jmadden22's picture

How To Get Back in Shape After Quitting Smoking

Congrats: you finally quit smoking! What happens next? Initially, your palate and metabolism will return to normal, meaning food will taste better but fat will be more difficult to break down. However, your lung capacity will gradually improve, giving you more freedom to enjoy physical activities. Once you quit smoking there are many ways to get back into shape and, of course, most of them involve some form of exercise. Have you ever wondered what makes a workout actually work? Why does working out make you healthier? Regular workouts help your body in a variety of ways. For starters, working out helps to promote:

  Healthier digestion

  Healthier circulation

  Healthier lung capacity

  Bone health

  Heart heath

  Increased cognitive abilities

  Better moods 

  Reduced stress

  Healthy aging

  Weight management


Dr. Nirenberg's picture

Walking Increases Lifespan, Regenerates Brain, Study Finds

As a podiatric physician and walking instructor at, I am always reading new research on walking. People ask me why I bother: hasn’t it all been said?

No, it has not. In fact, some of the findings about walking are vexing, perplexing and downright mystifying. Other research is fascinating and motivating.

One constant seems to be that every research team sets out knowing great things can happen for walkers.

In fact, many of the studies are based on the premise that bare minimums of walking can do amazing things for your health and increase your lifespan (more on that later). But in every case, walking remains the winner.

I’d like to use this space to summarize the most enlightening (and some surprising) studies from the latest walking research.

The Basics: Just Minutes of Walking Can Add Years to Your Life

When people tell me they don’t have time to walk (too many texts to send, I suppose), I jump out of my chair to tell them about this study by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. It wasn’t a casual headcount, either – over 650,000 people were involved in their research, which covered decades of statistics.

Gareth Evans's picture

J/fit Balance Pods Review

As a former professional rugby, albeit only for a year, I know how important balance and core stability can be when it comes to playing sport at a high level; it’s often one of the assets that separates elite sportsmen and women.

I still play rugby regularly, although I’m strictly an enthusiastic amateur nowadays, and as such I perform some form of core stability work during each and every gym workout. Whether I’m on a stability ball doing squats, or performing weighted lunges on a wobble cushion, I always try to throw in some core work to every workout routine.

Balance and core stability are essential in every aspect of rugby, whether you’re breaking tackles and trying to stay on your feet, whether you’re scrummaging or you’re trying to sidestep an opponent.

I’m always on the lookout for exciting new ways of improving my balance and core stability, which is why I’m so excited to have come across J/fit Balance Pods. They offer a versatile means of adding some much needed, and extremely beneficial, core and balance work into my exercise routine.

Gareth Evans's picture

Powerstrike kickboxing Vol. 6 Review

I’m someone who gets bored easily by running and needs something a little more exciting to keep me interested and committed to my cardio workouts. That’s why, when it comes to getting into great shape, kickboxing is one of my personal favourites.

I’ve been to kickboxing classes at my local gym on and off over the last few years, but the problem for me boils down to cost, and that’s why I only go to one or two each month. I would love to attend more classes, however, as the results from kickboxing workouts are great; they get you fit, lean and feeling great, in no time at all.

If you love kickboxing as a means of getting, and staying, in shape, Powerstrike kickboxing Vol. 6 could be the workout DVD for you. It provides a comprehensive workout routine that teaches you all of the correct techniques, while allowing you to get a great workout, in the comfort of your own home.

How does Powerstrike kickboxing Vol. 6 work?

Hosted by award winning presenter Ilaria Montagnani, voted best female presenter in 2010, Powerstrike kickboxing Vol. 6 provides users with a comprehensive cardio workout, while also demonstrating the core fundamentals of kickboxing.

Gareth Evans's picture

Perfect V2 Pushup Bar Review

I absolutely love bodyweight training. Heading down to the gym to shift some real steel has its attractions, but it’s the convenience of bodyweight circuits that keeps me coming back for more.

While there are a whole host of bodyweight exercises that I like to perform, as part of my routine, push ups are, without doubt, the most effective means of training your upper body and core. And I can’t get enough of them.

Whether you’re a beginner, trying their best to reach 10 push ups per set, or you love to smash out sets of 100, joint pain is a very real problem. If you’re new to push ups, and so are not sure about the correct technique, or you’re a push up veteran, and tend to lose your technique when you get tired, poor form can really put undue stress and strain on your elbows, wrists and shoulders.

I always notice, at the end of an intense training week, that my joints are a little sore from performing so many repetitions. When you’re trying to get through a high number of reps, however, it comes with the territory.

