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Want To Be So Sculpted And Powerful You Glow With Confidence In Sneakers And A Bikini Alike? (Part 2)

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- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

With nearly half a million people finishing a U.S. marathon last year, it might seem like you’re not a real athlete unless you’ve done a 26.2-miler. But new research suggests that the physical stress of long-distance races may damage your heart over time by creating scar tissue that ups the risk of irregular heartbeats. While the study is ongoing, there are other reasons to stick to a shorter distance: You may have a lower risk of injury, it doesn’t take as much time to train, and there are far more race options available.

So rather than pinning your hat on a marathon, go for speed instead. Faster workouts, like sprint intervals and tempo running (or race- walking), rev your metabolism and target extra fab around your waistline. Bonus bragging rights: If you can break 60 minutes in a 10K race, you’ll be faster than nearly half of the female racers out there.

The goal: Do a perfect squat

Short on time? Sculpt your entire lower body in a minute with this move. “The squat engages the Lower back, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and shins,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Auburn University in Montgomery, AL.

“It’s as close to ‘one exercise that gets all’ as they come.” And because the squat is a functional move you use multiple times a day (whenever you bend down to pick up something), performing it properly makes you less prone to injuries.

Description: Sculpt your entire lower body in a minute with this move. “

Sculpt your entire lower body in a minute with this move. “

To do it right, stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and extend your arms at chest height in front of you (or place your hands on your hips). Squeeze your butt as you push your hips back and bend your knees (imagine you’re sitting down in a chair). Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground [shown, below] or your back arches or rounds. Keep your weight on your heels-try wiggling your toes to make sure it is. Too challenging? Squat with your back pressed against a wall until you work up the hamstring flexibility for the free standing version.

The goal: Climb a mountain

For this year’s vacay, skip the cruise and head for the hills instead.

Alpine hiking (climbing at high altitudes) offers big-time rewards. By the time you reach 14,000 feet, your body is working on 40 percent less oxygenthan at sea level, which forces your muscles to produce new red blood cells and operate more efficiently. It’s a tough fitness challenge, and one of the reasons why many Olympic athletes live and train at high altitudes. But us regular folks can benefit too. Austrian researchers found that over the course of a three-week hiking vacation, people lost an average of 7 pounds of fat. And it’s not just about the up hills, says study author Wolfgang Schobersberger, Ph.D. Research suggests that eccentric exercise (like descending a mountain) works your muscles in a unique way, upping your calorie burn while improving your coordination and flexibility. Want to conquer your first big climb? Book a trip to Denver and take on Mount Bierstadt, Grays Peak, or Torreys Peak-acclimating to the “mile-high” city for a few days may make the ascent to thinner air a little easier.

Description: For this year’s vacay, skip the cruise and head for the hills instead.

For this year’s vacay, skip the cruise and head for the hills instead.

The goal: Master the hundred

“This pilates sculptor activates the transverse abdominis-the deep abdominal muscle that pulls your belly in like a corset-15 percent more than a crunch,” says Olson. Add the bent-knee variation to your routine stat, working up to the extended-leg version.

How to do it

Lie face up with your knees bent over your hips, shins parallel to the ground. Extend your arms at your sides, palms facedown. Inhale, then exhale as you lift your head, shoulders, and arms [shown, top left]; look at your belly or thighs. Inhale as you pulse your arms up and down 5 times, then exhale and pulse for another 5 counts. Repeat, working up to 10 full breaths for a total of 100 pulses. As you get stronger, extend your legs at a 45-degree angle [shown, bottom left].You’ve perfected this move when you can do 100 pulses with your legs extended.

Description: Master the hundred.

Master the hundred.

The goal: Defend yourself against an attacker

Just knowing how to fend off an assault will make you feel stronger and safer, according to a University of Oregon study. To get the skills you need, take a self-defense class or at the very least master a basic knee-to-groin strike [shown, above]. “This move sends the other person’s head forward and hips back, weakening his stance,” says personal trainer and third-degree black belt Jennifer Cassetta, creator of the DVD set Stilettos and Self-Defense.

Description: Defend yourself against an attacker.

Defend yourself against an attacker.

How to do it

Grab one of your attacker’s shoulders or his shirt and forcefully raise your knee toward his groin as you pull him toward you. Poke him in the eyes or elbow him in the face, and run away as fast as you can.

 

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