Elliptical Trainers & Bone Density

Elliptical trainers won't increase bone density on their own.

Elliptical trainers won’t increase bone density on their own.

Exercise is good for your bones, but not all exercise improves bone strength. Certain criteria must be met if your goal is to improve bone mineral density and build stronger bones. The exercise must increase force on your bones and surprise your skeletal system. Elliptical trainers provide non-impact, weight-bearing aerobic activity with lower joint stress than running. They can improve balance, coordination, muscular endurance and aerobic capacity, but after you’ve used an elliptical machine for awhile, it won’t have much effect on bone density.


Squats With Hand Weights

Squats with hand weights build lean muscle and improve functional strength.

Squats with hand weights build lean muscle and improve functional strength.


A squat is a compound, whole-body exercise that targets the muscles in your lower body and back. If performed correctly, squats help prevent injuries, enhance sports performance, promote mobility, improve balance and strengthen bones that are at risk of weakening due to osteoporosis. By adding hand weights, you can increase the load on your bones and muscles to better improve strength.

Read the entire article now:  Squats With Hand Weights by Cindy Killip

Wobble Board Benefits

Try using a wobble board instead to improve your balance.

Try using a wobble board instead to improve your balance.

A wobble board is an exercise device used to improve balance, functional strength and mental focus. Wobble boards have a flat surface supported over a less stable cylinder or ball. Balancing on the flat surface challenges your muscles and proprioception as your body and mind adapt to moving on the unstable support below. Wobble boards are available in different sizes and shapes and can be modified for different ability levels. Other balance devices such as balance balls, cushions and rocker boards provide similar benefits that include: Improving proprioception and balance, improving functional strength, improving mental focus and preventing injuries.

5 Important Things to Consider When Hiring a Personal Trainer

Take your time to choose the right personal trainer. [Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Take your time to choose the right personal trainer. [Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Choosing your personal trainer is like selecting a hair stylist — it’s essential for success and a stepping stone for your self-esteem. You could just call the nearest salon, jump into the chair and let them cut and dye away but you may end up looking like Nicki Minaj. After a few such experiences myself, I now take the time to ask friends for references, research and interview hairstylists before I ever let them pull out the shears. I recommend you use the same technique when choosing a personal trainer.

Ask friends for recommendations. Word of mouth is invaluable — Have other people found success with the trainer? Do they like him or her? Why? Research the trainer online. Good trainers will proudly display their credentials and nowadays many trainers have a strong online presence to stay in contact with and motivate their clients. Schedule an information interview so you can meet the trainer and learn how they approach training.

Here are five important things to find out before you jump under the weights with a new trainer by your side.

1) The trainer’s level of education and experience. Make sure they are certified through one of the primary certifying bodies. Some of the heavy hitters include: The American Council on Exercise (ACE), The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Some certifications aren’t as rigorous and don’t require the same level of knowledge, so do your homework and know how your trainer was educated. New trainers are usually very enthusiastic but don’t have much experience, so they may give you a very basic level of training and they may not know how to modify workouts and exercises for your personal issues. Your trainer should create a specialized program for you and teach you how to do the exercises correctly, confirming that you can easily repeat the exercise correctly before sending you on your own to do it.

2) Make sure you like the trainer and find them motivating. You don’t want to be treated like a little kid or a little old lady. They shouldn’t motivate through yelling or intimidation and they shouldn’t get annoyed if you don’t understand or can’t do a movement. Their focus should be entirely on YOU — your education and progress. They should motivate you the way you are best motivated. Your trainer should set goals with you, revise your workout as you progress and challenge you to do new things. You don’t need to spend that kind of money to have a babysitter follow you around and watch you do the exercise machines. If all you want is someone to motivate you to go to the gym, elicit the companionship of an exercise buddy and set a schedule. You are paying your trainer for their expertise in creating a personal exercise program, teaching you correct form and pushing you to the next level.

