Yoga is a great part of any wellness routine, as it has the ability to both reduce stress and exercise the body.
There are a number of yoga positions, called asanas which exercise the stomach muscles. Bear in mind that some of these are more advanced than other. Assess your own skill and comfort level before trying certain asanas. If you are not sure you are able to do one asana, start with one that seems easier and work your way up once you have belt some strength and flexibility.
As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
To perform this stomach-exercising asana, first lie flat on your back. Use a yoga mat of towel to cushion the spine.
Bend both knees up to your chest so that your thigh touches the stomach. Hug your knees in place and lock your fingers. Now lift your head up so your nose meets your knees. Take a deep breath and hold it for thirty seconds before releasing and slowly lowering back to start.
This exercise can also be done one leg at a time.
For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor, but roll over on to your stomach. Position your hand under your shoulders.
Now, using your back muscles, raise your upper torso off the ground to that your head is upright. Be careful not to push with your hands. You want the muscles in your back to be doing the work. Hold this posture for thirty seconds, then lower yourself back to start.
Even though you are using your back muscles to lift your upper body, performing the asana will assist in reducing belly fat and flattening your tummy.
This stomach exercise is pretty similar to the previous asana, but more involved.
It starts from the same position lying on your stomach, but in this exercise you curl your legs upward in addition to lifting your upper torso. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet come up toward your head. Grab your ankles and pull with your hands and push with your legs until only your stomach is on the floor.
Your body should feel sort of like it is making a circle. Your knees should remain together throughout the exercise. Hold this position for thirty seconds before releasing and returning to starting position.
Now that you have read the name of this asana, try not to be intimidated-- it is less complicated in practice than in pronunciation. It does, however, require a fair amount of flexibility, so you may want to start with something easier and build up to this one.
Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms overhead. Your body should be straight from head to toe with all limbs extended. Point your palms up to the ceiling and put your hands together. Contract your stomach muscles to sit up, keeping your back straight and hands overhead. Bend forward and grab your toes with your hands, putting your head between your arms so it touches your knees.
Hold the position for two minutes before releasing.
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Yoga is a great part of any wellness routine, as it has the ability to both reduce stress and exercise the body.
Posted by James Toal at Sunday, September 23, 2007
Monday, 10 September 2007
There is a new buzz building, what is the buzz about? Fitflops, no, the spelling is right.
These fitflops come in two shades; a white sole with blue or red stripy detail straps or all black with pink stitching. Yes, I know they sound like womens, that is because they are. They are at this time testing fitflops for men, so men have patience.
What do these Fitflops do?
Wearing fitflops will give you longer, leaner looking legs. A smaller, firmer rear, (bum). Improved core muscles and strengthen your joints. It is also claimed that you will burn calories faster, and improve your posture.
How do Fitflops work?
The sole is made of multi - density material and mimics barefoot style walking. The way these shoes are designed means that they create more tension in your legs, making them work harder, thus you get the effects from above.
The sole extends the time that your slow - twitch muscles are working during each step. These muscles produce energy by converting fats. So you can see the benefit.
How do you start?
Like any exercise equipment, start slowly and build the length of time you use them. So avoiding excessive muscle soreness. The Fitflops are ideally suited for smooth surfaces like paths, not places like forests, fields etc.
Obviously I have not personally tried these shoes, for women only so far. But the idea of these shoes do seem sound. Remember, fitflops are used for a workout on your legs and bum. They do seem to be this year's craze.
From what I can gather it is only shops in Britain, but I did find an online shop if you are interested. Before you jump to conclusions, I do not get a penny, I am not an affiliate. I am just trying to be helpful.
Anyway here is the site www.thefitflop.com
If any of you buy these flops could you leave some feedback about them. If they work I am sure we, men, would love to know
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Training shoes or trainers, there are so many nowadays. Which ones do you use for different activities. Hint, I don't mean brand names.
A heavier all - round shoe ideal for walking the dog or going to the gym. Play tennis occasionally, run less than 3 miles, they are okay. Anything more you will need a specialist shoe.
These are bulkier, more solid. Built for sideways movement, are there to protect your ankles.
Trail Running Shoes
The soles have deeper grips, often have shock plates inside, more rigid than standard running shoes. Uppers usually splash resistant. These are ideal for running on footpaths, uneven ground.
