Aerobic exercise improves the ability of your heart and lungs to pump oxygen and other nutrients to the rest of your body. When you exercise to improve your cardiovascular fitness, your heart rate is a good indicator of how intensely you should train to continue seeing improvements. Once you know your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate, you can adjust your cardio sessions to get the most from your time exercising.
Target Heart Rate Zone
To improve your cardiovascular health, exercise for periods of 20 to 60 minutes at an intensity level that targets your aerobic system, usually between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. When you exercise outside this zone, you’re performing anaerobic exercise, useful for building strength rather than cardiovascular health.
Resting Heart Rate
To calculate your maximum heart rate and target heart rate zone, you’ll need to know your resting heart rate, or RHR, first. Your RHR is a measure of beats per minute, or BPM, when your heart is at rest and undergoing no physical exertion. Take your pulse for one minute first thing in the morning, preferably after you’ve woken up naturally. If you must get up before taking your pulse, lie back down for one to two minutes before measuring.
Maximum Heart Rate
Your maximum heart rate, or MHR, is an estimate of your heart rate if you were to physically exert yourself at 100 percent intensity. Your target heart rate zone for aerobic exercise is 60 to 80 percent of your MHR. To calculate your target heart rate zone, subtract your age from 220 to find your maximum heart rate. Multiply that number by .6 and by .8 to find your target heart rate range.
Checking Your Pulse
To ensure that you’re staying within your target heart rate zone, check your pulse periodically as you exercise. If you have access to a heart monitor, glance at it to make sure you’re in the zone. If you don’t have a monitor but want to quickly measure your heart rate, count your heart beats for 10 seconds and multiply by six.
When designing a fitness plan, there will be two forms of exercise that you want to integrate: cardiovascular and anaerobic. To understand what exercise will fall into the cardiovascular category, you must know a little more about these two main ways of working out. Before beginning to exercise, talk to your doctor to determine if you are strong enough for cardiovascular routines.
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is part of a well-thought-out fitness plan. Aerobic exercise requires an increase in oxygen intake. This primary purpose is to burn stored fat by increasing the heart rate for an extended time. Anaerobic exercise is shorter and more intense. Many people may associate anaerobic exercise with weight lifting, but that is just one example. The University of Wisconsin lists racquetball and sprinting as additional examples of anaerobic exercise.
What Qualifies as Cardio Exercise
Cardio is merely a short way to say cardiovascular training or aerobic exercise. The key is in the heart rate. During cardio exercises, you want to increase your heart rate to around 60 to 80 percent of the maximum rate for your age. Any exercise that gets you moving can accomplish this task. A brisk walk, jogging, riding a bike or dancing are all examples of cardio workouts.
About Maximum Heart Rate
Maximum heart rate, or MHR, is the fastest your heart can beat safely during exercise. This can vary per person, but generally age is the defining factor. From your maximum heart rate, you can determine a target heart rate zone. This can be between 60 and 80 percent of the MHR. Maximum heart rate and target zones are absolute numbers to know when planning cardio exercise. For a workout to qualify as cardio, you must keep your heart rate in the target zone for at least 15 to 20 minutes. A fast way to calculate MHR is to subtract your age from 220. For example, if you are 40 years old, your MHR would be 180 beats per minute. Once you know your MHR, you can estimate a target heart rate by taking 60 and 80 percent of this number. In the example, the target heart rate zone would be between 108 to 144 beats per minute. This is a rough estimate. Your doctor can help you find the best target heart rate for your fitness level.
The target heart rate is crucial to getting the most out of the cardio workout. MayoClinic.com reports that what most individuals perceive as a vigorous workout may not fall into that category. Intensity is what makes aerobics work. To live a fit lifestyle, you should do 150 minutes of cardio workouts a week. This means you can jog, walk briskly, take an aerobics class or swim — as long as you maintain the intensity of the exercise and increase the heart rate to the target zone. Taking your pulse after the warm up will help you measure your heart rate, and once you reach the right number, you know you are doing cardio exercise.
Just tilling and sewing seeds in a small backyard garden for 21 minutes will reach that 100 calorie goal.
Walking a Dog
Burn 30 calories per 10 minutes walking your dog. Play catch or Frisbee in a park to burn 40 calories per 10 minutes.
