Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fitness for lazy and frugal. Part 5. Strength exercises without struggle.

3 September 2009

Hi there! How are you? I was exhausted this morning, so I slept through my alarm clock, woke up to realize that I was 15 minutes late for my morning walk and my walking partner was waiting for me. I jumped in my running shoes and went outside, but she was already gone. I felt like a complete idiot and continued walking like a zombie for about 20 minutes around the neighborhood in desperate attempts to find her, and then miserably quit. I called her during the day and left an apologetic message offering her to chop my head off on a chopping block, like a chicken, if she wanted to. She did not want to.

On a brighter note, I found a bunch of great sites that describe simple exercises using those inexpensive pieces of equipment we talked about. I figured out it's better to see the moves once than to read the description many times.

Some of these web sites have great short movies or motion demonstrations of the moves. Pick up several exercises that you like with a piece of equipment that you like and add it to your aerobic (walking or other sort) routine twice a week. Add them slowly, no pushing. First add 1-2 moves once a week. Don't count reps or sets; start with something light and easy enough to avoid overdoing. Gradually add more moves and change them every week to avoid boredom.

At the beginning you may do only one move 6-8 times only, but slowly build up from there. If your goal is not to become a bodybuilder, but to get some tone to the muscles, 30 minutes of strength/resistance training twice per week is enough. The freedom of choice is completely yours, in type of equipment (or no equipment) you use, kind of moves you chose, weights or resistance level you pick, and the number of sets and reps you do. Please take it easy and don't turn the whole idea of having fun with exercise into a serious business of sweating, struggling, eye popping, or following a strict schedule. It's better to do strength exercises twice a week, but three times, or one is better than nothing. Just do it.

Core is vitally important for many other bodily functions. Strong core means less or no low back pains, great posture, full lungs, easy breathing, and graceful walk. Do not forget about your core, do crunches on yoga mat or balance ball, work that hula-hoop ad lib!
This is a short and great exercise video for core muscles:

resistance bands:


medicine ball:

bosu balance trainer:

Stability ball:

Exercises on yoga mat (not to be confused with yoga):

I use yoga mat to do various crunches, push-ups, planks, bridges, and lounges. I also stretch once a day.

Remember that a hula-hoop is a good alternative to work out core muscles.

Enough for tonight. Good night my friends.


P.S. Recommended web sites to visit:

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