Weekly health briefs rail.
Tip of the Week
The medicine ball is a master of versatility. What else can you toss, bounce, lift and throw in the pool? (Yes, they float!) In the past, medicine balls were used exclusively by athletes and strength coaches, but now, you’ll see them in almost every health club, workout class and sporting goods shelf. If you’re new to the medicine ball or need a refresher, here’s a breakdown of the ins and outs of this awesome gear:
Function. Medicine ball workouts increase your muscular strength, up your endurance and improve your stability. Unlike weight machine exercise, you’re not fixed to a single plane of movement. The swinging, throwing and rotating will prepare your body for realistic motions and help prevent injuries. And since many medicine ball motions include explosive movements, your power for all types of sports-based movements will also increase.
Size. Medicine balls can be found in weights ranging from 2 pounds to 30 pounds, but which ball you should grab depends on your workout. A 4- to 10-pound ball is great for tossing exercises, an 8- to 15-pound ball will give you a good abdominal core workout, and for leg exercises that build hamstrings and quads, go big with 15 to 30 pounds.
The Signature Move. The possibilities are limitless, but if you only have time to add one medicine ball move into your workout today, the Overhead Slam is a must. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Lift the medicine ball overhead with both hands, bend at the hips, and slam the ball on the ground directly in front of you. Keep slamming at a high speed for 30 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat two more times. This move not only works your entire body, but is a great cardio burst that gets your heart rate up.
Grab a medicine ball and get going!
- Life Fitness
Number to Know
55 percent: Tomatoes are one nature’s top sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that could help reduce the risk of stroke. People who have the most lycopene in their bloodstream are 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who don’t.
- Journal of Neurology
The average flatscreen weighs 50 pounds. From 2000 to 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says 215 people died in accidents involving a falling TV and 96 percent of those fatalities were children younger than 10. Minimizing the risk of such tragedy is as simple as wall mounting your flatscreen TV with mounts that keep the set flush against the wall to ones with a full range of tilt and motion.
The Top Technologies for Mature Drivers guide is a new interactive tool that outlines the top 10 new vehicle technologies that are most beneficial for mature drivers. Based on research conducted by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab, it has 10 animated videos that demonstrate how the technologies work. It can be found on the AARP Driving Resource Center at www.aarp.org/drc.
A new study published in the Journal of American Medicine found that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of hypertension. Comparing the blood pressure of more than 21,000 people from various countries, the study found that people who follow a vegetarian diet have a systolic blood pressure of about 7 mm hemoglobin lower as well as lower diastolic blood pressure that participants eat an omnivorous diet.
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