Plan a Night Out
Prepare and pack a picnic to burn 20 calories in 10 minutes. Carry it from the car to the grass at a park to burn 18 calories in 5 minutes. Toss a Frisbee or ball around for 20 minutes to burn 64 calories.
Fly a Kite
Bring a kite to the park or the beach to burn an entire 100 calories in just 12 minutes, or roller blade around to burn 100 calories in 14 minutes.
Coupon it Up
Groupon.com has some great deals near you. Redeem a coupon for rock climbing and burn 100 calories in just 9 minutes scaling a wall, or use one to have an adventure day at a nearby amusement park to burn 100 calories in 31 minutes.
Have a Diving Contest
Head to a local pool with some friends and hold a diving contest, burning 95 calories in 30 minutes. Relax in the whirpool to burn that final 5 calories in 5 minutes.
Not only will this improve your posture and digestion, but stretching will burn 2.7 calories per minute. Stretch 6 minutes every day to burn 100 calories per week.
Host a Dinner Party
Between chopping and setting the table, you’ll burn 100 calories in just 38 minutes. Check out the full article below to find a yummy recipe for a healthy dinner that serves 4 people.
In December 2008, an extract of the stevia plant, was approved as a sweetener by the United States Food and Nutrition Board. The stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant is a bush that grows in Central and South America. A dose of approximately 4 to 15 mg for each kg of body weight a day has been shown to produce no adverse side effects in people to date and is helpful for people with types 1 and 2 diabetes as well as those with hypertension who are looking to control their blood sugar.
The key to losing weight is understanding that your weight is a balancing act, depending on you consuming less calories than you burn a day. One pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you are looking to lose a pound a week, you need to either consume 500 calories a day less than you have been, or burn off an extra 500 calories a day through physical activity. This is possible on almost any diet you decide to follow, as long as you are satisfied enough to stay on the diet.
Stevia for Weight Loss
Stevia is non-nutritive, meaning it is virtually calorie free. One gram of stevia contains zero calories, zero fat, zero carbohydrates, zero sodium and zero protein. To understand how this compares to sugar, 1 g of sugar contains 4 calories, and each teaspoon of sugar you use is 4 g, therefore 16 calories. Consider that one 12 oz. can of sweetened soda contains 8 tsp. of added sugar, which adds 130 calories to your diet. Replacing added sugar in your diet with zero calorie stevia can lower your daily caloric intake, helping you to lose weight, with the caloric difference depending on how much added sugar you currently consume.
Switching to Stevia
Raw stevia is 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar, and stevia extract is said to be 200 to 300 times as sweet, so you only need a fraction of the amount as you would of sugar. Keep this in mind when using stevia in daily use and adjust the amount needed to your taste. Stevia is heat stable, so it can be used in cooking and baking. To adjust your recipes, use 1 tsp. liquid stevia, or 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. stevia extract powder, equal to 18 to 24 packs of stevia, for every 1 cup of sugar, and be sure to add 1/3 of a cup of liquid, or bulk, to adjust for the lost volume.
Replacing sugar in your diet with stevia may help you in cutting down your consumed calories, which can lead to weight loss.
Your butt is made of of three muscles, called the gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, collectively called the glutes. When trained, these muscles will grow to give you the appearance of a larger, more rounded butt. Include these exercises into your fitness routine every other day to start to see an increase in the size of your butt.
The step up will work target your butt, and also work your thighs and abs. Stand in front of a bench or a chair, holding dumbbells in each hand if you wish. Engage your abs by pulling your belly button to your spine for balance, and place your right foot onto the bench or the seat of the chair.
Squeeze your glutes as you step yourself up, so your left foot is level with your right, then lift your left knee up towards your chest. Lower your left leg, then lower your body down until your left toe is brushing the ground to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.
The one-legged deadlift will tone and strengthen your butt, helping to increase the size of the muscle to give you a bigger butt. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a five-to-10-pound dumbbell in each hand. Shift your weight onto your right foot, keeping your torso steady, and bend your left leg behind you. This is the starting position.
Tip forward at the hip, allowing your left leg to extend out behind you, and keeping your back straight as you allow the dumbbells to move towards the floor. Squeeze your glutes to straighten at the hip joint and pull yourself back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.
