Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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DW Life > d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 39 THINKSTOCKPHOTOS aerobic activity at least three days per week for a total 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity aero- bic activity. In addition, the AHA recom- mends moderate to high-intensity muscle- strengthening activity at least two days per week, for additional health benefits. If your goal is both to lose weight and to maintain overall health, working out combined with dieting is your best bet. Myth #5 If you're not working up a sweat, you're not working hard enough You've just spent 30 minutes pounding away on the exercise bike, but you're bare- ly sweating. You think, "Did I just waste half an hour of my life?" Absolutely not. Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself. As your core body temperature increases, you'll start sweat- ing. But a number of factors, other than how hard you're working, go into how much you sweat. First, some people are more prone to sweat than others. en there's the physical environment. For ex- ample, you'll sweat less in 40°F weather than in 80°F weather, even if you're doing the exact same thing. You'll sweat more the higher the humidity as well. Enter hot yoga. To best gauge the intensity of a work- out, listen to your body. Are you breath- ing hard? Do your muscles feel as if you have exerted them? Does your body feel tired? e answer very well may be yes to all these questions, even if you never had to wipe sweat off your forehead. Myth #6 You can focus on losing fat from cer- tain body parts Did Suzanne Somers ever talk you into buying a ighMaster? In the 1990s, the ighMaster infomercial, featuring the pop- ular actress, convinced many women that the device could help firm up flabby thighs. Unfortunately, the research has shown that spot reduction—the attempt to re- move subcutaneous body fat stored in specific areas of the body by performing exercises that target those areas—doesn't work. ese exercises may strengthen the muscles in those areas, but they will not impact the amount of stored fat. Only ac- tivities that attack overall body fat, com- bined with diet, can lead over time to fat reduction in specific areas, or overall. Crunches in particular seem to be fall- ing out of favor. Not only do they fail to burn enough calories to help your lose weight, but they can be bad for you, as they strain the back by bending the spine. Instead, fitness experts recommend planks, in which your spine remains lengthened and you engage your shoul- ders and butt as well as your abs. "Most of us already have problems with flexion in the spine because we sit so much at work, so it is better to do ex- ercises that extend the spine rather than round the spine," says McCall. Myth #7 You don't have time to work out Well, this one is not actually a myth—it is generally a fact for most of us! But given the importance of exercise, here are a few hints on how to debunk this myth or, shall we say, offset this ex- cuse. What if you were told that walking across the office to talk to someone in- stead of calling them counts as exercise? Recent studies have shown that any ex- ercise helps. So if you can't make it to the gym three times a week or take a 20-mile bike ride on weekends, rest assured that there are other ways to burn calories. e key? Keep moving. The worst thing you can do is sit for long periods of time. Several studies, including a 2016 study conducted by the American Journal of Physiolog y—En- docrinolog y and Metabolism, found that vigorous exercise, even several times a week, may not be enough to com- bat the effects of prolonged sitting on heart health. "If you can't take 10,000 steps a day, then take 5,000," says McCall. "Climb the stairs instead of riding the elevator. Park far away from your destination so you have to walk more. You can burn as much as 300 calories per day with these small changes. ey add up." DW Antonia Rodriguez is a freelance writer based in Dallas.

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