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Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Dark Side of Fitness

The consequences of this new “disease” can be very serious, often requiring many months of expensive rehabilitation or even surgery. Some young athletes are left facing a lifetime of pain and physical restrictions.

The article emphasizes the role played by pressure from coaches and parents and by a culture in many sports that places so much emphasis on performance, and on winning, that players often ignore the pain signals coming from their bodies.

I was struck by the parallels between this teenage phenomenon and the wave of injuries reported during the early stages of the fitness boom of the 1980s. At that time, there were a great many newspaper and magazine reports of everything from severe shin splints caused by prolonged running on concrete to serious back and neck pain due to improper methods of weight lifting.

I can well remember the sudden influx of students during that period who came for Alexander Technique lessons after giving up on demanding exercise regimes because of pain or injury. They just wanted to learn how they could get back to where they were before and sadly that was not always possible. It seems that when a new fitness or sports trend begins, there is a heavy price to be paid by some participants.

What strikes me about both the current spate of injuries and the one that took place two decades ago is that in both cases, a huge emphasis on QUANTITY of exercise almost completely obliterated any concern with the QUALITY with which the exercise was performed. All too often fitness programs tend to be about things like how many miles you run, how many pitches you pitch, or how many hours you swim rather that how well you’re using your body as you run, pitch or swim.

It’s a bit like driving a car as fast as you can, for a long distance, without bothering to learn how to drive it well!

I am convinced that the current over-emphasis on quantity is one of the main reasons there are still so many sports and fitness related injuries. Sometimes it comes from the athlete him or herself – perhaps reflecting a common cultural idea that more is better. Sometimes it comes from outside. That certainly seems to be a large part of what’s going on with some young athletes today.

Anyone who studies the basic ideas of the Alexander Technique will very quickly see just how important the quality of one’s posture and movement is to the effectiveness and safety of any activity. This is true whether it’s a vigorous activity or something as mundane as using a computer or even watching TV. And if they decide to take up a new sport or fitness program, they have the knowledge and ability to approach it with skill, and with an appropriate level of body awareness and care.

Maintain Healthy Bones While Working Out

Calcium

The most abundant mineral in the human body, Calcium helps the body primarily by regulating metabolic and hormone processes, muscle contraction, wound healing, blood clotting, blood pressure maintenance, and nerve transmission. The most important attribute of calcium, however, is its ability to build strong bones and teeth.

Calcium is one of the most important minerals needed by the body, but which is typically lacking in the diet. Also, only an estimated 20-30{de3710366abd2362f85f6791752ff510b3623b6acfebf984ac93ec68338c0f3f} of calcium in the diet is absorbed by the body. Because of the fact that almost everybody is not able to obtain enough calcium, this happens to be where calcium supplements are extremely beneficial.

Calcium is also said to be able to help with reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and colon cancer, in addition to preventing osteoporosis.

However, Calcium has to be present alongside other essential minerals in order for it to be effective and absorbed by the body. These other minerals are Magnesium, Potassium, Boron, Vitamin D, Silicon, Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a very important mineral because of its role in bodily processes involving muscle and nerve functions. In addition to that, Magnesium plays a vital part in regulating body temperature, sugar level, blood pressure, metabolism, and protein synthesis.

Magnesium also enables calcium to be absorbed better by the body, which is why severe magnesium deficiency can eventually result in low levels of calcium in the blood. Primarily located in the bones, Magnesium is important especially for bone growth and in maintaining bone density.

Studies are still ongoing as to whether magnesium can help with a person’s energy levels, as well as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Potassium

Potassium is needed by the body in order to regulate bodily processes in the nervous system, skeletal system, the cardiac muscle, as well as for metabolism. Potassium is also known to be able to aid people in reducing hypertension.

People basically get enough potassium from their diets, but there are some who become potassium deficient (hypokalemia) due to taking diuretic drugs or water pills, prolonged vomiting, kidney disease, diarrhea or laxative abuse. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness, intestinal paralysis, fatigue, and cramps, which can then lead to constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Potassium’s role with bone support involves the preservation of bone mass and bone mineral density.

Enjoy Exercise

Never start exercise with too much stress, do it in a relaxed mood and environment. Exercise outdoors if you can and enjoy the nature. Listen to your favorite music, and enjoy while you exercise. While exercising outdoors use earphones and also be careful about what’s going around you. By listening to music or even listening to interesting books on tape will make your exercise more enjoyable. You can even exercise in front of the television by watching your favorite song or favorite programme.

