FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Where do I buy videotapes or DVDs of the "America’s Walking" series?
Unfortunately, copies of the "America's Walking" episodes are not currently available. If the situation changes, we will post that information here on the web site.
- I am very interested in the cholesterol-lowering advice that Dr. Kenneth Cooper offered in Episode #105. Can you review that once again?
In Episode #107, Rick Bradley of the U.S. Department of Transportation outlined a 15-minute, no-sweat exercise program that could be done in street clothes. Can you explain that more fully?
Dr. Cooper says the first and foremost way of reducing total cholesterol levels and increasing the good HDL cholesterol levels is through aerobic exercise (not weight training). Secondly, reducing the fat in your diet. There is also the possibility of taking statin drugs, such as Lipitor, Mevecor, Zocor, and Pravachol, if someone finds that exercise and diet still doesn't reduce their cholesterol levels.
However, Dr. Cooper also recommended eating Benecol or Take Control (two margarines available in most grocery stores). They both claim to reduce cholesterol, but Cooper particularly recommends Benecol, due to a study done on it in the Journal of Medicine in 1995. The study showed that one to two tablespoons of Benecol consumed two to three times per day can lower total cholesterol by 10% and the LDL or bad cholesterol by 14%. More info at www.benecol.com and www.takecontrol.com.
Rick Bradley has developed an innovative 15-minute corporate fitness program called "Quick Fit." You don’t even have to change into workout clothes—just come in, do your thing, and get back to your busy day. Here are the four key components of Rick’s "Quick Fit" routine:
- Aerobic activity: 10 minutes.do is up to you. He finds most people like to walk, often on the treadmill—it’s easy, requires no special training, and it’s a comfortable, familiar activity. But others hop on a stationary bike, stair climber, or elliptical machine, or choose to walk outside or in the hallways. He wants you to start comfortably, but during the activity move up to a brisk walking pace or effort level—enough to cause noticeable breathing, but still allow you to talk.
Bradley’s goal is for you to do 10 minutes of continuous aerobic activity, but what you
- Abdominal exercise: 50 Half bent-knee sit-ups. 1 minute.
Lay on an exercise mat or the floor with your back flat, your knees bent to about a right angle, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your chin to your chest and keep it there, and extend your arms and hands, with your fingers pointed toward the tops of your knees. Now slowly lift the shoulders off the mat four to six inches, bringing your hands to your knees, and come back down. That’s one; repeat 49 more times.
- Strength moves: 3 minutes.
Beginner: Use dumbbells to do these three moves, selecting the weight so that 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise is fatiguing.
Advanced: Eventually try building up to this 3-minute routine.
- Chest press. Lay with your back flat on the floor and arms extended out to your sides, bent at a right angle at the elbow, forearms pointed toward the ceiling, hands holding dumbbells. Press the weights up toward the ceiling, fully extending arms, then lower. Do 10 to 15.
- Curls. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing the body, holding dumbbells. Bend arms at the elbow, keeping upper arm still but raising the weight to the front of the shoulder. While lifting the weight, rotate to the palm of your hand faces up during the curl; slowly lower weight. Do 10 to 15 on each side, alternating.
- Shoulder raises. Stand with arms straight down in front of you, palms facing together, holding dumbbells. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise your arms straight out to your sides, so you look like a large letter “T;” slowly lower weight. Do 10 to 15 repetitions. (Note that you may use substantially less weight for this than for curls or chest press.)
- Pull-ups. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width on a pull-up bar, palms facing forward. Pull your chin up to the height of the bar, and lower slowly. 10-15 repetitions.
- Dips. Place hands on parallel bars, with arms straight up, supporting your full body weight. Lower until elbows are at a right angle, then press back up. 10-15 repetitions.
- Chin-ups. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width on a pull-up bar, palms facing back. Pull your chin up to the height of the bar, and lower slowly. 10-15 repetitions.
- Flexibility: 1 minute.
- Side bends. Stand tall, feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips. Then reach up to the sky with the left hand, bend to the right from the waist, bringing the left hand and arm overhead and reaching to the right. Slowly return to start with hands on hips, then bring right hand up and lean and reach to the left. Continue alternating, reaching and leaning to the opposite side with each hand, with the arm fully extended, for 30 seconds.
- Sit and reach. Sit upright on the floor with legs straight in front of you. Extend your arms straight, reaching toward your toes, and gently lean forward. You do not have to reach your toes—just stretch to the point that you feel a gentle tension, but no discomfort. Hold for 30 seconds, and then relax. You’re done!