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Boxing As a Form of Exercise

I like to consider myself reasonably fit; I’m an active healthy person with a good diet and well used gym membership. I can swim for an hour, run for 40 minutes and feel fine afterwards. So perhaps I can be forgiven for being overly confident entering my first pad based boxing workout.

It wasn’t my idea; a friend of mine was heavily into boxing and mixed martial arts. I’d been to the gym with him a few times for more conventional workouts. We’d lifted weights together and put in some serious CV sessions but he could never resist mentioning his Tuesday night boxing class making sure I knew that he considered it the most fulfilling exercise he did.

Why not I thought! I don’t claim to be a tough guy but I’m no wet flannel. How hard could it be? So along I went.

We started with some warm up exercises, throwing a medical ball back and forth coupled with some light skipping, hopping and stretching. I was going to be working through a gentle boxing session with the guy that I trained with; he’d decided it would be best to ease me into it before jumping in the deep end and taking a full class.

He kindly provided me with all of the boxing equipment I’d need for this introduction. He pulled out a sets of 12 ounce gloves and some focus pads. I wouldn’t be needing headgear or a gum shield as we were just going to focus on the basic boxing moves.

We began. We started with the basic jab which he labeled “1” then moved onto a left jab straight right combo labeled “2”, “3” was a left jab straight right left hook combo. I was genuinely enjoying myself; we worked through the combos and basic moves until we had enough to run though from one to nine. I tried my hardest as he repeatedly corrected me for the position and movement of my feet, hands and placement of my guard.

As my confidence increased my training partner began mixing up the combo’s however I noted my punches weakening, how could this be? I was strong and fit and yet within an hour I could just about hold my hands up! We called it a day.

Nothing could have prepared me for the following morning. Every single muscle in my body ached. I could hardly move and was aching in places I didn’t even know existed. I can honestly say that boxing training is without a doubt the single most effective method of training I’ve ever participated in. Not only did it get the blood pumping I’d also worked just about every muscle in my body.

As our sessions continued my conditioning improved, never had a form of training made me feel so unfit. All that time in the gym clearly hadn’t been as effective as I thought it had.

I can honestly genuinely recommend boxing training, it needn’t be violent and you don’t have to spar. It is a fantastic form of exercise that stimulates the mind and the body. Give it a try.

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Lighten Up People (No Pun Intended)

I am truly blessed! I mean I get up each morning and have the opportunity to get out and exercise. Run, bike, walk, weight train; I can choose and I do.

I am not an uber-elite athlete, in fact while I do like to participate in events like marathons; I do not consider my self a competitor.

I also have the good fortune of living only about a mile from a path that whisks me some six miles away to the Pacific Ocean.

A few weeks ago my brother happened to be in town for the day because my sister-in-law was attending a seminar not to far from my home.

When I found out they were coming I suggested he bring his bike (his mountain bike, not his road bike… he has both) and we could cruise to the ocean for some quality brother time and a little exercise.

This happened to be a Saturday and so there was quite a bit of traffic on the path. We rode along enjoying ourselves and getting a light workout.

About half way to the ocean we both noticed something that kind of bothered us at first and then became a game. Maybe it’s because we’re Midwestern boys, but I don’t really think so; every time we passed someone going in either direction we always greeted them.

Let’s put this together:

” We were enjoying ourselves.
” We were getting in some exercise.
” We were being our natural self which is to say we’re friendly.

What do you think the typical response was?

I can tell you that if we passed one hundred people that morning and the number was likely much higher, we got any response from about ten.

And the fewer the responses the more energetic we were with our greetings! As I said it almost became a game to see which one of us could get a response from people.

We had both finally come down to… whatever!

I was ready to let it go, but it happened to me again this morning! Anyone who knows me will tell you that it takes an awful lot to get me riled up, but now I am!

I mean come on folks!

The worst were the cyclists! Do you really think that because you put on some goofy looking weird fitting shirt and a pair of “God should forbid most people from wearing them” spandex shorts that suddenly you’re a world class athlete?

