Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily Dish

The Most Common Fitness Mistake People Make

Think fast: What’s your favorite type of exercise? If you’re like most people, cardio is at the top of your list. But focusing too much on cardio while neglecting core-strengthening exercises can result in weak core muscles and poor flexibility — and that can increase your chances of getting hurt. Even those who do conventional weight lifting may be vulnerable to injury, since this type of exercise tends to isolate muscle groups and neglect those all-important core muscles.

In his South Beach Supercharged Fitness Program, Dr. Arthur Agatston, leading preventive cardiologist and author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged, emphasizes the importance of functional fitness — core-strengthening exercises that mimic everyday activities such as bending, lifting, and pressing — in addition to cardio conditioning. Here’s more on the benefits of functional fitness:

  1. You’ll Strengthen Your Core Muscles
    Functional exercises require you to use several muscle groups in one fluid movement. This will strengthen and develop the muscles in the back, abdomen, pelvis, and hips, and promote stability and flexibility — all essential for preventing injury and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

  2. You’ll Tone Your Muscles and Improve Bone Density
    Even if you're diligent about cardio workouts, you’ll still need something more to further improve muscle tone and bone density. Combining a cardio routine with core training will not only make you stronger but will also help promote good posture and balance.

  3. No Expensive Equipment Needed! The best part? The functional exercises featured in the South Beach Supercharged Fitness Program don't require you to buy fancy, expensive equipment like balance boards and pulley-type machines to see results. We recommend the following:
    • a chair without arms or a bench
    • a mat or thick towel to protect your back and knees during floor exercises
    • light hand weights (optional)
    • an exercise step, also called an aerobic step or a home-exercise workout step (optional)

See all South Beach Diet Tips.

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