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4 Effective Stretches for Leg Day

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By Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD and Anne Talbot-Kleeman, RN, Certified Fitness Professional for TheDoctorsWorkout.com.

Leg stretches are an essential way to maintain flexibility and avoid common lower body injuries. If you enjoy biking or jogging, it is especially important to pay attention to protecting the commonly injured areas such as the hips, knees, and ankles, resulting in injuries like hamstring strain, calf strain, patellar tendinitis, and Achilles tendinitis. These injuries can best be prevented by a dynamic warm-up and saving stretching exercises to follow your exercise once the muscles are warmed up. Here are a few of the most effective leg stretches:

HAMSTRING STRETCH

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This important stretch can be done in several positions. One technique involves standing on one leg while putting your heel on an elevated surface like a bench or chair. Keep the elevated leg straight and lean into the knee, bending at the waist. You will feel the pull in your hamstring. Hold the position for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Another way to do the stretch is to lay on your back with one leg straight out on the floor and the other flexed 90 degrees at the hip, knee straight using a towel around the foot or ankle.
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The Amish Aren’t as Fit and Healthy as You Might Think

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By Valerie Orsoni, founder of LeBootcamp

For an Amish farmer, there’s no need for an intense fitness class! Harnessing the horses, pushing the plow, walking to and from the fields, and carrying heavy loads keeps them in perfect shape. Traditionally, those who work on a farm are fit. However, due to skyrocketing land prices, more and more Amish have to get a regular factory job (in fact, only 10% of Amish households receive their main income from farming). The health results are evident.

I just spent a month visiting an Amish farm and observing the lifestyle for myself. The early assumption would be that we’d find a healthful community, but the reality is that, in many ways, they aren’t.

The rigorous exercise and daily fitness demands of farming are waning. The men are, growing softer, if you will.

Women in this community are usually on the heavier side since they are less intensively active, though they do walk more than the average American woman and are constantly moving around in general. Social activities like canning and quilting keep them busy. Just as in our modern society, those social times always lead to a high consumption of treats and goodies, adding to the expanded waistlines.
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Announcing the Launch of Our Guest Editor Series with Fitness Personality Dempsey Marks

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The Inspiring Fitness Expert and Yoga Instructor Will Share Tips, Workouts, Recipes And Motivational Content Every Week In August

Today we announce the kick off of a brand new guest editor series with brand new, exclusive content through the month of August from rising fitness star and yoga instructor Dempsey Marks, of DempseyFIT.com. Each week, Dempsey will deliver her spirited expertise to our readers, sharing her passion for healthy living in a way only she can.

Every Monday, Marks will provide simple, effective, informative ways to incorporate more activity into your life. Be it fun new ideas for the coziest of couch potatoes or a new workout to free you from a boring routine, Dempsey’s got you covered. With her passion for a healthy lifestyle, her healthy addiction to endorphins and her realistic approach to fitness, Dempsey is just what more Americans need in their lives, and DietsinReview.com is the ideal platform for her to share her message.

“We’re really excited to kick off our guest editor series with Dempsey,” said Brandi Koskie, managing editor for DietsinReview.com. “She has an incredible, inspiring personal story and is a great fit for us.  We know our loyal readers have a lot to gain from her unique blend of personal experience, credentialed expertise and vibrant personality.”
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Why is Everyone So Terrified to Eat Bananas? A Dietitian Peels Back the Truth

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by Amy Margulies, lead registered dietitian for Retrofit

You’ve probably heard people talking, or read articles online, about why eating bananas is bad for you nutritionally and can impede weight loss. While some people insist that bananas are just fine, others are convinced this is a fruit you should stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight – and many do, just in case the rumors are true. But what’s the real deal with bananas? It’s time to peel open this myth.

What the critics are saying

The controversy started with Dr. Susanna Holt, an Australian researcher who developed the Satiety Index, a way to evaluate how full different foods make you feel. “We found that bananas are much less satisfying than oranges or apples,” Holt stated at the conclusion of the satiety study.

Bananas are generally higher in calories from carbs than most fruits. So for those who are counting calories, this may seem like a poor choice for a snack. People have also observed that bananas cause a “binding” effect, or put more simply, they cause constipation. That’s something you don’t want when you look to the scale for signs of progress.
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5 Non-Crunch Ways to Build Your Core (and Not Kill Your Neck)

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I don’t like crunches. They hurt my neck. No matter how hard I focus on keeping my eyes up and my chin off my chest, I still feel my neck is getting more of a workout than my abs.

That’s why crunches don’t appear often in my (or my clients’) workouts. I don’t ignore the core however. It is the foundation of our body and functional movement. I just choose to train it other ways.

There are plenty of non-crunch techniques to help you develop your core. If you have low back issues or simply don’t want a pain in the neck, try one of these ways to build a strong and stable core.

1. Planks: I love ab holds and high planks, but they can get boring after awhile. Once a client can maintain an ab hold for 60 seconds, I move on to more challenging plank variations. To take your plank to the next level, try one of these.

  • Stability ball plank: Place your forearms on a stability ball and toes on the ground. Hold for up to 90 seconds.
  • Plank slides: I love Valslides for core work! Place one Valslide under each hand while in high plank position. Alternating pushing arms forward and back, about 6 inches away from your body, for 12 reps per side.
  • Body Saw: Take your plank to a new level by keeping your forearms on the ground but place your feet in suspension trainers that are hanging about 10 – 12 inches from the ground. Move forward and back for 10-15 repetitions.
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