I’ve got news for you, you’re not! Quite frankly and not to discourage you, but if you are the typical cycling enthusiast who rides three, four, five maybe even six days a week and you think their should be any word in your vocabulary that even closely resembles “elite”, you are sorely mistaken. That rippin’ time you posted in you last century race the one you lost by only a mere five minutes, doesn’t even come close to a practice session in the big leagues.

That being said; why do you have to be such an (fill-in-the-blank), to every person you pass out on the road?

And runners, in case you thought you were getting off as the friendly bunch! If you’re not pushing five to six minute miles on your long slow days, shut up and stop snickering at the cyclists.

What could possibly be so important out there on the road that you can’t even acknowledge your fellow human beings?

Now in case you’re thinking I’m nuts; this is not for me!

I don’t need your reassuring nod while I’m out there training! I’ve got great friends and family and I’ve met a lot of world class athletes (most of whom are pretty nice). If I’m looking for support while I’m out there training, I’m not looking for it from you!

But let’s get back to the serious issue at hand in this country and how you can actually help out without having to raise a finger (I figured you might like that).

There is a serious problem with obesity in this country. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that, am I right? It gets reiterated almost every day in the media, (which may explain my ire today since I watched a special report on it last night).

Every day around this country there are lots of people working very hard at trying to get America off its butt “so to speak”. We know we have a problem and a lot of us are trying to do something about it. Who knows maybe I’m misjudging you and you’re one of those people encouraging others to be active. Maybe!

OK, so let’s say I’m wrong and you actually encouraged a friend or family member or co-worker to go out and do something… anything. You tell them about this great path where they can go and be out of city traffic and yet still be relatively close to home.

Day one, there they are just trying to get a few miles of walking under their belt and looking for all of the reassurance they can possibly find because it’s not going to be easy and they are probably a little self conscious to boot.

Nervously, they say “Hello” to every passer-by, just looking for a little reassurance. The first people they come across are your rival cycling gang (gang just seems to fit better than club here) the “Think We’re Better than You Boys” who proceed to snub your friend like he’s the guy wearing overalls at a black-tie affair. This happens over and over again until what is really only a three mile walk seems like a hundred mile death march.

Let me ask you something;

What are the chances your friend is going to return to that path ever again?

How positive is your friend going to feel about going out and doing it again anywhere?

What hypocritical statement are you going to make to your friend about how you would never do such a thing?

Let’s go back for a second and unwind everything I said about your competitiveness and assume that you really are a competitive athlete.

I would then also assume that you have a general concern and interest in the health and well being of others. World class athletes fully understand the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.

As such, you should be one of the greatest ambassadors in the world for fitness. I know that every professional athlete is not a super role model, but you know what; the majority of them are!

Maybe you just don’t understand that a few kind words, a smile, even a simple nod can be so encouraging to someone trying to get started that it will cause them to go out and do it again just simply because they feel acknowledged.

You have to understand that most obese people are not getting tons of encouragement to get fit. They are instead getting debilitating humiliation. They are being told they are losers who will never amount to anything or that they have a disease that causes them to be that way so they should just accept it. I won’t write the words I want to say about that here. It’s really the topic for a whole other article.

Maybe you’re just shy. In which case I’m truly sorry for calling you out on the carpet, however I’m not going to let you off the hook. When I was in the fifth grade, my homeroom teacher sent a report card home that said I was so introverted that if I didn’t come out of my shell soon, I would have serious problems in life.

I don’t know a single person at this point in my life who would accuse me of being shy. A simple smile communicates a whole lot more than those words you can’t find anyway!

Maybe you’re just a “Jerk”!

What can I say? If you’re a jerk you’re a jerk! Nothing else to say here but good luck with the whole karmic balance thing! (Look that up if you don’t know what it means!)


All I’m really asking for is a little help here! I’m not asking you to change your training routine. I’m not asking you to take your training any less seriously! I’m just asking you to realize that the person you snub out on the road because you’re too self-important to acknowledge them may die of a heart attack one day because you as a jerk discouraged them from wanting to get out and move. Maybe you don’t care about other people because you don’t think it’s your problem but remember this; that person you snubbed could be the ER Nurse who’s going to be treating you when you have that cycling accident. What now?

