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People Exercising Less in Bad Economy

As goes the economy, so goes the exercise habits of U.S. citizens. According to a Gallup poll, Americans started to let their fitness activities go by the wayside in the fall of 2008. While there was a partial rebound in 2010, exercise levels are still not what they were before they fell.

Gallup based their findings on information gathered from 1,000 adults on their exercise habits. Of those who were polled, 53.4 percent said they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week. That was down from 54.3 percent in the same month in 2008.

While that doesn’t seem significant, since the margin of error for the study was one percent, it was more significant with older Americans. The group that saw the biggest decrease in exercise was the 65 years and older group. Less than 50 percent of them said they exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days a week.
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The Ultimate Workout on the Go

J.J. Kunkle is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and owner of The Fit Life, LLC in Bellbrook, Ohio. She never leaves home without her running shoes and shorts.

“I couldn’t workout out last week; I was on a business trip. The hotel didn’t have a gym!” I’ve heard it a thousand times from my clients and friends—an excuse to get off track and break the exercise habit.

Travel is the worst time to skip your workouts, because most likely you are eating out for every meal, consuming way more calories than normal. So I make sure my clients are armed with an easy, quick travel workout that can be done anywhere!


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Exercises That are a Complete Waste of Your Time

I want to start this out by saying, that in no way is exercise ever pointless or a waste of time. Something is always better than nothing and any amount of exercise should be celebrated.

That being said, there are a lot of “classic” exercises people stick to that really aren’t doing much for your fitness- either because there is a more effective way to work the same muscles, or the exercise you think is hitting certain areas really isn’t hitting anything at all.

People get a little prickly when you tell them their tried and true favorite anything isn’t working for them- but especially when it comes to messing with someone’s health routine. In fact, in the American Council on Exercise personal training certification manual it flat out tells you if someone isn’t going to hurt themselves, either with exercise or nutritionally, like in the case of supplements and vitamins, let ‘em be. It’s better to not turn anyone off of diet and exercise than try to be right if it really isn’t life and death.

So, just for fun, let’s take a look at some exercises that people waste a lot of time on, and how it could be better spent in the pursuit of fitness.


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P90X Fitness Assessment Tracks All Areas of Health

The reason anyone starts a fitness program is to see results, and the only way to know how far you’ve come is by knowing where you started.

P90X, the popular extreme home fitness program, understands the importance of tracking all indicators of fitness.

Instead of just tracking weight or measurements, P90X has an intensive Fitness Assessment that tracks your weight, measurements, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular capacity every step of the way.

The P90X program is split into three phases, 30 days each, and at the end of each phase, you will retest to see how much your health has improved. The first test is done before the first P90X workout so you know your baseline of fitness.


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Use Your Body Weight as Effective Fitness Equipment

Body weight exercises are an effective and inexpensive way of working out. By using only the resistance of your own body, you can gain strength, endurance and inner peace. Body weight exercises are great because you can get an effective workout anytime, any place, with no equipment. Walking, swimming, dancing and yoga are all considered body weight exercises. While I encourage you to explore those, here are a couple specific body weight exercises to try out:

The Superman Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched, with a neutral spine so your elbows are by ears. Contracting your lower back, gently lift your arms and legs off the ground, hold for a few breaths, and slowly release them back to the floor. Repeat. This exercise works your lower back and core.
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