.

“Just started up a group here in Norway. First session is today!” commented Evy-Ann Valen.

“I now require this at my 35-employee company. If you walk by my office, you have to be Dance Walking!”

How Fit Are You

You owe it to yourself to make fitness a priority. Physical fitness can help prevent more than 40 chronic diseases including potential killers such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and even cancer.

But how do you know whether you’re fit? Your overall fitness is a measure of four physical abilities — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility — and body composition or body mass index (BMI). BMI tracks height and weight only while a body composition test, which calculates your fat and lean muscle mass, is an excellent indicator of overall fitness. For a more hands-on approach, try these personal trainer-approved fitness tests to see how you stack up.

Endurance and Cardiovascular Fitness Tests

Your endurance level reflects the health of your cardiovascular system — your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.

The VO2 Max Test: When you exercise intensely, you’ll eventually reach a point when your body cannot breathe any harder to keep up. That’s your VO2 max — the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). The more oxygen that circulates throughout your body when you exercise, the fitter you are. This is a test endurance exercisers might want to determine how much oxygen they use during

Surf More to Improve Your Fitness

Is your Pinterest filled with images of your fitness role models? Your inbox jammed with healthy living email newsletters? Your web browser’s bookmark bar flagged with your favorite fitness blogs? (Or is that just us?)

Good. Keep it up. All that surfing can pay off healthwise.

If you’re an online fitness fanatic who loves looking at new workouts, catching up with fitness and weight loss blogs, or drooling over healthy recipes like we do, it could help. Even if you don’t always read those bookmarked links and rarely do the workouts you peruse online, this Internet habit can inspire physical fitness in the real world, a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found.

Online fitness information has a positive if small effect on physical activity and fitness, researchers concluded after an analysis of 34 previous studies, particularly for short-term behavior changes. Different types of online intervention — whether it was an email newsletter, an online weight-loss community, an informational web page, or a combination of the three — all increased physical activity in participants. Sedentary or insufficiently active study volunteers became proportionally more active after receiving online fitness information than already active participants.

Here are more keys to transforming from an online fitness junkie to a real-life