We have got to start encouraging each other to get fit and it’s got to be sooner than later and for crying out loud; is a smile going to slow you down?

Lighten Up People!

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Power Up to Slim Down

You don’t have to be Charles Atlas to power up with strength training. This kind of exercise is a key to fitness for everyone – especially seniors. Stacks of scientific studies prove this. In fact, senior muscles may benefit more from strength training than young ones.

Strength training has many names. Resistance training, weight lifting, working out, and pumping iron are just a few. Whatever, you call it, it’s more valuable, easy, and fun than you probably imagined. For instance, you may not know that strength training can rev up your metabolism and help you burn off more calories around the clock.

It gets results by “stressing” your muscles more than your humdrum daily activities do. This stress could come from doing pushups, pressing a dumbbell above your head, or curling a coffee can. Believe it or not, muscles live for this extra work. It makes them stronger and healthier.

Put the brakes on aging

You lose as much as 40 percent of your muscle strength during your adult life, health experts say. This process –called sarcopenia – starts in your 40s and 50s, when your muscle fibers begin to shrink, become less efficient, and disappear altogether. Sarcopenia leads to the weakness, poor coordination, and bad balance that many seniors suffer.

Strength training halts this process and may even reverse it. According to the latest research, your strength could jump by an amazing 100 percent if you’re a weight-lifting senior. Pumping iron works because it encourages your muscles to grow and become more responsive and powerful.

Lifting weights can also build up your bones. What muscles flex during strength training, the bones around them respond like plants to sunlight – they grow.

Resistance training helps maintain bone density at any age. It doesn’t take much. Just a little stress on the bones to mitigate the bone loss that is inevitable as you age.

And it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start. Even seniors with osteoporosis can benefit from low-weight, high-rep resistance training. It’s never too late to start preventing bone loss.

Stronger muscles and bones could help you preserve your freedom and your ability to take care of yourself. After all, you need muscles to walk up stairs and climb out of bed, not to mention carry your groceries and pick up your grandchildren.

When you follow a regular lifting program, you’ll start seeing muscles you haven’t seen since you were 30 years old. Strength training carves muscles until they become lean and well-defined.

And unlike fat, muscles do more than take up space. They’re constantly eating up calories – three times as many as fat. They keep churning even when you’re not exercising. Don’t stop working out for long, though. The more you strength train, the more muscles you’ll build, which will help your body burn fat faster. So add some muscles and watch the fat melt away.

Strength training could also add 20 yards to your golf drive, or some extra “umph” to your tennis serve. It may take you to a higher level in whatever sport you’re active in. Moreover, extra muscles helps protect your joints and lower back during cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and bicycling.

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Bring Your Fitness Up to Par

Would you rather swing a golf club than swing your partner? Then perhaps golf is your course to fitness.

Golf is an outdoor game. Your goal is to use a club to send a small ball into each distant hole – preferably in as few swings as possible. No two golf courses are the same, so each one is a fresh challenge.

If you’re new to the game, take lessons. They should help you learn how to pick the right club, perfect your swing, and guide your ball through such tricky terrain as high grass, sand traps, water hazards, and hills.

Be sure to plan for several expenses – you’ll need clubs, golf balls, and greens fees.

The American Heart Association says golf is a good low-intensity exercise for older adults. If you’re up to golfing without a cart, you may reap extra benefits. In just 20 weeks, middle-aged golfers who played cart-free about twice a week reduced their waistline, increased their HDL (good) cholesterol, and lost weight.

The study also suggests that playing golf regularly – without a cart – can strengthen your mid-body muscles and so reduce lower back problems, as well as fight general weakness, decreasing your risk of falls and fractures.

If you want to get into the swing of golf, remember these tips.

• Before you start playing, walk the course each day for a couple of weeks. It’s a fine way to get used to the terrain.

• Find a driving range near you and visit it often. It’s a good place to practice your golf swing.

• As part of the warm-up before any golf game, use your golf club as a stretching tool. Hold it horizontally in front of you, and, without arching your back, lift it skyward. Then bring it back down to shoulder height and gently rotate your upper body to the right and then to the left.

