Category Archives: Exercise

Exercise and Arthritis

Introduction:
Arthritis is becoming more and more common — and not just among the very old. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a program of moderate exercise can reduce pain and improve mobility for many of the over 40 million individuals with this degenerative disease.

Now What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. This degenerative disease is usually limited to a specific area, such as the knees, hips or spine. Common symptoms include joint pain, limited range of motion, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is far less common, causes the inner linings of the joints to become inflamed.

click to see the picture

How Can Exercise Help?
For many years, doctors have recommended that patients with arthritis engage in flexibility training to help improve range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. In recent years, doctors have also begun to recognize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Not only does a wellrounded exercise program preserve joint range of motion and flexibility but it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, increases joint stability, and lessens the physical and psychological pain that often accompanies a diagnosis of arthritis.

Exercise and rest:-
People with arthritis often have to balance carefully how and when to exercise and when to rest.

In adults, if the joints are particularly inflamed or swollen it may be necessary to rest more than usual. But generally, people with arthritis should exercise every day to prevent joints becoming stiff and painful, and to keep muscles strong.

For children with arthritis, it’s particularly important to exercise even when the disease is very active, because contractures and deformities can develop very quickly.

People with arthritis need three forms of exercise:-

 

1.General exercise for health
Any exercise that leaves you feeling a little breathless and your muscles slightly tired is good for you. As well as keeping you mobile it can help you relax, make you feel better about yourself and give you more energy.

When exercising, it’s best to use as much of the body as possible – swimming, walking and cycling are all good options. Swimming has the added advantage that the water supports the weight of your body rather than your joints. Some strokes may not suit you, though, so try to get professional advice.

If you go to exercise classes, check they’re run by a qualified teacher and that the teacher knows about your condition.

2.Mobilising exercises
People with arthritis need to keep their joints moving. Bending and straightening exercises, gentle pedalling or swimming can help a lot. Your physiotherapist may recommend hydrotherapy at your local hospital: many people find they move more freely in water and the warmth of the water loosens their joints.

3.Special exercises to strengthen muscles
If your muscles are strong and healthy, they protect your joints better and you may feel less pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you a series of muscle-strengthening exercises to perform at home. Swimming and hydrotherapy are also effective ways of strengthening as well as mobilising.

Exercise checklist for People with arthritis:-

Do the following:
•Choose exercises suitable to your level – if you’re a beginner, work up gradually
•Do gentle warm-up stretches before and after the exercise
•Wear good footwear and appropriate clothing
•Enjoy yourself

Don’t do the following:
•Binge on exercise – little and often is better
•Continue with an activity if it makes your pain worse
•Do fitness or aerobic exercises on a stone or concrete floor
•Exercise if you feel ill

You may click to see :-
Some Basic Movements In Yoga Exercise:
Top Three Types of Exercises for Artherities:

Living with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/arthritis/treatmentarthritis_exercise.shtml

http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=22

http://www.afarewellrescue.com/exercise-and-arthritis/

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.healthyexerciseworld.com/exercise-for-arthritis.html

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Target these Muscles to Trim the Tummy

When it comes to training your abdominals, it’s important to include the deepest layer of this muscle group — the transversus abdominis, which is responsible for flattening the stomach. Here is a great way to target this area.

Lie face up on a flat, level surface. If you have a Pilates Circle, place it between your inner ankles and straighten your legs above your hips. (If you don’t have this piece of equipment, you can do the same exercise without it.) Extend your arms to the sides and bend your elbows so that your hands are over your head.

On an exhalation, press your naval toward your spine to flatten your abdominals. Focus on keeping your abs flat as you slowly lower your legs to a 45-degree angle. Pause for a few seconds, then raise your legs back to vertical. Repeat 12 times.

Source:Los  Angeles Times

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On the Strong and Balanced Side

When your core is strong, daily activities become easier and you’ll get more from your exercise routines as well. Remember to incorporate this straightforward yet challenging move for a more balanced practice.

Begin on your hands and knees. Turn to the side and position your right hand directly below your right shoulder and your right knee below your right hip. Straighten your left leg with your left foot flat on the floor, toes and knee facing forward. Reach up with your left arm so it is above your shoulders. Engage your abdominals and move your tailbone in toward your body to avoid over-arching your lower back. Look up to the ceiling and pause.

Keeping your hips and shoulders stacked, push through your left heel and lift it to hip level. Concentrate on maintaining your balance with minimal movement in your torso. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Then lower your leg, come to all fours and repeat on the other side.

Source:Los Angeles Times

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A Challenging Plank Pose

 

 

Add an extra challenge to your elbow plank exercises by balancing on one leg at a time. It helps to strengthen your core, spine, legs and the deep muscles in your upper back.

 

STEP-1. From a kneeling position, place your forearms on the mat with your elbows shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers. Walk your feet back until your legs are straight behind you and you’re balancing on your toes (with feet hip-width apart). Contract your abdominal muscles to hold your pelvis off the floor. Pause and breathe in this position.

