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Exercise Your Right: 10 Ways to Get Moving

[1 Mar 2011 | 7 Comments | 9 views | Author: Andrew Pacholyk]
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Exercise Your Right: 10 Ways to Get MovingExercise is what your body instinctively wants to do especially under stress: fight or flight, and it works. It burns off some of the stress chemicals which tension produces.

Therefore, a tired muscle is a relaxed muscle. Regular exercise builds stamina that can help anyone battle stress.

But even something as casual as a walk around the block can help you burn off some of the tension that you carrying around.

1. Aerobics : The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature.

Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body.

As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke. Fewer strokes are then required to rapidly transport oxygen to all parts of the body. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.

How Often

Most experts believe that 3-5 times per week for a duration of 20-60 minutes at 60-90% of age-specific maximal heartrate or 50-85% of VO2max (heart rate reserve).

Target Heart rate

The general formula for the average person is 220 (-) your age times 60% and times 90% of HRmax. For example, a 30-year old would calculates their target zone using the above formula: 220-30=190. 190x.60=114 and 190x.90=171. This individual would try to keep his heart rate between 114 (low end) and 171 (high end) beats per minute.

2. Mind Quieting: A disciplined mind is a free mind. Gain control over your thoughts and you maintain control over your life. Retrain your mind and you regain your freedom. Calming the mind is a behavioral technique used to interupt, minimize and eliminate “psychological noise”. Obsessive, repeatitive thoughts, anxiety and fears are all apart of negative, self-destructive patterns that can benefit from the power of music and mind quieting.

3. Breathing: Breath is life! Exchange of electrons. Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is so important that you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your spirit. It’s depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing. With the addition of music and it’s rhythm, the “musical breath” can even help stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the music.

4. Weight Bearing : exercise stimulates tissue growth in bone and muscles, strengthening the body’s structure. A stronger skeleton reduces the risk of osteoporosis, arthritic joint pain and other bone conditions. Also known as resistance training, weight-bearing exercise can be any activity that involves carrying, lifting or pushing a heavy object. Walking is considered to be weight bearing, as muscles and the skeleton support body weight. You do not need to `pump iron’ to benefit from this form of exercise.

After the age of 30, bone and muscle mass start a natural decline. This reduction in body strength continues until we die, but weight-bearing exercise can significantly slow this process. By following a program of exercise aimed at the muscles and bones, they will stay strong for many years to come.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which the body burns calories at rest. This also begins to decline from the age of 30 – meaning we burn calories less efficiently as we age.

One pound of muscle requires approximately 35 calories per day, whereas one pound of fat needs only 1 or 2.

Weight-bearing exercise raises BMR by increasing the amount of metabolically active tissue – i.e. muscle. Frequent physical activity or exercise can reverse the decline in BMR, assisting with weight maintenance and fat loss by burning excess calories – warding off conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Differences in weight or resistance used, frequency and type of exercise will have an effect on the body. To increase muscle size, heavy weights must be used. Lighter weights tone the muscles and increase density without significantly changing their size.The changes that weight-bearing exercises produce can be seen in as little as 3 months, but initial gains in muscle strength appear in the first weeks of training, without a noticeable change in muscle size. Depending on the intensity, weight-bearing activities can burn between 300 and 800 calories per hour.

Gym-based exercise usually involves the use of resistance machines, which are specifically designed for this type of exercise. The machines make you move in such a way that individual muscles can be targeted using a pre-set weight, which can be changed to suit the individual.

Free weights, such as dumb bells, are used in much the same way. Walking, jogging and gardening – in fact, most activities – are weight bearing to some degree. Carrying the shopping home rather than driving is a brilliant way to strengthen muscles while improving cardiovascular fitness.

Many people use strap-on wrist or ankle weights while walking, to combine different types of exercise. Gym-based weight training is the most common weight-bearing activity, but with the advent of cheaper equipment such as resistance machines, free weights, exercise balls and bands, you do not have to be a member of a gym or health club to benefit.

Joint and muscle problems should not be a reason to avoid weight-bearing activity. Correct exercises may actually assist in treatment and prevention of a range of conditions. Ask your doctor or qualified fitness instructor for further advice.

5. Yoga : Many different types of yoga workouts exist. But many times in our quest for fitness and a hard body, At some point it becomes just a workout and not yoga. If you come to this path with fitness in mind that is important, but Yoga is extremely powerful. If you try to rush it, you will only slow yourself down.

Yoga is not mind over body. It is harmony between them. In yoga, the mind is used to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) the body. Not to “control” it and never to force it.

The big lesson is that yoga takes time. Time for muscles to coordinate. Time for tissues to grow. Time for breath, spirit, and energy to flow. The time you invest in yoga comes back with interest in greater vitality, presence of mind, reduced need for sleep, and longer life.

Yoga should be conscious action not “learning routines.” The skill, grace, and poise develop naturally as an inevitable result of regular practice. No major effort is required or even effective. Trying hard will make your practice painful, even injurious, and will actually slow your progress! The therapeutic effect of yoga comes from involving your mind totally in inspiring (breathing) your body to wake.

6. Stretching: Just as there are different types of flexibility, there are also different types of stretching. Stretches are either dynamic (meaning they involve motion) or static (meaning they involve no motion). Dynamic stretches affect dynamic flexibility and static stretches affect static flexibility (and dynamic flexibility to some degree).

When done properly, stretching can do more than just increase flexibility.

