Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Benefits of Aerobic Training for Athletes

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Aerobic training is a basic staple of most any fitness plan. No longer simply for women wearing leg warmers and headbands while “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” with Richard Simmons, aerobic training is used by top athletes, mothers, men, teens and even young children because it is good for them. Aerobic activity has been recognized by the American Heart Association, and the AMA as being beneficial to your entire body. While other training programs center upon building certain muscles or skills, adding aerobic training to your regimen will increase the benefits seen by these types of fitness plans as well as improving your health in general.

Aerobic Training for the Heart

Aerobic training gets your heart rate up, which also improves your circulation and will speed up your metabolism. Aerobic exercise can also help lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends moderate aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes five times a week, for everyone, athletes should integrate vigorous aerobic activity for 30 minutes 5 times a week.

Aerobic Training for Endurance

Training aerobically will help build up your stamina and regulate your breathing helping you to perform for longer periods of time. Because aerobic activity consists of continuous movement for a period of time, training your body in this manner can increase the time you are able to continue playing your sport, leaving you less winded when you finish.

Aerobic Exercise for Muscles

Sure weight lifting will give you bulky muscles in the areas that you work on, but aerobic training works all the muscles in your body, leaving them toned and strong. This is not to say that you should stop lifting, or other body building activities, but that you should incorporate aerobic activity into your fitness plan.

What Aerobic Exercise Should I Do?

Unless you are a fitness expert, or very experienced in knowing what exercises benefit what parts of your body you should consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. However the idea of aerobic exercise is to be moving, using as many muscle groups as possible and exerting energy in order to get your heart rate up.

What Activities Qualify as Aerobic Training?

Walking at a rapid pace while swinging your arms, also bicycling, jogging, dancing, doing jumping jacks, and even using the dreaded Stairmaster machine are aerobic activities. What you put into your aerobic training is what you will get out of it. In other words if you go outside and “mosey” down the street stopping to chat with the neighbors, then you aren’t training as effectively as you would if you were to strap on your iPod, and walk briskly without stopping for 30 minutes. Sure the slow walk is a good start but you must continually challenge yourself in order to build up stamina, and reap the overall benefits of aerobic training.

Sources: American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Association

Year-round Health Regimen: Walking for Fitness

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

There has been a tremendous increase in the number of people who are getting into any kind of program or activity that would improve health and physical well being. Remedies are being offered almost everywhere to help people lose weight or become more physically fit. Products vary from one type to the other and each every product offer distinct results: from weight loss, to cellulite loss, to body mass gain, to trimming and toning. Name it…the market has it.

Every health and fitness facility offer programs and courses that cater to people who want to stay fit. Even age old theories and practices on health, such Yoga and Pilates, are being offered as programs in fitness centers with each center having an upbeat version of their own. Fitness gyms are filled with all those expensive and sophisticated exercise equipment designed to focus on improving specific muscle groups. You might even have a gadget or two stacked somewhere in your closet that at one time you purchased to use for firmer abs or leaner arms and legs. Clearly, people spend a lot of time and money simply to stay fit.

Arguments on which method on health and fitness that produce better results abound. Every health and physical fitness facility or health product company claim to produce better results than other programs or products in less time required. Fitness programs are being tailor fit to suit the specific needs of a person. And results are claimed to vary from one person to the other. With all these options that you can choose from, you might be wondering: “Which program or product would be most effective for me?” Often one gets to spend lots money trying out a new fitness regimen that apparently turns out to create very little results. Most of the time it’s not because the program doesn’t work, often its is because the program doesn’t work well with person’s schedule or the person might not find the program interesting enough to retain.

There are also cases wherein weight loss is achieved quickly but maintained over a limited span of time only. The moment the person stops using the product or stops going to the fitness center, then fitness is lost as well. So how does one come up with s system that can maintain health and physical fitness all throughout the year? The answer is simple: walking. Walking is the most convenient form of exercise. It is less time consuming and virtually requires no costs.