Ask your friends to join your exercise program. Join a gym or a health club for a sport or recreational activity. When you join a gym or a social club you get to meet new people who could give you company and this makes your exercise more social and enjoyable.

After finishing a vigorous session reward yourself with a massage, sit in a whirlpool or sauna. Go out with your partner after the exercise session. Set goals and when you reach them, reward yourself.

Breathing, Factor in Fitness

1. The first one includes all the sports that use the technique of respiratory stop or blocking. The most typical among these are force sports such as athletic weight throwing, weightlifting, body building, gymnastics etc. In short, we might say that here the anaerobic extreme is concerned – the one which imposes apnea (blocking the thorax and respiration). The main advantage of diaphragm blocking is the rising, for the moment, of the explosive force of the sportsman. A rise in execution speed for maximum force efforts has also been observed. The classic example is the snatch of weightlifting in which force and speed are simultaneously implied on the basis of respiratory blocking.

This respiratory blocking, inevitable in the above-mentioned sports, has also some disadvantages. Among these we could mention high pressure values in the thorax, abdomen and skull, high pressure on blood vessels with low feed-back through the veins etc. Thus, due to the rising of pressure inside the eyes the aggravation of previous short-sightedness is possible. Also, in the inferior limbs, varicose veins can either appear or worsen. Effort in exclusively anaerobic conditions increases rigidity both in the blood vessels and in the muscles.

2. The second big group is the one of sports that do not use respiratory stop. Here we enter the realm of purely aerobic effort. The typical examples are running races, swimming, cycling etc. – generally efforts on long and very long distances. In these events the muscular force implied is little – medium at most – the stress affecting the cardiovascular component and leading to increased cardiac frequency and pulmonary ventilation.

There is also a third category – mixed sports, both aerobic and anaerobic, in which the two techniques alternate. This is the case of sports games, contact sports, rhythm breaking in medium distance running races, etc. In the case of fitness, as both types of effort – aerobic and anaerobic – are present, apnea, as well as effort without respiratory blockage, is used. As far as correct respiration is concerned, there is a general rule stating that one should breath out during the most difficult part of the movement (the positive or concentric course) and breath in during come-back (the negative or eccentric course). Within these courses, we can have or not have a respiratory stop/ blockage. If we have it, it will occur at the critical point of the course.

Another breathing rule is the one that takes into consideration the dilatation of the thorax. In this case, breathing in is done on the course which allows thorax expansion, and breathing out on the movement that contracts it. In both cases, breathing in is done through the nose – in order to filter and warm up the air flow and breathing out is done through the mouth in order to be faster and more efficient.

Office Workout

Instead of nervous going to fitness club you can make your workout in the office in front of your computer and desk. People can not imagine how to do it. You can sit in your chair and for example lift your legs to the body or stand up and move legs to the back and up. There are many exercises that don’t need any equipment; you can use your body’s parts as weight. Women’s most problem areas are thighs, hips and but. Use your problem part in your daily workout.

1) While I am writing this article I sit on chair and tighten up my butt and rest, 30 reps.

2) After that stand up and lift all body weight on your toes – make 30 reps – this exercise is for calve muscles.

3) March on side for 20 seconds and start lift your leg to the side – tighten hips, both legs and lift one leg – make 20 reps. Alternate the other leg.

4) Rest while marching on side.

5) Sit on your chair, bend knees and lift them to the ceiling – this exercise is for the abs. Make 30 reps.

6) Stay sit on the chair put your palms on the edge on your desk. Bend elbows and move your breasts to the desk, then push out the body to the back. Make 30 reps.

About Fitness for Busy People

Running or walking may be a good choice. Both are excellent kinds of physical exercises to burn more calories, shed those unwanted pounds and control your weight. For example, a 150 lb person walking at 3mph burns approximately 320 calories per hour. Brisk walking at 4.5 mph burns even more calories, about 440 calories per hour. Heavier people burn more calories than thinner ones.

Both running and walking have many advantages:

– You can run or walk even if you have only half an hour of spare time.

– You do not have to go to a gym; go out and run or walk along the street or in the park.

– You do not need any special equipment, just a pair of comfortable running shoes.

Running or walking: which one to choose?

