Fitness & Exercise
CrossFit demands your all. It asks you to operate in the top 10 percent of exertion, so you probably think of it as being all the rage for buff 20-somethings. Think again.
You've had a tough workout at the gym, and you're sore. You pop an aspirin or ibuprofen for relief.
The Feldenkrais Method was developed more than a half-century ago by Moshe Feldenkrais, an engineer and physicist who also practiced martial arts, so it is not surprising that the discipline emphasizes learning about body structure and movement.
Nearly 100 pounds lighter than the day her beloved sister passed away from complications of epilepsy and morbid obesity, Medford resident Jennifer Cook has made dramatic changes to her own health in a quest to show her children a better way to live.
Although many runners enjoy the solitude of forested trails or roads at dawn, just as many, it seems, draw motivation and strength from running in groups.
When the alarm goes off at 6 a.m., getting out of bed and heading to the gym may seem like an impossible task. Good news! Recent studies have found that exercising with a partner boosts motivation — and it's more fun than doing it alone.
"Body weight is really awesome for the abs," she says, explaining that if one's goal is to lose weight and tone muscle, the approach is "perfect."
"I wrestled as a kid, and my two brothers did," explains Kent. "That's how we really got started running, when I was in wrestling at Rogue River High School."
Last fall, Rocio Mendoza wondered whether she would ever hold her daughter again or go to work or even write her name.
Patty Farrell, a retired law-enforcement officer, has started a "virtual walk" across the country, logging four or five miles a day around Ashland and using a highway tour book to tick off her progress on a simulated route from San Francisco to New York.
Walking. It's free. It shows you nature. It's easy. You don't have to buy any special equipment or join a gym. Yet it provides a beautiful, natural, cardiopulmonary workout and tones the lower body.
In her 20s, Lori Popkewitz Alper loved the intense cardio workouts at her Boston gym. But, as her life and her body changed, so did her fitness repertoire.
Most people think of "Rocky" when they think of boxing gyms: lots of sweat, the pop and smack of gloves hitting practice mitts, sparring overseen by a grizzled, old trainer squinting around a burning cigarette. And some of that is part of the atmosphere upon entering Valor Elite Training Center in Medford (scratch the grizzled trainer and especially the cigarette smoke).
At 70 years old, Ashland resident Angie Thusius is her own best example of the benefits of Kentro Body Balance, a system of movements she developed for the most practical of reasons: to heal herself and improve her own quality of life.
It's 8 o'clock in the morning and 18 "bone-builders" in Ashland are bouncing through hallways at The Grove, keeping their muscles warm and heart rates high in between exercises.
New research at Oregon State University suggests small amounts of exercise — even as small as one- and two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day — can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.
You may have a good fitness regimen at home, but if you have to travel for business or pleasure, it's easy to blow it off and take a vacation from fitness.
Getting off the couch to go hiking, running or biking can be daunting in the drizzly, cold winter.
Losing nearly 60 pounds would be a major milestone for almost anybody on the path to physical transformation.
As she approached her 50th birthday a year ago, Shannon Clay-Gillette was looking for a challenge.
The fitness wake-up call can be a powerful catalyst for change. For Matthew Richter-Sand, it came during a flight home to see his family.
Many people mistakenly believe that core training is just another name for abdominals and continue to perform ab crunch after ab crunch in the fervent hope they'll lose flab over their abs. Wrong on two counts.
With its "really unique" emphasis on boxing, a new Ashland gym does much more than help Erin O'Kelley Muck to roll with the punches.
This will shake up your workout.
Keith Casebolt learned that good intentions will carry a body only so far.
When lifelong athlete and karate instructor Shantell Dawson found herself falling away from her fitness routine and years of martial-arts training, she responded in a way that would help both herself and countless others to tackle the all-too-familiar struggle of sticking to a workout.
As an avid downhill skier for nearly three decades, Mariane Corallo ratchets up her "weekend-warrior behavior" every winter.
If you need motivation to move, it's hard to beat Canis familiaris to get you out the door. But a dog isn't an impulse buy like a Bowflex. You can't ignore them or let them become a coat rack. This is one workout partner you mustn't bail on. You've got to be a good human.
Joanne Feinberg never thought of herself as a runner.
Everyone wants to have a firm set of "glutes," meaning gluteus maximus, an unpretty Latin word for something that, when you have good ones, can really be a head-turner and indicator of being in great shape and having a solid foundation for health.
