Get Ripped and See Those Washboard Abs

Washboard Abs, Six Pack Abs – Are They Possible? by Stew Smith

 

Yes, we all have six packs / eight packs even. They are just usually covered by a layer of fat. Having a flat stomach or washboard abs is not just accomplished by working out daily, it has to become an all-encompassing lifestyle. The key components are healthy and lean diet, cardiovascular / resistance training, and abdominal exercises. If a movie star stomach is your goal, you must realize that to achieve your goal you have to first concentrate on what you eat, not how many situps you do in a day. Of course, as with any fitness and health goal nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredient.

 

#1 Healthy Diet — Feed your body right to build those abs

The most important factor in acquiring washboard abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:  (low carbs = no sugar)

— Drink at least three liters of water per day (100 ounces).

— Eat vegetables and fruits each day for workout energy and lean proteins for recovery / calories.

— Eliminate fried foods and cheese.

— Eliminate processed sugar (for example: sodas, cookies, candy).

— Eliminate fatty red meat – only lean meats (1-2 times weekly).

Diets like the Atkins diet and other high protein diets may help at first. To get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to lower calories to a range of 1500-2000 calories a day and to exercise rigorously both with core exercises and cardio work.

 

#2 Cardiovascular Exercise / Resistance Exercise — Burn off extra calories

Washboard abs, getting lean, and losing weight are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular workout program. You should do 30-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week. It takes about four weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program. You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily. Start off slowly if you have not trained with much intensity in the past several years. A good way to get started is to walk or run with the following six weeks program if you have been running / walking regularly.

 

Week #1 – Walk/run  1 mile a day for 5 days a week

Week #2 – Walk/run  1.5 miles a day for 5 days a week

Week #3 – Non-impact week  bike or swim for 20-30 minutes a day

Week #4 – Walk/run  1.5-2 miles a day for 5 days a week

Week #5 – Walk/run  2.5 miles a day for 4-5 days a week

Week #6 – Walk/run  3 miles a day for 3-4 days a week

 

Note: Week #3 is non-impact due to high number of injuries that occur to legs (knees, shins, feet, hips) during the third week of beginning a walking or running program.

Runners who are just starting out can find a 10-week beginner running plan of action here.

 

#3 The Ab Exercises  – You have to build ab muscles to see them!

Even if your ab muscles are still hidden under fat – start now!

The Ten-second Crunch is probably one of the best beginning exercises for firming up the belly. Simply lie on your back and lift your shoulder blades off the floor and hold for ten seconds. Repeat this at least for ten repetitions. Try repeating the 10 seconds crunch for 10 repetitions morning and night for starters. Also, stretch and flex your lower back for a few minutes after each set in order to balance the muscles that support your torso. However, a variety of abdominal exercises will help build the muscles under the fat. Now lose the fat by watching your diet and cardio vascular exercise and you will soon see the muscles!

 

Below are some beginning and intermediate abdominal exercises:

Hanging knee-ups — Bring your knees as high as you can as you hang from a pullup bar.

Advanced Crunch — (Legs up) – Lie on your back with your feet straight in the air. Keep your legs straight up in the air for the advanced crunches. Cross your hands over your chest and bring your elbows to your knees by flexing your stomach. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury place feet on the floor instead)

Reverse Crunch — In the same position as the regular crunch, lift your knees and butt toward your elbows. Leave your head and upper body flat on the ground. Only move your legs and butt. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury)

Double Crunch — Add the regular and reverse crunch together in one motion. You will feel this one twice as fast

Right Elbow to Left Knee — Cross your left leg over your right leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee.

Left Elbow to Right Knee —  Same as above just switch sides. Cross your right leg over your leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee.

Hip rollers — This exercise will help you build your abs, back, and hips to help with long ocean swims and balance out the hip flexors exercises. Twist to both sides keeping your shoulders on the floor and stay in the bent knee position when rotating left and right.

 

Note: Anytime you work your abs, you should also exercise your lower back to build balance in your torso. Below are two lower back exercises to incorporate into your ab work:

Lower Back Exercise — Lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head. Lift your right arm and your left leg off the ground at the same time and repeat for specified number of repetitions. Switch arms/legs and repeat.

