Tag Archives: weight

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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Push Ups: Progression For Greater Strength And Endurance

Author: Eddie LomaxOne-Hand-Pushup

Push ups are one of the classic bodyweight exercises.  Every bodyweight training program I know of uses push ups in one form or another.  As a result, the ability to perform a proper push up, for high repetitions is a fitness milestone in bodyweight training.

But there is more to this classic bodyweight exercise than high repetitions and bragging rights.  As a matter of fact, some people get so caught up in high repetitions that they forgo [forget] proper form, reducing the strength and endurance gains, and increasing the risk of injury.  In this article I’ll reveal an alternative to high repetition push ups.

But first, what is a proper push up?

A proper push up is an incredibly demanding full body exercise, requiring both upper body strength and a strong, stable core for proper completion.  This is important.  It is not just an upper body exercise.  It is a full body exercise.

Start by lying on the ground with you feet together and your hands on the ground by your shoulders.  Your elbows are flexed and should remain close to your body throughout the entire movement.  Don’t flair your elbows!

Perform a push up by pressing with your arms until your entire body leaves the ground.  In the up position, only your hands and toes remain on the ground.  The body has to remain stiff and straight throughout the entire lowering and raising.  The only thing that should move during the movement is the arms.

This is very important.  The body should be straight at the top, during and at the bottom of the movement.  This is accomplished by using your core stabilizer muscles, butt and legs to make your body as ridged as possible.

As you can see, your whole body is involved in completing a proper push up, not just your upper body.  Upper body strength and core strength must be coordinated to do a proper push up.  If either your upper body or core is weaker than the other, errors will occur and performance will be lowered.

Ok, once you know how to perform push ups, most people try to go for high numbers.  Yes, being able to do 100 push ups is a sign of great strength and endurance.  But striving for high numbers is not the only way you improve!

You can also improve push ups by going from easy to difficult.  Increasing the difficulty of the push up variation is an excellent way to build incredible strength.  This method allows you to keep the repetition number relatively low, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.  Plus, it reduces the possibility you will sacrifice quality for quantity, furthering your chance of injury!

Here is an example:

-    Start with incline push ups
-    The [Then] increase difficulty by doing the classic push up
-    Increase the difficulty again by doing decline push ups
-    And finally make it harder by doing handstand push ups

You could also throw in one armed push ups to increase difficulty.  But the point is this, there are more ways to improve your strength and endurance with push ups than just increasing the number or repetitions you can do in one set.

Let this push up progression example serve as an example of other bodyweight exercise progressions.  A lot of people say they get bored with bodyweight exercise because they only try to improve by doing more and more reps.  Now you know, increasing repetition is not the only progression method in town.  And in many cases, more strength and endurance improvements can be made by going from easy versions of an exercise to more difficult versions.

Exercise Rowing Machines: How To Row Away The Pounds

Author: Brue Bakerrowing machine

If you aren’t already in good shape you need to get there. And don’t try to get in shape and lose pounds from taking pills or powder, you need to take on an actual dedication to your health by getting active and working out. Exercising three days a week for twenty minutes each session, along with a healthy diet of course, will give you the body you have always wanted (or use to have).

Don’t Use Your Age As An Excuse

If you are unsure if you are healthy enough to exercise consult your doctor before you work out on any fitness machine. Otherwise, no matter what your age or current fitness level there are exercises and machines that are right for you. One of the best exercise machines for anyone to use is a rowing machine.

There are a number of reasons why people choose to purchase or utilize exercise rowing machines. For some, this is a novel way of increasing strength and endurance. For others, using exercise rowing machines can shake up previous exercise programs by providing a new way of getting some cardio and conditioning in.

For a small few, a rowing machine can be used to burn excess calories. Yes, the words used here are “a small few” as most people opt to use more traditional cardio exercise equipment items as a means of burning up excess calories.

Despite being an excellent tool for burning calories, the rowing machine is not as popular as Nordic tracks, treadmills, or the stationary bike. This is unfortunate as exercise rowing machines can burn calories quite effectively while at the same time increasing lean muscle mass.

How To Use Exercise Rowing Machines

The common design of exercise rowing machines allows for the person using the device to adjust the level of resistance. It can be tweaked to be made very difficult to move or it can be adjusted to have little weight.

If you want to use exercise rowing machines to burn calories then the resistance level on the rowing device needs to be adjusted so that you are using little or no resistance and/or weight. This concept is common among all forms of resistance training: low weight and high reps equal definition.

Now, please do not fall for the fallacy of logic that low weight/high reps means muscle tone. This is simply not true. What really occurs is more calories are burned and that reduces stored fat and allows the muscles to “show.”

There is no such thing as toning a muscle as muscles can only do one of two things: get bigger or get smaller. Far too often, people only consider the addition of extra weight as the primary goal of getting better with a rowing machine. This is a limited outlook.