Ruch School used the annual cross-country meet it hosts for South Medford High School runners Saturday to dedicate its 1.3-kilometer course to the late Perry Custance, an alumnus of both institutions.
Back pain pushed Denise Clements toward yoga more than a decade ago.
Two years ago, Adam Laucis looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw. After a lifetime of asthma medications, poor diet and lack of exercise, the 25-year-old Medford man had ballooned to 340 pounds.
You like to bike, but you hate the grind up steep hills. You want a good, outdoor workout but not a punishing one. You also want to do errands without having to drag around 2 tons of steel that we call a car. And, of course, you want easy parking. You also want to shrink your carbon footprint and be good to Mother Earth.
About half of us have enough stress, anxiety and upsets during the day that we have trouble dropping off to sleep — a hang-up that can be relieved with some quick and easy postures designed to drain tension from tangled-up nerves and muscles of the neck, back and hamstrings.
Turning 50 can make a man take stock of his life.
Paul Williams is a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory who runs the world's largest study of runners' health, known as the National Runners' Health Study. He has more than 100,000 participants, some of whom he's been following more than 20 years.
The workout combines the best principles and focus of all the workouts, says Y senior program director Andy Eck. "You're maximizing your time (on the floor) while getting the most results. The workout crosses over into everyday life, mimicking exercises you do in daily life."
Gymnastics is a blast, great for overall body toning, strength and coordination, but it has one big problem: It's set up for kids whose trim and limber bodies can do just about anything.
Pam Hogan remembers the times when depression got the best of her.
For everyone who has ever felt pushed by a PE teacher, take satisfaction in this: On Saturday, 20 of Oregon's fittest fitness instructors, personal trainers and muscle maniacs gathered at the Ashland Family YMCA for a day of butt-kicking, ab-burning, leg spasm-inducing workouts.
The human form always inspired artist Melissa Cooley. Nearly 20 years since trading a painting for a year of yoga classes, the Indian philosophy colors Cooley's artwork.
As yoga has found its place in the American fitness mainstream, festivals celebrating the ancient Indian discipline have followed.
Karen Beck used to walk with her eyes on the ground, watching for every little bump.
Health was Robin McMillin's hobby before a short-lived career as wellness coordinator for Central Point schools. When the school district's lack of funding forced McMillin, 48, to reinvent herself, she developed a one-stop center for health and wellness in an unlikely location: Phoenix's Shoppes at Exit 24.
Practiced regularly, any yoga will tone muscles, increase flexibility, promote inner peace and provide a "feeling of being put together." Anna K. Rose tries to take it further with Triadic Heart Yoga, an ancient mode that blends the physical with the contemplative to "open powerful energy in the heart."
CHICAGO — With some fitness regimens, that first trip to the gym can nearly kill you.
Seventy-year old Larry Mehlmauer of Medford hates treadmills and any other form of boring, repetitive exercise. But because of his diabetes, heart issues and pending knee replacements, he needs to get out there and do something to keep in shape — so he chose a tricycle.
It didn't take a chiropractor to convince Christy Taylor that sitting all day is bad for her health. She could feel it in every creak of her neck and cramp in her shoulders.
LUBBOCK, Texas — The country's largest generation is running, walking, swimming and using exercise machines in hopes of changing the face of aging.
Two old friends have found better health — and lost more than 100 pounds — along the trail to the top of Lower Table Rock.
We humans are fragile creatures, and no part of our anatomy bespeaks our frailty quite like the lower back.
A new exercise pilot program aimed at preventing falls in the elderly is being tested in Medford and at a handful of other YMCAs nationwide. The class, "Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance," was developed by Dr. Fuzhong Li of the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene.
Adults planning for their next 50 years typically think in terms of financial investments. Author and yoga instructor Max Strom preaches a different kind of investment — in one's health and longevity. His plan calls for learning to breathe mindfully, following up with balance and then integrating the two for at least 10 minutes a day.
SAN FRANCISCO — Just weeks into the new year, you may be starting to waver in your "get in shape" resolution. But there's someone who can help you get on track.
Icy roads are common in winter, but determined bicyclists don't need to hibernate when the mercury plummets and icy roads become a dicey proposition.
Many New Year's resolutions begin to lose steam about now, especially those that require exercise. Whether it's aimed at losing weight or getting ripped, exercise can be difficult if you're going at it alone.
You finally decide to get off the couch and start an exercise program. You faithfully go to the gym, walk in the neighborhood, swim, bike — whatever — and your weight stays stubbornly the same.