Lower Back Exercise (Swimmers) — Lie on your stomach and lift your feet and knees off the floor by flutter kicking repeatedly as if you were swimming freestyle.

 

Here are some advanced abdominal exercises:

Do not attempt to do these ab exercises if you are a beginner! These exercises are not healthy for weak or injured backs. If you cannot do the above swimmer exercises for 1:00 do not attempt these exercises.

Situps — Lie on your back with your arms crossed over your chest, keeping your knees slightly bent. Raise your upper body off the floor by contracting your abdominal muscles. Touch your elbows to your thighs and repeat.

Half Situps — With your hands on your hips, lift your torso off the ground higher than a crunch but not as high as a full situp. Your middle/lower back will be on the floor still at the up position.

Flutterkicks — Place your hands under your hips. Lift your legs 6 inches off the floor and begin walking, raising each leg approximately 36 inches off the ground. Keep your legs straight and moving. This is a four count exercise.

Leg levers — Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor. Raising both legs approximately 36 inches off the ground, keep your legs straight and off the floor until specified number of repetitions are complete.

Scissors —  Lay on your back. Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor. Open and close both legs approximately 36 inches apart, keep your legs straight and off the floor until specified number of repetitions are complete.

Atomic situps — Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor as if you were doing a leg lever. Pull your knees toward your chest while simultaneously lifting your upper body off the floor. This is a mix between the situp and the leg lever.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.

 

Stew Smith's Tips for Breathing Technique During Exercise

Learning to breathe during exercise has benefits such as preventing dizziness during activity, improving athletic performance, and increasing fat burning.

 

What is proper breathing while running?

Many experts will say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you inhale on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and exhale fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. You will notice a lower heart rate as you are able to get more oxygen in and more importantly push all the carbon dioxide out of your body. You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are really pushing it to the finish. That is OK.  But realize it is difficult to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at a 2:1 ratio. The carbon dioxide in your body will increase if your breathing patterns are short and hurried. This will increase your heart rate and lactic acid production, and decrease your endurance in any cardiovascular event (running, swimming, biking, etc.)

 

What about breathing and training/lifting?

Proper breathing during exercises where you exert yourself — such as lifting, pushing, or pulling — is much easier to remember and control than the 3:2 ratio during running long distance. To put it simply: always exhale on exertion. For example, when you are pushing a bench press off your chest, you exhale on the push and inhale as you bring it slowly to your chest. When you are doing a pullup, you exhale on the pulling up motion and inhale on the way down. Breathing during exertion is important in preventing internal injury such as hernia, blood vessel strain, and high blood pressure. Because weight lifting and and other types of training can be potentially harmful when done incorrectly, it is advised to get clearance from a doctor before performing too much – too soon. To decrease that pressure, focus on breathing deep all the time — during workouts and in your daily activities.

 

How does more oxygen help to burn more fat?

Oxygen + Water = Fat burn

 

Basically, the body needs water and increased oxygen to burn fat as an energy source. The water intake should be anywhere from a half gallon for women and up to one gallon a day for men. The increased oxygen consumption will assist with the other part of the equation.

As you add more water and oxygen to your system, your body will be able to use the retained water for excretion, prompting almost immediate weight loss of retained water and toxins. This is not the same as sitting in a sauna and sweating which actually dehydrates you. Adding water will re-hydrate you and enable the body to burn more fat (as long as you increase your oxygen intake by doing some form of exercise). Walking, swimming, biking, jogging, calisthenics, and even yard work can help with working your cardiovascular system.

Try the deep breathing rhythm during running or working out and see for yourself how you will perform at a lower heart rate and have more energy for a strong finish.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout.

Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Fitness Results by Stew Smith

When to eat and what to eat are constant questions that affect your fitness and health goals as well as your weight loss desires. The answer will vary depending on your goal, but understanding the After, Before, During (ABD’s) of workout nutrition will better help all groups (performance athletes, weight losers, general health clients) reach their personal goals.

This understanding of what foods and drinks work best for fat loss and health gains requires a constant search for the individual. Here are some suggestions that will help you figure out what to eat and when to eat it.