The one-legged squat will strengthen and tone the glutes and thighs of the working leg, to help give you a bigger butt. Stand with your feet close together, and engage your abs by pulling your belly button to your spine—this will help you balance. Extend your left leg out in front of you, holding your left foot about two feet (60 cm) off the ground. This is the starting position.
Sink down into a squat, using your abs to keep yourself balanced, and sit down until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you push with your right leg to bring yourself back to the starting position to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.
If you are just learning this exercise, you may not be able to accomplish a complete squat, but as you improve your balance and strength, you can work towards deeper squats.
A dancer’s body serves as a long and lean base on which to create a sculpture of strength, but you don’t have to be a ballerina to have her legs. You can do the same things as a ballerina to build up your limbs with absolutely no dance background at all.
Butt and Thighs
A dancer builds her physique around strength. Incorporate strength exercises that target the butt and thighs, a dancer’s most well-defined assets. Plies, a great beginner exercise, work through the butt and inner thighs. Begin with feet together, toes turned out with the heels touching. Bend the knees and squat down, keeping the feet flat on the floor. Return to the starting position, and repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions.
Hips, Calves and Ankles
A ballet staple, the releve works the entire leg, strengthens the joints from the hips to the ankles and helps achieve the sculpted legs of a dancer. Begin with another plie and, as you return to your starting position from the deep knee bend, or squat, tighten up the glutes and press down into the balls of your feet while lifting your heels off the ground. Press the inner thighs together as you lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions.
Abdominals and Back
To strengthen the abdominals and back, while working the legs, perform a standing cabriole. Stand with the feet together, toes out, and your heels touching. Keeping the right foot flexed, extend the right leg forward. As you squeeze the inner thighs, pull the heel of the extended leg to the toe of the standing leg and pulse between the two positions. Continue squeezing the thighs and pulse for a series of 12 to 20 repetitions before returning to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the left leg.
In order to achieve the legs of a ballerina, train like a ballerina. Find some classes in your area and take a beginner session. Also, perform the exercises that a ballerina does on her time off to stay strong and flexible.Yoga and pilates help dancers achieve their long and lean look. Work a good stretching program into your routine to avoid injury and, if you feel any sharp or chronic pain, stop immediately and consult your physician.
Ten things you may be doing that aren't helping you lose weight
1) Poor Preparation.
Boy Scouts and healthy eaters have the same motto: Be prepared. Having a refrigerator and pantry stocked with the right foods — lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates, fruits, nonstarchy vegetables and healthy fats — means you’ll be prepared to eat what you should when you should. Similarly, entering a restaurant armed with a plan will keep you on the right track when dining out.
Preparation also means knowing your cravings and having healthy alternatives on hand to curb them, says Molly Kimball, a nutrition writer and registered dietitian in New Orleans. If sweets are your weakness, for example, keep fresh fruits or single-serve, sugar-free pudding cups on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth without taking a huge caloric hit.
2) Not Enough Water.
Drinking the right amount of water promotes overall health, from skin, bones and joints to the digestive system, memory and brain function. But Kimball says proper hydration can also help when you’re concerned about weight.
"Fatigue is one of the first signs of mild dehydration," Kimball said. "A lot of people misinterpret that sluggish feeling as hunger, and they eat to boost energy."
The impact of hydration on weight loss, however, goes beyond the prevention of misinterpreted body messages. A study published in the November 2008 issue of “Obesity” showed a definite association between increased water intake and increased weight loss. In another study, its results presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers from Virginia Tech confirmed that dieters who drink two 8-oz. glasses of water before their three daily meals lose about 5 lbs. more than dieters who do not drink pre-meal water.
So how much water is the right amount? Kimball says the old “64 oz. a day” rule is too one-size-fits-all; different bodies need different amounts of water. She says a good guideline is to divide your weight in half and drink that number of ounces per day. So a 180-lb. person would shoot for 90 oz.
3) Not Enough Protein.
People who get too much of their daily caloric intake from carbs are going to have a hard time losing weight. Kimball recommends including a source of protein with every meal. The body uses twice as much energy processing protein as it does carbohydrates and fat, meaning when you eat protein, your body actually burns more calories digesting it. Low-fat meats such as skinless chicken, pork tenderloin, lean cuts of beef and ground turkey and seafood are excellent sources of protein. Kimball says you can also sneak protein into your meals in the form of eggs, cheese, peanut butter, nuts, Greek yogurt, or low-sugar protein bars and powders.
