It’s so discouraging to be in the middle of a really good workout, or, in my case, during a golf game, and get derailed by a muscle cramp. Also called muscle spasms or a ‘Charley/Charlie horse’ (when occurring in the legs), muscle cramps are defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as sudden and involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. That sounds about right! To some, muscle cramps may just be a nuisance, but I believe that anything that interferes with you being physically active (which is such a key pillar to good health and wellness) must be addressed. And, of course, muscle cramps are uncomfortable!
2021 is in full swing. Of course, many of us have that very common New Year resolution: lose some weight and get in shape. If you are feeling discouraged because so many gyms across the country are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have some good news for you. A recent study found evidence which suggests that exercising in cold weather could burn more fat.
So, in honor of Bolt’s birthday, let’s run through (pun intended) how running may benefit our health. And, no, you do not have to be a world class sprinter or long distance runner.
When it comes to which exercises or sports you “should” enjoy or try, the expression “age is just a number” definitely applies. The truth, as much as we have been taught otherwise, is that age has very little to do with which physical activities a person should consider for protecting their physical and emotional health.
With the threat of COVID-19, one of my favorite social distancing activities has been playing golf. It gives me the opportunity to get fresh air and sunlight (which is necessary for getting vitamin D, a very important nutrient that we all need to stay healthy). And although golf may not be as vigorous as perhaps running or cycling, it is still a good form of physical exercise.
Researchers of a recent study found an association between long-term training and metabolic disease prevention. The theory is that long-term exercise may alter muscular gene activity in a way that could help prevent the development of metabolic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease (conditions that millions of Americans suffer from).
Hula hooping is low-impact (so it’s easy on the knees and other joints), fun and only requires one easily storable piece of equipment - a hula hoop! You can hula hoop alone or start some friendly hula hooping competition with your kids, partner or spouse.
I’ve got the perfect workout for you, and it may even bring back great memories from your childhood. I’m talking about jumping rope.
If you need some fitness inspiration in your life, a man named George Hood is your guy! Hood, a 62-year-old marine veteran, recently set a Guinness World Record by holding a plank for eight hours! (Eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds, to be exact).
Apparently, Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes to listen to opera music when she works out. That’s an interesting choice. Opera is soothing and relaxing. It doesn’t make me want to get up and move! But I applaud Ginsburg for her commitment to fitness, and she is entitled to listen to whatever music she wants. But a recent study found evidence suggesting that listening to high-tempo music while working out may not only make exercise easier but also more beneficial.
Like many people, your New Year’s resolution may be to exercise more. It’s great if your motivation stems from wanting to lose a few pounds and look good in your swimsuit or what have you, but I think it can be even more motivating and empowering if you are aware of what exercise may do for your health.
How many hours would you say you work per week? And then if you have a desk job or a job that involves hours of sitting (such as trucking), as many Americans do, how many hours do you sit per week? Don’t forget to include that time spent on the couch watching your favorite TV shows! Or how many hours you sit per week due to your job commute.
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