Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring-Clean Your Exercise Routine

Ditch: Old walking or running shoes

Instead: Invest in a new pair of kicks, because worn-out soles are a quick path to injury.
Write the purchase date on the tongue or side of your shoes and let your weekly mileage be your guide. If you walk or run 10 miles per week, replace your shoes every 12 months; 15 miles, every 8 months; 20 miles, every 6 months; 30 miles, every 4 months.

Ditch: Your freebie pedometer

Instead: Spend $20 to $25 for a better-quality one.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tested nearly 1,000 low-end pedometers and found almost three-quarters of them were inaccurate-with most of them overestimating step counts.

Ditch: Lightweight dumbbells

Instead: Use heavier weights that challenge you, says Tim Davis, director, Peak Performance in New York.
Your body has an amazing ability to adapt quickly, so if you don't regularly increase the weight
you're lifting, you'll eventually plateau. Lift as much as you can, as long as it isn't painful and you feel in control throughout the move.

Ditch: Sipping only when thirsty

Instead: Drink 4 to 6 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of
Sweating away even a tiny portion of your body weight can doom your workout by making your heart beat faster and causing you to feel weak and tired.

Ditch: The idea that more is better

Instead: Focus on the quality, not length, of your workout, Davis says.Instead of walking or biking at one speed for an hour, halve your workout (and burn the same amount of calories) by doing sprint intervals-30 seconds to 2 minutes at a very fast pace, followed by 2minutes at normal pace.

Ditch: That old cotton T-shirt

Instead: Go high-tech and invest in workout clothing made from wicking fabrics.Why?
Synthetics do a better job of keeping you drier and cooler while you exercise (but you knew that already).

Excerpted from contributing writer Judi Ketteler February 11, 2008

Stretches of the Week:

Seated Glute Stretch
Target: Gluteus Maximus

Lying Pretzel Stretch
Target: Gluteus Medius & Gluteus Minimus

Lying Illiotibial Stretch
Target: Tensor Facia Latae

Lying Prirformis Stretch
Target: Piriformis & Quadratus Femoris