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December 18, 2009
When women say they need to do more exercise, they're usually thinking of aerobic activity: running, a spinning class, speed-walking. But making aerobic workouts the centerpiece of a fitness plan is not the best way to go, says Rachel Cosgrove, cofounder of Results Fitness in Southern California. In her new book, The Female Body Breakthrough, she instead advocates a focus on strength training, which she says is the real key to losing fat and looking better. U.S. News recently chatted with Cosgrove. Here are edited excerpts:
First, why is running at a steady pace not a great workout?
The bottom line is that our bodies adapt. If you do a mile run today, when you do the same mile run tomorrow and the next day you're going to burn fewer calories. But with strength training, you can increase weight, or add more sets, or do more reps. You should put in a new demand every single workout.
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December 8, 2009
I'm going to do some Christmas shopping this week, and I'm hoping to pick up a little something for myself, too. I was thinking of hitting the sale rack at J. Crew, but Consumer Reports has other plans for me: The folks there suggest 12 healthy holiday gifts you can buy for yourself (or, I'd imagine, anyone on your list).
The ideas, which are backed by CR's robust testing and research, may surprise you. Yes, the list includes membership at a local Y or community center, which the organization has found ranks above the commercial gym chains when it comes to member satisfaction. And CR offers suggestions on a good-quality treadmill, running shoes, and some low-cost exercise equipment.
[Check out our ideas on that, too: How to Get a Cheap Workout: 8 Ideas for Building a $100 Home Gym.]
But a nice bottle of wine also is recommended, given the possibility that it can provide health benefits. Just be careful if you're trying to lose weight; as much as I wish it weren't so, alcohol does have calories. And you'll find some guilt-free munchies on the list, including some reduced-fat products. Here's where I part ways with CR; I'd much rather have one or two delicious holiday cookies than disappoint my taste buds with "light" products. (Stay tuned for more diet tips later this week.)
Please comment with your own suggestions for healthy holiday gifts that didn't make Consumer Reports' list.