Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
It's a familiar story: You pledge to honor a daily elliptical routine and count every last calorie. But soon, you're eating cupcakes at the office and grabbing happy hour mojitos, thinking, Oops, diet over.
There is a better way: Swap the all-or-nothing approach for one or two healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. "Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined," says Marissa Lippert, R.D., author of The Cheater's Diet.
In fact, we talked to readers who knocked off 10, 25, even 60 pounds with some easy tweaks. Borrow their slim-down secrets to transform your body the real-world way.
Swap your go-to order"I used to eat out at restaurants up to nine times a week! By cutting back to just once a week and ordering a grilled chicken salad instead of a large bowl of pasta, I've lost 20 pounds in one month." —Kerri Butler, Joplin, MO
Health.com: 25 ways to cut 500 calories a day
Skip the salty aisle"I reached my goal weight after I stopped routinely buying snacks at the grocery store. If I wanted a bag of chips or a candy bar, I had to walk to the store to get it. That inconvenience usually made me ignore my cravings." —Heather Del Baso, Worcester, MA
Run your butt off"When I wanted to fit into my skinny jeans again, I started running 20 minutes a day during my lunch hour. In two months, I've lost 20 pounds, have tons of energy, and just finished my first 5K. Those jeans? They're too big now!" —Lauren Castor, Anniston, AL
Pile on the veggies"By adding vegetables to the foods I love—like eating pizza topped with arugula and green peppers instead of pepperoni—I became so full so quickly that I no longer had room to eat things like chips or super-rich desserts. I said good-bye to four dress sizes!" —Janessa Mondestin, New York City, NY
Health.com: Best superfoods for weight loss
Brave a new class"Two months ago, I started going to Zumba twice a week. The crazy dance routines really tone your muscles—especially legs and abs—and give you a heart-pounding cardio workout. Eleven pounds later, I've almost reached my goal weight." —Morgan Howe, Rochester, NY
Nix nighttime eating"Each time I needed to lose the baby weight, I stopped eating after 6:30 p.m. five nights a week. The other two evenings were reserved for nights out. Most of what I'd eat at night was junk food anyway, so it took only two months to get my pre-baby body back." —Deborah Gilboa, Pittsburgh, PA
Have a 300-calorie breakfast"I used to skip breakfast, but now I never go without. I always eat about 300 calories of a healthy mix of protein and whole grains. My go-to meal: a sandwich with natural peanut butter and apple butter. It keeps my hunger down so I snack less throughout the day. In a little over a year, I've shed 65 pounds." —Bo Hale, Tulsa, OK
Health.com: 7 breakfasts under 300 calories
Save room for your dessert"I budget for the treats I love. By eating healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, I have calories to splurge on a piece of chocolate and glass of wine each night. And I've still managed to lose 20 pounds in three months." —Elaine Higginbotham, Fort Worth, TX
Get fired up"I loaded my iPod with jams that make me look forward to going to the gym. They energize me, allowing me to pick up speed on the elliptical—and because I want to hear my entire playlist, my workouts are longer now. Two months later, I'm down 13 pounds and have killer legs." —Kara Marshall, York, ME
Kick the habit"I quit smoking, and right away joined a gym and started working out with a personal trainer. There was no way I could exercise and feel healthy if I kept lighting up. I've already dropped 37 pounds in three months!" —Leila Fathi, Memphis, TN
Health.com: Kick the habit without gaining a pound
Do a purge"I totally cleaned out my pantry. Once I replaced the foods I used to overindulge in, like ice cream, with lower-cal snacks, such as roasted sunflower seeds or Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal, I began making better choices automatically. Now, I'm slimmer than I was before I had my two kids!" —Lori Feldman, Coconut Creek, FL
Get fit in five"I try to fit in small bouts of exercise whenever possible, like doing jumping jacks or crunches during television commercials or dancing while washing dishes. This burns extra calories and keeps me from mindlessly munching in front of the TV. Now my clothes fit way better, and I'm more toned than ever." —Megan Tiscareno, Hammond, IN
Don't supersize it"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
Health.com: America's healthiest fast food restaurants