4) Too Many Liquid Calories.
Calories that enter your body in liquid form are inefficient calories. They count against your daily total, but they don’t make you feel full. Kimball advises against drinking your calories.
"No fruit juice, soft drinks or sports drinks," Kimball said.
Instead, drink water, tea or coffee without sugar. If you must have sweetened drinks, Kimball has no problem with sugar-free soft drinks or low-calorie powdered flavored beverages.
Liquid calories often come in the form of alcoholic beverages, and those should be limited, too. If you can’t do without, Kimball recommends sticking with wine, light beer, or liquor with a noncaloric mixer like water, club soda or diet soda. Women should limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day, and men should stop at two.
5) Not Enough Zs.
You don’t even need to be conscious to work on losing weight. Getting the right amount of sleep seems to be a major factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
A study released in 2006 by researchers at Case Western Reserve University tracked the weight and sleeping habits of 68,000 women over 16 years. The women who reported sleeping five hours or less nightly weighed an average of 5.5 lbs. more than the women who slept seven hours or more at the start of the study.
The reason is hormones, specifically leptin and ghrelin. Separate studies conducted by the University of Chicago and Stanford University suggested that sleep deprivation causes a reduction in leptin levels, while also causing ghrelin levels to rise. High ghrelin stimulates the appetite, while low leptin makes you feel unsatisfied after eating, leaving you hungrier during your waking hours and, likely, heavier.
6) Skipping Breakfast.
It can be hard to make time for breakfast during the rush to get out the door in the morning, but if you’re interested in losing weight or keeping it off, you should make the effort to fit it in. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, forcing it to begin burning calories.
But many people simply don’t have an appetite first thing in the morning. Kimball says that’s fine — just make sure you eat something within the first two hours of waking.
She says the perfect breakfast combines complex carbohydrates with protein and a bit of healthy fat. Try two scrambled eggs with a slice of whole-grain toast, a cup of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries and chopped nuts stirred in, or a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries and a splash of skim milk with two slices of center-cut bacon on the side. If you’re usually in a rush in the morning, stock up on low-sugar protein bars and have breakfast during your morning commute.
7) Shopping the Center Aisles.
A good basic rule to follow at the grocery store is to do most of your shopping near the four walls.
"The perimeter of the grocery store is what you need to be eating," said Nicole Wynne, staff dietitian at Women & Men’s Nutrition and Weight Control Centers of Louisiana. "It’s where you usually find the fresh produce, the meats and the dairy. In the middle aisles, you find more of the processed foods you want to avoid."
Wynne said there are a few exceptions, namely in the freezer section with its frozen vegetables and no-sugar-added frozen fruits and berries, which are nutritious additions to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal.
8) Poor Record Keeping.
You want to lose weight, and you’ve been trying to maintain a healthy diet, but the pounds are not coming off. The problem may be that you’re eating more than you think. A food diary can be an effective solution.
"Write down everything that goes in your mouth," Wynne said.
According to Wynne, the act of recording what you consume in a food diary is effective on multiple levels. First, you get the full picture of your daily caloric intake — it’s impossible to forget the handful of candy-coated chocolates you eat every time you pass your co-worker’s candy jar if it’s right there in black and white. Knowing you’ll have to write it down might make you reconsider that late-night bowl of ice cream. Also, once you’ve kept your diary for a while, you’ll probably begin to notice patterns — like a caloric uptick every time you have dinner at your uncle’s house — enabling you to make adjustments for particular situations.
How you record your daily food intake is a matter of preference. Some prefer an old-fashion pen and notepad, while others choose to use one of the many food diary applications available online, such as My Daily Plate at Livestrong.com.
9) No Weights.
You will not achieve your weight-loss goals easily through diet and cardio alone. A regimen that combines weight training and cardiovascular training optimizes the ability to shed pounds.
Studies have demonstrated a significant relationship between resistance training and weight loss. While both weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise burn calories and boost the metabolism, cardio only raises the metabolism during the exercise and for a short time after. Weightlifting, however, increases metabolism during the exercise and for a long time after. This “afterburn” — the continued burning of calories from lifting weights after the training session has ended — can last for hours, even days.