Walking is part of our daily routine. It is an activity that comes naturally. Undoubtedly, walking is the oldest form of exercise. Walking is even often pegged to be the greatest form of exercise. It allows a person to burn calories and boost metabolism. And the best part about it is that walking for exercise is not difficult. It can actually be incorporated in our daily activities. For example, instead of taking the car to go to a place that is only a few blocks away from your house, try walking instead. It helps you burn calories and at the same time relieves stress. Walking for exercise is a healthy option. It is a tried and tested method to staying fit.

Women’s Fitness

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Women lead very busy lives which are resulting in them not thinking about their health and fitness and never do anything to keep themselves fit and health. However women need to take time out of their busy daily lives to make time for a fitness routine.

There are a few steps that should be taken when women begin to start and plan a new fitness routine, especially if they haven’t exercised in a long time.

Firstly women will need to think about their fitness and health as important and not something that they think they should do. They also need to make fitness a key part of their daily lives. Women will also need to plan a fitness routine and fit it into their daily life, although it would be recommended to start of exercising 3 times a week and gradually increase this up to everyday.

The next thing will need to think about it what fitness activities they are going to include in their routine. This is important as it is will help to make sure that the activities chosen are fun and will help women to stick to their new fitness routine.

To help keep fitness routines fun it is important to keep changing the routine so that it never gets boring. For example if the routine usually includes working out on a treadmill then it can be changed to running outdoors. This will not only help keep the body and mind guessing about the type of fitness routine but there are also huge amounts of benefits from exercising outdoors, such as breathing fresh oxygen.

It is not only the fitness routine that is important, women also need to have a healthy well balanced diet as it is the combination of diet and exercise that improves health and fitness.

It is important that women remember to take it easy and give their bodies time to adjust to the new fitness routine and in no time women will be feeling more energetic, relaxed, less stressed and overall more fit and healthy.

Winter Trails Can Improve Your Fitness Level and Mental Health

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

There are three ways to use winter trails to your advantage. The three ways to use winter trails is hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Using winter trails is good for developing and maintaining a good fitness level and improving your mental health.

All three of these activities are great for burning calories and shedding some of those extra pounds, that you pick up over the holidays. According to Winter Feels Good.com, a 130 pound adult can burn 475 calories per hour with a moderate snowshoe pace and 415 calories per hour with moderate cross country skiing. All three, of these ways, are great for aerobic exercise. They are easy to learn and can be appealing to all family members. Many alpine and snow resorts offer training in snowshoeing and cross country skiing. If you live close by one of these resorts, you can rent the equipment that you need.

However, you don’t have to learn those skills and rent equipment to get a lot out of winter trails. Just hiking or backpacking can do wonders. Heavy boots can establish and build a solid base for general fitness. Add to that, the weight of extra clothes, backpack and snow and you get a good workout.

Winter trails can also provide an opportunity to build your mental health. Getting away from the stress, of the job or office, is very important. Visiting and returning, to the nature outdoors, can do wonders for a person’s attitude, disposition and general mental health. It also offers you the chance to work on life skills of survival. Navigation skills are put to good use, as well. All of this can help you build confidence, in your own abilities.

Winter trails can also be used for other reasons. Some individuals like to do treasure hunting by using a GPS. Many groups will plan an outdoor even, in which individuals travel the country side collecting clues. They use a GPS to find their ways to these clues, which eventually leads to a special treasure. In recent years, this has become a very popular activity.

Some individuals like to take pictures, of nature, as they travel winter trails. Winter trails can provide the opportunity to take pictures of animals, people and scenery. You can test your skills in photography.

Many winter trails can be found at State and National Parks. Even smaller city parks can offer winter trails to work out on. If you can’t find a trail nearby, make one out for yourself. Pick out a street that isn’t used very much or a sidewalk around your neighborhood.

Finally, dress for the occasion. Use bright colored outfitting clothes. You want to be able to be seen from a distance. Staying warm, dry and visible is very important, when you are on winter trails. Carry some water for hydration purposes and a few power food bars for nutrition. Also, be sure to protect your eyes with goggles and tinted glasses. Snow blindness and cold air can impair a person’s vision very quickly.

