Tag Archives: Aerobic exercise

Living Fit Mommy: Killer Legs Take Time and Attention

While genetics can certainly play a role in how our gams look in a pair of Daisy Dukes, don’t forget that we actually play a pretty significant part in the process ourselves—muscular thighs and legs take focus and attention. You have to be willing to work every major leg group (from the quads to the hamstrings to the adductor and abductor muscles) if you hope to mold a masterpiece, and you also have to control your plate (a good diet is a definite must if you want to keep the fat at bay and the muscles at play).

Use heavier weights to add a challenge to basic squat and lunge moves, as well as to increase strength; lunges are definitely a girls best friend—even when they’re leaving a soreness like no other a day or two later—so be sure to incorporate plenty of them on leg day.

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LFM: New Cancer Research States Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Risk

A new report released by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) states that a large number of cancers can be prevented by making specific changes to one’s lifestyle and diet.

Many factors that increase the risk of developing cancer
are related to lifestyle; thus, adopting a healthy approach to
living, where possible, can eliminate or reduce the risk of
some cancers (see Figure 5, p. 15). Moreover, many healthy
approaches to living can also reduce cancer recurrence and
improve outcomes following a cancer diagnosis. However,
a great deal more research and many more resources are
needed to understand how best to help individuals change
their lifestyle.

Some of those changes include quitting smoking (increases risk by 33%), eating a diet consisting of less processed foods (increases risk by 5% ), maintaining a low Body Mass Index (being overweight or obese increases the risk by 20%) , maintaing a consistent exercise regimen (a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk by 5%), and limiting direct exposure to UV rays (tanning beds and sun exposure without proper protection can increase the risk by 2%). Other risk factors can are shown on the chart below:

American Association for Cancer Research

So, what can you do to lower your risk? A healthy diet and regular exercise are certainly a great place to start. Diets that are lower in processed foods, and are more focused on plant-based eating, tend to be the most successful at maintaining a low Body Mass Index (BMI)—those who have high BMI (25 and above)—and lead sedentary lifestyles are at a greater risk than those who are active and incorporate weight/strength training into their weekly regimen.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults exercise a minimum of 150 minutes/week—more if possible.

Key Guidelines for Adults

  • All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

  • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

  • For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.

  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

While there are no guarantees—and, clearly there are plenty of stories of healthy, strong, and active individuals being diagnosed with cancer—the focus here should be on taking measures to try, as best you can, to lower/prevent your risk of being diagnosed with some cancers.

 

 

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Living Fit Mommy: You Have to Step It Up

You want to know the key to torching calories and training your body to burn long after that last set is complete? High-Intensity Interval Training.

Now, I don’t want to lose or bore you with a bunch of scientific jargon about how the inclusion of such training can improve your VO2 Max and up your overall level of performance—but if you’re interested in all of that, feel free to look here—so I’m going to keep it simple and just get straight to the point: if you want to get more from your workouts and become a more fit individual, you have to work harder.

Here’s the thing: the reason so many people have had success on programs like P90x, TurboFire and Insanity is because those programs rely heavily on the concept of giving maximum effort for  prolonged periods of time. That’s the only way to jolt your body into making the necessary adjustments it takes to keep up with the blood and oxygen flow you’re suddenly using in droves; that, in turn, leads to an increase in calories burned and a more aerobically fit body.

But, you don’t have to spend $100+ to get those results. You just need to dedicate yourself to doing more than the status quo. Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone and truly see what your body can do; if you’re not drenched in sweat and completely breathless at the end of your routine, you aren’t doing enough—I’m just being honest.

Now, there are exceptions, of course. If you’re an Olympic lifter, you won’t necessarily take this approach, but most people aren’t incorporating heavy lifting into their regimen, they’re just trying to lose weight. If the latter sounds like you, then I recommend investing in a heart rate monitor and seeing just how much effort you’re really expending during your 30-60 minute jaunt in the gym—the results may surprise you—and go from there.

And, if you want to know your current aerobic fitness level, here’s a nifty little calculator.

 

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