During the recuperation period, the muscle metabolism is still burning energy, and that’s when it’s time to perform cardiovascular activities. Combining low-repetition exercises (weightlifting) with high-repetition cardiovascular exercise will stress muscles in a complementary way to increase the total fat-burning effect.
10) Throwing in the Towel.
Cut yourself some slack. It’s one of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to lose weight. Missteps happen. You succumb to a craving and have an unhealthy lunch. Forgive yourself for it and get back to your plan right away.
"If you blow a meal, it is not a free pass to blow the rest of the day," Wynne said.
Those who give up for the rest of the day, week, month or year due to a momentary setback will never achieve lasting weight loss. Mistakes happen, and the weight-loss battle is won and lost by how you respond to those mistakes. The best way to do it, Wynne says, is to forgive yourself for the lapse in willpower and move on at once, immediately resuming your healthy lifestyle.
Lashing out against others trying to improve their lives or their bodies is not going to help anyone, including yourself. Being cruel and saying ugly things doesn’t make you stronger or better than the people you tear down. We all want the same things out of life: to be happy and love who we see when we look into a mirror.
If you are feeling sad or lonely, send someone a message and say, “Hi.” You will make more friends being respectful and honest. Being cruel or snobbish just pushes others away. Sure, we might all have a tingling of jealousy if we find someone’s page who has lost the amount of weight we are aiming towards, or who has the butt or legs we dream of having, but ask yourself…
What does anyone gain from sending a hateful message filled with bile and insults? Does it really make you feel better after you hit “send?” Instead, ask that person how they achieved their goals, what inspired them or what exercises they did to tone those specific areas. Don’t send a message saying, “yeah, well you’re still fat!”
We all deal with enough negativity in our lives. This place should be a safe and loving haven for everyone. To put it simply, don’t be a jerk.
There is a lot of misconception over the use of the term binging. I’m sure you have seen people tearing themselves down or may have yourself because they had a big piece of pie or went over to claim jumper and had a big meal. It’s important to understand two things about this.
1. This is not unusual. It’s perfectly normal to overeat from time to time. Especially during our teen years when our bodies demand extra nutrients to support growth of muscle and bone.
2. This is not binge eating. Binge eating is different from normal appetite increases or overeating from time to time. People with a binge eating problem consume unusually large amounts of food on a regular basis. They often eat very quickly and don’t stop eating when they’re full.
Binge eating involves more than just eating a lot. People with this problem don’t want to be overweight. They wish they could be trim and control their weight. Many times people who binge eat feel misunderstood. It’s not as easy as others might think to just stop eating. With binge eating, a person feels out of control and powerless to stop eating while doing it. That’s why binge eating is also called compulsive overeating.
Emotions often play a role. People with a binge eating problem may overeat when they feel stressed, upset, hurt, or angry. Many find it comforting and soothing to eat, but after a binge they’re likely to feel guilty and sad about the out-of-control eating. Binge eating is often a mixed-up way of dealing with or avoiding difficult emotions. Usually, people who binge eat aren’t aware of what’s driving them to overeat.
It’s important to have an understanding of what the issue is. Don’t use the term binging to make yourself feel ashamed for having a big meal once and a while. We all do it and all struggle with it when it comes to working on making a healthier life. But you should never feel abnormal or ashamed about occasionally overeating.
Also if you do suffer from compulsive and emotional eating where you feel like you are unable to control your eating and feel like you fit the description that is listed above. It’s important to know that you have a lot of support and that there are many people out there who can help you work through your problem with binge eating. Knowing you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Try talking to somebody who can either help or find you help like a teacher, counselor, doctor, parent, psychologist, or mentor of some kind. Also know that on there are other people who are currently having some of the similar issues that have dealt with them in the past. Don’t be afraid to ask for support or advice. You will get better and you will be fine : )
Unconditional Love Sunday (Please send a nice message and reblog)
Hello everybody it’s that day again. It’s our weekly project to show those who are in need of some unconditional love today.
The person who we will be loving today is poisonmewithyourlove. She’s a beautiful girl who’s being very hard on herself. She needs to be reminded how amazing she really is! Please send her some love and support in her ask box. It only takes a second to say something nice that will make somebody’s day. The link to her ask box is below. Also please reblog this after you send her a message so more people can become involved with the love we are trying to give today!
