Every body is different, so to come up with fitness guidelines that work for everyone is tough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the minimum recommended amount of exercise for a healthy adult is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week and this 30 minute guideline is the one that fitness experts use as a baseline to ensure exercisers are working hard enough to see results, especially beginners who are new to exercise. But what does that actually mean, and how do you know if you are doing enough?
The 30 minute rule refers to cardiovascular exercise (running, walking, biking, etc.) as the guidelines for strength training are working your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week, on nonconsecutive days. Your strength training, however, can work into your 30 minute rule as long your intensity is high enough. (More on that later.)
The 30 minute rule sounds pretty cut and dry, but you actually have a lot of leeway. Most days of the week means 4-6, as everyone needs at least one rest day per week, but you can play with the 30 minute recommendation. Those 30 minutes can be done all in one shot, or you can break it up through out the day. Two 15 minute sessions, or three 10 minute sessions are shown to be just as effective, but it is not recommended to do anything shorter than 10 minutes for the full benefits.
Those minutes don’t mean much, however, if you aren’t making them count, which brings us to your intensity level. Intensity is a little more subjective, but the most important component to seeing results.
After a string unsuccessful celebrity diet spokespeople, from Carnie Wilson getting fired from Fresh Diet to Kirstie Alley yo-yoing after Jenny Craig, popular diet plans are getting a boost from slimmed down celebs that are keeping the weight off.
Jennifer Hudson has kept her weight off for more than a year with Weight Watchers and Janet Jackson is sporting a slimmer frame with the help of NutriSystem. Now, Jenny Craig’s newest celeb endorser Mariah Carey is a prime example the diet can work, landing the cover of SHAPE magazine’s May issue just months after giving birth to twins.
Mariah Carey has used Jenny Craig to lose an amazing 30 pounds, and gain some amazing abs, to boot. Carey credits her new diet for most of her transformation.
“I realize that 90 percent of losing weight is my diet,” Mariah said. “Today my workout routine is more about getting and staying toned. And for me, that means either taking hour-long walks a few times a week or jumping in the pool three or four days a week to do 45 minutes of aquatic exercises.”
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I have no children, but do have an adorable niece and nephew and love to hear stories about the sneaky little things they do to my sister to drive her insane. I remember not too long ago her telling me her son forgot his lunch, so she ran to school to drop it off a few minutes after the bell rang. Expecting to run it to his classroom, a teacher told her he was in the cafeteria. She walked in, found him at a table eating a doughnut off of a Styrofoam tray, and tapped him on the shoulder. She said when he turned around and saw her, he almost fell of his chair.
Turns out, for the past few months, he has been eating breakfast at home, then going to school and taking advantage of the free breakfast at school. Why? Because instead of a healthy well-balanced meal, they served maple bars and chocolate milk. Who could blame him?
This is just a cute story, one that we will tease him about for years to come, I’m sure, but my memory was jogged about it from a story I found in the New York Times.
According to the Times, there are many benefits to the free breakfast program. “The number of students in Newark who eat breakfast in school has tripled. Absenteeism has fallen in Los Angeles, and officials in Chicago say children from low-income families are eating healthier meals, more often.”
New York City, however, is wary to instill this program because they feel “double-dippers” will take advantage, and add to the obesity epidemic.
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Actress and former Sports Illustrated cover model Brooklyn Decker has to be in swimsuit shape year round, but most of us only start to think bikini when the weather starts heating up. You can use Decker’s fat-burning secrets to shape up fast and feel confident on the beach this summer.
Decker has always been very vocal about her health and fitness, admitting that while she is blessed with good genes, she really has to work to keep her body in top form. Busy just like any Hollywood actress, Decker fits in dancing, running, and kayaking as exercise. Married to tennis star Andy Roddick, Decker has an athlete’s mentality, focusing on how strong she feels as opposed to how thin she looks.
“She is very coordinated and likes to push,” says her trainer Jade Alexis, who also worked with Decker to produce a workout DVD for Elle Magazine. ”Brooklyn works hard and has fun while she’s at it.”
How can we learn from Decker’s routine? Alexis reveals that the secret to a strong, lean and feminine physique starts with a balanced, healthy diet.
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Cameron Diaz has always been known for her amazingly toned physique she credits to her love of outdoor sports like surfing, but it’s not secret that a healthy diet has a huge part to play as well.
Diaz, on the cover of the May issue of InStyle magazine, opened up in an interview about her new career aspiration: becoming a nutrition educator. While the actress plans to continue acting and producing, she wants to share her love of proper nutrition with the world.
“Everyone needs to find a purpose, and I think mine is to help other people,” Diaz said in her InStyle interview. ”This project is only in the blueprint stages, but I’m creating a space where I can teach healthy habits that girls can build on. I see women struggling with their bodies because they don’t know how they work on basic levels, starting with nutrition. The more I talk about this with people, the more I realize how much it’s needed. I’m really throwing all of my energy into it.”
Following in the foot steps of other eat-like-me celebs, Diaz may be setting herself up for a hard road ahead if she hopes to gain credibility. Like Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s GOOP newsletter has gained a cult like following as well as many critics, Diaz should prepare for eye rolls and “if I had a trainer and personal chef…” remarks.
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