 

For the Health and Fitness / Body Fat Reduction Goal:

If you are trying to drop some unwanted pounds and get healthy, proper nutrition and a well arranged workout plan are vital to you achieving that goal. You have to experiment with the types of exercise that will create a good caloric burn, as well as find sources of lower calorie foods that work best for your energy level. Keep track of how you feel during workouts whether they are higher intensity resistance training or lower intensity cardio since it will typically measure if you are eating enough quality foods. If you have significant weight (40+ lbs) to lose, try some non impact cardio options like biking, elliptical gliders, swimming, aqua-jogging, rowing etc.

 

The Fat Burning Workout:

If your goal is to burn fat, your workout should get you into a fat burning zone by the time you are finished exercising for the day.  The arrangement of your workout should be calisthenics or weights first followed by steady, aerobic cardio of your choice. Basically, go hard the first half of your workout and burn your blood sugar (anaerobic activity burns glycogen) as your prime energy source first. This can take about 15-20 minutes of intense workout depending on the amount of food you have eaten before the workout of the day. Once you are feeling burned out from that section of anaerobic activity, it is now time to go aerobic and get into fat burning mode.

 

When is the best fat burning time? —- The ideal time is immediately after waking and before having any food.
 

AFTER WORKOUT: Here is where you can stay in fat burning mode a little longer. If you delay eating carbs immediately after your workout for another 30-60 minutes you will be fine and actually still be using fat as your primary energy source. Throughout the next several hours of the day your metabolism will be higher thus burning more calories than having NOT exercised that morning. After a while, you will need to eat good carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) and a protein serving to recover from the workout. Limit the carbohydrates in a day and try to eliminate sugar. Find what carbs and proteins work best for you and your energy requirements for the day (work, home, kids, etc). For a quick fix and in replacement of food in a pinch, you may choose to have some whey protein powder in milk. You still need to prepare for the next workout session by eating something even though you are trying to lose weight.

BEFORE WORKOUT: If you are working out to lose weight and get healthier, depending on your workout intensity, you may not need to have a pre-workout meal. (If your goal is to get into fat burning mode, the fewer carbs you eat prior to workout will decrease the amount of time and effort required to get into that fat burning and low glycogen mode). If you like to work out immediately after you wake up, you are at your lowest in blood sugar for the day. Now is the time to take a short burst of intense exercise then follow it with what is called conversational paced cardio. If you can talk and be a little winded you are in prime fat burning zone.

DURING WORKOUT: Unless you are working out for extended periods of time to get used to 8-10 hours of some sort of specialized training, food intake during normal hour long (or shorter) workouts is not needed. Just drink water to stay hydrated and if you are sweating profusely in the humid, summer heat you should follow with a serving or two of electrolytes to replace what you lose while sweating.

 

Here are some great ideas for protein, carbs, and fats:

Carbohydrate Options: Multi grain breads and pastas, brown rice, cereals, good carbs like vegetables (romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, carrots), and fruits, (tomatoes, strawberries, apples, berries, oranges, grapes, and bananas ) make great carbohydrates for energy. Stay away from white breads, pastas, rice and any flour baked products. Sugar is your killer – eliminate or at the minimum reduce sugary drinks and replace them with water and unsweetened drinks.

Protein Options: Meats, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, almonds, beans, milk, milk shakes with additional whey protein powder (optional), peanut butter.Try eating boiled eggs and salads in between meals during snack time, or have a few servings with a main course of meat or fish for a good balance of plant and animal protein.

Fat Options: Fish, nuts, olive oils, omega 3 fortified products (milk, margarine, peanut butter).

 

The ABD’s of HYDRATION

Anyone who works out needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and/or dehydration especially during excessively sweaty workouts, but you also need to add electrolytes (sodium potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.) Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water and electrolyte loss. Read How to Recover Fast from Hazy, Hot and Humid Workouts for tips on staying hydrated.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

A Beginner Running Plan by Stew Smith

Running injury free requires near perfect technique, great shoes, possibly the addition of orthotics/insoles, and a gradual build-up after long periods of no running or beginning a running plan.

To avoid or deal with running injuries, remember this saying. “If it hurts to run, stop running. If it hurts to walk, do not run. If it hurts doing nothing/walking, go to a doctor.”

Below is a Beginner Running Chart for people seeking to start an exercise plan and need to lose 20+ lbs: (always start your run workout with a quick 5:00 walk and light leg stretch). The RUN / WALK method is highly recommended as you are learning to run.