A variety of bras are built with padding and wires to lift the breasts, but this is only a temporary solution. Develop the muscles in the chest to lift the breasts. The chest consists of two parts, the pectoralis minor and pectoralis major. Exercises that stimulate the chest from all angles will help tone the area and make the breasts appear perkier.
Stability Ball Push-ups
Performing stability ball push-ups develop the chest muscles to increase definition in the center of the chest. Start on all fours. Place a stability ball under your hips. Walk your hands forward until your feet are on top of the ball. Squeeze your abs tight to stabilize the ball. Bend your arms and lower your chest toward the ground. Press your body up until your arms are straight. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Decline Chest Press
Doing a decline chest press works the lower section of the chest muscles that sits under the breasts. Lie back on a decline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms straight over your chest with your palms facing forward. Lower the weights down until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Keep the dumbbells aligned with the chest. Press the weights up and together over your chest. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Stability Ball Chest Flys
Stability ball chest flys target the middle portion of the chest muscles. Sit on a stability ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Walk your feet forward until the ball is supporting your head, neck and shoulder blades. Extend the arms straight over your chest with palms facing inward. Open your arms out to the sides until the dumbbells are even with the shoulders. Squeeze your chest muscles and bring the weights together over your chest. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Incline Cable Press
An incline cable press stimulates the upper section of the chest that sits at the top of the breasts. Stand at a universal cable machine. Adjust the handles to shoulder height. Grip each handle and raise your hands up until they are even with your chest. Face your palms downward and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Press your hands up and together at a 45 degree angle. Release the arms back to the starting position. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Take action to protect your home adress and phone number (please reblog)
Sorry guys I know this isn’t fitness related but I had to let you guys know about a scary new website that could be giving out your personal information right now.
A new online project by White Pages now shows your name and home phone number over a satellite map. This means anybody who looks up your address can see who lives there and what your phone number is. Opening the door to lots of horrible problems. Have problems with a stalker? He or she can now check to see where you live. Trying to get away from a abusive relationship with an ex? They can now find where you live. Somebody wants to rob your house but doesn’t know if you are home? They can just call your house to see if there is anybody there. Truly scary stuff.
Why low impact is BS and why you need to do high impact exercise.
This focus on all exercises being low impact is totally crazy for young people who are healthy who aren’t injured.
Having strong bones is essential for your ability to function in life. Your bones are your foundations of support in your body. As you age, through natural degeneration processes, your bones become less dense and therefore prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is the condition in which bones become brittle and possibly fracture doing normal activities. There are ways to maintain and increase your bone density, such as high-impact exercise, to avoid complications later in life.
Impact exercise exerts force on the bone that results in small deformations. In response to this, osteoblasts, which are responsible for bone formation, transfer to the surface of the bone. They secrete proteins called collagen that fill the gaps in the bones caused by the deformations. Eventually the collagen proteins mineralize and become a part of the bone matrix, causing the bone to become wider in diameter and denser.
High-impact exercises are ones that involve stepping or jumping in a manner that loads the bone. Step, aerobic and kickboxing classes are examples of high-impact activities. The National Osteoporosis Foundation also recommends hiking and stair climbing. For those accommodated to fitness, running or jogging is a good activity. Plyometrics are perfect for building bone density and are activities that involve one or two legged jumps and hops. Plyometrics should be reserved for people who are already accustomed to exercise and are free from lower body injury.
Increasing bone density through high-impact exercise is an ongoing process, but it is not as time consuming as you might assume. In a study conducted by Dr. Kara Witzke in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,” researchers tested the bone density of 76 college-aged women who were placed into groups and instructed to step up onto and jump off 4-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch steps, three times a week for eight months. Results show that femur strength was significantly increased by just jumping off a 4- or 8-inch box for 10 repetitions without shoes, three times a week.
To see an increase in bone density, you need to overload your bones. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, minimal essential strain, or MES, refers to the stimulus required to form new bone, which is approximately 1/10th the force required to fracture a bone. To stimulate osteoblasts, you need to exercise at a greater force than the MES. This is generally more intense than normal activities of daily living. If you are already doing a lot of high-impact activities, your MES increases, so you need to constantly increase your intensity to continue seeing bone density increases.