Tag Archives: pilates

Getting to the Core of Exercise

Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffercore exercise w-ball

Core conditioning is a fitness buzz word these days but few are actually doing it correctly. Many confuse it with abdominal training when in fact the core covers your body from your groin to your shoulders (front, side, back and inside-out). Your core offers stability, balance and flexibility to all your movements. An improperly conditioned core will limit movement capabilities and predispose you to injury whether you are performing every day activities or complex sports movements.

The aim of working the core muscles is primarily one of stabilization and coordination versus strengthening. There are many muscles in the core including the lower back, superficial front and side abdominals, deep abdominals, deep back muscles, and the hip and pelvic muscles. It is the deep muscles that usually get neglected. The ultimate aim of core conditioning is to insure the deep trunk muscles are working correctly to control the lumbar spine during dynamic movements such as lifting a box. The deep muscles act as stabilizers and are isometrically contracted (contraction with no movement). Thus when training your core you should start with the inside and work outwards.

Exercises and products intended to train the core do so by creating resistance and instability so the core muscles must respond to maintain balance. Core exercises often imitate moves we employ in daily life or sports,  reducing the strainbosu-ball we put on our limbs daily. Some popular core exercises come from Pilates which uses both the bodies own resistance as well as balance devices such as foam rollers. The swiss ball provides an unstable platform to perform a variety of core strengthening moves on. Another newer balance and core developing device is the half domed shaped Bosu. Whatever type of exercises and equipment you choose start slowly. Even if you are a finely tuned athlete chances are you do not have a well developed core. Core strength is important for all ages and fitness abilities. Incorporating core training into your exercise routine can reduce muscular fatigue, avoid muscle strain and injury, improve posture and improve strength and mobility.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/fitness-articles/getting-to-the-core-of-exercise-85397.html

About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. To find out more cutting edge fitness ideas and information go to aerobic-exercise-coach.com.

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This policy is valid from 12 November 2009.  This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me, C. Small.  For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions.  However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.  Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.  This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Low-impact Exercises are Fun and Healthy

Author: Raymond Leepilates

Not everyone is made for high-level exercising. But you can become fit without bouncing around in a leotard, battering your joints. Forget all the huffing, puffing, lugging, lifting, and straining. Movement therapy is a gentle – yet effective – group of sports that include yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. Just don’t be fooled by their mild manner. These activities can whip you into shape without breaking a sweat.

All three have ancient Eastern roots and are merely different interpretations of the same principle: keeping your body and mind in harmony naturally leads to better health.

It wasn’t until recently that modern science confirmed the many physical benefits of yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. With them, you can improve your balance, flexibility, and strength – no matter what your age, weight, or fitness level.

No Pain – but great gain

Yoga, tai chi, and Pilates are gentle enough for anyone to try. If you consider yourself in bad health or disabled in some way, you’re a perfect candidate for these movement therapies. You can ease into the programs slowly and set your own pace. It’s easy to stick with them and you’ll see improvement quickly.

Here are just some of the benefits you will get from these soothing approaches to fitness.

• When you were a child, tripping and falling meant just another minor scrape. But as you get older, taking a tumble can have serious and crippling effects. If your sense of balance is as bad as Humpty Dumpty’s,these are the safest forms of exercise for you.

Just like the trick to growing tomatoes is to keep the main stalk strong, the trick to great balance is to keep your core muscles strong. The bands of muscle in your abdomen, lower back, and buttocks are the center of strength and control for the rest of your body.

All three examples of movement therapy are relatively stationary,but because they strengthen your core muscles, your balance will improve quickly – preventing falls – and you’ll develop greater flexibility and strength. Soon you will be moving with confidence again.

• Tai chi and yoga are especially recommended for people with arthritis.Gentle yoga can improve arthritis in your hands, for example, and tai chi’s precise, flowing movements help keep your joints limber, relieve your pain, and keep you active.

• The dance-like stretches, poses, and maneuvers within each of these movement therapies will gently strengthen and tone your body. Pilates is especially good as a strength-training workout.

• Add yoga or Pilates to your exercise regimen if you need to improve your heart health.

