• Fitness

    Published on 09-20-2011 11:16 AM

    On the Flat Belly Diet you'll begin with a 4-day jumpstart, and one key ingredient is Sassy Water

    You've probably heard that you need about eight glasses of water a day for adequate hydration. Drinking water and even eating "watery" foods like ...
    Published on 09-06-2011 03:16 PM

    Many factors contribute to an out-of-shape stomach, including overeating, age and inconsistent activity. Exercising the abdominal muscles on a regular basis is one way to achieve a flat stomach; however, there are other things that can help accomplish a washboard stomach. One way
    Published on 06-01-2011 11:53 AM

    Exercise is the single best way to torch more calories all day long. Don’t let these mistakes rob you of your postworkout burn
    By The Editors of Prevention

    Mistake #1: You’re in an exercise rut
    When you do the same activity day after day, ...
    Published on 05-08-2011 03:22 PM

    Is no pain, no gain really true when it comes to exercise? Does the amount you sweat really correlate to the amount of fat you're losing?

    The world of fitness abounds with fables, from no pain, no gain, to drinking water before exercising can give you cramps, and falling for one could have you spinning your wheels and getting nowhere instead of shaping up. Our experts set the record straight and take the mystery out of these and other muscular myths so you can make the most of your exercise routine.

    No Pain, No Gain. "No pain, no gain is bad," says Jeffrey Berg, an orthopedic surgeon and team physician for the Washington Redskins. "When people start to exercise, there may be some muscle aches and pains, which are normal. But there are other aches and pains, such as joint pain, bone pain, muscle strains, and ligament or tendon strains, which are bad, and you should back off of because they'll get worse if you ignore them."

    So start slow, explains Berg.

    "Always ease into an exercise plan to avoid injury," says Berg. "The recommendation is if you're healthy and you know it, you can start exercising, but err on the side of being too slow than too fast to avoid injury."

    The American College of Sports Medicine recommends starting an exercise program slowly and listening to your body and to your doctor.

    There Is One Best Way to Exercise. "This is not true," says Berg. "In fact, not only is there not one best way for everyone to exercise, but there's not one best way for each person."

    His recipe for success? Vary your routine.

    "You have to incorporate different exercises and routines into your fitness strategy to reach your goals, which should be individualized for you," says Berg. "The exercises you choose should be tailored to what you like to do and then optimized for fitness and to avoid injury."

    More Sweat, Less Fat. "This is false," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. "The amount you sweat is indicative of your body's ability to maintain its normal body temperature. You sweat when your body starts to store heat so you can experience cooling via evaporation of that sweat. So it doesn't correlate to how much energy, or calories, is being expended."

    Drinking Water Causes Cramps. "Cramps are actually a symptom of dehydration, so this is an old wives tale," says Bryant. "Basically, drinking water will help ensure you are properly hydrated, which will ultimately reduce your risk of sustaining or experience cramps."

    Lifting Weights Can Make You Look Bulky. "This is a myth that deters a lot of women from strength training, when in fact, what determines the amount of muscle bulk a person has is largely dependent on genetic factors," says Bryant.


    So you’re gearing up to eat better and lose some weight. Good for you. But how do you get started? With the hundreds and hundreds of diets out there, how do you choose the best approach?

    To find out, we turned to James O. Hill, PhD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Denver. Much of Hill’s research has focused on the habits of people who manage to achieve what we all want: stable and sustained weight loss. So how do these people lose weight and how do they keep it off? Hill has some answers.

    I want to lose weight but have no idea where to start. What should I do?
    Before you try to make any changes to your habits, first you need to see where you are right now. Find out what your body mass index (BMI) is. See how it compares to a healthy weight. Start keeping a record of what you eat each day and how much exercise you get.

    Now people say, “Why bother? I already know what I’m eating right now!” But you really don’t. Eating is something that we do every day without really paying any attention. Once you start writing it down, you may learn things you never knew about your habits. You could be drinking five pops a day and have no idea. Taking stock of where you are now gives you a sense of what needs to change.

    The next step is really important. You have to make a long-term commitment. If you’re going to change your eating and exercise habits, you won’t be done after six weeks or six months or six years. You have to decide that you’re motivated to make changes that will last for the rest of your life.

    Which commercial diet books, programs, or plans really work?

    Basically, almost any diet plan will work for weight loss. Go to a bookstore and buy any diet book. It will give you tips on eating less and you can lose weight. But the problem is that almost none of them work for weight loss maintenance.
    If you want to lose weight, I don’t think it matters how you do it or what plan you use. But to keep it off, you will probably have to use different strategies.

    I co-founded the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks about 6,000 people who have, on average, lost 70 pounds and kept it off for seven years. What we’re doing is trying to learn how these people manage to do it. What strategies really work? We’ve found some common factors. People in the Registry tend to do a lot of physical activity. They tend to eat a low-fat diet and pay attention to overall calories. They self-monitor: they weigh themselves and keep periodic food diaries. And they eat breakfast every day.