 

 Each Run Workout is to be done THREE times a week

 

Week 1

Walk 20-30 minutes / stretching entire body daily  (monitor weight loss*)

Week 2

Run 1:00 / Walk 1-2:00 for 20-30 minutes

Week 3

Run 1:00 / Walk 1:00 for 30 minutes (listen body as injuries occur this week**)

Week 4

3 Sets of Run 1:30 / Walk 1:30 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 1:00

Week 5

3 Sets of Run 2:30 / Walk 1:00 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 30 seconds

Week 6

4 Sets of Run 3:00 / Walk 1:30

Week 7

Run 1 mile / try non-stop / walk 1 mile fast

Week 8

Run / walk combo 2.5 miles  (from weeks 8-10 – try to run as much as you can)

Week 9

Run / walk combo 2.75 miles

Week10

Run / walk combo 3 miles

 

 

  • * – if you are losing 2-3 lbs this week by simply adding walking / stretching and more water to your life – keep it up until weight loss slows to under 1 lb per week.

 

  • ** – Typically injuries occur during running programs the 3rd week IF too aggressive with initial training

 

Running When Overweight – The human body is built for survival and is quite resilient to most of the stresses we can throw at it; however, the knee is not designed to take too much excess weight even through a pain free running program. Usually meniscus and articular cartilage will wear away exposing bone on bone and premature arthritis. This takes years though. So, if you are over 40 lbs overweight replace walking/running everyday with some days of non-impact aerobics like biking, swimming, rowing or elliptical gliding.

Read more about proper running techniques to prevent injuries and get the most out of your running workout.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

Great Advice for Proper Running Technique by Stew Smith

Everyday you can usually spot someone who chooses running as their source of daily exercise. So many times people pass by, running in pain and obviously not enjoying the popular cardiovascular activity. Improper technique is the main culprit for less enjoyment and injury among runners. Maybe they would enjoy running a little more if they knew the proper techniques. Here are a few tips to help you pick up your pace and stay injury free:

Breathing – Take big, deep inhalations and exhalations similar to the way you yawn. This will help you receive the oxygen your body needs. Too many people breathe too shallow when they run, causing a hyperventilation effect. Slow down the running pace if you need to, but concentrate on your breathing.

Stride and Foot Contact – When jogging, open your stride but lean slightly forward to a point where you will land closer to the middle of your foot – not the back of your heel but the middle of your foot – and roll across your foot, pushing off the ground with your toes. But not flat footed! Many people run flat footed, back of heel strike, or on their toes causing stress on their feet, lower back, hips, knees and ankles. You can eliminate this by following the simple audio test. If you can hear your feet hitting the ground when you run, then you are running wrong. It should sound like your shoes are rolling on the ground quietly. Comfortable running shoes will also aid in prevention of injuries. Truly – it depends on if you are sprinting or jogging. If you are sprinting you will run more on your toes and when jogging you want a roll of the foot off the mid foot / top of heel (not bottom of heel).

Arm Swing – You should have a relaxed arm swing but very pronounced. Swing your hands from about chest high to just past your hips. The term “hip to lip” is a good way to remember this when you are running. Your arms should be slightly bent but not flexed. Run limp wristed. It is impossible to flex your arms with a limp wrist.

Relaxed Upper Body – You should relax your fists, arms, shoulders, and face. Too many people clench their fists and grit their teeth when they run. This causes the oxygenated blood that you need to go to your legs to also go to your upper body. The only things that need to be working when you are running are your “lungs and your legs.”

Start slowly and warm up – Do not stretch your legs until you have warmed up your body by jogging or biking slowly for about 5-10 minutes. Run every other day if you are just beginning and only add mileage to your run as you feel comfortable.

Running is statistically one of the most potentially dangerous exercises you can do, but it does not have to be as long as you remember to do everything in moderation and follow these running tips. So, do not be one of 50% of runners nationwide who injure themselves this year by running too often and incorrectly. Good luck and enjoy probably one of the best weight loss plans known to man.

Especially if you are overweight by 20-30+ lbs – running can be downright dangerous for long distances / even sprints. So pick a non impact aerobic activity as you lose weight to avoid the extra impact on your hips, knees, shins, feet, lower back. All of which are susceptible to impact injuries even if not over weight.