Winter trails offer a great way to bond with nature and improve both your physical and mental health.

Why Physical Fitness is Important

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

It may sound strange to many people but the question ‘Why is physical fitness important?’ is being asked more and more frequently nowadays. The good thing is that nevertheless many of us realize that physical fitness IS really important. And we are constantly trying to visit fitness clubs for regular working out. But far not all of us understand WHY it is so important. Let’s think a bit about it. Fitness as a term has a number of meanings and definitions. And all of them are related to health, to be more precise to well health condition. Thus being fit means being healthy; these words are often used as synonyms.

Physical fitness provides us with two major components that are basic for almost everything in our life (for education, job, family, traveling, hobbies, and raising children). Of course we talk about health and beauty. Well, you can say that beauty is a relative concept and you will be totally right. But you will definitely agree that even a very beautiful person looks terrible when feeling ill. So, now you will hardly deny that physical fitness determines both good health condition and good-looking as well.

As we have already mentioned the importance of physical fitness shows up in various aspects and spheres of our life.

Physical fitness is important for education both at school and university. Students usually have very active life and they try to manage doing everything at one and the same time. Many of them succeed in this thanks to being physically fit. They have enough energy for studying, writing tests, go in for sports, and having fun with their friends.

Physical fitness is important for job. And this refers not only those kind of jobs there manual power is the basic element. It is crucial for jobs with both mental and physical types of loads. Why? It’s very simple. For example, if a programmer or an accountant with highly professional skills and large potential can not boast of good health and has to apply for medical help (and consequently not doing the job in corpore) he/she has fewer chances to get promotion than those colleagues that are always fit and on duty.

Physical fitness is important for having a happy and problem-free family and raising healthy children who you can be proud of. You will hardly disagree that it’s better to stay in bed being ill than biking or simply enjoying a family picnic somewhere at the countryside. Being fit allows you spend more time with your family and consequently avoid having different kinds of troubles, problems, and misunderstandings.

It’s not even necessary to say that physical fitness is important for having interesting and useful leisure-time (including hobbies and traveling). The healthier you feel the more you are able to enjoy your trip and vacation. Besides being fit allows you visit such places that are not reachable for not healthy enough people. The matter concerns climbing, diving, and/or flying to long distances. It also refers to visiting countries with difficult weather conditions (those with a very hot or very cold types of climate).

Top 10 Reasons Why Women Should Exercise with a Female Personal Fitness Trainer

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Personal training and exercising with a personal trainer has been more popular and more affordable in the last 10 years. Private in-home personal training is not limited to Hollywood stars or celebrities any more.

In-home personal trainers can help men and women alike lose fat, tone up muscles, and get in great shape in a private and comfortable setting. It saves the client’s travel time to the gym and one less excuse not to show up on appointment.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a personal trainer. One of the most important considerations often overlooked regarding in-home personal training is gender.

“From my years of experience in fitness training both in commercial gyms and in private training, the client ratio for women vs. men is about 3 to 1, ” said Carey Yang, a certified personal trainer and owner of Beyond Fitness Solutions in Morris County, NJ.

Yang said, some women clients actually like male personal trainers because they’re “perceived” to be tougher than female trainers. On the other hand, some women like female personal trainers because of personal comfort level.

It’s more difficult to find female personal trainers who are willing to drive around in different neighborhoods and provide in-home private training because of travel time involved and personal safety. “I have female personal trainers on my team for in-home fitness training. But it takes me a few months of searching and interviewing to find good match,” Yang said.

There are advantages for women to choose a female personal trainer. Women have different goals and needs to train differently than men. Most women want to trim down and tone up rather than bulking up.

There are many other reasons for choosing a female in-home personal trainer.

Consider the following, if you

* feel self-conscious about exercising with a male personal trainer in the your own home?

* prefer a female personal trainer with an instinct to help and nurture?

* prefer to work with a female personal trainer who identifies with and understands your body cycles?

* understand the benefits of training with someone that empathizes with your busy daily life?

* want a trainer who designs quality routines because your health is as important to them as it is to you?

