Last updated: Jul 28, 2009
leg-lift-fitness
Q: Will exercising at night keep me awake?


A: It shouldnt affect your zzzs, as long as you finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime. Exercise (especially when its intense) significantly increases your heart rate, adrenalin levels, and body temperature, so you ideally need that much time to get them back to their resting levels. If you have to cut it closer than that, do a lower-intensity activity like walking instead of running, or try yoga or Tai Chi to relieve stress and help you relax while you get fit.

Q: Are there are any leg-sculpting moves that are gentle on the knees?

A: These leg-shapers put no stress at all on your knees. Do 3 sets of 18 reps (per leg on the two leg-lift moves) 3 times a week.

Straight Leg Lifts (for front thighs): Lie face-up with your legs out straight; lift and lower one leg at a time. For better results, add ankle weights.

Straight Leg Side Lifts (for outer thighs): Lie on one side with legs straight. Keeping knees facing front, lift top leg about 1 foot, then lower. Repeat on opposite side.

Bridges (for hamstrings and back thighs): Lie face-up with your knees bent and feet flat. Squeeze your butt and dig your heels into the floor as you lift your hips and lower back so your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for a moment, then lower down and repeat.