Tag: Than

A Cardio Core Workout Way Better Than the Treadmill + Sit-Ups

Cardio is good. Cardio that incorporates core strength at the same time is better. This workout lets you check off both without stepping foot on a treadmill or attempting a few lazy sit-ups on the mat. 

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The 25-minute routine features nontraditional core and cardio exercises to prevent boredom. You’ll perform some standing and some on the floor, but all of them will hit every inch of your core. You need zero equipment for this one, but an exercise mat is optional if you’d prefer. 

To recap: No equipment is needed for this workout. Complete a dynamic warm-up (~1.5 minutes), followed by a 25-minute workout, and a cool-down stretch (~2 minutes).

Workout:
Standing Lateral Crunch
Squat With Toe Tap
Squat Walk-Out With Row
Flutter Kick
Weightless Windmill
Squat With Side Crunch
Plank With Elbow Tap
Starfish
Reach and Pull
Standing Kickback
Sumo Squat to Tip Toe
Standing High-Knee Crunch
Frog Squat
Forward Curtsy
Squat With Side Reach
Plank With Tuck

Looking for more short and effective at-home workouts? Grokker has thousands of routines, so you’ll never get bored. Bonus: For a limited time, Greatist readers get 40 percent off Grokker Premium (just $ 9 per month) and their first 14 days free. Sign up now!

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21 Low-Impact Workouts That Are More Effective Than You Think

Every once in a while you should give your body a break from pounding the pavement, whether you’re running, dancing, or playing sports. But before you take this as a sign to sink even deeper into the sofa, try a low-impact workout. They’re easier on your body—your joints will thank you—and they can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying too much about injuries. Effects of low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise training with and without wrist weights on functional capacities and mood states in older adults. Engels HJ, Drouin J, Zhu W. Gerontology, 1998, Sep.;44(4):0304-324X.
Impact and overuse injuries in runners. Hreljac A. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 2004, Sep.;36(5):0195-9131.
Physical activity at leisure and risk of osteoarthritis. Lane NE. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 1996, Dec.;55(9):0003-4967.

Most trainers define low-impact as any exercise where one foot stays on the ground at all times. But rather than doing single-leg dead lifts until keeling over, we rounded up 21 low- (or no!) impact exercises worth trying:

Walking

1. Walking

Walking is a stress-free way to get moving. If taking a lesiurely stroll is too easy, there are plenty of ways to add intensity: Hit the hills or add weights (try dumbbells or ankle weights) to really get that heart rate up.  Intensity and energy cost of weighted walking vs. running for men and women. Miller JF, Stamford BA. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 1987, Jul.;62(4):8750-7587.

2. Elliptical

Sorry, treadmills. Ellipticals take the cake when it comes to putting less stress on your legs. Try spicing up your routine on the elliptical with a 20-minute interval workout

3. StairMaster

Feel winded every time you go up a set of stairs? It’s time to get acquinated with the StairMaster. No gym nearby? No problem. Any old stairs will work—just follow this workout.

4. Strength training

We already have a list of 19 reasons to strength train, and here’s one more: Most strength training exercises are low impact, and they still work up a sweat.  Muscle Forces or Gravity: What Predominates Mechanical Loading on Bone? Kohrt, W.M., Barry, D.W., et al. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011 Feb 10. (Keep in mind monster box jumps wearing a weighted vest don’t exactly qualify.) 

5. Cycling

We’ve loved biking ever since we finally took off our training wheels. It just so happens to be a great way to fit in some exercise without putting a strain on your joints. And you don’t even need to sign up for an indoor cycling class to see results. Try this 30-minute at-home cycling workout.

Rowing Machine

6. Rowing

Here’s a super-easy way to get in some cardio while also pretending that you’re soaking up some sun on a boat. Of course, the florescent lights in the gym eventually snap you back to reality. But at least you’ll be working out your arms, back, legs, and core. (Give this 30-minute rowing workout a go.) Score!

7. Kayaking

Want to actually hit the water? Grab a kayak and jump in (or maybe don’t jump in, if you want to stay dry)! Kayaking works your arms and core (no crunches necessary), and you can see some stellar sights along the way.

8. Tai Chi

This gentle, fluid movement improves flexibility and may even ward off headaches. A randomized controlled trial of tai chi for tension headaches. Abbott RB, Hui KK, Hays RD. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2006, Aug.;4(1):1741-427X. (Whether that includes hangover headaches is unclear.)

9. Hiking

Looking to upgrade your walks? Take a hike! To keep things low impact, start with low-grade terrain. Save climbing Everest for later. 

10. Rock climbing

Climbing requires slow, controlled movements, which means your muscles get a serious workout without the added strain.  Functional ankle control of rock climbers. Schweizer A, Bircher HP, Kaelin X. British journal of sports medicine, 2005, Jul.;39(7):1473-0480.

Yoga

11. Yoga

The ancient practice will have you feeling the burn without feeling the pain. So add some downward dogs and half moons to your fitness routine. Or try aerial yoga to really take your practice to new heights.

12. Pilates

You aren’t going to get a strong core by doing crunches all day long. Try Pilates instead—plus, you’ll seriously improve your flexibility without putting too much strain on your joints. 

13. TRX

TRX gets its name because it lets users do total-body resistance exercises using a strap suspension system (say that three times fast). The workout is easy on your joints but challenging for the rest of your body. Once you learn the ropes, see if you can master these 45 TRX exercises.

