One of the world’s top trainers, Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S> was asked to create a cutting-edge fat loss program for Men’s Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises. That’s right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a dumbbell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, “How can you lose fat with just two exercises?”
Cosgrove’s response: “Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat.”
He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove’s routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.
Here’s how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Without resting, do 14 reps of the swing and then 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.
Sure, that’s just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine—from 15 down to 1—you’ll do 120 repetitions of each exercise.
That’s 240 repetitions. And these aren’t just any exercises: They’re movements that challenge your entire body.
They’re also done at a fast pace. On average, it’ll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you’ll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That’ll light your muscles on fire, and have you gasping for air.
If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can’t even finish. But that’s okay—you can just start with a lower number, like 8, and work your way up as you improve your fitness, which is recommended. If you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.
Remember: Whether you’re running or lifting, your muscles require energy to help you move. And this workout forces more of your muscles into action than you’d ever use while jogging for the same duration. It’ll also boost your metabolism for hours after your workout.
What’s more, unlike jogging, these aren’t joint-pounding exercises. So this is actually a “low-impact” workout that you can do at a high intensity, making it ideal for overweight folks. The best part: You can do the routine without even leaving your house, since all you need is a single kettlebell or dumbbell. But if you want a complete cutting-edge exercise and nutrition guide that you can use on your computer, tablet, or phone, check out The Lose Your Spare Tire Program. It’s the easiest and most effective way to drop 20, 30, or even 50 pounds, and flatten your belly forever!
How to do the countdown workout: Do 8 reps of the kettlebell swing, followed immediately by 8 reps of the squat thrust. Without resting, do 7 reps of the kettlebell swing, and then 7 reps of the squat thrust, and so on, until you work your way down to 1. A reminder: Don’t overdo it. If your form breaks down during the routine, just stop there. Then next time, adjust your starting point so that you can work all the way down to one without having to stop. As you become better conditioned, start with a higher number. An important note: This isn’t a complete workout program, but it is a great routine that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. And it’s a fantastic substitute for 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swing
Bend at your hips and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now rock back slightly and “hike” kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight—you’re not trying to actively lift it with your arms.
Reverse the movement, so that you swing the kettlebell between your legs again. Make sure you don’t round your lower back at any time; it should stay naturally arched when you bend at your hips. Continue to swing back and forth. Watch the video below to see fitness expert David Jack show you how to do the kettlebell swing with perfect form.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat down and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward—into a pushup position—and then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. That’s 1 rep. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can jump up from the squat instead of simply standing up quickly. Watch the video below to see strength coach David Jack do the squat thrust.
Natural Remedies for Prickly Heat Rashes
When summer strikes and you sweat more than usual, it’s not unlikely for prickly heat to show up. Also known as milaria rubra, this condition is characterized by small and raised red spots that itch like crazy. Because the primary cause of prickly heat is blockage of the sweat glands, it can occur practically everywhere provided that there are sweat glands present. However, it is more common on the chest, back, thighs, neck and forehead.
These are some tried-and-tested effective home remedies for prickly heat so you may quit scratching:
Ice Cubes: A quick and simple way to attain prickly heat relief is by gently rubbing ice cubes on those trouble spots. The cooling effect helps deal with the itchiness as well as reduces the appearance of those tiny bumps.
Oatmeal: Add a cup of raw oatmeal to your cool bath water. Immerse yourself there for 15 minutes to pacify those itchy red spots as well as make your body feel cool amidst the summer heat.
Baking Soda: Instead of oatmeal, you may add a cup of baking soda in your cool bathwater and soak in it. It’s also possible to simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of cold water, and apply the solution on prickly heat with a soft cloth.
Cornstarch: Using cornstarch just like baby powder is an effective way to attain instant relief from prickly heat itchiness. You may also add a few drops of water into a tablespoon of cornstarch to come up with a paste that you may daub on those red spots.
Aloe Vera: If you have aloe vera in your garden, there’s no need to look further. Simply break a leaf and apply the gel on those itchy bumps. Allow it to stay there for a few minutes and hit the shower.
Neem Oil: Margosa or neem oil has antibacterial properties. Applying it on problem spots can help deal with the itchiness you are facing as well as prevent further irritation.
Sandalwood Powder: A lot of commercially available prickly heat powders contain sandalwood powder. Boost its healing effect by mixing equal amounts of it with coriander powder and rosewater. Apply the paste on those annoying rashes and rinse once dry.
