Aerobic activity, better known as cardio, is the number one exercise for weight loss because it gets your heart beating faster than normal, causing you to breathe harder, melt fat and increase the amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles. Aerobic exercise also decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
For an adult to benefit from the effects of cardio activity, he or she must perform at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, like jogging or cycling, every week.
To start your cardio routine, try an indoor cycling class. It is a safe, low-impact form of cardio that is easy on the knees.
“If you start working out on a cycling bike, and you’re working really, really hard, sweating, losing a lot of water, don’t forget to add electrolytes to your water mix, or maybe eat a banana, which has potassium,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
Co-founder and lead fitness instructor for Flywheel indoor cycling bikes, Ruth Zukerman, joins The Doctors to demonstrate how to get the most out of your next cycling class!
“You’re burning a ton of calories [in an indoor cycling class],” Ruth says. “Anywhere from 600 to 800 calories in a 45-minute spin class. It’s really my anti-aging secret. It’s all I do.”
Staying flexible, especially as you age, is extremely important for your overall health, increasing the range of motion throughout your joints. Learn simple stretches you can do to improve your flexibility:
- Lace your fingers together and slowly stretch them towards the sky, palms up, while inhaling and exhaling.
- Stretch your hamstrings while on an indoor stationary bike by slightly bending both legs and leaning over the handlebars.
Repeat each stretch three to four times, holding each for about 30 seconds apiece. Don’t have a timer? You can time 30 seconds by singing the alphabet twice!
However, only stretch after you have warmed up for at least five to 10 minutes, because stretching cold muscles can damage them.
- See how the Y-stretch can increase power, flexibility and range of motion.
Drinking hot tea 20 minutes before a meal can help a person control their portions and consume fewer calories. A German study found that Chinese white tea reduces growth of new fat cells and breaks down fat contained in existing cells.
But don’t make your tea a latte, as the proteins in cow milk neutralize tea’s fat-fighting ability and its cholesterol-blocking properties.
Consuming water ice cold can help cut calories, since the body uses energy to heat up the water to obtain proper hydration. Metabolically, heating the water burns calories. You can burn an extra 50 to 100 calories per day by drinking four to eight cups of ice water. Another German study found that drinking about two extra glasses of water daily can boost your metabolism by 30 percent!
“And not to mention the calories that you’re not putting into your system from sodas [or other high-calorie beverages],” Dr. Travis says.
• See how you can flush out excess water weight and avoid bloating.
Jumping Jacks … and Jims!
Jumping jacks are among the best forms of calisthenics — repetitive movements that use your own body to build strength. Dr. Sears demonstrates how his variation of jumping jacks — jumping Jims — can target your oblique muscles!
- See how karate can offer a full-body workout and burn big-time calories.
- A good workout can cause bad body odor. Learn what causes foul body smells, and how to control it!
- OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson shares her top pregnancy fitness tips.
Lactic Acid and Muscles
Consuming the correct amounts and types of nutrition is key to weight loss. Celebrity chef Devin Alexander shares a nutritious snack that will keep both your taste buds and wasteline happy!
- The Doctors explain whether xylitol, a natural sugar alternative, is the healthiest option to sweeten your foods.
Family Fitness Tips
Dr. Sears reveals how participating in team sports, avoiding unhealthy eating habits at home and incorporating vegetables into all your meals can keep your family healthy and fit!
- C.J., a 10-year-old fitness expert, shows The Doctors calorie-burning exercises for both kids and adults!
Dr. Sears' Beetle Pop Recipe
- Beet puree (to taste)
- Cranberry or cran-apple juice (to taste)
- Purple grapes
- Combine beet puree and the juice.
- Pour roughly 3 oz. into disposable cups or popsicle molds and place a grape in the middle of each cup.
- Add a cut straw to use as a stick.
- Place in freezer and enjoy once they are frozen!