Workout Intelligence for 2013: The Truth About Exercise

Now that I have reached the big 6-0, I have become even more intentional about staying in shape. Nothing like a little back surgery (2009) to get you motivated to shape your core. Here are a few things to consider from some terrific sources:     

•    Lifting weights burns more calories than cardio. In a recent study, volunteers burned as many calories doing 30-minutes of weight training as they did running at a six-minute-per-mile pace for the same amount of time. But experts say don’t try to add cardio to your weight-lifting routine by lifting faster. According to the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, slow repetitions burn 50% more calories than fast ones – because the lack of momentum makes the moves tougher. But do practice interval training. It’s the way I workout everyday, and it’s the proven key to weight loss and endurance. So, for example, you lift your weights (or sprint on a treadmill) for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds. If you can make it through even 15 minutes like that, you’ll be astonished by the results (even using very light weights.)

•    Exercise can make you smarter. In one recent study, participants who ran sprints were then able to learn new words 20% faster than those who didn’t exercise. That’s because exercise stimulates blood flow and cell production – two things that will help you think more clearly. You can also increase the brain benefits of exercise by skipping the treadmill, and playing a game of soccer or tennis. Research tells us that games requiring strategy promote the growth of new brain cells.

•    Skinny people are not necessarily healthier than overweight people. Researchers used an MRI machine to detect hidden fat and found that 1-in-5 people who looked nice and thin still had dangerous amounts of fat around their internal organs. On the other hand, bigger people who led active lifestyles didn’t have the same deposits of dangerous fat. Being active every day has always been the proven way to stay healthy.

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