While increasing weight will aid in building muscle and strength, lessening the weight also has a number of positive benefits as well. For example, when you have little weight or resistance, you can do more reps and do them faster. This will burn calories as the purpose of using the device shifts from strength training to a cardio workout designed to burn calories.

Now that you now how to benefit from and how to use a rowing machine you should consider trying one. It can be a particularly good exercise for those who are looking for a good low impact exercise oppose to running, which can be jarring on the knees and back. Just make sure that you are dedicated and committed to actually using it. The machine won’t do anything for you unless you are on it.

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FINE PRINT

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 cvsbushrod@exercise-and-nutrition.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.

Common Questions and Answers Regarding Fitness

Author: Grace Soongfitness5

Numerous misconceptions and general questions revolve around fitness and training. Below are a five of the most common questions my clients ask of me and the answers I give them:

1. Can I spot train certain parts of my body?  If you are talking about spot training to get rid of the fat (reducing the size of that body part), that will never happen.  No exercise can do that.  When you spot train, you are working the muscle underneath the fat.  To  reduce fat  in certain areas of the body, you must do two things: first, reduce overall body fat through a change in your diet, and second, increase muscle tone through strength training.  Without a doubt, you can spot train to INCREASE the size of a certain area…but never the other way around.

2. Will I bulk-up if I workout?  A lot depends on the type of workout that you do and the principles behind your workout. Genetics, gender, age, diet and the quantity of testosterone your body naturally produces will determine if you’ll have a propensity to bulk up.  Generally, if you are female over 30 years old, it would be difficult to bulk up without the aid of testosterone supplements no matter how heavy you lift.

3. How often and for how long should I workout?  Suggestions by fitness organizations such ACSM, AHA and ACE keep changing as new studies and research are provided. The general agreement, however, is 3-5 days a week for about 20-60 minutes each session. A lot also depends on your goal:  lose weight , maintain your current level of fitness, gain weight or train for a competition or sport. Check with your  personal trainer  for his/her recommendation before you start because too little or too much could hinder your development.

4. What causes muscle soreness after exercise?  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is caused by a larger than normal burden on a muscle. Originally, it was believed that a build up of lactic acid caused the soreness.  However, research confirms that the soreness is caused by micro tears in the muscle. A release of enzymes from the muscle fibers and the muscle’s response to the larger than normal burden (placed on it) causes the irritation. As the muscles adjust to the weights, the soreness will diminish.

5. What are the best equipment to use?  In general, machines are better for the beginner. They provide more stability than free weights (dumbbells and barbells). They help you maintain form until you can master the moves.  However, machines are two-dimensional exercises (movements are limited to forward and back, or up and down) whereas your muscles are multi-dimensional (they move forward, back, diagonally and sideways). With free-weights and cable pulley machines you activate several muscle fibers at once.  However, they require more skill and control on your part.

If You Want To Prevent Arthritis, Exercise!

If You Want To Prevent Arthritis, Exercise!lens6639232_1251306676Exercise_Routines_for_Women_Intro

Author: John Hilaire

The causes of arthritis vary, but most researchers agree that one huge factor affecting the likelihood of developing arthritis is exercise and weight.  Prevention of arthritis could be as simple as increasing the amount of regular activity you do.  Exercise not only prevents arthritis from developing, but it can prevent the further decay of bones already affected by arthritis.

Many people are hesitant about arthritis exercise, however, especially if they already have arthritis.  Some think that exercise might worsen their symptoms; however, on the contrary, exercise has been shown to reduce arthritis symptoms.  The key to arthritis exercise is knowing what type of exercise to do then, you can begin steps toward prevention!

How Does Exercise Prevent Arthritis?

Exercise is a great way to prevent the development of arthritis.  Exercise accomplishes three main goals which can help to prevent arthritis: weight control, strengthening of muscles, and injury prevention.

People who are obese or overweight are more at risk for developing arthritis.  This is because excess weight puts additional stress on joints.  By losing a little weight, you  can reduce your chances of developing the disease by as much as 30%!

Strengthening muscles is another way exercise helps to prevent arthritis.  By strengthening your muscles, you are providing greater support for your joints, thus decreasing your risk.

Finally, exercise has been shown to reduce the likelihood of injuries, which is one of the main causes of arthritis.  By decreasing your risk of having a bone fracture of a torn ligament, you are also reducing your risk of developing arthritis.

What Type Of Arthritis Exercise Should You Do?

In order to prevent arthritis, the exercise you should focus on is both strength training and aerobic exercise.  Strength training, which uses tools such as plastic bands, can help to build muscle and decrease your risk of arthritis development.