It seems, though, that the Perfect V2 Pushup Bar may just be able to provide a solution to these woes. The Perfect V2 Pushup Bar allows users to perform push ups, while taking a lot of the strain off your joints and ensuring that you keep your technique.   

Gareth Evans's picture

Reebok Balance Board Review

As a rugby player, core stability is extremely important to me. I always try and incorporate some form of core stability exercises into every workout that I undertake. Having a strong core ensures that every time I hit a ruck, scrummage, lift in the lineout, make a tackle or try to make a line break, I am more powerful and effective.

In addition, core stability and great balance are prerequisites for rugby, as they allow you to step around players, as well as stay on your feet to offload the ball after a tackle.

I’m always looking for new and more interesting ways to strengthen my core. I tend to use the Swiss Ball a lot, but its bulky nature doesn’t exactly make it great for transporting easily. Given that I travel a lot, for work and please, something more portable would be great.

This is why I was so excited to come across the Reebok balance board. It’s a balance board that gives me many of the same core workout options as a Swiss Ball, but is portable enough for me to take it with me wherever I go.

Gareth Evans's picture

P90X Chin-up/Pull-up Assist Band Review

If you’re really looking to get into great shape, chin ups are probably the best all around means of working your upper body; they engage your shoulders, arms, back, and countless other smaller supporting muscles. Chin ups are, quite simply, the ultimate exercise if you’re looking to sculpt your back.

If you’re anything like me, however, you hate chin ups. I know they’re good for me and I know that I should include them as part of my weekly exercise regime, but I don’t. There is just something thoroughly depressing about only being able to do so few of them that stops me from wanting to get up on that bar.

I tend to workout at home, I have a great chin up bar, but it just sits there gathering dust. When I first installed the bar, I tried using a chair to assist me in doing chin ups, but it was impractical and hurt my back; that’s when I gave up.

The P90X Chin-up Assist Band might just be a piece of equipment, however, that is beginning to change my mind about chin ups. It’s a great piece of gym kit that makes chin ups more accessible for the beginner.

How does the P90X Chin-up Assist Band work?

Gareth Evans's picture

Altus Athletic Speed Jump Rope Review

The very idea of skipping is something that fills a fair share of people with dread. Just imagining taking out a jump rope tends to conjure up images we would rather forget from childhood.

This is exactly how I used to feel, until I did a bit of digging and found out that jumping rope is one of the most effective forms of cardio exercise that one can perform. Jumping rope not only adds a much needed bit of variation to your exercise regime, but it also is a great, low impact means of burning calories, helping greatly in the battle against weight loss.

I’ve been jumping rope now for about 5 years as part of my regular training regime and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Jumping rope is a great way to perform a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, alternating between one minute of hard work and one minute of rest, which has been proven to increase your metabolic rate, thus burning fat more efficiently.

Gavin Harvey's picture

How to Prepare for Your Boot Camp Holiday

Boot camps are creating a buzz in the health and fitness industry and it’s not hard to see why, when a course of early morning drills or a week of intensive exercise can improve tone, boost weight loss and even help you to drop a dress size or two!

But the work doesn’t start when you touch down in Spain or Thailand; to get the most from your boot camp holiday you need to prepare in advance. Here are my top tips on how you can make the most of your boot camp getaway.

Big Bay Boot Camp 2012

Shop Around

Think carefully about what you want to get out of your boot camp experience. Do you want to lose weight, tone up, learn a new skill, or a combination of all three? Shop around to find the best location and style of camp for you, and conduct an independent hotel search to make sure that the boot camp checks out. Better yet, look for testimonials from other happy campers before handing over any cash.

Garry Davidson's picture

Lose Weight At Home In Just 10 Minutes A Day (New Study)

One of the worst things about exercise is you just can't make time for it. If you don't have the right equipment and space to lose weight at home, you have to go to the gym.

Let’s say you work out for an hour at the gym. If you add that hour to the time it takes to get all your stuff ready, leave the house, travel to and back from the gym, get changed, have your shower… you’re easily looking at 2 hours.

With everyone being as busy as we are, who on earth has 2 hours a day to spare for exercise?

I mean it’s easy for athletes, sportspeople and celebrities to tone up - these people can dedicate their whole DAY to exercise. But for everyday folk like you and me with a busy life and hectic schedule, doing regular effective exercise and sculpting a chiseled body we can be proud of, can seem like nothing more than a pipe dream.

Yet new research by the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan, suggests that pipe dream may not be as unattainable as we previously thought.

The study took 94 adolescent boys and pided them into one control group, who went about life as usual, and one training group. The training group did 100 bodyweight squats a day, 4-5 days per week for 8 weeks. Each session took less than 10 minutes.


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