• In today’s hectic world, it may be hard to squeeze an extra 30 minutes of exercise into your schedule – at least without feeling even more stress. The beautiful thing about movement therapy is that it combines stress relief with exercise, so you kill two birds with one stone.

All the activities – tai chi, yoga, and Pilates – are done slowly, with intense focus on proper breathing and posture. They all relax your body and calm your mind.

As you can see, you can boost your overall health with these joyful, health-giving movements.

Things to know before you give it a go

Just to be safe, make sure that you take these precautions before starting any new exercise program.

• Get your doctor’s approval on your fitness plan, especially if you’ve badly injured your back, neck, knees,or shoulders in the past.

• The stretches, poses, and movements of these therapies should not hurt. If you feel pain, stop and check your technique before continuing.

• Pilates is the most intense of the three exercise forms. You may want to try one of the less strenuous programs first if you are out of shape.

• Be forewarned, you might get addicted to these calming sports.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/fitness-articles/lowimpact-exercises-are-fun-and-healthy-206348.html

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Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Author: Eidorianresistance bands

The most effective treatment for fibromyalgia is exercise. Which seems totally weird, because most people with fibromyalgia hurt worse and are more fatigued after exercise, and they may feel that way for days. The key is the right amount of the right kinds of exercise.

If you are new to exercising within the constraints of fibromyalgia, it may be helpful to enlist the help of a trainer, physical therapist or exercise physiologist to design a program specifically for you. Every person with fibromyalgia has a different exercise capacity, so you need an individualized program.

Another important concept related to exercise is your “baseline.” Each person has a different baseline. It is the level of exercise that you can maintain over time. It does not mean that you are pain-free, but that the pain doesn’t interfere with your lifestyle. You also need to remember that you’ll always have good days and bad days. You don’t stop or reduce your exercise because of a bad day. (Although you may reduce it for a while if you have a bad flare-up that lasts days or weeks.)

Exercise training for someone with fibromyalgia begins with stretching. Stretching reduces the stiffness and keeps ligaments and tendons from shortening over time. Stretching should be gentle and it should feel good. It is usually a good idea to warm your muscles with mild aerobic activity, such as walking, for a few minutes before stretching.

Daily low-impact, gentle aerobic exercise is the next step. Aerobic exercise has tons of health benefits. It specifically helps reduce fibromyalgia symptoms because it improves flexibility, causes your body to release endorphins and other happy chemicals and reduces stress. Walking and bicycling are excellent low-impact exercises. It is important to start at a level suitable to where you are and increase your level of exercise slowly. If you get fatigued after five minutes of walking, start there and increase your time by a minute or two every week or two.

Some activities are especially good for fibromyalgia. Water aerobics and swimming are wonderful. The buoyancy of the water supports your sore muscles and allows you to exercise with less pain. Swimming has a double benefit of gentle stretching along with aerobic exercise.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong and Yoga emphasize slow, gentle movements that are ideal for people with fibromyalgia. All three exercises include breathing and focusing, which decrease stress. You also learn to be aware of your body and learn to recognize signs of stress.

Pilates is another exercise system where you work with your body, stretching and toning it. Pilates is a non-weight bearing exercise, like chair aerobics. It is a gentle way to tone your body, and gentle is the word for exercising with fibromyalgia.

People with fibromyalgia can add some strength training slowly as they build up exercise tolerance. Resistance bands provide plenty of strength training for a while. Strength training must be undertaken carefully and gently, and it might be wise to get help from an exercise professional before adding it. There are many benefits to strength training, and it could be a very beneficial addition to your exercise, especially when you are feeling well.

Whether we are talking about exercise or sleep, pacing and routine are important if you have fibromyalgia. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day helps with sleep. Exercising at the same time every day helps with exercise. Your body begins to respond to routine.

Exercise must be paced, too. That means starting at a low level, increasing gradually, and incorporating rest into your routine. You exercise, then rest, then exercise some more. Over time, you can shorten the rest periods and/or lengthen the exercise periods. Rhythm and pacing make a big difference in how much exercise you can tolerate.

It is recommended that you consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.  To find out more on why exercise can be so beneficial please visit  http://www.FibromyalgiaNaturalRemedies.com .

FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Bust Out of Your Fitness Rut

Author: Grace Soongbenefits_pilates

Got results? You’ve been exercising on a regular basis for awhile. So, how’s it working for you? Are you noticing a change in your body? Or have you reached a  plateau ?

Monotonous weight routines. If you’ve been doing the exact same  weight-training  routine or watching 1980s aerobics videos on your old VHS player, then it’s time to mix it up! Your muscles adapt to any given exercise, which is why it’s important to consistently change your weight-training routine. Increase your weight size, add more reps, or try new exercises altogether to break through your muscle-building plateau.

Over-crunching. You do 500 sit-ups every night, and you wonder why your abs still aren’t flat. It’s probably because crunches strictly tend to work your rectus abdominus, just one of your abdominal muscles. In order to truly trim your waistline, you also need to work your external and internal obliques, and your transverse abdominus. Try a variety of abdominal exercises, including Pilates-based moves, to help whittle away your middle.

Cardio queen.  aerobic exercise  is important. You need it to burn calories and maximize heart health. But, cardio is just one part of a well-rounded fitness routine. You also need strength training and stretching. And don’t forget that good nutrition is a big part of your overall health too.

Rushing. When you race through your weight-training reps, you’re allowing momentum to take over, instead of using actual muscle. If you want to see more definition in your muscles, then you must stress the muscles to the point of fatigue. Focus on lifting and lowering your weights with steady control. Take your time, and think about the muscle behind every movement that you perform.

Relying on your workout only. If you are sedentary all day long, and rely solely on your workout to burn calories, then you are missing a wealth of opportunities to improve your overall fitness and well-being. Make just a couple of small changes to incorporate fitness all day long. Park in the farthest parking space when going to the grocery store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’ll burn more overall calories throughout the day.

How to use a leading exercise ball

Author: Bill Nad

So what’s The Purpose of Leading Exercise Ball? Before looking at the motives of using a leading exercise ball, we need to understand as to what exactly are exercise balls and why are they even used in the first place? Exercise balls are also known by several alternative names such as Swiss balls or fitness balls, the latter term being more prevalent. There are several exercises in yoga, Pilates or other general workout in which the body needs to stay balanced while performing the exercise.

It is under these conditions that an exercise or fitness ball is used. Virtually all exercise balls have an outer coating of soft elastic PVC which is completely harmless to the human touch and hence is ideal for contact exercises. The basic principle behind using exercise balls is to increase the effort required for exercising which will eventually help in building more muscles. There are several ways in which exercise balls are used such as by adding balance challenges during exercising or by engaging the scarcely used muscles to provide balance to the entire body which will correspondingly help in strengthening of such muscles.

The leading exercise ball is a special kind of exercise ball which was invented jointly by some Swiss medical therapists. Initially, the only purpose of leading exercise ball was to provide support during various exercises and the reason as to why such a need was felt is because a rigid surface, when used for support, can induce unnecessary strain on the contact muscles. It is here that the leading exercise ball provides the solution by replacing a rigid surface with a soft, compressible surface thereby lessening the amount of muscle strain considerably. All the major muscles of the body can be strengthened by working out with the leading exercise ball. Since these balls maintain their strength even while undergoing pressure, they are quite popular even among those engaging in yoga or aerobics. Such balls are also used by several athletes who are engaged in heavy duty workout training. It’s important to note here that leading exercise balls do require some time to get used to in an optimum manner. It is not recommended that you go all out using a leading exercise ball with each and every exercise that you do, while just starting out. In fact, you should limit yourself in using a leading exercise ball with a maximum of two exercises while starting out. Of course, if you have been working out for quite some time, say two months, then you can surely use a leading exercise ball with any exercise which you have mastered during your time in the gym.

Again, let me add here that a leading exercise ball should be used with caution and not by throwing caution to the wind. As mentioned earlier, leading exercise ball was originally invented to cure medical conditions but this is no longer the case. Several exercises which are done with a standing position can include a leading exercise ball to simultaneously improve the back muscles as well. Similarly for those exercises which are done in a sitting position, addition of leading exercise ball can dramatically improve the abdominal muscles.