• Start out with a shorter backswing, progressing to a full swing as you gain strength and range of motion in your back. However, you can significantly reduce your backswing without affecting your stroke.

• Concentrate on turning your hips as you swing. This will relieve your back and improve your form.

• Improve your golf grip with an old phone book. Open the phone book and moisten your fingertips. Using one hand, press down with your fingertips, and rip, crumple, and discard one page. Alternate hands. Continue doing this until your hands are tired. You should be able to do more pages with your dominant hand. This exercise will improve grip strength, endurance, and flexibility.

• Chasing balls into the woods can raise your risk of tick-borne infections. Consider taking an extra stroke instead. At the very least, wear long sleeve and insect repellant, and be sure to check yourself over for ticks after you retrieve the ball.

If golf isn’t the only sport that interests you, that’s good. Activities that improve your strength, aerobic fitness, and flexibility may help your golf game, too.

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Top 2 Secrets to Banishing Boredom

Try walking at different paces – some fast, some slow – during your workout. Add some hills to your route. You’ll work harder going up and get a little relief going down. Stay indoors one day and go outdoors the next. Or try different types of walking like the ones below.

Find Fun and Fitness on the Trail

To get more out of your outdoor walks, try taking a hike. Get into the woods or out in the country, and walk the trails instead of the sidewalks. The more rugged terrain requires more exertion, and you’ll probably discover muscles you never knew you had.

Lots of parks and preserves feature hiking trails that range from easy walks to expert climbs. Check out the closest national, state, country, or even city park. Whenever you go, the beauty and peacefulness of nature will be an added bonus to the exercise you get.

Some tips for new hikers:

1. Plan to go about half the distance you usually walk. Rough ground, abrupt inclines, and obstacles like trees and rocks will give you a more challenging workout than you’re used to.

2. At first, just go down a trail a certain distance and then turn around and come back. That way, you’ll have a better idea where you are and how long you’ve been gone. Later on, you can graduate to circle routes that bring you back to the starting point.

3. Pay extra attention to your shoes when hiking. It’s easy to get blisters and chaffing on uneven surfaces with shoes that don’t fit well. You can probably use your regular walking shoes, but make sure they have good ankle support. Consider hiking boots if you will be out more than two or three hours.

4. For longer hikes, you’ll want to take maps, water bottles, food, and various equipment with you. Carry them in a fanny pack or a small day pack – the extra weight will add to your exercise.

5. Take along a walking stick for better balance and support on the trail.

The ultimate “walk in the park” is overnight backpacking – carrying food, tents, and sleeping bags. The added weight and longer time spent hiking means more exercise. It also requires better conditioning before you start, but you can do it if you gradually work yourself into shape.

The payoff is the exhilaration that comes from demanding exercise and the satisfaction of getting somewhere you thought you couldn’t go. So, for a simple, easy exercise program, start walking. And, whether it takes you to the sidewalks, the gym, or the woods, you’ll feel better and have a good time getting there. Happy trails!

Power up to your heart and lungs

Once your workout becomes second nature, you may want to raise the challenge with power walking. It’s not as intense as racewalking, where you compete to see who walks fastest, but it’s a good way to challenge your body to do even more than it’s used to. Power walking won’t help you lose any more weight per mile, but it will do wonders for your heart and lungs.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you walk much faster. You need to take shorter steps and keep a smooth stride. Next, you add more ambitious arm movements. As you walk faster, pump your arms higher – to chest or neck level. Working you arms is just as good as working your legs, so now you’re doing double-duty.

Carrying additional weight will boost your calorie burn. You can supplement your own weight in the following ways if you’re not prone to back or joint injuries.

1. Hand weights. Carrying small dumbbells while you work your arms is like doing curls – one repetition per stride. Don’t use weights heavier than 2 pounds, though – you could strain your shoulders.

2. Weighted gloves. You don’t have to grip these weights, which mean more relaxed arms and shoulders. Plus, you can’t drop them.

3. Weight vest. This is more expensive, but you can carry more weight and distribute the load to both your upper-and lower-body muscles.

