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MUST STRETCH AFTER WORKOUT

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

Stretch gently after you warm up your muscles, and again after you cool down. Try doing the stretches listed below. Do not bounce or hold your breath when you stretch. Perform slow movements and stretch only as far as you feel comfortable.

Side Reach

Illustration demonstrating sidestrech

Reach one arm over your head and to the side. Keep your hips steady and your shoulders straight to the side. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Wall Push

Illustration demonstrating the wall push

 

Lean your hands on a wall and place your feet about 3 to 4 feet away from the wall. Bend one knee and point it toward the wall. Keep your back leg straight with your foot flat and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Knee Pull

Illustration demonstrating the knee pull

Lean your back against a wall. Keep your head, hips, and feet in a straight line. Pull one knee toward your chest, hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Leg Curl

Illustration demonstrating the leg curl

Pull your right foot toward your buttocks with your right hand. Stand straight and keep your bent knee pointing straight down. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your other foot and hand.

Hamstring Stretch

Illustration demonstrating hamstring strech

Sit on a sturdy bench or hard surface so that one leg is stretched out on the bench with your toes pointing up. Keep your other foot flat on the surface below. Straighten your back, and if you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh, hold for 10 seconds and then change sides and repeat. If you do not feel a stretch, slowly lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch.

 

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How can I add more movement to my daily routine?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on October 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Aim to move more for 30 minutes a day

Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on most or all days of the week. Moderately intense activities, like brisk walking or dancing, speed up your heart rate and breathing. Getting 150 total minutes spread over the week is suggested. But even 60 total minutes a week of activity that is moderately intense may bring you health benefits.

Start with 10

Fitting in physical activity is not as hard as you may think. You don’t have to do the whole 30 minutes at one time. Start with a 10-minute session three times a day, then move to 15 minutes twice a day.

Strengthen your muscles

Also try to do activities to strengthen your muscles at least two times a week. If you have weights or a rubber exercise band, they are good options to use. You can also lift canned food as weights for strengthening your arms and back. These activities are important because older adults—especially women—tend to lose muscle and bone every year. Activities to strengthen your muscles may help prevent or reduce this loss.

Battle your barriers

Several reasons may occur to you about why you find being physically active difficult. If some of the thoughts below sound familiar to you, try the tips after each comment to overcome things that may keep you from being active.

“It’s too late for me to get physically active.”

It is never too late to start moving more! Physical activity may help you manage your arthritis and osteoporosis (bone loss). Being more active may also help you do the following:

  • Keep your body flexible.
  • Help you to improve your balance.
  • Control high blood sugar, especially if you lose weight.
  • Let you keep living in your own home without help.

“Physical activity is a chore.”

  • Physical activity can be fun once you figure out what you like to do. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you are to stick with it. Walk or take an exercise class with a friend or a group. That way, you can cheer each other on, have company, and feel safer when you are outdoors.
  • Start a small garden in your yard or in a community space.
  • Break physical activity into short blocks of time. Taking three 10-minute walks during your day may be easier than taking one 30-minute walk.
  • Vary what you do from day to day so you can stay interested.
  • You may not like being active outdoors because of safety concerns. If this is true for you, join your local recreation or fitness center or go to a relative’s neighborhood to walk.

“I spend time and money on my hair and don’t want to mess it up.”

  • Talk with your stylist about hairstyles that fit your budget and your activity level.
  • Try a natural hairstyle.
  • Wrap or pull hair away from your face when you exercise.
  • Get a short or easy-care hairstyle.
  • Try braids, twists, weaves, or locs.
  • To remove salt that builds up in hair from day-to-day activities, shampoo with a mild, PH-balanced product at least once a week.

“It’s too expensive.”

There are lots of ways to be physically active that are free or low cost.

  • Find a local park or school track where you can walk.
  • Walk around a mall.
  • Be active with your grandchildren— take a walk, toss a softball, or ride bikes (don’t forget the helmets).

“I don’t have enough time.”

No matter how busy you are, there are ways to fit in 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day:

  • Spread exercise throughout the day, rather than doing it all at once.
  • Set aside time to be active. For instance, make it part of your daily routine to walk after breakfast or dinner.
  • Get up and move. Take breaks from sitting at the computer or watching TV.
  • If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, walk around the block when you take your break. Send computer files to the printer farthest from your desk so you can move around a little more.

“I’m not an athlete, so why strength train?”

Activities to build strength are good for everyone, including older adults. For example, lifting weights may help protect your bones. Strength training may also help you perform your daily activities with more ease. In addition to weight lifting, there are many ways to become stronger.

