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:
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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.” (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
By Dr. Tom Kleeman, an orthopedic surgeon and creator of MDFitness: The Doctors Workout, a 3-DVD workout available at TheDoctorsWorkout.com.
Your alarm goes off. You pry your eyes open, swing your legs over the side of the bed, and take those first morning steps. That’s when the real alarms go off. Your back and joints cry out in anguish. For a moment you are frozen like the rusty Tin Man wondering how to lubricate all of those joints. You remember reading somewhere that it was important to stretch in the morning, but what does that mean exactly?
For years static stretching has been the mainstay of the early morning routine. As it turns out, research doesn’t support a benefit from static stretching. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, has been shown to have many benefits including warming up your muscles, increasing blood flow, and jump-starting your metabolism. The idea is to obtain the most benefit in the least time using compound exercises that work multiple joints or muscle groups at the same time. Check out these four dynamic stretches and see for yourself. It’s like having a can of lubricating oil at your bedside.
High March with Arm Swings
This is a great beginning move. It’s easy on your joints while warming up both the upper and lower body. Start by marching in place bringing your knees up higher as your hips warm up. At the same time, stretch your arms out to the side and bring them forward wrapping them around your chest then back out in the tempo of the march. Keep going for about 30 seconds. This exercise gets your hips, shoulders, and chest warmed up and limber. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Craving a nice cold beverage to quench your thirst and beat the heat? Be careful what you reach for—some beverages can pack a pretty big caloric punch. In fact, some drinks can end up costing you more than a meal!
Take a look below to figure out how many calories some of your favorite drinks will set you back. All calorie information is based on an eight-ounce serving, unless noted.
Lemonade (powder mixed with water) – 40 calories
Sports Drink – 60-80 calories
Soda – 65-95 calories
Iced Tea – 90 calories
Light Beer – 100 calories per 12 ounces
Regular Beer – 150 calories per 12 ounces
Frozen Margarita – 226 calories per 10 ounces
Strawberry Daquiri/Pina Colada – 250 calories for 4.5 ounces
See the Calories in 4 More Popular Summer Cocktails
Of course, calories shouldn’t be the only thing you pay attention to. You should be on the lookout for artificial sweeteners, which are used to sweeten a beverage without adding any (or many) calories. These can be problematic because they may increase your cravings for sweet foods and interfere with your ability to appreciate naturally sweet foods. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
As I got the butter out from my fridge the other day, a friend of mine commented in surprise, “You eat butter?”.
She’s right to question. For years, there was no butter in my kitchen because it contains a lot of saturated fat, which nutrition scientists believed could lead to heart disease and possibly increase the risk for cancer and even dementia. But being a nutritionist, I keep up with the food research, and things change. I started thinking of how my diet has changed over the past decade, and here are the main shifts; the ways I changed my own diet for the better.
I ENJOY BUTTER. Even after margarine was exposed as a trans fat nightmare, I still avoided butter because 63 percent of the fat in butter is saturated. I went along with the scientific thinking: If you eat too much saturated fat, levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) rise, and people with higher LDL are more likely to develop heart disease. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Tomatoes are in season and we can’t think of a more versatile fruit (that’s right—this produce poser is not a vegetable). You can toss them into green or pasta salads, add them to sandwiches or wraps, or simply snack on them raw. And there are so many tasty tomato varieties—whether you choose cherry, go for grape, or prefer plum. They complement just about any other healthy food, including basil, cucumber, summer squash, beans, grains and more!
Need more reason to pick tomatoes? They’re a nutritional powerhouse—they’re a super source of vitamin C and they also contain antioxidants like lycopene, which can help protect against a variety of diseases.
Just keep in mind that tossing tomatoes in the fridge can cause them to lose flavor and texture; instead, store them at room temperature.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this tasty summer fruit. (more…)
Who isn’t amped from the excitement of watching our favorite teams compete in the World Cup? We can gain a lot from the drills and workouts of the athletes that compete in these invigorating games. From toning to cardiovascular improvement and weight loss, soccer players know how to gain the most out of a workout.
I’ve outlined five soccer workouts you can do at home with you and your children to get you to your own peak performance. Yes, even the busiest moms can train at home like a World Cup star!
Try these moves to get to the top of your game:
The Toe Tap
The point of this workout is to gain a cardio workout in a small amount of time. Just alternate placing your left toes on top of the ball, dropping your foot to the ground, then repeating with your right. 60 seconds of a soccer toe tap is enough to get your heart pumping. Try it out! (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
“Do you like cilantro?” was the subject line of an email I recently sent out to a few people coming to my home for dinner. A cilantro-hating ex-boyfriend taught me that when you dislike the herb, it’s with a passion. (To find out why, check out the “I hate cilantro” Facebook page with more than 13,000 likes, and the blog of the same name.)
If you fall into that camp, then you can stop reading now (or, continue, just to see what you’re missing). No matter how you feel about its taste, there’s no denying that nutritionally, it’s a bona fide super food. Here’s why:
- It’s very rich in carotenoids. This group of antioxidant phytonutrients is important for the skin and eyes, as well as overall health. When tested along with other common herbs (basil, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary), cilantro was the richest in beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- It may fight cancer. In test tube research at University of Malaya, ground up stems, leaves, and roots help kill breast cancer cells, a benefit that can be chalked up to cilantro’s plentiful carotenoids and other antioxidants. (more…)