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Body news: Core strength
Weak core muscles can throw off your balance and increase your risk of injury, and new research suggests that extra inches around your middle may also make it more difficult to lose weight. According to a recent study from The University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., abdominal fat cells secrete a hormone (neuropeptide Y) that not only triggers fat production but also stimulates appetite. Andrea Page, a celebrity fitness instructor in Toronto, says the best way to burn belly fat is with multi-joint movements that include large muscle groups. “That way, you’re increasing your heart rate while doing resistance training.”
Finally, there are supplements created by a woman (CEO Shawna Page, along with her advisory board of medical experts) that tackle a range of female concerns. The all-natural remedies from femMED include Hormonal Balance (which eases PMS symptoms such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, irregular periods and even mood swings), Breast Health, Bone Health and Weight Management.
Hormonal Balance supplements ($29.95, femMED)
|Strike a pose
If you’re bored of crunches, give Nintendo Wii Fit a whirl. You can hula hoop like a 10-year-old or snow- board down an icy slope-all from the comfort of your living room. The Wii Balance Board connects wirelessly to a Wii console and challenges users in more than 40 different fitness activities, including strength training, yoga, aerobics and balance exercises. Virtual trainers talk you through your workout and make suggestions for improvement.
Wii Fit ($89.95, Nintendo)
Ibex Balance seamless underwear has a unique “body-mapping” technology that provides support in all the right spots for a smooth, comfortable fit. The super-soft New Zealand merino wool-which is naturally antimicrobial-wicks away moisture while stabilizing body temperature and preventing post-workout clamminess.
Sports bra and boy shorts ($49 and $29, Ibex Balance)