Another way to supplement your power walking is to use poles or walking sticks. Moving the poles along with your feet makes your arms work more and gives your heart a better workout. Since they help support you, you don’t feel like you’re working any harder. Be sure to use them, though – it doesn’t do much good to just carry them.

You can also change the surface you walk on. Walking through glass or soft dirt is tougher than cruising along on the pavement. Combine great exercise with a great vacation by going to California or Cancun or somewhere else with beautiful beaches. Walking in the sand will burn a lot more calories.

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A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Should you work out when you have a cold? How about if you have a fever? For many avid exercisers, especially beginners who have just managed to make walking a habit, stopping to give your body a rest can feel very threatening. You are afraid that if you stop, you may never start again. But there are certain circumstances when exercise can do more harm than good, especially when you are recovering from an illness like the common cold or the flu.

If you decide to exercise when you are stuffed up, make sure you really check with your body first. Do you feel excessive fatigue? How is your breathing? Does it feel difficult to fill your lungs as you normally would? Make sure you keep track of your pulse, both at rest and while you are working. If it seems unusually high, you might want to consider taking another day off.

If you do decide to take up the challenge, take it slower than usual. For example, even though it may be your day for hills, modify your schedule and keep it flat. If it is a fast pace day, walk at a normal speed instead. Don’t try to beat the clock this time. Finally, make sure you drink plenty of water. Hydration is crucial, especially when fighting off a cold. The following is a summary of guidelines you should follow if you decide to walk despite the sniffles:

• Wait until you are in the latter phase of your cold.
• Take your morning pulse; if it is 10 beats higher than normal, take another day off.
• Do a modified version of what you normally would do until you feel better.
• Start out slowly; if you feel okay, pick up the pace gradually.
• Drink plenty of water and make sure you get adequate rest.
• Listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably is not.

A simple stuffy nose is one thing, but exercising when you have a fever or other flu symptoms can be more damaging than good. Because a fever indicates that your body is fighting an infection, your immune system is on overdrive in an attempt to suppress the attacking virus. If you go out and exercise at such a time, you are putting even more strain on an immune system already under extreme stress as it attempts to fight off the intruder. Exercising will steal some of the energy away from the task at hand (healing) and could set your body up for a prolonged and more severe attack.

If it is the flu or fever you suffer from, take time off! Wait until the illness has subsided. Be honest with yourself about how your body feels. Pushing yourself when you are not ready will only drag the healing process out longer, setting your goal further and further back.

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Good Tool For Weight Training

You can increase your strength in many ways. There are, for example, tools like tubing, swiss balls, body weight, and free weights that all work perfectly well in building muscle strength and endurance. For the sake of simplicity, however, I am going to stick with free weights since they are probably the most familiar to the vast majority of you.

Free Weights

Free weights refer to weights that are unattached or free from a machine. The most common form of free weights includes dumbbells and barbells. Dumbbells differ from barbells in that they are separate entities, so that each limb is challenged individually. Barbells, on the other hand, are operated using two hands so that more than one limb is being used simultaneously. The advantage of using dumbbells over a barbell is that you are better able to determine strength discrepancies from one limb to the next. The weaker side cannot freeload with the stronger side and, instead, has to fend for itself.

When you use a barbell, it is not unusual for the stronger side to overcompensate for its weaker counterpart, which inevitably encourages the discrepancy rather than rectifying it. The advantage to using barbells over dumbbells, however, is that you can lift more weight with each repetition. The strength of two limbs rather than one is greater so it is easier to push the limits of your strength a little more by using a barbell. The best solution is to alternate between barbells and dumbbells so that you can catch your weaker spots while pushing your strength to greater capacities.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, including free weights. Because free weights are naturally free from structure, they require a lot more stability and attention to form precision. When using free weights, you must maintain proper body alignment and control of movement or else you risk throwing the rest of your body off and, in the worst case, injuring your back or some other body part. The key with free weights, therefore, is to memorize proper form and to start light. Although this does not ensure an injury-free routine, it does substantially reduce your risk of getting hurt.