These shoes are lighter, support your feet in a straight line for any distance.
If you lose weight it is very important to get a bra that fits you properly:-
1) It is very important to get fitted properly by an expert, someone who's job it is. A large amount of women are wearing the wrong back size. If the back size is too big, too much room around the back, you are losing support on the cup. The strap should be firm but comfortable.
2) Underwiring - the wires at the front should lie flat against your frame, not dig in or poke out. A bra with underwiring will give you a rounder, better shape. If pregnant or just starting to wear a bra. It is better not to wear a wired bra.
3) Your breasts should be enclosed by the cups with no bulging over the top or sides of the cup.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
So what is stretching really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about stretching--information you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.
When you are born, we are very flexible. As we get older we start to lose that flexibility unless we exercise which also involves stretching at least 2 to 3 times a week. How do you know if your body is flexible enough, there are different tests that I personally use.
1) Stand straight, knees slightly bent. Slowly bend from the waist and very slowly stretch your arms down to the floor. Ideally you want to touch your toes with your fingertips. It is very important, especially if you do not exercise, that if you feel any pain doing any exercise or stretch. Stop right there and go back to your normal position.
2) Stand straight and slowly reach up with your arms as if you want to touch the sky, being aware again of any pain.
3) Stand straight, close your eyes and lift one of your legs without falling over.
If you do feel any pain, remember, that is your body telling you to stop. Any stretching, stretch very slowly, no jerky movements. Don't push your body to complete a stretch, go as far as you can and then just as slowly come out of the stretch. Do not worry if you cannot complete full stretches, I guarantee, that if you stretch at least 2 to 3 times a week. Within a few weeks your body will be a lot more supple and you will greatly feel the benefits.
What Is Stretching?
Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs. Every day we are stretching muscles, but the problems are that in this day and age with a lot of us being couch potatoes. There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of people are a lot less active than even 50 years ago.
It is well publicised that our children because of numerous reasons are obese, do not exercise enough and that is going to cause problems in future years. There are going to be greater strains on our hospitals when these kids become adults because of the way they grew up. Don't believe me? Watch the news it is happening right now, the Governments in a lot of nations are issuing Health Warnings.
Here is a crazy idea! Lead by example, get fitter as parents and encourage your children to follow your example. Hey, it's just an idea.
Stretching before Exercising
The main reason for stretching before exercising is to prepare and loosen your muscles for more strenuous and sophisticated moves. 10 minutes are ideal, I would not advise any more because you are then using valuable energy which is better used for the main exercises. It is possible to stretch too much and tire yourself out. Always remember the reason for stretching is to warm up, prepare your muscles for more strenuous exercise. So, please do not get too hung up on doing lots of stretching movements before doing main exercises.
If those exercises are weight lifting, the way of stretching is using a lot less weight than you would normally use. For example, going to do bicep curls, do a set with very light weight and then going on to your proper weight for bicep curls. That way you are stretching the proper muscles to do the exercise.
What can You Gain from Stretching?
1) Preventing Injury:- When muscles and tendons are warmed up and supple, there is less chance of injuring yourself and your muscles, tendons recover quickly.
2) Exercise More:- You can do more harder, tiring and complicated movements. With less chance of doing yourself serious injury.
3) More Energy and Enthusiasm:- You will be 'up for it,' ready to go. Wanting to exercise, enjoying exercising and being able to last longer. Also to know what your body can do and cannot.
4) Cholesterol Reduction:- Scientific study shows that this can help reduce cholesterol, stop your arteries from clogging up and may help you from having a heart attack.
5) Active Lifestyle:- You can enjoy a more active lifestyle, be more active in sports. Also you do not have to worry about making simple every day movements and hurting yourself.
6) Growing old gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits you. You can feel younger than you actually are without the aches and pains that are usually associated with old age.
Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. Stretching is really beneficial to you. It also does not require much, if any equipment. Stretching can and is what you do every day, bending and flexing, just be aware and do them slowly without any abrupt movements. Your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.
I hope you found this article helpful and you will remember when you make any movements what I have written here.
Stretch and be Healthy,
stretching, exercising, flexible, muscles
Posted by James Toal at Saturday, August 25, 2007