* need the positive motivation a woman often provides?

* want to be held accountable by someone who identifies with your needs and limitations?

* want to avoid making your husband or boyfriend jealous?

* want a female personal trainer who provides good health advice from an intimate, innate perspective?

* worry that a male trainer may make you nervous and distract you? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then an in-home female personal trainer may be right for you.

Top 10 Most Commonly Asked Fitness Questions Answered

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Chris Johnson a personal trainer and performance coach who trains people through his virtual personal trainer site www.FitZos.com has worked with hundreds of athletes as a collegiate strength and conditioning coordinator, cross country, and track and field coach over the years has been asked a lot of questions regarding fitness. When asked what the top ten fitness questions he receives are, Coach Johnson answered:
1. How often should I work out/lift weights?

How often you should work out/lift weights depends on a number of factors. The major ones being, goals, age, training age (how long you have been training), and medical/injury history. The Basic recommendations from ACSM and AHAfor healthy adults under age 65 are:

“Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week or do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week and do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.” American College of Sports Medicine. 2007. www.acsm.org.
2. How do I get a flat stomach?

You can spend all day doing crunches at the gym trying to get a flat stomach, with the only result being frustration because nothing has changed. Having a flat stomach is more about body composition (the ratio of body fat to lean mass) than it is about the size of your abdominal muscles. If you want to have good abs, then up your cardio and weight training in order to burn more fat while also reducing your caloric intake. It has been said that weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise so keep that in mind next time you feel it’s ok for seconds because you worked out earlier.
3. How do I get rid of these flabby arms/triceps?

When it comes to getting rid of flabby arms/triceps you cannot just isolate the muscle and wish the fat away. There is no such thing as spot reduction, otherwise known as isolating one area to burn fat there. However, if you eat a healthy diet aimed towards weight loss and work your arms you will lose weight and build up the muscles in your arms so they look more defined. And ladies, don’t worry only about 1% of the female population have the genetic potential to be jacked like a competitive bodybuilder. Men, that’s roughly 10% for you.
4. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

I personally have never been a fan of a big breakfast. A nutrition bar does the trick for me. A lot of professionals in my field live by breakfast saying, it gets you fueled up for the day ahead of you. Others say by working out on an empty stomach you teach your body to burn more fat. I personally have only seen observational research claiming breakfast is the way to start off your day, not experimental research, meaning the people involved were asked their opinions on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day to them and how they feel after eating it. This type of experiment leaves a lot of room for opinion so I say this one is up to you.
5. Why are my muscles sore after a workout?

Your muscles are sore after a workout due to D.O.M.S. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It’s not during the workout that your muscles become bigger and stronger, but after the workout when they are adapting to the stress they just underwent that they are remodeling and rebuilding and hence hurting. D.O.M.S. can take 24-72 hours before you start to feel it and it can last a couple of days after it begins. Your muscles will also hurt more when you are new to a certain exercise, de-conditioned, or performing eccentric (emphasis on negative movement) exercises.
6. Does muscle turn into fat?

No, a muscle turning into fat is a popular myth but it holds no truth. What is actually happening when you think your muscles are turning into fat is as you become less active your muscles atrophy (shrink). When this happens your body’s metabolism slow down so you do not burn as many calories therefore you start to add new fat. It’s not muscle turning into fat, rather muscle wasting and fat being put in its place.
7. What is the difference between free weights and weight machines?

Free weights are exercise tools such as dumbbells or barbells whereas weight machines are more restrictive and used mostly for isolation exercises such as the pec deck or leg extension machine. I personally believe free weights are the best way to train for people of all experience levels because they teach your body how to properly use synergist muscles, enhance firing rate, and order of muscle recruitment. This will produce better performance in athletes and also boost your metabolism by recruiting more muscle fibers.
8. Why should I rest my muscles after a workout?

You should rest your muscles after a workout because it is after the workout that the actual adaptations occur that cause you to become stronger and bigger. During the workout you are causing micro tears to your myofibrils (part of your muscle) which during rest adapt to the new stress so you are stronger and ready for your next workout or competition.
9. What is my target heart rate?

