Monday, June 9, 2008

Consistency

Ever joined the gym and went once or twice? Ever rode a bike and lost your balance right away, hesitant to try it again? How about driving a car, only to fail the proper stopping and acceleration applications. Well consistency is a vital component to exercise. It is work, but it doesn't have to be.

We all do well with what were comfortable with and it 'becomes easy' to do because we're consistent with it. Driving the car (because we want to) is the best way to become better at driving. It doesn't guarantee success all the time but we still make the conscious effort to drive free of error. Riding a bike is a childhood desire, even though we fell off lots of times it did not prevent us from trying again (especially since other kids were riding), it looked fun. But the gym, well, that's another area. We sign up with the best intentions but never seem to make it there consistently. The gym is not going anywhere and you may not have to either.

If your home is your comfort zone and time/convenience are luxuries you cannot afford to loose, than a home-gym routine may be what you need. Just be consistent!

We get better the longer we work at improving ourselves. I'm not trying to sound like a guru of fitness but it is a fact of life. Everyday should be a fitness and spiritual opportunity if you make it one. Don't settle for 'here and there' moments. Ask yourself 'how can I treat my body and spirit right today' and follow thru. Stay with it, though the reward may not add years to your life but in-turn may add life to your years and those around you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Weights vs. Duration

Let's call this section Weights vs. Duration. Some people have the tendency to pick up heavy weights to increase muscle strength but the potential downside is that it also increases bulk muscle mass. Thus, more weights equals more mass of muscle build up. If you want to increase strength without adding bulk muscle (ie. for toning or sculpting) use LESS weights and focus more on duration. In fact, consider cutting back on sets of reps and focus more on duration with less weight (reps tend to limit you to a fixed amount of exercise). For example, lifting 1.5 liter water bottles (biceps curling) for the duration of your favorite song, without stopping, generates more lean muscle burn than a fixed amount of sets/reps. Alternating leg lifts for 1 or 2 songs without stopping provides overall more effective toning in the long run. Traditional heavy weights or weight machines may be counter-productive leaning out the muscle. Plus, with reps we have a tendency to count and when we reach our "magic number", we tell our bodies that we 'cant' do anymore. On the contrary with duration, its not the count that we focus on but the length of time. You'll be surprised how much more you do in a single song.

Hope this helps. Now, turn on the music and let's get started...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jumping Jacks


A traditional cardio exercise with proven benefits. This simple but effective maneuver not only stimulates all your muscles but also elevates your heart rate which increases your metabolism. Your body enters into an "aerobic" state burn cycle and maintains it for some time. Maybe you cant run for 45 mins, or cycle for an hour, but 4 sets of 50 jumping jacks will have great benefits none the less. Remember to warm up first by stretching, especially your ankles and calves. Arms, back, and shoulders should also be stretched. Deep knee bends is suggested as a warm up if that needs to be addressed. Ready...1, 2, 3,....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pole and chair exercise

Here's another exercise for the calfs, legs, and gluts. Take a pole (for balance) and place a firm chair in front on you to stand on. With a tall pole in your right hand stand on the seat using your right leg. That's right hand pole (for balance), right leg stand (on chair). Then switch the pole and leg for the other sides. You should do some stretching before performing and after doing the exercise. Try 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg if you can. Refer to the video below for demonstration.
video

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Door Jam


Here's a great exercise for the upper body that my friend Harold turned me onto (I call him 'Harold the Great').

Stand in the doorway..have your hands shoulder high, palms facing the door frame and push as hard as you can against the door frame for 10 seconds and release. Rest 1 minute and do again. Do this three times. Good upper body workout that takes only 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Make ugly faces


Ever wanted to exercise your face muscles. Studies show that exercise, even facial muscles, helps reduce the looks of aging and wrinkles. Making facial exaggerated expressions such as smiling, frowning, anger, glee, moving your mouth from side to side, puckering (as to kiss), raising and lowering eyebrows, tight blinking, are just some of the movements. Doing these exercises repeatedly will help improve skin elasticity and can help reduce stress in the face. Suggested routine: pucker-smile, frown-happy, anger-glee. Give it a try, show us your expressive side.

Common Sense Tips


Wow, I wish I could tell you something that you don't already know. I've checked other sites and blogs and have discovered the same message for most of them. So allow me to give you a quick 'cliff-note' summary for those common sense things (I think you'll know the reasons behind them). Become more active, cut out bad foods, don't smoke, consider what you drink and how much, wear seat belts, avoid prolonged exposure in polluted environments, relax and meditate, brush your teeth and floss, get good sleep, consider your genetic link to parents for possible health issues. These things are simple but powerful. If you explore each item you will find a wealth of healthy opportunities to change your life.