Tag Archives: Strength training

Living healthy for 100 years

Living to be a 100 years old with sound health & mind is a very real possibility for many many people in the near future. After all, in present days there are sprightly 80 year olds running businesses, managing their finances and living independently (with a very little help from friends and relatives)!

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Health is the only key to a long and happy life. The only effort to maintain a healthy life allalong is to start when one is young, before disease sets in as one gain age.
A great deal of research has gone into understanding aging, as the world’s population is getting older. In one study, senior citizens were divided into three groups. The first group did an hour of aerobic activity (such as running, jogging, walking or cycling) a day combined with weight training with weights of 1-2 kilos. The second group did only little flexing and stretching exercises. The third continued with their usual sedentary life. After a period of six months, the first group was found to not only have gained muscle but also developed a positive outlook on life and become mentally strengthy & sharper. There was no noticeable difference in groups two and three. Uniformly though, they had lost muscle mass and “slowed down” mentally and physically.

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After research and several studies, 10,000 steps a day was declared a magic figure to maintain health. It works out to about five miles a day. Most people actually walk only 3,500 steps a day. The new smartphones, some watches and pedometers are able to track daily activity accurately. The other way is to get up every hour and walk for a minute. This can be added to, or alternated with, stair climbing – a 1,000 calorie per hour activity. Swimming, walking, jogging and running use about 300 calories per hour depending on the intensity, the distance covered and the speed.

Our body requires a certain amount of energy to stay alive even if we sleep all day. This can be calculated as the weight in kilos multiplied by 2.2 multiplied by 11. It works out to around 1,500 calories for a 60-kilo adult. 1,500 calories a day is a “restricted diet.” It is barely enough to enjoy a good meal or indulge even occasionally in tasty, high calorie snacks. To be able to eat more and enjoy it, you need to increase activity. Then the calories utilised in the activity can be added to the total daily consumption.

Every decade the metabolic rate falls by five per cent in men and three per cent in women. Muscles atrophy and become insidiously replaced by fat if they are not used, and with increasing age. Muscle, even at rest, consumes more energy than fat. This lowers the metabolic rate. It also reduces strength and affects balance. Weight training needs to be done. A litre bottle can be filled with water and held in each hand and the traditional school drill should be done using this. This consists of five up and down and side-to-side movements with the arms. Gradually work up to twenty repetitions of each circuit.

Mental activity like puzzles, Sudoku and learning verses by heart alone will not keep the brain sharp, it will only marginally delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has to be combined with an hour of physical activity a day, preferably outdoors in the sunshine. Even walking up and down a portico or around a block of flats is all right.

It is proved that a person who does regular Yoga exercise with Pranayama & Meditation, with moderate & control diet keeps and maintains long healthy life.

The effect of an hour’s effort today and everyday will make a hundred fold difference in a lifetime. The other fact – one is never too old to start.

It is modern days recommendation that the busiest person should do work out daily …one should consider it as a daily routine as one needs to sleep,get up in the morning,go to toilet, brushing teeth etc. There is a saying that persons who skip daily exercise or physical workout with the excuse they do not afford any time to do exercise will have to spent more time IN BED  when they suffer from different kind of diseases.

In the conclusion it can be said : PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP ONE PERSON HEALTHY & FIT WITH  LONG LIFE
Click & learn : My 2015 Exercise Recommendations and Update by Dr. Mercola

Resources: Health article from The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

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Five for Fitness

Most of us are born healthy and usually remain so with minimal effort till around 20. After that, our body starts to fall apart — like an old, unserviced machine — unless some effort is made to maintain the inherent fitness levels.

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The recommendations vary from walking an hour daily (ideal) to 30 minutes three days a week (just about enough to scrape along). Despite doing this, people develop stress, bad posture, arthritis, diabetes, abnormal lipid profiles, hypertension and heart attacks. That’s because they are unaware of the other components of an ideal fitness regimen, the need to simultaneously develop “core strength”, flexibility, strength training and balance.

People are bombarded by adverts of gyms and expensive exercise equipment. The latter may target specific muscle groups to produce a six-pack abdomen and bulging biceps. Most people do not, however, have the time to go to a gym regularly. As for fancy equipment, it usually starts to gather dust after a short period of activity.