14. Swimming

Skip the inner tubes and start doing laps. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise with a boatload of benefits, from strengthening your shoulders to improving lung function.  Effects of weight bearing and non-weight bearing exercises on bone properties using calcaneal quantitative ultrasound. Yung PS, Lai YM, Tung PY. British journal of sports medicine, 2005, Aug.;39(8):1473-0480.

15. Water aerobics

If swimming laps gets repetitive, bring aerobics class to the pool. Some gyms even offer underwater treadmills to really keep things interesting. (We may want to rethink calling them “dreadmills.”)

Snowshoe

16. Snowshoeing

For a different kind of walk in the park, strap on a pair of snowshoes. Walking on snow—like walking on sand—is more of a workout than walking on pavement. And it’s still tame on your body. The energy expenditure of snowshoeing in packed vs. unpacked snow at low-level walking speeds. Connolly DA. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 2003, Mar.;16(4):1064-8011.

17. Step aerobics

For a good cardio workout without all the pounding, science suggests signing up for a step aerobic class.  Osteogenic+index+of+step+exercise+depending+on+choreographic+movements,+session+duration,+and+stepping+rate. Santos-Rocha,+R.A.,+Oliverira,+C.S.,+Veloso,+A.P.+Sports+Sciences+School+of+Rio+Maior,+Portugal.+British+Journal+of+Sports+Medicine,+2006+Oct;40(10):860-6;+discussion+866.+Epub+2006+Aug+18. Researchers found an hour of step aerobics gives you the same workout as a mid-distance run.

18. Ballroom dancing

Take a tip from Dancing With the Stars. Not only is dancing super sexy, it’s often gentle on the body.  The metabolic cost of two ranges of arm position height with and without hand weights during low impact aerobic dance. Carroll MW, Otto RM, Wygand J. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 1992, Mar.;62(4):0270-1367. So go grab a partner and give those dips, twists, and twirls a try.

19. Rollerblading

Let’s take a trip back to the ’90s and strap on some Rollerblades. Gliding on pavement puts less stress on your limbs while still burning calories. Just make sure you remember how to stop. 

20. Cross-country skiing

This flat-terrain travel keeps things heated—even in the cold. So put on your skis and start pumping those poles. You’ll keep the pressure light (as powdery snow) on your body.

21. Golf

Now, now—golf isn’t just for the pros (or the retired). Take a trip to the fairway and get swinging. Bonus points for skipping the golf cart and walking the course!

Originally posted April 2012. Updated March 2017. 

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8 Jarred Salsas to Buy Because They’re Better (and Way Easier) Than Making Your Own

We’re pretty sure chips and salsa is everyone’s preferred party snack. In the middle of football season—a.k.a. the season for hours-long group hangouts with mountains of food—you should be armed with the chunkiest, spiciest, hold-up-to-chips-iest salsas out there. We’ve rounded up the best of the best, from fruity to garlicky to just plain perf. So now you can spend all your time focusing on the homemade guac.

Best Classic:

salsas: green mountain

Photo: Amazon

Unlike many standard salsas labeled “medium,” Green Mountain Medium Salsa wasn’t loaded with sugar to kill the kick. In fact, between the bits of garlic and pepper seeds, plus hits of cilantro, it tasted the most “homemade” of the bunch, and for that, it gets our stamp of approval.

Photo: Big Bag Fresh

We don’t want to be #mainstream, but there’s no denying it: Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa is one of the best. Though it is medium, it packs decent heat, and the big bites of pepper and onion bring big flavor without tasting like gazpacho in the slightest.

Best Riff on Original:

salsas: Rojos

Photo: Refrigerated and Frozen Food

Rojo’s Southwestern offering gets it name (and rockin’ flavor) from chipotle peppers and jalapeños. Though a little less chunky than we’re typically looking for, Rojo’s Fire-Roasted Medium Salsa gets our vote for taste.

salsas: Newman's

Photo: Walmart

Paul Newman just gets us. When we asked ourselves, “What was regular salsa missing?” Paul answered with a jar of Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic Salsa. Smoky and strong, this probably isn’t a first-date salsa… unless you’re us and don’t give AF.

Best Verde:

salsas: chi chis

Photo: Walmart

A bit sweet, Chi-Chi’s Salsa Verde paired well with eggs and quesadillas alike. We might not dip a chip in verde alone, but it livened up meals without distracting from the main attraction.

salsas: 365

Photo: 365 By Whole Foods

Ditch the hot sauce; salsa verde is the only condiment you should douse on your food. 365 Roasted Verde Salsa‘s tangy yet sweet base is welcome on any taco of ours.

Best Fruity:

salsas: desert pepper

Photo: Walmart

The salsa purists will probably poo-poo us for even liking fruity salsas, but we’re way into Desert Pepper Peach Mango Salsa. With sugar from the fruit perfectly cutting the spice, we found we were unable to stop dunking our chips. Spoiler alert: It also makes a rad marinade for chicken and tofu.

salsas: kyvan

Photo: Sauce World

Like its orange-fruit counterpart, KYVAN Hot Honey Apple Salsa surprised us with its delicious taste. Fruity salsas FTW. It’s spicy and sweet (though mild enough to let the tomatoes do the talking), and we can’t wait to dunk beef and turkey meatballs into it, cocktail-style.

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