Consider a Recumbent Bike
Bike riding is good exercise, but riding a regular two-wheeler isn’t for everybody. For people who think of saddle sores, neck strain and wrist pain when they think of bike riding, a recumbent bike is worth exploring.
Recumbent bikes usually have two wheels (sometimes three), and the seats are large and low to the ground. When you’re riding this kind of bike, your body is in a more natural position, which is why many people find these bikes more comfortable.
Keep in mind that you’ll be using muscles you don’t normally use when you ride upright bicycles, so you may find it harder than usual to ride up hills at first. And it may take a little time to get used to the newness of the bike in general.
Source: International l Human Powered Recumbent Vehicle Association
Lower Diabetes Risk by Exercising
It’s not hard to fall under the category “at risk for diabetes.” You’re at risk if you have the disease in your family, or if you’re overweight, or if you’re African American, to name a few factors. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and leg amputations. It also greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Diabetes cases are on the rise in the US, but there are things you can do to decrease your risk. One thing is to get regular exercise. Exercising three or four times per week (start out slowly, but aim for doing more than 30 minutes each session) can help you to lose weight—and lose a risk factor in the process.
Source: The National Association of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
Burning Calories: Some Numbers
Take a look at these numbers. You’ll see why making a point to get some serious exercise is going to help you lose more weight than counting on activities that are built into your day.
Let’s say you weigh 140 pounds. If you do the following activities for 20 minutes, here’s how many calories you’ll burn:
|| 75 calories
|| 75 calories
|Doing laundry, folding clothes
|| 44 calories
Compare those numbers with doing the following activities for 20 minutes:
|Rollerblading or skating
Your day-to-day activities are a help, but there’s nothing like a nice long brisk walk to burn even more calories.
Source: Calorie Control Council
Quick, Efficient Workouts
If you’re looking for a way to get a fast, efficient workout, think about joining one of the Curves for Women® franchises. The program combines strength training and cardiovascular training in a 30-minute circuit. It includes a warm-up, 20 minutes of working at a rate that works your heart and 3 sets of strength training on the major muscles groups.
This could be a nice solution to your “where do I work out when the weather is bad” problem. It can also be a nice complement to any other activities you do.
To find the franchise nearest you, click here:
Exercise and Chronic Disease
People who have Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic debilitating conditions can get a lot of benefit from a regular exercise program. Exercise helps maintain muscle strength, joint flexibility and the cardiovascular system. It also helps people to sleep better.
If you’re caring for someone who has one of these conditions, be sure to talk with your local community centers or recreational programs for help and advice about ways of getting your loved one to exercise.
Source: D. Kuhn, Alzheimer’s Early Stages. Hunter House Publishing, 1999. W. Weiner, L. Shubman, A. Lang. Parkinson’s Disease, a Complete Guide for Patients and Families. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.