When choosing between running and walking, consider your general physical state. Take up walking instead of running if you have increased arterial pressure, problems with your spine or much excess weight. Your physical activity should be appropriate for your age. It is always a good idea to ask your doctor for advice before making any significant changes to your lifestyle.

Walking is easier, but running makes you burn more calories for the same period of time. Fast walking may be the most preferable combination of both, as it makes you burn calories and does not require too much time.

Exercising on Vacation

It puts me into a meditative trace. Not only do I enjoy my time spent on the beach, I also ride my bike twenty miles each morning. But the reason I am writing this is not to talk about me, but to report to you about an observation that I made while riding each morning. This is something that I am very perplexed about. I saw so many people out for their morning walk, and jog. At first I was very excited to see so many people exercising. After a few days however, I made it a point to stop and speak with one person each morning. The reason for this chat was to ask them if they normally exercised, and if when they returned from their vacation if they would continue. I was so surprised by the answer. I found that most people do not have a regular exercise plan, and most of them thought that they would try and exercise upon their return, but felt they would probably stop based on all the previous times they tried.

This is so sad! They started to make the necessary changes and form new habits, but the experts all say it takes 30 days to form this new habit, they were so close!
If you are one of these vacation exercisers, this information is for you. You were so close to making changes, and I am sure you felt wonderful after your long walks, not to mention how energized you felt.

Don’t give up, keep it up! You will lose weight and feel great about yourself.
Kimberly Jamieson (www.healthypainfreeliving.com)has achieved success in Living and maintaining a healthy active lifestyle and has helped thousands achieve this success by using her own fitness training tips.

About Exercise For Toning Hips

The following routine has been specially designed for toning hip muscles.

For best results, start with 15-20 repetitions and one set. Increase gradually to 2 sets. Complete the routine at least 2 times a week and you will see results within the first few weeks. These numbers are general guidelines. For best results, consult a personal trainer. If you have any injuries or medical ailments, please obtain a physicians clearance before starting any exercise program.

Side Lying Hip Raises – Hip toning.

Starting Position: Lie on your left side on a mat with the legs straight. Support your heard in your hands and keep the left leg bent. Movement: Slowly raise the right leg 8-12 inches up in the air, keeping the knee straight. Lower it gradually. Complete 15-20 repetitions and repeat on the opposite side. To make this exercise harder, you can try using weight cuffs around the ankles. Start with 1 lb and work your way up to 5 lbs within 4-6 weeks. Another way to make the exercise harder is to raise the leg and then trace large circles clockwise 10 times, followed by another 10 repetitions anticlockwise.

Seated Hip Toning – Hip toning.

Starting Position: Sit on an exercise matt with your legs together and your palms on the matt for support. Movement: Lift your right foot 8-12 inches off of the matt. Point your toes and moving only at your ankle trace a large circle in the air. Complete fifteen circles clockwise and fifteen circles counter clockwise. Repeat as required on other side. To make this exercise harder, you can try using weight cuffs around the ankles. Start with 1 lb and work your way up to 5 lbs within 4-6 weeks. Another way to make the exercise harder is to trace smaller circles.

Standing Single Leg Wall Squat (Advanced) – Hip And Thigh Toning

This is an advanced exercise since it shapes the hips and thighs. Starting Position: – Place your upper back against a smooth wall. Stand on one foot and lean back against the wall. Movement: – Inhale, keeping your heel in contact with the floor at all times, slowly lower into a squat position while sliding down the wall. Exhale as you slowly straighten your leg, keeping your head and chest up, returning to the starting position. Repeat as required. This is an advanced exercise. Please discontinue the exercises if you have any pain and consult a physician prior to this exercise routine if you have a history of hip or knee pain.

Standing Single Leg Dumbbell Squats (Advanced) – Hip And Thigh Toning.

Starting Position: – Stand on one leg with a slight bend in your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and allow them to hang down at your sides. Movement: – Inhale, keeping your heel in contact with the floor at all times, slowly lower into a squat position. Exhale as you slowly straighten your leg, keeping your head and chest up, returning to the starting position. Repeat as required. You can start with 2 lb dumbbells and work your way up to 5 lbs within 3-4 weeks.

Lying Leg Bridge – Hip Toning.

Starting Position: – On an exercise matt, lie with your feet on a plank or a board with a 4-6 inch elevation. Keep the knees bent and both feet flat on the floor. Lay your hands on the matt palms down on either side of your body for support. Movement: – Exhale as you push your hips up into the air, keeping your spine straight. Hold this position as long as you can, continuously keeping your hips in the air. Lower slowly. Repeat for 15 – 20 repetitions.

