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exercise treadmill Has your treadmill become a haven for dust and drying clothes rather than using it as the fat burning cardio machine that it was created to be? Or maybe you are consistently working out on your treadmill but are getting tired and bored with the same old routine. Why not spice things up and increase the efficacy of this exercise machine standard. Below are a few tips and an easy treadmill workout with which you could potentially burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

According to Treadmilltalk.com a common treadmill mistake involves starting out at the pace you want to maintain without warming up and without pacing yourself. Treadmill exercise like this will quickly lead to sore muscles and possibly injuries, not to mention frustration. It also means you aren't using all of your lower body muscles effectively.

There are several important elements to effective treadmill exercise. A few things to keep in mind are:

Always warm up- It is essential to stretch your muscles and warm them up slowly by walking at a speed of no more than 1.5 to 2 mph for a minute or two. Switching from the heels to the toes for thirty seconds each, then stretching out your stride for another minute will help stretch all muscles properly.

Increase your workout slowly- You should stay at one level for four weeks before moving on to the next level of difficulty. Any faster and you risk over-tasking your muscles or sustaining an injury. This is one of the most important tips for treadmill workouts to keep in mind. Burn-out is frequently the result of trying to rush to results.

Always cool down- Hopping off the treadmill after running and sitting down is an invitation for muscle cramps or worse. You need to slow down the pace and allow your muscles and heart rate to return to normal while you are moving.

Another common mistake with treadmill exercise is simply stepping on and walking or jogging at the same speed for twenty or thirty minutes. This will only succeed in making you very tired and very bored. It also isn't a very efficient workout. Try this easy treadmill workout instead.

Day One: Power walk : 30 minutes Strength train : 20 minutes

Day Two: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 10 times Cool down (walk easily) : 2 minutes

Day Three: Warm-up (walk easily) : 5 minutes Do your favorite strength-training move : 12 reps Power walk (4-6% incline) : 3 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Day Four: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 3 minutes

Day Five: Repeat Day One's Routine

Day Six: Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) : 5 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 4 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 4 minutes

Day Seven: Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week. Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

 

salmon One of the healthiest foods that you can consume is fish, more specifically, salmon. Besides being an excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, salmon is also full of high-quality proteins and low in saturated fat.

Salmon has nearly a third of the saturated fat of lean ground beef and 50 percent less saturated fat than chicken, making it one of the healthiest items that you could eat. Salmon is also low in calories. One serving contains approximately 183 calories, making it one of the lowest in calories among other fish. In addition, eating foods like salmon, which contain very little trans-fatty acids, can help to reduce the risk of many diseases, like type II diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Because salmon is chock full of protein, it contains sufficient amounts of every essential amino acid required by our bodies for growth and the upkeep of muscle tissue. These proteins also help our bodies to maintain a healthy metabolism, playing a key role in weight loss. In addition, eating salmon is one of the best ways to insure that we're getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids.

According to MSNBC.com, Omega-3's are a form of polyunsaturated fat that the body derives from food. Omega-3's (and Omega-6's) are known as essential fatty acids (EFAs) because they are essential for good health. They are essential to the development of healthy brains and other metabolically active tissues. Research shows that these fats do much more than regulate our brains: They can also lower risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. They even help fight wrinkles and may block fat-cell formation. However, the body cannot make these fatty acids on its own so it's important that Omega-3's be obtained from food.

However, once you increase the amount of fish that you eat in order to reap the benefits, it's also important to maintain healthy levels of consumption in order to avoid mercury exposure. Some types of fish are loaded with mercury and other contaminants, like PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides.

Today Show Health Correspondent, Joy Bauer on MSNBC.com says that the main reason mercury is bad for your health is that it negatively affects the brain and nervous system. Mercury poisoning can also adversely affect vision, kidney function, fertility, blood pressure regulation and heart disease.

High mercury fish to avoid: swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel (a little mackerel is fine). Tuna's not great. If you buy canned tuna, you're better off with the chunk light kind versus albacore or white. The worst for “dioxins” is farm-raised Atlantic salmon, which is also high in PCBs and pesticides.

Some of the very, very safest and best fish to eat are anchovies, herring, Atlantic mackerel, wild salmon, sardines, crab, halibut, scallops, shrimp, and tilapia.

 

fat soda pop The next time you're mulling over your beverage choice, here's a tip: avoid soda pop. The drink of choice for many, soda pop is full of sugar along with a myriad of other reasons why it should be avoided at all costs. Experts have time and time again researched soft drinks and the affects they have on our body. Here are five reasons why you should avoid soft drinks or at least limit your consumption:

Teeth damage- Soft drinks are filled with sugar and we all know the adverse affects that sugar has on our teeth. The sugar coats your teeth and wears away at your tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities.

Organ damage- Research has shown the drinking pop may be linked to chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease and other life-threatening conditions. In a study recently released by MSNBC.com, people who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of cancer. And while sugar is to blame, people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have poor health habits in general which also may lead to forms of organ damage.