See this Beginner Running Plan that will slowly take you from walking to running.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

15-Minute Workout from Stew Smith

Here are some ideas for those of you who only have a few minutes a day to exercise. Regardless of the hours you keep, here are some options for you to get in quick workouts that are both affective and will wake you up whether it is done in the AM or PM after dinner.

Wake up with Crunches – Here is an exercise that is JUST a little harder than sleeping and it WILL wake you up by doing simple movements:

Do a complete crunch cycle complete with the following:

Regular Crunch – 10-20 reps – Just lift shoulder blades off the floor

Reverse Crunch – 10-20 reps – Lift hips off the floor

Double Crunch – 10-20 reps – Lift BOTH hips / shoulders off the floor simultaneously

Left Crunches – 10-20 reps – Take right elbow to the left knee

Right Crunches -10-20 reps – Take left elbow to right knee

Bicycle Crunches – 10-20 reps – Take right/left elbow to left/right knee by bicycling the legs

Plank pose – 30-60 seconds

Stomach stretch – 30 seconds

This takes about 3-4 minutes to complete. Refer to this Lower Back Plan PDF provided by Stew Smith for detailed explanations of these exercises.

Jumping jacks / Pushups – Do 10 jumping jacks / 10 pushups and repeat the non-stop cycle 5-10 times, depending on your fitness level.

This takes 3-5 minutes if you push all 10 sets.

Jumping jacks/ Squats – If you want to add in a leg workout, try replacing pushups in option #2 with squats.

Multi-Joint Dumbbells (MJDBs) Exercises – With a set of dumbbells, mix in a few exercises into one movement:

Bicep curl, military press, tricep extensions – do 10-15 reps

Squats, bicep curl, military press, tricep extension – do 10-15 reps

Squat thrust, pushup x 5, stand up, bicep curl military press, tricep extension – 5-10 reps

If you select one of these to do, it only takes about 30 seconds per set. Mix in a few sets of each exercise and you have completed a challenging and effective full-body workout cycle. Visit Stew Smith’s website for detailed photos of how to perform these MJDB exercises.

Cardio option – You can skip all the above and just run, bike, walk, elliptical glide, or row for 15-20 minutes or you can add in a quick burst of cardio for the remaining time you have.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.

How to Recover Fast from Hazy, Hot and Humid Workouts

Hazy, Hot, and Humid Summer Workouts/Practices: How to Recover Fast by Stew Smith

Any person or team who exercises in the heat needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and even potential death from heat stroke. Fatigue is part exertion and part body heat so your hydration plays a huge part in your athletic and tactical performance. Dehydration can occur during excessively sweaty workouts no matter how well you hydrate prior to your workout, but you also need to add electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.) Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water/electrolyte loss. If you are not sweating profusely during your workouts, the need for these salts are less and you will likely get the required salts from your regular diet. However, if you are in an arid environment like the desert, you will dehydrate without sweating and all you will see will be salt stains and chapped lips as the air is evaporating the moisture right off your skin.

 

If you are doing multiple hours in the heat with long races, long days working outside, two or three a day practices preparing for Fall sports, you need to think of the meal in between your working hours as not only a post workout meal but also a pre workout meal. Adding more water, salts, protein, carbohydrates, will help you feel better and have more energy for training or working. Once the day is done, it is even more essential to prepare for the following day in hot and humid environments.

(NOTE: The same applies to dry arid environments but you will not be able to wring the sweat out of your clothes – your sweat evaporates too quickly. You will see salt stains on your clothes and that means you need water and salts in your recovery meals.

If you can wring out your shirt after a workout, it will be beneficial to add more of these “salts” into your post exercise diet. Sure, you can add sports drinks but stay away from the extra sugar and electrolytes if you are not sweating. Sports drinks with sodium, potassium, carbohydrates (sugar) are a safe bet for hydration during hard sweaty exercise. If you are not sweating profusely, there is little need for these sports drinks during exercise unless you are in a desert environment where you do not sweat as it evaporates immediately. Bananas, kiwi, coconut juice and water are some of the best natural aids in re-hydrating and replacing electrolytes. Here are some more ideas for hydration:

Before Workouts– Do not drink too much 1 hour prior to hard workouts if you are doing significant running since the bouncing will potentially cause cramping. Although, most would rather deal with cramping than dehydration so think about your effort level when sweating profusely and what will work for your level of exertion in the heat.

