Michelle Obama's 'fun' exercises effective

Feb. 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A U.S. exercise expert said the non-traditional exercises Michelle Obama used to challenge NBC-TV's talk show host Jimmy Fallon were effective.

The first lady has invited talk show hosts to join her for a quick workout and she challenged Fallon to join her in an alternative to a traditional workout.

Anthony Wall, director of professional education of the American Council of Exercise, analyzed the workout and said some might think Hula Hoops or a Tug-of-War don't involve real exercise but they do.

Wall said:

-- Push-ups require no equipment and are tried and true when it comes to strengthening the chest, shoulders, arms and core. The key to success with this exercise is making sure you are using correct form, and choosing the variation that best fits your current ability. See the Web site www.ACEFitness.org for pointers.

-- Tug-of-war is a great overall conditioning activity, especially for children and adolescents, but is also fun exercise the whole family can enjoy. It gives a workout mainly to forearms, back, legs and core, and the longer you "tug," the more beneficial. Engage in a friendly battle once or twice a week.

-- The American Council of Exercise conducted a study to test how effective Hula Hooping really is and found it helps improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, muscle conditioning and balance -- while the calorie burn was comparable to that from step aerobics or even cardio kickboxing.

-- Dodgeball tests balance, coordination and agility.

-- A potato sack race helps the heart, lower body and balance.

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