There are a few formulas for estimating target heart rate. The most common one the Karvonen formula; Target Heart Rate = (max HR − resting HR) × %Intensity) + resting HR. In order to find your max heart rate it’s 220 – your age. Tanaka H, Monahan KD, Seals DR. Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Jan;37(1):153-6.

Note: There can be some error when using this formula because people are so adaptable and varying to exercise.
10. What should I eat after a workout and why?

After you are done working out you should eat a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. This meal should be consumed within the first 30 minutes of post-exercise while our bodies are still in an anabolic environment and should be mostly simple sugars and protein with a high biological value (most similar to the form our body needs it in). This will speed up absorption and enhance the recovery process. The quicker we begin refueling empty glycogen (energy) stores and rebuilding broken down muscle tissue the more we can get out of our next workout.

Chris Johnson is a nationally recognized fitness professional who has made appearances on NECN, Boston.com, and MediaZombies.com. Chris is a highly knowledgeable expert in the field of human performance enhancement. He has a degree in sports science along with numerous certifications in performance enhancement and injury prevention as well as experience at Harvard University. Chris’ athletic accomplishments range from two 4th place marathon finishes and a 2nd place half marathon finish to collegiate rookie of the year, three time collegiate MVP, Scholar Athlete of the Year, and course record holder.

Currently Chris is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coordinator as well as Assistant Cross Country & Track and Field Coach at Lasell College. Chris also performs personal training via his site www.FitZos.com.

To learn more about taking advantage of Chris’ premier services, visit www.ImproveWithChris.com.

Christopher Johnson | M.S. | NSCA-CSCS | NASM-PES & CES | ISSA-SET | USATF | RRCA

Three Types of Home Fitness Equipment

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

When considering buying fitness equipment for you home you need to be aware that there are many different types of home fitness equipment available. However these different types of equipment can fit into 3 categories: cardio equipment, strength building and training equipment and equipment for improved flexibility. Once you know what category each type of fitness equipment falls into then you can make sure that you purchase the right fitness equipment that meets your own individual fitness and health needs.

Although it is important that your fitness routine includes cardio, strength building and training as well as some form of flexibility improvement exercises, some people may just want to focus on one of these areas of fitness more closely and as a result they may want to buy home fitness equipment that will help them with their fitness goals.

For starters, there is a range of cardio fitness equipment available, these include the elliptical or cross trainer, exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines as well as steppers and stair climbers. All of these types of fitness equipment can be easily purchased to be used at home, however if you have a limited budget then you may want to buy an exercise bike or elliptical trainer, as some of the cheaper priced models are of a high quality and cost a lot less then a treadmill of the same quality.

Although all of the types of cardio fitness equipment will help you to burn calories and fat each of the different equipment will proved you will a different type of workout. For example a treadmill is a high impact workout that focuses on the lower body where as the elliptical trainer is a low impact workout that exercises all of your major muscles while also providing you with an upper and lower body workout,. It is important that you understand what type of workout you will get from each of the different types of cardio fitness equipment so that you can pick the right one for you.

There is a range of strength building and training fitness equipment available, including free weights, weight machines as well as balancing and resistance training equipment. Weight machines are perfect for home strength training as they are safe and easy to use and you may also find that you can life more weight then with free weights. However free weight cans b easily stored as they come in different shapes, sizes and weights. Free weights are more popular than weight machines as you have to use all of your muscles, throughout your whole body in order for you to maintain and control you balance unlike weight machines in which the weights are attached to a pulley. However this will allow you to be able to select the weight that you want to lift in order to suit your own body’s needs.

There is also a range of strength training equipment that doesn’t involve weights but gets you to use your own body weight for resistance training. This can include equipment such as a chin up bar in which you will exercise your biceps and triceps by lifting up your own body weight.

Although there isn’t any specific fitness equipment that can help you to improve your flexibility, there fitness equipment sued for both cardio and strength training can also help to increase and improve your flexibility. For example if you use an exercise ball to perform your abdominal crunches on, where you will be exercising all of your muscles while also trying to keep your balance on the ball, it is here where you will improving your flexibility. So you will not only be getting a workout that involves improving your flexibility but you will also be strength training at the same time.