 

 

STEP-2. Concentrate on keeping your hips and shoulders level to the floor as you shift your weight to your right leg. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor. Do not let your midsection collapse toward the floor. Pause for six seconds, then lower your leg. Shift your weight to your left leg and raise your right leg. Pause for six seconds. Bend your knees and sit back on your heels to rest.

 

 

Source: Los  Angeles  Times

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Reverse Warrior Battles Bad Posture

With regular practice, reverse warrior will help ease back pain and improve your posture and gait. (Charles Bush)
Practice this classic yoga posture called “reverse warrior” to strengthen your legs, stretch the muscles on the sides of your torso and open your hips. Remember to be patient with this pose. With regular practice, it will help ease back pain and improve your posture and gait.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Begin with your feet parallel to each other in a wide stance. Turn your right foot out and your left foot in slightly. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle so that your right knee is directly above your right foot. Stretch both arms out to the sides at shoulder level, palms turned down. Gaze over your right hand. Contract your leg muscles and allow your pelvis to descend as you lift and lengthen your spine. Pause for three breaths.

Maintain the 90-degree angle with your right leg as you inhale and raise your right arm up. On an exhalation, lean your torso to the left as you slide your left hand down along the outside of your left calf. Try to create more space between each of the ribs on the right side of your torso. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Then switch sides and repeat.

Source : Los Angeles Times

A Little Plank Movement Does a Lot of Work

If you are familiar with performing a traditional elbow plank, try this new variation for an extra challenge to your core muscles. Just remember to make your movements very small in order to keep it safe and effective.

CLICK & SEE

Begin on all fours. Position your elbows directly below your shoulders and place your hands and forearms flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Straighten your legs behind you. Balance on your toes and forearms as you bring your hips down to shoulder level. Keep you knees straight and press your heels back. Pause for two breaths.

On an exhalation, contract your abdominals and use your core muscles to raise your pelvis a few inches higher. Pause, continuing to hold your abs firm to support the weight of your pelvis. Slowly lower your hips back down to shoulder level and pause. Repeat this small movement three to six times. Release by bending your knees and sit back on your heels to rest. Repeat the entire exercise one more time.

Source : Los Angeles Times

 

The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast

A new study suggests that exercising in the morning, before eating, can significantly lessen the ill effects of a poor holiday diet.
.....click & see
Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.

According to the New York Times:
“Working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.”


Resources:

New York Times December 15, 2010
Journal of Physiology Nov 1, 2010;588(Pt 21):4289-302

Posted by: Dr. Mercola | January 04 2011

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Going to the Wall

The wall can be an excellent prop when practicing yoga poses or other stretches that require balance and strength as well as flexibility. It helps you feel stable so you can get in the proper position to gain maximum benefit from the exercise.

Stand approximately 3 feet away from a stable wall with your back toward the wall and your feet together. Bend forward at the hips and place your fingertips on the floor directly below your shoulders. (Place your hands on two yoga blocks if you cannot reach the floor.) Place your left foot flat on the wall at hip height, with your knee and toes facing the floor. You may have to adjust to make sure your right ankle is below your right hip. Inhale and look forward, sliding your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Exhale and focus on keeping your hips and legs stationary. On the next inhalation, rotate your ribs, chest and shoulders to the right. Reach your right arm upward, with fingers pointing to the ceiling. Look toward your right thumb. Pause for three to six breaths in this position, feeling a deep stretch in your back. Return your right hand to the floor, change legs and repeat on the other side.

Source :Los Angeles Times

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Enhanced Bent-Over Row

Here’s a challenging variation of the traditional bent-over row that will strengthen your core and your upper body muscles. Remember to hold lighter dumbbells while you master the technique, then increase the weight once you’re comfortable finding your balance. Practice patience because this exercise is harder than it looks.

Stand upright grasping a 3-, 5- or 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, with your arms hanging below your shoulders. Slowly begin to tilt your torso forward, bending at the hips. Bend your right knee slightly and shift your body weight off your left leg. Find your balance with just your left toes touching the floor behind you. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders, chest and hips facing squarely toward the floor.

When you feel ready, begin to raise your left leg off the floor until it reaches hip level. At the same time, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells to your hips. Pause. Continue to hold your leg up as you lower and raise your dumbbells eight to 12 times. Return to an upright position and repeat, this time balancing over your left leg while lifting your right leg.


Source
: Los Angeles Times

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Regular Exercise Reduces a Large Number of Health Risks

Regular exercise can reduce the risk and symptoms of more than 20 physical and mental health conditions, and can also slow down how quickly your body ages.

A review of research, which summarized the findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010, found that exercise affects conditions including cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.

Science Daily reports:
“… [A]part from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health.”

A separate study also found that women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more could be reducing their risk of endometrial cancer, whether or not they are overweight.

Researchers examined data collected from a case-control study that included almost 700 women with endometrial cancer and compared them to a similar number of age-matched control women. Those who exercised for 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer.

Newswise reports:
“This association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or underweight women, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25, or what is commonly considered overweight.

Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight, but still active, had a 52 percent lower risk.”

Resources:
Science Daily November 16, 2010
International Journal of Clinical Practice December 2010; 64(13):1731-4
Newswise November 12, 2010

Posted by: Dr. Mercola | December 09 2010

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