Many exercise programs promise the best results in the fastest time. But how can you tell what works? Take a look at the pros and cons of the latest fads and find out which routine is right for you.
Originating in Russia centuries ago as a strength-training tool, kettlebells are nothing more than cannonball-shaped weights with handles. A typical exercise using a kettlebell involves swift movements described as "snatches" or "jerks." These movements use the body as a whole, rather than isolating certain muscle groups.
Pros: time-tested; build both muscle strength and endurance; simple design; easy to use; versatile; mobile
Cons: not designed to tone muscles; higher risk of injury
This 90-day program is based on the idea of muscle confusion. It aims at challenging muscles by constantly changing up the weight, tools and types of resistance. P90X targets both cardiovascular and muscular fitness for a total-body workout.
Pros: fast, noticeable results; comprehensive; varied; well suited for both men and women
Cons: expensive; high-intensity; difficult; requires extreme commitment; necessitates dietary changes
Inspired by ballet, Pure Barre is an exercise program that uses a ballet barre to perform small isometric movements. Pure Barre doesn't require any weights or special equipment. Rather, a typical session looks similar to a choreographed dance, with constant, fluid motions performed at a rigorous pace.
Pros: burns fat and tones muscle; improves balance; easy on joints; incorporates music; fun and interesting; customizable to your level of fitness
Cons: requires an instructor; not well oriented to men; not challenging enough for some people; focuses mainly on lower body
|Exercises for People on the Go
You don't have to hit the gym to stay in shape this season. Try these simple, on-the-go exercises to firm up and burn those holiday calories.
Belly brakes: While driving, tuck in and flex your abdominal muscles every time you press the brakes.
Corporate calisthenics: Rest your hands on the arms of your office chair and push up and down while your feet are planted on the ground.
Stretch n' flex: Whether you're waiting in sitting in the airport or in your hotel room, squeeze in some resistance training using a Thera-Band® or elastic exercise band.
Sources: cdc.gov, csmonitor.com, livestrong.com, oprah.com, purebarre.com, fitnessista.com
Article courtesy of MyHealthPublisher.com.