Exercise can make you feel better— when you pick the right workout.
3 of 3 | Blue? Try Strength Training.
Strengthening your muscles improves your posture, making
you look taller and slimmer—a great confidence booster. It
also releases feel-good endorphins, putting you on the road
to physical and emotional wellness.
Twisting WalKing Lunge.
This multi-muscle exercise from Kent Burden, owner of
the Ventura, Calif., personal training group My Life Fitness
and author of "Is Your Chair Killing You?" (MLF Press),
utilizes not only the upper and lower body, but also the
abdominals, making it a fast way to shape up all over.
Adding the balance challenge forces your muscles to
work harder to stay upright and stable.
1. Warm up by walking on a treadmill or outside for 5
minutes, pumping your arms as you go.
2. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding
a ball in front of your chest. Keep your elbows bent and
close to your ribs, and your abs pulled in. (If you’re new
to strength training, use a volleyball or other lightweight
ball until you are comfortable with your balance and
stability. those who are more advanced can use a 3- to
5-pound medicine ball; find one at spriproducts.com.)
3. Take a step forward with your left leg, bending both knees
to 90 degrees. Your front knee should stay over your ankle
as your back knee approaches the floor. When you are in a
full lunge, rotate your torso and shoulders to the left, taking
the ball to your left hip as you draw your abs in tight.
4. Rotate back to center, then push off the back foot
and lift your right knee to hip height as you raise the ball
above your head. Keeping the right knee lifted, toss
the ball up in the air and catch it.
5. Take a step forward with your right leg to repeat the
sequence on the opposite side.
6. Continue lunging forward, alternating sides. Start
with 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions, building up to 15
reps; add another set when you’re ready.