Whatever home fitness equipment you do decide to buy make sure that you understand what you will getting from he equipment as you don’t want to spend weeks or months using your fitness equipment expecting to get some from it that it cant give you. Make sure that you buy home fitness equipment that is perfect for you!

The 10 Best Fitness Ideas for Seniors

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

This article details the 10 best fitness ideas for seniors, most of which can be practiced with minimal equipment. The list begins with the time-honored exercise of walking and ends with exercises for wheelchair-bound seniors. These fitness ideas are tailored to accommodate the many degrees of physical limitations possessed by seniors. If you can move your arms, you can perform some form of beneficial exercise. Most of these fitness activities can be pursued year-round which is essential for any fitness program. Before beginning any type of new exercise program, always check with your doctor or medical professional.

Walking: First and foremost is the time-honored exercise of walking. The only extra equipment required would be a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Picking a safe environment is of prime importance. Our neighborhood has no sidewalks but little traffic, so it is fairly safe to walk along the edge of the road facing traffic. It has some hilly streets which provide greater aerobic benefit from walking. For a change of scenery and no traffic, we pick a paved walking trail along the river. Be sure and wear comfortable clothes. If your physical condition allows, also do whatever amount of jogging is appropriate.

If you use a walker and have a considerable amount of mobility, you can still take advantage of the wonderful outdoor exercise of walking. The pleasure of being outdoors has a positive psychological effect for most people. Seniors with walkers my be interested in the article by this author, “The Joy of Exercising with a Rollator or Fitness Walker.”

Swimming: Swimming may be a better form of exercise than walking because it provides upper body exercise also. A lot of communities have a public pool. Some exercise complexes have a year-round pool.

Gardening: Bothflower and vegetable gardening provide exercise for your muscles. For a more aerobic workout, spade up the beds by hand instead of using a rototiller. Cultivating with a hoe will also provide more aerobic exercise. Flowers provide beautiful arrangements for the home and vegetables provide the pleasure of homegrown flavor and lowering your food budget.

Walking up Stairs: Walking upstairs can provide an amazing amount of exercise if a heart condition or arthritis does not prohibit this activity. It is definitely aerobic in nature.

Table Tennis: Indoor sports such as table tennis will provide a very good workout if you have a partner with similar skill. This exercise is both muscular and aerobic and improves coordination.

Physical Therapy — Muscle Stretching Exercises: Muscle stretching exercises can be very helpful for certain people. I have a painful condition which causes my leg muscles to tighten up. My doctor prescribed a course of physical therapy sessions designed to teach me several exercises to stretch the involved muscles. I have found them very useful in alleviating the pain. In some cases the therapy is approved for payment by medicare. After learning the exercise routine, you can do the exercises the rest of your life,

Conducting an Orchestra: (Pretend) Anecdotal evidence tells us that orchestra conductors tend to live very long and productive lives. Quoting from a Health News article about the longevity of certain musicians, whose specialty involves a lot of arm motion, “—in this country at least, one hears of many more conductors, virtuoso violinists, and concert pianists than sportsmen not only living to a very ripe old age, but also remaining on the job right up to the end. Eubi Blake, 100; Karl Boehm, 86; Adrian Boult, 100; Arthur Fiedler, 86; Paul Paray, 93; Arthur Rubinstein, 94; Arturo Toscanini, 90; Walter Demrosch, 85; and Leopold Stokowski, 96, are a few examples.” Although I have no evidence, it sounds as if it may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease also.

The popular theory is that all this upper body exercise, especially if practiced to the degree that produces the aerobic effects of increased heart rate and respiration, is very beneficial. After trying it for a short period, you will be of the opinion that a conductor receives quite a workout during a concert, It will also enhance arm strength and endurance

A New York Times article about the fitness benefits of conducting for exercise, makes the point that walking and running don’t provide much exercise to the upper body. Conducting also has the great advantage of being a fitness program that is accessible to the obese, people with leg problems and even people in wheelchairs. As long as you can move your arms you can participate. If you would feel silly doing this, just do it when alone.

