Monday - Thursday: 9am - 4pm Friday: 9am - 1pm Weekend: Refresh

Tired of Working Out?

If your physical fitness routine has become redundant, change it up! These seven suggestions can help you get energized and excited to work out – give them a try.

A healthful diet is not the only factor when it comes to achieving a healthy weight - physical activity plays an important role as well. While it may seem challenging to find time to work out, the long- and short-term health benefits make it a necessary aspect of achieving optimum health and a healthy weight. These seven simple tips can help get you moving and your calories burning! 

1. Join a gym. Make an appointment with a trainer on staff - he or she can help design a plan for your goals, level of fitness, health concerns or time constraints. Then go! (If you think a gym membership is beyond your budget, many health-care plans now offer reimbursements if you visit the gym a certain number of times per month. Contact your provider for more information.)

2. Get prepared. Wear the proper footwear, removable layers or light clothing; start slow and work your way up; and avoid dehydration by drinking more water than you think you need.

3. Try a new workout. The number of fitness classes is practically limitless these days. From indoor cycling to outdoor boot camps, yoga in the park or barre classes that emphasize classic ballet moves, the options abound. An added bonus: new classes can keep your mind and body equally challenged. Consider joining a class, watching videos online or via DVD, or downloading any number of free apps that provide a variety of fitness experiences.

4. Partner up. It's more fun if you don't go it alone when it comes to exercise, and the right partner can keep you inspired. Start by enlisting a friend for a weekly walk, and build from there.

5. Try yoga. It is an effective and enjoyable way to burn calories, increase muscle mass (which in turn burns more calories) and enhance stretching, which is important for keeping joints limber and preventing injury. Classes likely abound in your area, or start with a DVD or online video if a class seems intimidating. 

6. Start dancing! Fast-tempo dancing is not only fun (especially when you get some friends to join you) but can burn 400 to 500 calories per hour.

7. Get practical. If weightlifting or logging miles on a treadmill seem too uninspiring, remember that mowing the lawn, rototilling a garden, building a backyard shed or some other physical, productive task provides a good workout as well.

Running or Walking: What’s the Healthier Choice?

While both are excellent ways to burn calories, boost your metabolism and keep your body working smoothly, when it comes to the best overall exercise, Dr. Weil thinks one is the clear winner. Find out which exercise he chooses!

On the face of it, you might figure that when covering the same distance - say, a mile - you would burn the same number of calories whether you walk or run. After all, while walking is less strenuous, it takes longer for a walker to cover the distance.

But running requires much more effort than walking - you're actually jumping from one foot to the other as you propel yourself forward, a major muscular undertaking. Bottom line: running burns 50 percent more calories than walking over any given distance, even though running takes less time.   

Still, I think walking is the best exercise choice for most of us, particularly as we get older. Walking may not burn as many calories as running, but it offers the great advantage of being a practical substitute to driving for short trips, since you can do it in street clothes and you don't typically arrive in need of a shower. Further, it requires no skill or practice. Everyone knows how to do it, and the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. You can walk outdoors or indoors (in shopping malls, for example). It is the safest exercise option of all, with the least chance of injury.

The key to making walking pay off is to do it briskly. Aerobic walking cannot be casual or intermittent. Keep at it until you can walk about three miles in forty-five minutes. Doing this at least five times a week is one of the best moves you can make for a lifetime of health.

7 Guidelines for Healthy Aerobic Exercise

Want to get more aerobic exercise but are worried about overdoing it? Whether you are an experienced athlete or a newbie, simple guidelines can make your aerobic routine safe and effective.

  1. Always warm up before you get into the full swing of aerobic activity. The best warm-up is a slowed-down version of the activity you are about to perform. For example, walk, run, or cycle in slow motion. You will see many people stretching as a warm-up, but this does not prepare muscles for aerobic exercise as well as slow movement does.
  2. Give yourself a few minutes of cool-down at the end of the activity. Repeat the same movements in slow motion. This post-workout period is also the best time to stretch the muscles if you desire.
  3. If you have never exercised, get a medical checkup before you start an exercise program. If you have a history of heart trouble or high blood pressure or a strong family history of such problems, a cardiac stress test may be in order.
  4. Pay attention to your body! Discontinue exercise if you develop unusual aches or pains.
  5. Stop exercising immediately if you develop dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, chest pains, or difficulty breathing. Get a medical checkup promptly.
  6. Your heart rate and breathing should return to normal within five to 10 minutes after the end of aerobic exercise. If they do not, get a medical checkup.
  7. Do not exercise if you are sick. Wait until you feel better, then resume gradually. Don't worry about losing fitness; it will come back quickly enough. Strenuous exercise at the onset of illness can cause you to be sicker longer.