Another advantage to using free weights is that you can use them in the comfort of your own home, or anything else, for that matter. Equipment is relatively inexpensive as well as easy to adjust, and it can be easily transported if necessary. All you really need is a set of ankle weights and several sets of dumbbells to design a complete weight program. If you can, buy 10-pound ankle weights that have adjustable one or two-pound weights attached to them so that you can add and remove resistance as needed. The same goes for the dumbbells. Try to buy ones that can be adjusted.

Many sports stores sell adjustable hand weights, which come with a set of plates that can be added and removed with just the twist of a knob. If adjustable weights don’t sound appealing to you, you can buy weights that are covered in vinyl or chrome and come in pairs ranging in weight from two to 100 pounds. These are usually a little more expensive since you have to buy them separately, but they work just as well as any other to build your muscles.

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Walking Exercise Works Wonders

Walking to work definitely has advantages and disadvantages. But, in my humble opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. For starters, it cuts down on parking and gas costs. Parking can cost several hundred dollars a month, particularly if you are working in the big city. With gas prices so high these days, filling up the tank is synonymous with emptying out your wallet. Together, these costs add up to quite a bit of money.

And how about safety? Highway driving these days can be hazardous to your health. With so many cars on the road, auto accidents are bound to happen. In fact, they have become a regular part of our early-morning and late-afternoon commute. Road rage is a major problem. Angry drivers who use their driving anonymity to commit aggressive acts like cutting you off, flipping you the bird, or suddenly speeding past you just to vent their frustrations have become ordinary occurrences. A lot of road rage has to do with work stress and an increase in traffic. People are working longer hours, spending more time on the road, and generally having less time to relax and reap the rewards of all their hard labor. It is no wonder we are all feeling a little high-strung.

Perhaps you can see why walking rather than driving work might be a safer option, if you have the choice to do so. In addition, to eliminating your chances of being involved in an auto accident, it also enables you to have some time to chill out both before and after work. It gets your blood going and your oxygen flowing, which helps your body rid itself of joint and muscle stiffness that comes from sitting at your desk all day. Finally, it saves you a little bit of cash, money with which you can buy a nice pair of walking shoes. If you have the opportunity to walk to work, do. You don’t have to jump in with both feet. Start out by walking just one or two days. See how you feel. Give your body a chance to adjust to the change. Add a day every two weeks until you are walking to work everyday.

Some of you definitely have jobs that require you to dress up. Walking for two or three miles in high heels, a three-piece suit, or a wool skirt is hardly advisable. If at all possible, save your shower until after you get to work. Many office buildings come equipped with showers. If yours does, use it.

If you must walk in your work clothes, that’s okay too. Although not the fashion statement of the year, I recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes to and from the office. Carry your work shoes in your bag. You might need to compromise style for comfort a little and choose clothes that are a little more “suitable” for walking. Try buying fabrics that move with you and that allow your skin to breathe. Remember, this is your health we are talking about. Try to be as flexible as possible. Change may feel strange at first, but you will get used to it if you are consistent.

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Exercise Types to Stay Healthy

Exercise is the central ingredient of good health. It tones the muscles, strengthens the bones, makes the heart and lungs work better, and helps prevent constipation. It increases physical reserve and vitality. The increased reserve function helps you deal with crises. Exercise eases depression, aids sleep, and aids in every day activity of daily life.

There are aerobic or endurance exercises, stretching exercises, and strengthening exercises. You need to know the difference between the three types.

Aerobic (endurance) exercise is the key to fitness. This is the most important kind of exercise. The word “aerobic” means that during the exercise period the oxygen (air) you breathe in balances the oxygen you use up. During aerobic exercise, a number of body mechanisms come into play. Your heart speeds up in order to pump larger amounts of blood. You breathe more frequently and more deeply to increase the oxygen transfer from the lungs to the blood. Your body produces more heat and compensates by sweating to keep your temperature normal. You build endurance.

During endurance exercise periods, the cells of the body develop the ability to extract a larger amount of oxygen from the blood to increase function at the cellular level. As you become more fit, these effects persist. The heart becomes larger and stronger and can pump more blood with each stroke. The cells can take up oxygen more readily. As a result, your heart rate when you are resting does not need to be as rapid, allowing more time for the heart to repair itself between beats.

