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exercise habits

Hot Topic Tuesday: Should Your Doctor Give You an Exercise Rx?

Written on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 am , by

Take one dose of sweat five to six times each week. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Whether you’re looking to lose a few or not, we all know that exercise plays an important role in overall health, from lowering your blood pressure to decreasing your risk for diabetes. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey found that just one in three patients say that their doctors suggested that they exercise more or keep up with their fitness regimen during their checkups and office visits during the last year.

You know the drill: No matter what your visit is about, your M.D. will check your temperature, peek in your eyes and ears and take your pulse. But do you think it’s your doc’s responsibility to also check in on your exercise habits? And why don’t you think they talk more about physical activity now? (Could it be that they are worried about offending you, crunched with a full patient schedule or perhaps even they have difficulty squeezing in fitness during their packed days?)

Sound off in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Find Your Soul Mate Workout With Chalene Johnson

Written on February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm , by

Johnson can help you find the workout that's your perfect match. (Photo courtesy of Chalene Johnson)

Fifteen years ago, fitness and lifestyle coach Chalene Johnson enjoyed exercise but couldn’t find a workout that she loved so much she wouldn’t skip. So she created it! Turbokick, which is a mix of martial arts and hip-hop dancing, makes Johnson look forward to each sweat session. She says everyone can find the workout they love—and look forward to! It’s as easy as taking her “soul mate workout” inventory, which she shares in her new book Push, to find your perfect match.

“Just like finding your love soul mate is rewarding, discovering your workout soul mate changes your perspective on taking care of yourself,” Johnson told us. Rather than being a must-do, fitness will be a want-to-do!

Do you prefer exercise that is…

  • Indoors or outdoors?
  • Group or solo?
  • Dance or athletic?
  • Competitive or noncompetitive?
  • High-impact, low-impact or nonimpact?
  • With a soundtrack or set to silence?

Brainstorm activities that best fit your preferred criteria selected above. Then “date” these workouts by trying one new activity every week until you’ve given them all a shot. Don’t stress out about this, Johnson advises. “Even the worst dates teach you something about yourself,” she says. “And mistakes burn calories, too!” You should be able to find at least one new type of exercise that you enjoy. But if not, just expand the search and keep trying. (Need some inspiration? Here are 10 unique and fun options!)

Now tell us: What workouts do you look forward to the most?

Hey, Busy Bees! Quick Tips to Fit in Fitness

Written on November 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm , by

Dumbbell and Stopwatch

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

What’s the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. But if you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself. Also, remember that “working out” doesn’t have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up.

Here’s how to start fitting fitness into your busy life!

1. Be an active TV/Internet watcher. It’s unrealistic to never watch TV or to shun the Internet forever.  So when you do, try to incorporate some physical activity. When watching TV, make it a point to do some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. And instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball.

2. Mix socializing with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner or going to movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a beautiful Saturday morning or make a date with your significant other or best friend at a group exercise class.

3. Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it’s something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat. If you’re doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes.

4. Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it would you? Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize. So whether it’s scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss!

5. Say no. If you’ve gone through this entire list of tips and don’t think a single one will work in your life, then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there’s nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health!

Continued: 5 More Ideas for Fitting in Exercise

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What’s Your Exercise Quirk?

Written on August 15, 2011 at 10:26 am , by

Thank you iPod for playing Rihanna...again. (Photo courtesy of Peter Ardito)

The other day on my morning run a traumatic event happened. My headphones broke (gasp!). OK, so things could have been worse. I wasn’t suffering from any broken bones nor was I struck by a car, so in the grand scheme of things everything was just fine. But for anyone who heavily depends on their pump up playlist to get them through a run, bike, strength training session, etc., you know what a huge impact this has on your workout!

Finishing up sans tunes I realized that it’s not just music that keeps me going through my run, it’s certain songs. The playlist that I made when training for and doing the New York City Marathon last year is actually the only thing I listen to when I run. And I don’t even shuffle it! I’m at the point where I know exactly what song will play where, and what’s coming up next. Some would think this gets boring but for me, it’s my motivation.

After talking to a few friends, I realized that this might just be my exercise quirk — my must-have I need to have a successful workout. But I’m not alone. One friend of mine admitted to having a lucky sports bra that she wears for races while another pal has actually kicked someone off “her” bike in a Spinning class because she feels it gives her the best ride! Looks like I got off lucky, I’ll take a repetitive playlist over a cycling confrontation any day!

So tell us: Do you have an exercise quirk? What is it?