With the New Year and its resolutions looming large, it's time for a gentle nudge — OK, a firm push — in the direction of better health, fitness and well-being.
If you want to keep your mind sharp as you age, make sure you exercise your body regularly.
Weight-loss programs offering support via telephone and the Web work nearly as well as in-person counseling to help obese people lose weight, a study has found.
Like geese flying south for the winter, exercise enthusiasts tend to flock indoors during the coldest, darkest days.
While it's tradition for many families to spend Thanksgiving morning preparing the day's feast or watching parades on TV, for thousands of others it has become a chance to hit the road. Thanksgiving Day running events have become a healthful habit for families across the country, and Medford is right in the middle of the trend.
You know you need to do strength training, but you're not interested in hitting up the gym or pounding steel. But that's OK.
The latest yoga trend defies gravity.
Most dance and exercise classes move to some sort of soundtrack. Cynthia Neeley's African dance class boasts its own musicians.
Champion rower and fitness center owner Andy Baxter of Ashland is taking his work in a whole new direction — inventing smart workout machines that loop into computers, allowing users to target specific muscles without forcing the whole body to join in.
The biggest barrier to working out is time. So fitness trainers hate to see anyone frittering away precious workout periods or filling them with less-than-effective exercises. Actually, it makes them crazy.
Miller logs an hour of CrossFit every morning when he's not working, followed by an hour and a half to two hours of weight training at another gym for muscle endurance. He occasionally runs a few miles on woodland trails near Jacksonville, in addition to repeated test runs at his Challenge section between the fire crew's calls.
ELK LAKE — Standing atop his board, Rick Guenther paddled slowly and quietly as the sun reflected brightly off the crystal-clear water. His young children laughed and splashed behind in their inflatable raft as their father towed them along.
Smokers may have another tool to use in the battle to stop puffing: resistance training.
You go for long walks virtually every day and wear a pedometer to count the steps you take. Most days, you take the 10,000 steps the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is necessary for an "active" lifestyle. You think you get enough exercise.
One of the biggest dangers of being active at this time of year is overheating. When you're making that final push in a race, or just having fun during a strenuous run or bike ride, you can overheat without realizing it.
It helped Tiger Woods recover from a devastating knee injury. It saved the career of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. It helped heal the knee of downhill skier Bode Miller, who subsequently won both the World Cup and Olympic gold.
It doesn't require as much investment in ropes and other related gear, rapport with a partner or the time required to climb hundreds of feet. Yet down-to-earth "bouldering" is taking the sport of rock climbing to new heights.
After caring for their cancer-crippled mother over the past few weeks, Ben Rosenberg and Claire Van der Zwan sought respite in the soothing setting of nearby Lithia Park.
Last Saturday, I ran 31 miles to a party.
Going to the gym is hard. Why not skip it? So goes the mental mantra of those who would be fit but just can't find the time.
Post-workout euphoria can leave you feeling pumped to conquer the world — until the next morning, when you can barely walk to the bathroom or lift an arm to brush your teeth.
Most folks know that the sport of triathlon involves three disciplines: swimming, biking and running.
"People try all these insane diets," then give up when they don't lose weight and don't feel any better, says Vik Khanna, executive director of Health and Wellness for Mercy Health Ministry in Chesterfield, Mo.
Beth Geismar and Torsten Heycke are training for a race that will require them to pull the oars of a scull more than 17,000 times over the course of two days next weekend.
At age 64, Mary Miller feels like she's just learning to walk.
Competitive athletes make the mistake of overtraining more often than undertraining. For some, it can be a matter of life or death.
The sport may have a sour name, but Rogue Valley residents are sweetening up to pickleball.
There may be an epidemic of obesity in our children, but Griffin Creek Elementary School has been fighting it off for years with a lean food program, lots of exercise and support for a "culture of health" that landed them on the skinny end of a recent fat screening.
If you're suffering from chronic systolic heart failure, tai chi may help.
People who own and walk dogs are 34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks for physical activity, according to a study led by Michigan State University that was published recently in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
According to those in the know, one of the biggest changes in the golf world today is increased emphasis on fitness.
Teaching toddlers to tread water has come a long way since the storied method of "toss them in, and let them sink or swim."
Rolling his wheelchair down the hall after exercise class recently, Herman Kapla paused to assess the results of the vigorous new workout program at the St. Paul, Minn., nursing home where he lives.
Jay Downing preaches the benefits of heart-rate monitors to all who will listen.