Lying Face Down Plank – Hip, Thigh And Ab Toning.

Starting Position: Get on an exercise matt on all fours, with your elbows touching the matt directly underneath your shoulders. Extend your legs back as far as you can, and keep the toes on the floor. Movement: Raise the hips up and hold yourself in this ‘plank position’ with your back completely flat. This is an excellent exercise for the hips, thighs and abdominal muscles. Since it involves so many muscles, it is strenuous in nature. Lower the hips slowly down to the mat. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions. (Most individuals find it hard to complete 15-20 reps for this exercise and 8-10 might be a more suitable starting point).

Full Body Workout

Measure the Weights

Don’t just start off with lifting the heavy weights straightaway. According to the experts; this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you are starting off with a gym routine. Start with slow and steady steps. Begin with lifting small weights and then gradually increase the weights once your stamina is built up.

Maximum Body Training

For all those who regularly follow a good gym routine, Tabata Protocol is a familiar term. This is a type of gym exercise which helps you to strengthen the muscles of your neck and back. Basically, this method is used in Aerobics. It is also known as the 20:10 method; where you need to repeat 8 rounds, follow for 20 seconds, then take 10 seconds rest, and then repeat.

Kettlebell Usage

Also known as the kettlebell swing, this workout move is well known for better performance, especially if you are an athlete. This exercise improves the performance of your heart and back muscles. Moreover, it also builds up your stamina and increases your muscular strength. Start with 20 swings in 3 blocks and take it up to 200 swings, or 20 sets, with at least 30 second intervals in between.

Arrange the Workouts

You can arrange your workout sessions in supersets. For instance; you can pair up two different kind of cardio exercises and perform them one by one, parallel to each other, in one set. Combine the dumbbell sets with squats or, reverse lunges with pull-up exercises, and so on. Keep on repeating them in short intervals for increased performance.

Do the Drop Sets

After you have built up the required stamina for lifting heavy weights; start decreasing the loads. According to experts; gradually decreasing the weights is known to cause immense improvement in muscular volume and strength. You can do this with any kind of exercise and it will not impact heavy on your fatigue levels as well.

Measure the Metabolic Stress

Keeping strict rest periods and your metabolic stress levels in check will help you to build up volume and stamina in less time. So, what exactly are the metabolic stress levels? These are the levels which tend to decrease via cellular effect as you follow your gym routine regularly, thus resulting in increased muscular strength.

Take the Stairs

While following a good exercise routine every day make sure that you don’t break the flow, even when you are not in the gym. Going to the office in the morning? Use the stairs instead of going via elevator. Take small breaks between your routine and walk around a bit. Don’t relax to the extent that you don’t feel like going to the gym in the evening.

Old Folks Exercise

Drop Down to the Old Folks Center

Most centers have an exercise program. Nothing is more vigorous than waving your hands at your neighbor. You will bend over and stretch. After the exercise you can stay for that 3000 calorie lunch. That will make you sleepy. Go home and take a long nap in front of As the World Turns.

Walking Around the Mall and its Alternatives

Lots of old folks like to walk around the mall. You can walk at your own pace, stopping at interesting window displays. After the walk, you can go to the food court and eat a couple of those great cinnamon buns with milk or your favorite hot beverage.

I prefer hot chocolate myself.

Mall walking seems to be more fun if you are a member of a group. That way you have someone to lie to while eating your cinnamon bun.

If the mall is too far away, then walk around your house or apartment.

When your spouse says, “Stop that! What the heck are you doing anyway?” try the Charles Atlas method of dynamic tension.

Nobody will be kicking sand in your face.

Do you know that Charles Atlas still advertises? His ads are published up-side-down. You have to stand on your head to read them. That’s good exercise too.

An explanation of dynamic tension is needed for the uninitiated. Take your left fist and put in into your right palm. Now push and push and push. Now grab your right hand in your left hand and pull and pull and pull.

Get it? You are working one muscle against another.

Well, you are on your way dynamic tension wise.

An alternative to dynamic tension is weight lifting. I bought a pair of 5-pound weights at a yard sale. I lift them while watching T.V.

I also have a horse other than my real horse.

You sit on the thing and pull up your own weight. You can change the configuration and push up your own weight.

Either way you will be looking for the horse liniment.