During Workouts– Sip water or a carbohydrate/electrolyte mix every 10-15 minutes to maintain high intensity performance training.

 

A ballpark equation for daily consumption of liquids for highly active person is: 50-75% body weight in lbs = oz per day of H2O

 

Finding the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, electrolytes and water all depends on your age, sex, weight, activity level, weather, and goals. Every day that you have a challenging workout with above average times and feel great afterward, make a note of everything you did that day. Often that is the formula that works best for you and your fitness performance goals.

After Workouts– If hot sweaty or covered in salt stains, you have a huge selection of post workout meals and drinks that will help you recover. Consider protein and carb replacement first, but if you are still feeling sluggish from the workout it is likely lack of fluids and salts in your post workout meal.

  • One favorite post exercise quick snack is a can of chicken noodle soup (Campbells Noodle O’s) because it is loaded with potassium, sodium, carbs, and protein as well. In fact, it has about 3-4 times the potassium of a banana and about 5-6 times the potassium of Gatorade. If you are not sweating much and you’re not in arid environment, water will be enough to hydrate you.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

Light Weight Shoulder Workout by Stew Smith

The shoulder is our most versatile joint. There is no other joint that can lift up, down, forward, backward, rotate left and right, or throw. The only joint in our body built similarly is the hip. But with the shoulder’s versatility comes its weakness. It is commonly injured due to tendonitis, ligament pulls, bursitis, dislocations, separations, and rotator cuff injuries. If you have had any of these injuries in the past or you want to help prevent shoulder injuries in the future, try the Light Weight Shoulder Workout below.

This workout is actually one used by many physical therapists and requires ONLY light weights – in fact no heavier than FIVE pound dumbbells is recommended. Start by using no weights at all and only lift “the air”. You will find that the air gets heavy on these small muscles of the shoulder. But these are the muscles that no one exercises. Most people will lift too heavy amounts of weight over their head and cause an injury mainly due to lack of stabilization of the shoulder joint. By exercise all of the muscles in the shoulder as with the Light Weight Shoulder Workout, you will build the balance needed in the shoulder to help prevent injuries and build nice, tone shoulders and arms. Try it below and see for yourself:

The Light Weight Shoulder Workout (with dumbbells)

Do the following sequence of exercises non-stop for ten reps each:

Lateral Raises – 10 (palms down)
Lateral Raises – 10 (thumbs up)
Lateral Raises – 10 (thumbs down)
Front Raises – 10 (thumbs up)
Cross overs – 10 (palms facing away from you)
Military press – 10

LATERAL RAISE A safe and effective shoulder exercise with light weights. Over 5 pound dumbbells is not recommended for this exercise. Keep your knees slightly bent, shoulder back, and your chest high. Lift weights parallel to ground in a smooth controlled motion, keep your palms facing the ground. Follow the next 5 exercises without stopping.

THUMBS UP After performing 10 regular lateral raises, do 10 lateral raises with your thumbs up, touching your hips with your palms facing away from you and raising your arms no higher than shoulder height.

THUMBS DOWN  Continue with side lateral raises. As you lift your arms upward, keep your thumbs down. Repeat for 10 times, always leading in the up and down direction with your thumbs.

FRONT RAISE (THUMBS UP) Now, for 10 more repetitions, time to work your front deltoids. Lift the dumbbells from your waist to shoulder height keeping your thumbs up.

CROSS OVERS With your palms facing away from you and arms relaxed in front of your hips, bring your arms up and over your head as if you were doing a jumping jack (without jumping). Cross your arms IN FRONT of your head and bring them back to your hips for 10 repetitions.

MILITARY PRESS Place one foot ahead of the other as shown and knees slightly bent to reduce strain on your lower back. Exhale as you push the weights over your head for 10 final repetitions in the mega-shoulder pump workout.. Slowly lower them to shoulder height and repeat. Muscles used are shoulders and triceps (back of arm).

Do this routine during any upper-body day workout.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.