Re-energizing After a Lay-Off

energyEveryone is familiar with energy drain. Researchers are studying the links between what we eat, how we work and live and how we feel.  There are different kinds of fatigue and different ways to improve your energy level.  How do you know if your low energy is caused by underlying disease or is the result of lifestyle factors, stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, or normal aging? Continue reading

Starting Over: Working Through Pain and Developing Inner Strength

start-overEven when the mere idea of walking around the block makes you want to  crawl back under the covers and never surface again, exercise is essential for people with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Working through stiffness and pain requires accepting responsibility to become your own healer and summoning the courage required to stay the course. When you have had an exercise program and  abandoned it, starting over again is a shame-filled, fear-filled and painful challenge to overcome.  Continue reading

Spiderman Work-out

The fibromyalgia I suffer from means that pounding the pavement is not healing exercise for me. In fact, I had to give up running and high impact aerobics because the result was joint pain and swelling from leaking synovial fluid. That’s why I’m always on the watch for fitness programs that I can modify to suit my limitations.

spiderman_qjpreviewth.jpgWell, with the superhero workout below, you can shape up like Spider-Man, too. But these three activities aren’t for the weak. If you’re a beginner, start slowly and work your way up to this challenge. Try these three times weekly.

Peter Parker push-ups:
Start on the floor in traditional push-up position. Keep your abs braced and your body in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Slowly lower yourself down, and as you do, bring your right knee toward your right elbow. Try to rotate your knee so it is outside your elbow, keeping your foot off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, pushing through your chest, shoulders and triceps, and then return to the starting position. Aim for 5 to 10 push-ups per side.

Superhero side planks:
Side planks will help build your core strength, which is important for balance and dexterity. Start by lying on the floor on your left side. Then lift up on your left elbow so that your hips are off the floor and your entire body is in a straight line. Hold for one minute and then repeat on the right side. That’s one set. Aim to do three sets on each side.

Spidey sprints:
To do your best Spidey imitation, you need to be built for speed. Get outdoors for this one. The goal is to do 10, 100-yard sprints. Be sure to warm-up first with some jogging and half-paced practice sprints, then pick up the pace. Sprint as hard as you can — go, go, go, go, go! Record your times and see how you improve each week. At the end of each sprinting session, take a little walk to keep things loose and then get in some nice stretches.

Maybe you can handle the whole enchilada or maybe you will need to modify the Spiderman work out to make it suit. In my case I’ve cut the push-ups down to 2 per side but the rest of the work-out I can cope with as is.


Celebrity Workouts

If you have your eyes on the stars you may also want to check their Celebrity Workouts in fitsugar too.

To learn Jessica Alba’s daily routine,

  • Warm-up for 10-15 minutes to bring your heart rate up on the treadmill or elliptical
  • 45 minutes (to one hour) of cardio
  • 50 lunges
  • 50 crunches
  • 10 minute cool down on the treadmill or elliptical to bring your heart rate back down

Fit’s Tip: While it was never reported that Jessica starts or ends her routine with stretching, it is always a good idea to stretch before and after working out.

Jessica Biel’s Workout:

  • Stretch: One of her favorite warm-ups is the walking lunge. “This stretches the larger leg and glute muscles,” says Walsh. How-to: With feet together, lunge first with right leg. Bring left foot alongside right. Lunge with left. Do 8-10 per leg.
  • Cardio: “It’s the cardio that leans her out,” says Walsh. After a ½-mile jog, they hit the track for two 200-meter, 150-meter and 100-meter sprints.
  • Core: “Hanging leg raises don’t build a six-pack, but they flatten,” says Walsh. “Jessica hates them, but she powers through!” How-to: Hanging from a high bar or rings, pull knees up slightly above waist. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Plyometrics: “These hurt,” says Walsh of stair jumping. “Even athletes hate them. After Jessica did these the first time, she would’ve punched me if she had the energy.” How-to: Jump from the bottom step of a flight of at least 20 stairs to the third. Keep going, skipping a stair each jump.
  • Weight Training: “We tend to use lighter weights and do more reps,” he says. “We keep moving, so it becomes a cardio workout too.”
  • For the waist: They do the Russian Twist. Sit down and lean back slightly. Hold a 5-lb. medicine ball and twist from side to side, 15 twists per side, three reps.
  • For shoulders/biceps: Stand with knees slightly bent. Hold 10-lb. weights in each hand. Curl to chest. Rotate hands, palms face outward. Press overhead together. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.