Corporate gurus talk about maintaining core strength, and employees take to meditation, religion and prayer as they try to maintain their inner fortitude. Actually, in fitness terms, strengthening the “core” means exercising the muscles deep within the torso, the abdominal muscles, those of the back and pelvic floor. The core is a group of muscles, so a balanced approach is needed to work them all. All body movement is powered by these muscles. A strong back and fit abdominal muscles are needed, or else it results in poor posture and back problems. These muscles work together to support the spine when we sit, stand, bend over, pick up things and exercise. In sum, they are the body’s epicentre of power and balance.

Dancers and yoga practitioners do exercises that give them strong core muscles. They are thus fitter, have better postures and more energy than their peers in old age.

Core training can be done at home. It requires just 20 minutes thrice a week. The exercises are regularly taught as part of yoga and Pilates. CDs and books are also available. Proper demonstration will enable you to do them correctly.

A simple, effective core workout routine which covers all the basic muscles includes the plank exercise (balancing on the toes and forearms), the side plank (where you balance on one arm and leg), push-ups, squats, cycling in the air and lunges. All movements need to be held for 20 seconds at a time. Repeat five or six times.

Strength training does not involve heavy weight lifting. The muscles of the arms legs and lower back can be effectively trained using 1kg weights. This can be done with an iron or aluminum baby dumbbell (available at sports shops). You could even fabricate one by filling a 1-litre plastic bottle with water. The movements are similar to those in a school PT drill. Doing this regularly will slowly and surely build up muscle power.

People often do not give enough importance to flexion training of the muscles. If you don’t do anything more stressful than slow walking, your calf muscles may contract and eventually become tight. They can then restrict the range of motion at the knee and ankle resulting in eventual injury. All the groups of muscles in the body need to be stretched to their limit but there should not be any pain. Stretching is taught in yoga. The exercises are also demonstrated on the Doordarshan sports channel. If you discontinue the activity, benefits are lost in three or four days.

Balance becomes more and more important with age. Training for balance involves standing on one leg at a time with the arms stretched out. Once you are able to do this with ease, try doing it with your eyes closed.

A common misconception is that exercise tires you out. On the contrary, it improves stamina and the ability to perform day-to-day activities. Several studies have shown that it reduces cortisol levels and therefore improves mental strength and reduces stress.

To be effective, exercise training needs to balance the five elements of good health. The routine should include aerobic activity, muscular fitness, stretching, core exercise and balance training.

Sometimes fitting in an exercise schedule with all these components becomes difficult. Try getting up half an hour earlier in the morning to complete the routine. Regular exercise will improve balance and posture and reduce the risk of injury, lifestyle diseases and arthritis, leading to a long, healthy and happy life.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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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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Controversial New Breakthrough Can Boost Your Child’s Health

There were once doubts that strength training held any benefits for children.  But a new research review confirms that children and teenagers can increase their muscle strength with regular workouts.
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The findings support recent recommendations from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) that kids strength-train two to three times a week under professional supervision.

Studies have shown that children’ICK & SEEs risk of injury from strength training is no greater than that from other types of exercise or sports, and the potential benefits of such training, such as increased bone density and decreased body fat, generally outweigh any risks.

Reuters reports:
“Overall … the training was effective at boosting kids’ strength, with gains being greater among older kids versus prepubertal children (typically about age 10 or younger) … The average strength gain varied widely among the studies, but in the majority the kids improved their strength by 20 percent to 40 percent of their starting levels.”

Resources :
Reuters October 28, 2010
Pediatrics November 2010; 126(5):e1199-210

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Using a Chair Can Help Abdominal Crunches

Have you ever thought of using a folding chair when performing abdominal crunches? Try it. You’ll find that it’s a comfortable way to focus on contracting your abs without feeling pressure on your back.

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STEP-1. Place an open-back chair or bench on a flat, padded surface and lie down in front of it. Place your lower legs on the seat of the chair with your feet hanging off the back end of the seat. Scoot in so your hips are close to the chair. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Inhale, allowing your abdomen and rib cage to rise slightly.

STEP-2. On an exhale, push your back firmly against the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles to raise your chest, shoulders and head off the floor. Pause for two seconds with the front of your ribs and navel pressed toward the floor. Remember to rest your head in your hands so your neck and shoulders can stay relaxed. Lower and repeat 15 to 20 reps. Rest 20 seconds and repeat another set.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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