29 posts tagged fitness
NYC-ers getting their sweat on on the West Side Highway along the Hudson #fitness (Taken with instagram)
May 2012 Issue out now!
On our cover: Brooklyn Decker. The star of the upcoming film “Battleship” shares her fitness secrets! p. 47
In This Issue:
+ 15-Minute Workout: Armed For Summer, p. 52
+ The Skinny on (Good) Fat, p. 79
+ Why You Should Try Trail Running, p. 58
+ Recipes from Giada De Laurentiis, p. 110
+ Toning and Stress-Relieving Yoga Poses from Kathryn Budig, p. 114
+ Hit the Farmer’s Market! Shopping Tips and Recipes, p. 103
+ Creative Beach Cover-Ups, p. 44
+ Meaning is the New Money: Why women are ditching traditional careers for more fulfilling gigs, p. 134
+ The Upside of Jealousy, p. 92
WEEKEND CHALLENGE: The V-Up
This weekend, we’re focusing on the core. Meet the V-Up! In the morning, afternoon, and night on Saturday and Sunday, do 3 sets of 8 reps of this challenging exercise.
If it’s too hard to do the regular version, check out the modification. If it’s too easy, hold a weight in your hands while performing the exercise.
Are you in?
New Power Pair: Yoga + Strength Training
By Jen Ator
The fitness world may have stumbled upon its new power couple: Yoga and weight lifting are emerging as complementary—not conflicting—practices.
This routine, created by New York City yoga instructor Kristin McGee, combines yoga postures and upper-body strength exercises into a fast-paced circuit. It’s easy to zone out during biceps curls, but adding the breathing and concentration of yoga brings a Zen-like focus to lifting, she says.
It also sculpts a more balanced body: “Yoga tends to emphasize pressing movements, like chaturanga, that work the muscles in the front of your body, but these combinations strengthen your back with rowing movements.”
Three times a week, grab a pair of three-to five-pound weights and move from one exercise to the next without rest.
By Rachel Cosgrove, CSCS, WH Exercise Science Expert
“I’ll come in tomorrow for an extra workout.” “I jog three miles every day.” “I’ve been doing five sets of 20 crunches every night before bed.”
These are all real quotes I have heard from women who, despite having the best of intentions, are sabotaging their fitness with bad (and common!) workout strategies.
Don’t make the same mistakes! Here, the three most common workout mistakes women make—and how to avoid them:
1. Thinking more is better
Many women actually work out too much. By completing workout after workout without allowing for recovery, your body never gets a chance to reboot and your workouts start to suffer in intensity as the week goes on, which leads to overtraining and lacking results. After as little as three consistent weeks without a break, burn out, staleness, and symptoms of overtraining will appear, leading to decreased results from your efforts, according to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
Instead, work out three to five days a week (performing two to three strength workouts and one to two cardio workouts). Give yourself at least one complete rest day, and switch up your workout between “hard” and “easy” days. That will help your body recover so you get the most from every workout. Work out less, recover, and get results. Done.
2. Staying in your comfort zone
Performing lots of repetitions with light weights and cardio at a steady, comfortable pace tends to be the exercise preference of most women. The problem is that your body will only change if you put a demand on it, taking it out of its comfort zone. Your body is a master adapter. When it gets used to a routine, it becomes more efficient, so it uses less energy. Translation: You burn fewer calories and build less muscle.
Learn to push harder, lift heavier, sprint at a max effort, and dig deep to really push your potential. Don’t be afraid to sweat.
3. Doing the same thing for too long
Your body is smart and is constantly figuring out what you are doing, adapting to whatever demands you put on it in about four to six weeks. So change things up! Studies have shown that doing the same workout over and over can lead to adaptation and, eventually, a plateau in results. Strength training scientists refer to this as the principle of diminishing returns, whereby the nervous system is no longer challenged to adapt.
If you have been running a lot, completely stop running and start lifting weights. If you have been taking spinning, stop spinning and run sprints at the track. Whatever you are doing, stop and do something your body isn’t used to. It is good to take a break from an activity so you can come back to it later as a new, challenging demand.