Downward dog it"Yoga has become the best thing for my relationship with food and my body. From practicing it several times a week, I'm now more in touch with my hunger cues—so I eat intuitively and stop when I'm full. I've gone down a jeans size, and my cellulite has disappeared!" —Jessica Nicklos, Morgantown, WV
Healthy up your happy hour"After work, my colleagues and I always grabbed dinner—and it was usually deep-fried. Then we changed things up. Instead of nights out, we started walking and running around a local track. A year later, I'm down 40 pounds." —Ellen Setzer, Cleveland, OH
Walk with spot"My dog and I go for a walk every day, even if it's for just 10 minutes around the block. When the weather is horrible, her enthusiasm gives me the incentive to get out when I wouldn't dare lace up my sneakers otherwise. All the walking adds up: I've lost more than 50 pounds this past year." —Jamie Altholz, Denver, CO
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Three Simple Pilates Exercises for a Better Golf Game
All golfers know they need to work on rotation, balance and stability. This is stating the obvious. There are also a handful of exercises that benefit the golfer that might not be so obvious. Of course, we know each golfer has individual needs, as with all athletes, but these three simple Pilates exercises should be a part of every golfer’s routine. If you are a Pilates instructor and want to know more on how to identify and correct golf swing faults using the Pilates Method we have written a manual calledPilates for Golfers.
This is actually a warm-up exercise, but great to help create more mobility and coordination in the pelvis, hips and lumbar spine. All of which are important during the golf swing as power is transferred from lower body to upper body.
Start laying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-distance apart. Keep your arms by your side as you inhale to prepare. As you exhale, begin to tilt your pelvis back and you will feel your lower back touch the floor.
Inhale as you tilt your pelvis in the opposite direction, away from your rib cage, feeling a slight arch in your lower back. Repeat the exercise for 10-20 repetitions. Be sure to feel your transversus abdominis stay engaged throughout the entire exercise while keeping the rest of your upper body still.
This exercise challenges the stability of the pelvis, lower back and core while strengthening the gluteals, which are tremendously important for creating power and stability during the golf swing. There are several variations of this exercise. The basic Bridge starts lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-distance apart. You should focus on trying to recruit your gluteals throughout the exercise, not your hamstrings. This will take practice and concentration.
- Inhale to prepare and exhale to lift your hips to a bridge position, from your shoulders to knees.
- Inhale to stay in this position and exhale as you lift one foot slightly off the floor without shifting or dropping your hips.
- Inhale to return the foot to the floor and exhale as you lift the other foot off.
- Inhale as you lower the foot and exhale as you lower your hips back to the floor.
The leg lifting off the floor can gradually lift higher to make the exercise more challenging. Eventually the full Bridge takes the lifted leg into extension to the ceiling, then lowering the leg parallel to the supporting leg, lifting the leg back to the ceiling and then finally back to the floor. Start with the basic Bridge first, then progress as you get stronger in your gluteals.
Side Lying Leg Circles
This exercise helps improve mobility of the hip joint, stability of the core while also challenging balance. Hip mobility, or internal and external rotation, will affect the backswing and downswing. First, during the backswing, the golfer will load and coil into the hips. Then, on the downswing, he will post into and rotate around the hips. If hip mobility is limited, a golfer will have too much lateral motion during the golf swing.
This exercise starts side-lying, with the supporting arm extended over the head and the top arm touching the floor for stability. During the exercise, lift in your core and supporting side to avoid sinking into the floor.
- Inhale as the top leg lifts away from the supporting leg, only as far as you can maintain pelvic stability.
- Exhale as you begin to circle the top leg while the rest of the body remains as still as possible.
- Inhale to finish the circle. Repeat the circle 8-10 times and then reverse the circle.
- Repeat to the other side.
Keep the abdominals engaged throughout the exercise and keep tension out of the shoulders.
Of course, there is so much more to a golf fitness program, but these three simple Pilates exercises can be done anywhere, in very little time and give amazing results.