Fuller’s Earth: A staple ingredient in so many beauty products, fuller’s earth is an excellent prickly heat remedy. Add 2 tablespoons of rosewater to 4 tablespoons of it. Mix and daub the paste on those red bumps. Wash off with water once dry.
Banyan Tree Barks: Applying powdered banyan tree barks on affected areas allows effective relief from itchiness prickly heat brings.
Citrus Fruit Juice: The consumption of orange, lemon or lime juice helps refresh you during those hot summer days. Thanks to the loads of vitamin C necessary for skin health, drinking citrus fruit juice accelerates the healing of prickly heat.
Pick an all-natural prickly heat solution that you find easy and convenient. It won’t take long before you are ready to resume your summer enjoyment.
Don’t Miss Out On These 7 Skincare Hacks This Summer
As exciting the beach holidays and summer trips might look, they have their downsides too. High temperatures, dust, dirt, pollution and of course, the summer sun can all take a toll on your skin. Ultraviolet rays of the sun can be very harmful for your skin. Apart from causing skin tanning, they can also cause sunburns and various other skin ailments. So here are some simple yet effective summer skin care hacks by dermatologist Dr Nivedita Dadu, that can protect your skin from tanning this summer.
Summer skincare hacks you must follow
- Hydrate yourself: It is very important to hydrate yourself by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. Along with this, you can also drink fresh juices, lime water, coconut water and chilled smoothies too. Proper hydration is very important in summer as you tend to lose out on a lot of water from the body while sweating. This can make your skin look dull and dehydrated.
- Never forget your sunscreen: Ultraviolet rays can be really harmful to your skin thus, it is very important to safeguard your skin with a sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied even when indoors. Choose a sunscreen according to your skin type and ensure that it penetrates into your skin nicely.
- Eat healthy: Eating healthy is very important for your skin and body. Consume more fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, berries, canary melon and litchis that shall ensure that your body and skin remain hydrated and healthy. Lack of proper skincare can result in fewer antioxidants in the body, which can damage cells and cause skin ageing.
- Avoid makeup: Avoid applying makeup on your skin as much as possible as it shall eventually result in clogged pores and breakouts. Even if you are applying makeup, always ensure that you don’t miss out on your moisturiser and primer. Also, always remove your makeup before going to bed.
- Sleep properly: It is essential to sleep properly as the body releases growth hormones during sleep. These growth hormones help the skin to repair itself. Proper sleep also helps you have a glowing skin. People who don’t take enough sleep or have erratic lifestyles with unhealthy sleeping cycles tend to have dull skin. Proper sleep ensures that your skin is in a resting motion, which eventually results in faster cell regeneration.
- Cleanse your skin thoroughly: Cleansing your skin properly is a very crucial step during summers. The sweat, dust and sunscreen, if congested on the skin for a long period of time, can result in blocked pores and breakouts. Therefore, it is important to clean your skin nicely every day.
- Avoid hot showers: Hot showers can be dangerous for the skin. Hot water damages the skin by stripping off the natural oils. This leads to dry, red and unhealthy skin. Therefore, go for showers with cold water as they can make you feel fresh and re-energised.
(Dr. Nivedita Dadu, Dermatologist and Derma surgeon, Dr. Dadu’s Clinic)
Office workers who sit a lot need to exercise
Office workers who sit for long periods of time can reverse the health risks of their modern sedentary lifestyle by exercising just 20 minutes per day, a new study revealed.
Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the University of Sydney-led collaboration with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the UK’s Loughborough University examined the health consequences associated with sitting, reports Xinhua news agency.
By statistically modelling physical activity and sitting against the death records of nearly 150,000 study participants aged 45 years and over, the study found “physical activity is particularly important for people who sit a lot”.
“Reducing sitting would be a good start but is not enough,” lead author Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, from the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health said.
“In our study, sitting time was associated consistently with both overall premature mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in the least physically active groups – those doing under 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week.
“But one hour of physical activity per day is not necessary. Meeting the Australian public health recommendation of 150 to 300 minutes per week — equivalent to around 20-40 minutes per day on average — appeared to eliminate sitting risks,” Stamatakis added.
With many public health professionals growing increasingly concerned about the health risks associated with sitting, Stamatakis hopes the findings of the study will act as a wake-up call to office workers leading sedentary lifestyles who don’t get enough exercise.
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