Aerobic exercise, such as swimming and walking, can contribute to weight loss, which can also reduce arthritis risk.  While many might think that these activities would only worsen the effects of arthritis, no research has ever supported these conclusions.  Water aerobics are a great way to prevent the further effects of arthritis, because it provides aerobic exercise that is low impact.

Other activities, such as range of motion exercises and agility exercises, can help to prevent arthritis by keeping the joints limber.

A Healthy Life Style

While arthritis prevention isn’t the only reason you should exercise, it certainly is one of the most important.  Remember, exercise is good for you no matter what your condition, so begin reaping the many benefits of exercise today!

Men’s Weight Loss Quiz

Author: Deidra Garciafruit_veggie_image

1. Beverages can cause you to gain weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men don’t realize that beverages are often loaded with empty calories. Even fortified waters can contain as many calories as a can of soda. In fact, a recent study found that most men don’t accommodate for these extra calories with their meals.  A better bet is to stick to drinking plenty of water, as it keeps your system well-hydrated, helps food break down easier and doesn’t pack on the pounds.

2. Fasting is a good way to drop a few pounds.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: By skipping meals and then playing catch-up, you could end up promoting more fat storage and lowering your metabolism due to fluctuating insulin and blood sugar levels.  You also lose more than fat when you don’t eat…you lose muscle and tissue mass. A better bet is to follow a moderate diet and continue to exercise regularly.

3. Eating more produce reduces the pounds.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: This seems like it should go without saying, but most men don’t get their allotted five servings a day. In addition to containing vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and protein, fruits and vegetables are a low-calorie option that can help you lose weight and improve health tremendously. A few ideas for consuming more are eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week, keeping fresh produce on hand for snacks (even canned vegetables and fruits are valuable as long as they don’t contain heavy syrup or preservatives), and adding more to salads, sandwiches and as side dishes..

4. Drinking a lot of water causes you to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Water is key to fending of dehydration and it helps the body processes. It even helps provide a “full” feeling. But drinking water does not burn off calories, and drinking an excessive amount of water can also add to temporary water weight and make you feel bloated.

5. You need to exercise as well as diet to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men think if they eat right they can skip exercising altogether. Or vice versa. Wrong. If you are actively looking to lose weight, you are going to have to regularly exercise as well as follow a nutritious diet. Exercising 3-4 times a week not only improves cardiovascular and overall health, it also helps you burn calories as you build muscle.

6. You can keep your weight down by skipping meals.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although experts are divided on how many meals you should eat (3 moderate meals, or several small ones throughout the day), mealtimes need to be kept at the same time every day so your body knows when to feel hungry. Skipping meals can cause you to overeat at the next meal as your body tries to make up for the meal that was missed.

7. Diets that focus on adding or removing only one type of food are the most effective.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Many fad diets rely on eating a large quantity of or removing one substance or food from your diet (for example: low-carb diet, the cabbage diet, etc.). But the fact is that eating too much of one thing can cause you to miss out on valuable nutrients in other foods (how many fruits contain protein?). And your body needs many components to function well (carbs provide energy, etc.). Instead of drastically cutting or adding an ingredient, try reducing “bad” foods and eating moderate servings of more varied foods.

8. You can still snack and eat your favorite foods as you diet.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: The reason many men fail at weight management is because they try to deprive themselves of their favorite foods…which may not be the healthiest. Unfortunately, when deprived like this, many guys tend to overeat or binge at the slightest waver of willpower. There’s no need to give up desserts or less-than-healthy options…just eat them in small servings and restrict them to only once or twice a week. Even restaurant meals and fast food options can be conquered if you keep the portions small (take half home as leftovers) and you’re aware of what exactly you are consuming, nutrition-wise.

9. How you eat is just as important as what you eat.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Ever wolf down a huge plate of food and then realize that you weren’t even that hungry to begin with? This happens more frequently than most men think. Men who overeat tend to eat very quickly. This does not allow your stomach time to process food and does not allow your brain time to realize you’ve had enough. A better option is to take your time as you eat: you’ll be able to recognize when you fill full (and then stop) and it will also help with digestion. Not to mention that you’ll be able to savor the flavors much better this way!

10. Nutritional supplements don’t help you lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: While you cannot rely on a nutritional supplement for all of your dietary needs, they can help you attain significant weigh loss results when coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just make sure they contain high concentrations of natural ingredients from a trusted source.

11. You always gain weight when you quit smoking.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although some men gain weight when they quit, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the risk of putting on a few pounds. And you can avoid that altogether by avoiding snacking on fattening foods. Instead, keep healthier options available (such as veggies, fruit or even sugar-less gum) for when a craving occurs. Exercise can also work out anxiety.

ANSWER KEY:

9 – 11 correct: Fitness guru

6 – 8 correct:     A healthy mind set

3 – 5 correct:     Need some coaching

0 – 2 correct:     Get off the couch!