PT 360 February 2018

Continued from cover ... Think of it this way. When you scarf down that half pint of ice cream during a Netflix binge, you’re probably taking in about 500 calories. According to Healthline.com, in order to burn all the calories off, the average person would have to run five miles! And that’s just to get back to baseline, without factoring in the calories from your regular meals. But that’s not to say exercise is a waste. By coupling a healthy diet with regular exercise, you can reduce the need for dramatic changes in your lifestyle while still shedding pounds. You’ll get the enormous litany of health and happiness benefits that come from regular physical activity. It’s not just about burning fat! 2. Y ou should stretch before you start your workout . Touching your toes, stretching your shoulders, and rotating your neck — how many times have you been told to do this in order to prepare for a workout? According to just about everybody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, it’s the best way to reduce your risk of injury and lessen post- exercise pain. But remaining stationary while you lean deeply into a stretch for an extended period of time can not only cause injury, but can also reduce muscle performance or power and stymie the results of your workout. Okay, this one’s more of a half-myth. You should still stretch before your workout. Instead of static stretches, you should engage in a series of dynamic stretches. These stretches are not as deep and are typically more active, making them ideal for waking up your muscles and making you limber. Once

that dance can burn 600 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the dance, which is as much as running for an hour! In addition to toning your muscles, dancing also improves balance and coordination. Your brain is engaged as you memorize the steps and spins, a health perk you miss when you’re on the treadmill or lifting weights. Don’t have a partner willing to join you on the dance floor? No problem! Many dance classes anticipate having solo students and arrange for partners to cycle through, so everyone has the opportunity to practice. Of course, ballroom dance isn’t your only option for a fun workout. If relying on a partner isn’t your style, there are plenty of other dance genres you can groove to. Consider trying K-pop (Korean pop music), Zumba, hip-hop, ballet, tap, and even belly dancing, if you’re feeling adventurous. With dance, exercise becomes an activity you look forward to. You no longer need to treat exercise as a dreaded chore week after week. Even if you have two left feet, remember that dancing is an acquired skill. With a willingness to learn, over time, you could dance circles around Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Get your groove on today and search for dance studios in your area, look for lessons at your local community center, or find instructional videos online and bust a move right in your living room. When it comes to dance, if you’re having fun and moving, you’re doing it right. Running may be a great way to get the heart pumping, but it’s probably not the most effective way to lose weight. While cardio definitely burns calories, helping you create that deficit we talked about earlier, it doesn’t build a lot of lean muscle, which helps your body burn more calories while it’s at rest. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon the treadmill for good. Instead, incorporate a strength-training regimen alongside your high-intensity cardio workouts to maximize the best of both worlds. you’ve started to break a sweat, you can jump into the rest of your workout. When you’re cooling down afterward, it’s time to use those deep, static stretches for the best results. 3. Y ou can target specific parts of your body for weight loss . Many of us have had that friend who began doing a ridiculous number of crunches every day after suddenly deciding they were going to lose their beer belly and get six-pack abs. There are two problems with this approach. First, crunches don’t burn many calories and can actually hurt your back, making them a subpar abdominal exercise. And second, it’s impossible to “spot train” a specific area of your body. Your body may pack fat more in certain areas, but it’s still distributed everywhere. And when you use up more calories than you take in, your body uses up that stored fat pretty evenly. So to truly make an impact, you’ll need to lose a substantial amount of your overall body fat. 4. A ton of cardio is the path to weight loss .

F all in L ove W ith F itness T hrough D ance

When you get ready to exercise, the last thing you probably think to wear is a bow tie or evening dress. If

that’s the case, then it’s time to broaden your approach

to fitness and step out onto the dance floor. The wide world of

dance might hold the secret to exercise that you — and your partner — will actually enjoy! Whether you enjoy a romantic waltz, an intimate salsa, or

a fun swing, dance promises a full-body workout. Your legs, glutes, back, core, and even arms are engaged when you

feel the music. A study from the University of Brighton in England found

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