3) Different trainers specialize in different types of exercise. Sport-specific training is popular now, as is training a balanced body that can do any activity. If you are focused on running and want to learn better running technique, look for a trainer who trains runners. If you like dance-type training, a trainer who also has a background in dance or pilates would be a good source. Good trainers incorporate functional movements into their training programs because this creates balanced muscles and physique, leading to a full range of motion. Weight machines can be an asset to a training program when used correctly as part of a complete program, but they shouldn’t be the only thing your trainer recommends. Runners often want to improve their speed and endurance but their training should also focus on balancing out the movements they usually do with other activities so they don’t risk overuse injuries. Good trainers will spend some time with you before you ever sign up, asking you questions about your goals and history and they will gladly share their approach and techniques. Be sure to ask for an interview session to make sure the trainer is the best person to help you meet your goals.

4) Cost. Don’t select a personal trainer simply because they charge the least or because they charge the most. Usually new and inexperienced trainers charge less but this doesn’t mean they aren’t good trainers. And I know of experienced personal trainers who charge a ton but are terrible trainers who use outdated methods and don’t focus on correct technique or the client’s goals. Find out what the average rate in your area is and look for trainers who’s rates fall within that range. Be sure to ask if there is a deal for signing up for several sessions, paying for 10 sessions up front, etc. If you need a pay plan or lower rate for a month, many trainers can accommodate you.

5) Watch out for clubs that rotate trainers. You are paying for the training that works for you so you should see the same trainer every time. Good trainers are watching for movement cues and habits that you have and developing teaching and motivational techniques that work for you. The longer you train with them, the better they will get at helping you reach your goals (this also means that they will be able to answer your questions via email, saving you some money). In the same way that your hair stylist gets to know what you like and how your hair behaves, the personal training process should change over time as you grow and become more skilled and independent.

Is Water Aerobics As Good As Weight Lifting?

Water aerobics provides a cardiovascular and strength-training workout.

Water aerobics provides a cardiovascular and strength-training workout.

If you think of water aerobics as an easy workout where people bob and float around the pool, think again. A water aerobics workout challenges your heart, lungs and muscles, and because the water surrounds your body, it provides resistance in every direction. Weight training on land strengthens muscles by lifting a weight against the force of gravity and the same muscle contracts to both lift and lower the weight, potentially leading to greater strength gains.

Read more now. . .http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/water-aerobics-good-weight-lifting-19735.html

Bosu Vs. a Wobble Board

You can improve strength, balance, coordination and agility with either a Bosu ball or a wobble board

You can improve strength, balance, coordination and agility with either a Bosu ball or a wobble board

When you first begin balance training, you should practice on a stable surface. Once that becomes easy, you’ll want an additional challenge. Both Bosu balls and wobble boards provide an unstable surface that challenges balance and helps develop functional strength, coordination and core stability. In both cases, you must learn how to keep your center of gravity balanced over your base of support. However, there are some differences in the types of training you can do on a Bosu ball and a wobble board.

Read more now. . . http://livehealthy.chron.com/bosu-vs-wobble-board-3086.html

The Best Exercises for Tired Muscles in a Swimming Pool

Doing a yoga warrior pose in the water hyperextends your hip, helping tired muscles recover

Doing a yoga warrior pose in the water hyperextends your hip, helping tired muscles recover

Tired muscles are a common concern no matter what your age or activity level. Your muscles may be tired from a workout, yard work, a chronic medical condition or from rehabilitating an injury. An aquatic-based recovery workout reduces muscle fatigue and post-exercise pain, partly because the hydrostatic properties of water help decrease inflammation, according to a study in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine.” Dynamic range-of-motion exercises combined with diaphragmatic breathing also decrease muscular tension and increase relaxation. Stand chest deep in a swimming pool and perform these fluid, gentle movements to facilitate muscle recovery of your major muscle groups. Do 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise.

Read more now. . . http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/exercises-tired-muscles-swimming-pool-19088.html