A very enjoyable method of implementing this is to go to You Tube; search for Great Performances, (I found 178,000) select your favorite music and pretend you are conducting the orchestra or ensemble. Needless to say, a march or polka will give you more exercise than a music with a slower tempo. If this. is new to you, you will be surprised at the degree of exercise and fatigue you will have in five minutes. Don’t overdo it. Gradually build up your endurance. I like short periods several times per day. If you love music, you will find this very enjoyable. You can enjoy the music, view the video and exercise simultaneously. What could be nicer?

Treadmill and Exercycle: For dedicated walkers, a treadmill in the basement is very convenient. It eliminates a trip to the mall to walk in inclement weather. An exercise bicycle is very helpful if you have leg problems. I have trouble with weight-bearing leg exercises, but do very well on an Exercycle or outdoors on a regular bicycle.
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Weight Lifting: Individual weights are advantageous for maintaining arm muscle mass and strength. Without exercise, seniors’ muscles tend to atrophy, especially if their occupation entailed physical labor and their retirement is more sedentary.

Wheelchair Exercises: The website Sit and Be Fit has a wonderful fitness program for people confined to a chair or wheelchair. According to their website, they are a non-profit organization and have an “Award-Winning Television Series.” Their program is designed to “Lubricate joints ♦ Stabilize spine ♦ Increase circulation ♦ Strengthen postural muscles ♦ Keep ankle joints flexible ♦ Strengthen mobilization muscles ♦ Strengthen tibialis muscles or shin.” Accessing their website will give specific instructions to help you accomplish these goals.

Almost anyone can find a combination of fitness ideas from this list that will suit their taste and ability.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, physical therapist or health care professional. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not the purpose of this article to give medical advice. I am only relating my opinions and experiences and my opinions could be wrong. Any actions you take or do not take as a result of reading this article, you take at your own risk. Always seek advice from a doctor or health care professional before making any health care decisions.

Sources:
Tara Parker-Pope/”A Little More Sweat Maestro”/New York Times
Health News/”Wellness: Longevity of Orchestra Conductors”/drugfdaprescription.com
Sit and Be Fit/”Mary Ann’s Quick and Easy Energizer Chair Workout”/ Sit and Be Fit

Stress Relief Through Fitness and Exercise

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Life is stressful enough on it’s own, but when you add in medical problems it just gets even more stressful. There are two very simple ways to keep yourself healthier, thus keeping yourself less stressed. If you eat right, as in a healthy diet following the USDA’s MyPyramid (the cute little pyramid that tells you how much to eat of each of the five food groups) and stay fit with regular exercise (as in at least a half an hour of vigorous activity at least 3 to 5 days a week) you will feel better physical AND mentally.

Fitness is easy to get, if you think about it. Walking is fitness, so take a half hour walk 3 days a week and you’ve got a less stressful future on the horizon. If walking isn’t your thing then jog or join a gym. Too many Americans are over weight, obese even, and it’s because we don’t get enough exercise. We drive our cars everywhere, or ride the bus and we spend way too much time sitting on our butts on the couch watching TV and eating junk food as our butts get bigger. But they wouldn’t be getting bigger if we’d just get up and get moving.
We Americans are also getting over weight and obese because of the foods we eat. We’re busy, on the go, so we swing by the closest fast food joint and get ourself an 800 calorie lunch, full of fat and grease, when we could be eating a healthy sandwich and a salad for less than half those calories. Watch what you eat, keep a food diary and pay attention to how eating certain foods makes you feel because some of the food you are eating could be causing your stress levels to rise.

And as a wise rule to follow for anyone, cut down your caffeine, salt and sugar intake as much as you possible can. They are all very tasty but also are very bad for you in any kind of excess, even minor. Don’t keep yourself from ever eating the things you love again, but if the things you love are mostly bad for you try to eat them less often and less of them. You body will thank you and your mind will too!