Fitness and Health

Health & Fitness Features Index:

World's Leading Fitness Association Estimates that 10 Million Americans will Join a Health Club in 2006

2006 New Year's Resolutions Show Trend Toward Health and Fitness
Millions Seek Weight Loss on National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

Paula Abdul and DNA Studio Create the 'Cardio Cheer' Phenomenon

Game manufacturers take on child obesity

Don't Let Pains, Strains Muscle in on Your Holiday Travel, Chiropractors Say

Health: Lifestyles

New CDC Study Finds No Real Increase in Obesity Among Adults; But Levels Still High

After a quarter century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years but levels are still high - at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over, according to a new study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, "Obesity Among Adults in the U.S.: No Significant Change in 2005-06," is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Continue reading...

Making an Activity Plan: Exercising

By Sarah Jane Udall

When it comes to working out, there are countless exercise ideas to help you be active and still have fun. The key is to know what you are looking for, and to have a plan. Once you do that you will have more time to actually work out and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.

A good place to start when making an activity plan is to check out your local gym. Health clubs and gyms can offer you many different ways to stay active and get fit. From group exercise classes, to a wide variety of cardio machines and weight lifting equipment, there are a number of ways to get fit.

Group exercise classes such as aerobics, spinning, yoga, Pilates, even things like dance classes, or boxing, can be a fun and challenging way to mix up your exercise routine. There is a wide range of classes available for people of all fitness levels, and they are great if you are trying to lose weight, or just looking to incorporate fitness into your everyday lifestyle. Group classes are led by certified instructors who will help you gain confidence in yourself while pushing you to reach your ultimate fitness goals.

Another good idea is to work with a personal trainer. Sometimes when it comes to working out it is nice to have someone who can motivate you to do that last sit-up or to run an extra five minutes. That extra one-on-one attention may be just what you need to keep you on track, or to keep your workouts fresh. Trainers can also help you to make a schedule for yourself to keep you going.

No matter what you do, whether it is group fitness classes, working with a trainer, or even just getting outside and walking, or taking the stairs at work, start today by making an activity plan that will get you on the path to reaching your fitness goals.


One of the best ways to burn calories and see results from your workouts is to incorporate both cardio and strength training exercises into your workout routine. By combining strength training and cardio exercises you will not only increase your endurance and get your heart in shape, but you will also improve your muscular strength as well.

Strength training will help you to develop muscle definitions and elevate your body’s metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass, which in turn will help you burn more calories when you do your cardio workouts. And it doesn’t take much to see results. If you can commit to at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, and strength training at least two to three times a week you will soon realize the benefits of a complete workout.

There are so many great exercises you can do using both cardio and strength training machines. Treadmills, elliptical machines, Stairmasters, and exercise bikes can all provide you with a great cardio workout. You may find some harder than others, so mix it up, and push yourself to stay on the harder cardio machines just a little longer to really improve your endurance and burn more calories.

Strength training machines, as well as free weights will help you to target specific muscle groups such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back muscles. Different machines will target different muscles, and be careful not to start with too much too quick. Start with a lower weight and a lower number of repetitions until you start to feel comfortable with the different machines and exercises. A good idea too is to record your strength training workouts. By recording your workouts, including any increase in weight or the number of repetitions, you will be able to watch your progress and track your improvement. 

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