Stretching exercises are designed to keep you loose. Everyone should do some of them, but they don’t have many direct effects on health. As you age, you want to be careful not to overdo these exercises. Toe-touching exercises, for example, should be done gently. Do not bounce. Stretching should be done relatively slowly, to the point of discomfort and just a little bit beyond.

Stretching exercises can be therapeutic in certain situations. If you have a joint that is stiff because of arthritis or injury, if you have just had surgery on a joint, or if you have a disease condition that results in stiffness, then stretching is usually an important part of the therapeutic solution. Remember that there is nothing mysterious about the stretching process. Any body part that you cannot move through its full normal range of motion needs to be repeatedly stretched so that you slowly – often over weeks or months – regain full motion of that part.

For most people, however, stretching exercises are useful mainly as a warm-up for aerobic or endurance exercise activity. Gently stretching before you begin endurance exercise can begin to warm up the muscles, make them looser, and decrease the chances of injury. Stretching afterward can help prevent stiffness.

Strengthening exercises can also be important. These are the “body building” exercises that are often performed just for cosmetic results. They build more bulky muscles. squeezing balls, lifting weights, and doing push-ups or pull-ups are examples of strengthening exercises. These exercises can be very helpful in improving function in a particular body part after surgery (for example, knee surgery), where it is necessary to build up strength.

Strengthening exercises can help build up muscles and decrease fat even in persons in their eighties and nineties. They can help increase bone strength and make the bones more resistant to fracture. Their drawback? They don’t help protect the heart, so if you do strengthening exercises be sure to do your aerobic exercises as well.

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Dieting With Pleasure!

Oh dear. Have you put on a few more pounds? Have the celebrations taken their toll on your body shape? Considering dieting, but can’t find the right one for you?

It’s an all too familiar story of gluttonous orgy. Large meals, irresistible cakes and pies all washed down with copious amounts of alcohol. Why should we blame you though eh? The packaging of foodstuff is designed to make you buy as much as you can carry.

A fat you = A fat profit for the company.

That’s business.

Many people will use the old excuse of having a slow metabolism. Your brain wants more food than your body needs. It’s good to know that the power of advertising works.

Then there’s the countless number of diets. How many have you tried? How many lasted more than a week? Very often with a lot of commercial diets, the only weight you lose and keep off is the weight in your wallet.

The problem with most diets is that they are just not an enjoyable experience. The prospect of replacing cakes with carrots is enough to send some people into shock. You also need to be dieting for the right reason, which is for you alone – not for anyone else. If you don’t want to lose weight for yourself then you shouldn’t even start a diet. Perhaps you are happy being fat. If not, how could you lose weight and enjoy it? With a little bit of psychology, that’s how. You continue eating all the same foods you enjoy, but you’ll find that you tend to eat less. The only sacrifice with this method is that you have to say goodbye to quick meals.

We rush around so much in this world, fitting in a snack or a meal when we have a spare five minutes. This has to stop. Eating is a pleasurable experience and a very important one. The speed eating culture has resulted in us forgetting to taste our food. I’m pretty sure the tongue misses all the action from childhood and the jaw is virtually redundant. One hand doesn’t seem to be quick enough so we shovel with both hands.

Very simply, you need to learn to taste your food again. Savour each mouthful. Examine the flavours. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing. Have a good long chew so that you experience the textures as well as tastes. Some flavours need to warm in the mouth before they are evident to our senses and some flavours require sustained chewing for them to be released. Does it taste as it smells? Do you want to sip a little wine and chew? Mix the flavours? Become an expert in the subtle differences in taste. You’d be surprised just how many people don’t do this. What an absolute waste of the human senses.

This method has the effect of extending meal times. You are also likely to feel full up with less food. Remember that eating is what keeps us alive and it would be such a shame to pass through life without seriously enjoying all the flavours and textures that the world’s food has to offer. How many top level chefs do you know who are obese?

Posted in Dieting Help, Fighting Fit, Healthy Living, Tough Dieting, Train To Gain, Trouble With Diets, Weight LossComments (0)

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