Boost your strength training: Take a fish oil supplement
The wonder capsules can maximize neuromuscular (aka muscle-building) responses to strength training, while also slowing and partially reversing some of the negative effects of aging, including loss of muscle mass, according to new research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers randomly assigned 45 women to either strength train for 90 days, strength train and take 2 grams of fish oil for 90 days, or to strength train and take fish oil for 150 days (they started taking fish oil 60 days prior to starting their strength training program).
Those who took the fish oil supplements saw the most improvement in muscle strength and functional capacity (how well you can perform tasks related to strength, endurance, speed and flexibility, such as how quickly you can get up from a chair). Interestingly, those who took the supplements for an extra 60 days prior to starting their training didn’t see any additional benefits over those who simply took the supplements for the 90 days during their training.
Researchers note that the fish oil supplement’s secret weapon is muscle-building omega-3 fatty acids, of which it packs plenty. Omega-3s aren’t just helpful when it comes to toning up. They have been shown to prevent diseases such as cancer, reduce inflammation, boost brain function, and even elevate mood.
If you’re not keen on fish oil, substitute it with krill oil or an algae-based omega-3 supplement for a muscle-building boost. Just make sure your supplement contains both DHA and EPA omega-3s. Try to get omega-3s from natural sources too! Salmon (go for the wild Alaskan stuff!), walnuts, tofu, and even some veggies like kale and winter squash all pack omega-3s.
Want to lose 5 pounds? Here’s your 4-week plan!
It’s the cruelest of weight-loss conundrums: The closer you get to your ideal weight, the tougher it is to reach it, says L.A.-based celebrity trainer Holly Perkins.
A surefire solution: plyometrics. These explosive moves are great muscle builders, get your heart rate up, and work multiple muscles at a time—all of which leads to an extreme calorie burn.
Print the lose 5 pounds plan and your 4-week training schedule! We tell you when to do strength training, when to do cardio, and when to rest. (You can get this handy PDF by scrolling to the bottom and following the directions to print.)
WH WEEKEND CHALLENGE
Does this sound like you? Healthy and on track Monday through Friday, then the weekend hits and…bam! Temptation (cocktails and calorie bombs) takes over, and your workout is left behind.
To help keep you on track, we’re giving you a simple challenge: Pushups.
Before every meal or snack this weekend, you need to drop and give us 3 sets of 10 pushups. If you’re eating out, you can do them at home first :) Are you in?
Workout Music: New Year, New Playlist!
While it’s true that listening to music can improve workout performance, it’s also very easy to get tired of your workout playlist and lose motivation.
Freshen up your music library with these 15 pop, dance, and hip-hop tracks! We put slower or more mellow songs in the beginning and left super-high energy tunes for the second half—it’s like a musical warmup.
We dare you to play these tunes and NOT get pumped up.
1. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People
2. Tongue Tied, Grouplove (You might recognize this one from a recent iPod commercial)
3. The Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine
4. Doo Wop (That Thing), Lauryn Hill
5. This Is The Remix, Girl Talk
6. We Found Love, Rihanna
7. Good Feeling, Flo Rida
8. Without You, David Guetta featuring Usher
9. Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
10. Forget You, Cee Lo Green
11. You Make Me Feel, Cobra Starship featuring Sabi
12. Where Them Girls At, David Guetta featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj
13. Give Me Everything, Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
14. B.O.B., Outkast
15. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Jet
Tell us: What are your favorite workout songs?
Photo: Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Gilt Groupe and Women’s Health are teaming up!
Do you get motivated by a new workout gear? So do we. “It gives you an instant confidence boost—and that confidence translates into being more engaged in your workout,” says WH Editor-in-Chief Michele Promaulayko.
That’s why, with the help of Gilt Groupe, she’s bringing you her fitness must-haves at up to 60-percent off retail! The sale will include items from Puma, SIGG, Beyond Yoga, and more! We’ll also share workout advice, abs exercises and ways to get organized.
Fashionable fitness will kick off with a WH Flash Sale January 6 – 8, with her favorite workout apparel and gear followed by a WH Clean Start Sale January 9 – 15. (And, no, we’re not taking a cut of apparel sales.) Note: if you’re not a member, Gilt will prompt you to join prior to shopping
Mark Your Calendar and Get Shopping!