Benefits of stretching include:

* enhanced physical fitness
* enhanced ability to learn and perform skilled movements
* increased mental and physical relaxation
* enhanced development of body awareness
* reduced risk of injury to joints, muscles, and tendons
* reduced muscular soreness
* reduced muscular tension
* increased suppleness due to stimulation of the production of chemicals which, lubricate connective tissues
* reduced severity of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) in females

7. Power Walking: Studies have suggested a link between increased physical activity and a decreased chance for developing disease in general. Exercise of any kind trims your odds by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin-a hormone, helps control cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure, which further guards you from adult-onset of disease.

Harvard University researchers examined the exercise habits of more than 70,000 women in a recent study suggesting people with risk factors such as added pounds, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes, was improved by taking a brisk 40-minute walk every day. Lead researcher Frank B. Hu, M.D., assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, says that, this showed significant improvements in health and dropped diabetes risk by a factor of 40 percent.

Consider your general health and the route when deciding to walk. You may want to begin slowly, one or two days a week, gradually building up to walking full-time. Typically, most walkers commute about two miles one-way to work.

Other considerations:

* Select a good pair of walking shoes, and appropriate clothing.
* Try a practice run on a weekend to see how long it takes.
* Find a co-worker or friend who walks and commute with them.

Walking Safety

* Walkers generally need sidewalks, crosswalks, and signaled intersections in areas with heavy traffic.
* A weekend test commute may uncover routing problems and will indicate how much time to allow.
* Most likely you will be walking during rush hour; however, consider general lighting and the neighborhoods you travel through in off-peak hours.
* If walking at dawn or dusk, consider reflective wrist or leg bands.

8. Swimming: It’s hard to beat swimming when it comes to a sport that builds the body, soothes the mind, regulates breathing, stimulates circulation, and puts no stress on the joints. That’s why it’s an ideal exercise for just about everyone — old people, overweight people, young people, people with hip, knee and ankle problems, and active people with no health problems at all. Plus, swimming has a calorie-burning potential of 350-420 calories per hour. No wonder it’s one of the most popular fitness sports around.

9. Tai Chi, QiQong, Aikido: these Asian art forms have been practiced for centuries.

Qigong- is one of the four pillars of traditional Chinese medicine:

Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Medicines and Qigong. Of these, Qigong is the one that can be most easily self initiated. Both massage and herbal remedies can also be done as self care, however, Qigong is the mother of Chinese self healing. Patients who use Qigong faithfully need less medication and heal faster. While Qigong has strong roots into mystical and philosophical ground, the practical healing and stress management applications are the most popular aspects of the tradition in China today. Both the health and spiritual applications are rapidly gaining in popularity in the Western world as people realize that disease and stress are relieved by peace of mind.

Tai Chi- a martial arts form that enhances balance and body awareness through slow, graceful, and precise body movements, can significantly cut the risk of falls among older people and may be beneficial in maintaining gains made by people age 70 and older who undergo other types of balance and strength training. The news comes in two reports appearing in the May 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Participants had a 25 to 50 percent improvement in three different measures of balance after completing balance training, while strength training resulted in a 17 percent improvement in strength. Some of the gains immediately following the balance and strength training were lost after 6 months of the Tai Chi follow-up program. However, the participants tested significantly higher than they had before the interventions began.

Aikido- Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title ‘O Sensei’ or ‘Great Teacher’). On a purely physical level it is an art involving some throws and joint locks that are derived from Jujitsu and some throws and other techniques derived from Kenjutsu. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. Upon closer examination, practitioners will find from Aikido what they are looking for, whether it is applicable self-defense technique, spiritual enlightenment, physical health or peace of mind. O Sensei emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of this art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace. “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit” is one way that “Aikido” may be translated into English. This is still true of Aikido today, although different styles emphasize the more spiritual aspects to greater or lesser degrees. Although the idea of a martial discipline striving for peace and harmony may seem paradoxical, it is the most basic tenet of the art.

10. Elastic Bands: Resistance training is the benefit of elastic bands or tubing. As long as we have gravity, we can challenge our muscles effectively. Doing a push-up is one example of a resistance exercise. Instead of using weight from another source, you’re using your body weight to challenge your chest and arm muscles, and you will get toned up just as well as you would using a pec deck or a bench press. Elastic tubing and bands are great for those who want to get the benefits of weight training without using traditional weights. If the gym doesn’t work for you, these will. As long as your muscles are challenged, they’ll rebuild themselves between workouts and you’ll get the results you’re looking for. Resistance training is possible for everyone. No more excuses!

The BEST Workout We’ve Found

I know, you’ve seen it on TV and heard all the hype, but honestly, the Total Gym is hands down the best piece of workout equipment that we at NHH have ever found. All of our editors use this in their own homes. Why?

1) It’s quick – You can get a full body workout in only 10-20 minutes a day.
2) We have room for it in our homes – it folds to about the size of an ironing board and slides under a bed or couch easily!
3) It has everything you need – stretching, pilates, cardio training, resistance training – on only one machine!
4) It’s also for muscle building, not just weight loss and general fitness – simply set a higher incline to build and sculpt muscles!
5) No hassle – it comes FULLY ASSEMBLED! and…
6) There’s no risk – you can try it risk free for 30 days for only $1!

I’ve personally purchased dozens of exercise machines – whatever’s being advertised, I fall for it. The Total Gym is the ONLY one I’ve stuck with – and I have to say that I LOVE it! So worth the cost – and with their payment plans, a single mom like me was able to afford it.

Learn more about the Total Gym today – then come back here and share your story with us! We’d love to hear from you.

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