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Is Alli your Ally?


Alli is one of the most hyped over-the-counter weight-loss drugs. It’s said to help with weight loss by blocking the absorption of approximately 25 percent of the fat you eat. The catch? dec-4.jpgThis fat’s got to go somewhere, so it passes through the body, undigested. This can lead to… shall we say… some embarrassing side effects. So is it worth it? Not so much. Studies show that the impact on long-term weight loss is minimal. And consumers are still instructed to exercise on a regular basis while watching their diets. So if you’re going to cut calories and work out anyway, why risk pooping in your pants?

Dear Molly,
I have recently started walking at Audubon park every morning. I do two laps and that’s enough for me. I want to get toned but the walking doesn’t seem to be helping me at all. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do to develop some muscle?

Christine Sorres

Hi Christine!
I’m so glad that you’re interested in getting stronger. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even when you’re at rest. Plus, the increase in muscle will help to give you a sleek, toned appearance.

Since you’re already in the park daily, it makes sense to develop a strength training routine that you can incorporate after your walks. Since my specialty is more nutrition than exercise, I turned to Chris Mercadel, a personal trainer at Elmwood Fitness Center (and my own trainer, as well), for advice on a well-rounded, outdoor-based strength routine.

To get a full-body weight training routine, he recommends that you start by using your own body weight. Work your chest with push-ups on the ground, against a wall, or on a set of exercise bars at the park. Simple squats and lunges will work your legs, and several sets of crunches on a towel will target your abs.

For less than $15, you can buy some rubber exercise bands. Step on the middle of the band to hold it on the ground, and press the band overhead to work your shoulders. With your elbows by your side, curl it upward for a bicep workout.

A great back-sculpting exercise is the row, which you can perform by wrapping the band around a pole, and pulling it back toward you.

The exercise stations around the park are great places to get your workout in. But if you’re not comfortable doing your strength training in plain view of everyone at the park, you can just as easily do these exercises in the comforts of your own home—with the added bonus of A/C!

The bottom line is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to get a complete, full-body strength workout to complement your cardiovascular exercise.