Diabetes risk and obesity- Soda is filled with high-fructose corn syrup, a leading cause of obesity in any age. Drinking soda has also been linked to the development of type 2 Diabetes. The high amounts of sugar in soft drinks cause your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin, which leads to a "sugar crash." Chronic elevation and depletion of sugar and insulin can lead to diabetes and other imbalance related diseases. This is particularly disruptive to growing children which can lead to life-long health problems.

No nutritional value whatsoever- Soda again is filled with sugar and empty calories. That's about it! You get nothing nutritionally out of drinking soda.

Bone weakening- Soda contains phosphorous and caffeine and research has shown that both of these are believed to contribute to osteoporosis. Research also shows that people who are drinking soda are avoiding healthy drinks, like milk, that give bones much needed calcium.

So, the next time you are faced with a sugary soft drink dilemma, perhaps you should think twice and just grab some water or juice instead.

 

working out We know, we know, it's a headline you never thought you'd read. But it's true. There are a number of workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are actually ineffective. Unless you have the best form and are using the machines exactly as instructed, then you actually may be doing more harm than good to your body.

The following have recently been named by WebMD as some of the least effective exercises that you can do:

Behind the Head Lat Pull Downs- Unfortunately, only those with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spine straight enough to get a good workout from the behind the back lat pull down bar. The move done wrong can actually tear the rotator cuff.

Behind the Head Military Press- This exercise done similarly to the behind the head lat pull down, can cause the same problems with the rotator cuff that the aforementioned could cause.

Upright Row- This exercise done by pulling weights or a barbell underneath your chin can compress the nerves in your shoulder, actually impinging the shoulder.

Lying Leg Press (with knees bent too deeply) - This exercise is typically done to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes and is done on a machine where you use your feet to push a weighted plate up and down. Unfortunately if you bend your knees too far, then you can seriously injure your back and/or knees.

Squats on a Smith Machine- While the Smith Machine is generally an effective machine, the bar on the machine doesn't give, which can force the body into risky positions, including placing the feet too far in front of you while doing their squats.

Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines- While using bad form is not good on any machine, using bad form on cardio equipment is a big no-no. Hunching over can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows.

Always Lifting with a Weight Belt- You will see plenty of people around your gym who are constantly wearing a weight belt. Unless you have a back injury, are lifting a lot of weight or if you have some other medical reason, then a weight belt is not necessary. Wearing a weight belt too often can weaken your core muscles, throwing off your entire workout.

Any Exercise Done While Wearing the Wrong Shoes- Wearing the appropriate shoes for working out is as important as using the proper form. Working out in the wrong type of shoes increases the pounding on your joints, and can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

While these are only a few exercises that have been deemed ineffective if done the wrong way, there are plenty of other machines and workouts that can harm you if you are doing them wrong.

Be sure to consult with the trainers at your gym before starting any workout and learn the proper way to use the machines that they have on hand.

 

spring sickness Spring is fast approaching and with the changing of the seasons also comes a higher likelihood of falling victim to cold bugs and flu viruses. By following these easy do's and don'ts for avoiding germs you can minimize your chance of getting sick this spring.

Do use hand sanitizer- Carry a pocket-size hand sanitizer with you at all times and use it generously whenever you are in public places. Germs are everywhere and on everything and by using hand sanitizer you are protecting yourself from bringing home these flu viruses.

Do wash your hands frequently- According to MSNBC.com washing your hands is the best way to fight viruses and germs, if you do it properly. It may seem like the simplest thing to do, but be sure that you are washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap, and for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Teachers are now telling students to sing the ABC's or Happy Birthday to themselves while they are washing their hands to be sure you are washing for a full 15 to 20 seconds. Soap the top and bottom of your hands (including under your nails) for as long as it would take you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. If you can't get to a sink, a gel containing 60 percent or more alcohol will effectively remove germs. In addition to hand washing try using paper towels rather than bathroom and kitchen towels. Another important tip, don't share toothpaste tubes. Most people touch their brush to the opening, passing along germs.

Do sneeze into the crook of your elbow- By sneezing into your elbow, you are avoiding transmitting flu viruses to your hands and will keep you from passing the virus to others. It may seem socially awkward at first, but soon you will see more and more people doing this when they sneeze.

Don't shake hands- To keep from transmitting germs, avoid shaking hands with people when you greet them. Try a head nod, waving or smiling instead to greet someone. If you can't avoid shaking someone's hand, then be sure to use your hand sanitizer following the hand shake.

computer mouseDon't use someone else's phone or computer mouse- Phones and computers harbor some pretty heinous germs for hours. Avoid sharing someone else's phone or computer mouse if at all possible. If you do have to use someone else's phone or computer wipe it down with an alcohol swab prior to using it.

Don't change a diaper without washing your hands immediately afterward- This should be a given at all times and not just during the flu season, but stool harbors gastrointestinal bugs that cause diarrhea, vomiting and upset stomach. It may also contain H1N1, so anyone changing a diaper needs to be sure that they are washing their hands (for 15 to 20 seconds) following the changing.