  • Use canned foods or filled water bottles as weights to work your arms, shoulders, and back.
  • If you are able to, walk up stairs—lifting your body weight strengthens your legs and hips.

How physically active is the U.S. population?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on September 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

 How physically active is the U.S. population?

 

 Only 31 percent of U.S. adults report that they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity (defined as either three sessions per week of vigorous physical activity lasting 20 minutes or more, or five sessions per week of light-to-moderate physical activity lasting 30 minutes or more). About 40 percent of adults report no leisure-time physical activity.

About 35 percent of high school students report that they participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more days of the week, and only 30 percent of students report that they attend physical education class daily. As children get older, participation in regular physical activity decreases dramatically.

In contrast to reported activity, when physical activity is measured by a device that detects movement, only about 3–5 percent of adults obtain 30 minutes of moderate or greater intensity physical activity on at least 5 days per week. Among youth, measured activity provides information on younger children than is available with reports and highlights the decline in activity from childhood to adolescence. For example, 42 percent of children age 6–11 obtain the recommended 60 minutes per day of physical activity, whereas only 8 percent of adolescents achieve this goal.

What are the benefits of physical activity?

Research suggests that physical activity may reduce the risk of many adverse health conditions, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression. In addition, physical activity can help reduce risk factors for conditions such as high blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Researchers believe that some physical activity is better than none, and additional health benefits can be gained by increasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of physical activity.

 

Simple and Effective Desk Exercises

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

Most of us spend most of our day in the office. Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to excess fat storage, weaken muscles, neck and back problems, a depressed mood, and a lack of energy. You may not want to turn your office into a mini gym, but there are exercises you can do sitting at your desk (reading, talking on the phone, etc.). They will help you stay fit, relieve tension and stress, keep your energy up and make you more alert.

Exercise 1Exercise for shoulders, chest, upper back and arm muscles
With your hand, take edge of a table and strain the hand, like you are trying to lift the table. When your muscles get tired, repeat the exercise with your other hand.office-fitness-exercise-1

Exercise 2: Exercise for shoulders, chest, upper back and arm muscles
Put your hand on the table, palm down. Press down as strongly as you can, and keep your strain as long as you can. Repeat the exercise with your other hand.
Exercises 1 and 2 can be done with your both hands at the same time.office-fitness-exercise-2

Exercise 3: Exercise for shoulders, chest, upper back and arm muscles
Put your right hand on the table, palm down. Put your left hand under the tabletop, palm up. Press your right hand down as strongly as you can, and keep your strain as long as you can. Simultaneously, with the same effort, press your left hand up as strongly as you can, and keep your strain as long as you can. When your muscles get tired, change your hands and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-3

Exercise 4: Exercise for hips and belly
Sitting on the edge of your chair, raise your straight leg some inches above the floor, and hold it for a few minutes. Raise the leg higher – it will make the exercise more effective. When your muscles get tired, change your leg and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-4

Exercise 5Exercise for the whole body
Sitting on the edge of your chair, and holding on to the edge of the table, raise straight legs. Hold them as high as it is convenient for you for as long as you can.office-fitness-exercise-5

Exercise 6: Exercise for the whole body
Put your right hand on the outer side of you right knee. Press on your knee as strongly as you can, like you are trying to move it toward your left leg. At the same time, strain your right leg to counteract your hand’s pressure. When your muscles get tired, repeat the exercise with your other hand and leg.
This exercise can be done for both sides simultaneously.office-fitness-exercise-6

Exercise 7: Exercise for the whole body
Put your right hand on the inner side of you right knee. Press on your knee as strongly as you can, like you are trying to move it away from your left leg. At the same time, strain your right leg like you are trying to move it toward your left leg. When your muscles get tired, repeat the exercise with your other hand and leg.
This exercise can be done for both sides simultaneously.office-fitness-exercise-7

Exercise 8: Exercise for arms, chest, and abs
Put your right hand on you right knee, and press on your knee down as strongly as you can. At the same time, strain your right leg and try to counteract your hand’s pressure raising your knee. When your muscles get tired, repeat the exercise with your other hand and leg.
This exercise can be done with both hands and legs at the same time.office-fitness-exercise-8

Exercise 9a: Exercise for arms and back
Take your right wrist with your left hand and the pull your hands in the opposite directions. When your muscles get tired, change your hands and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-9

Exercise 9b: Exercise for arms and back
As in the previous exercise, take your right wrist with your left hand. Now, with your left hand, pull your right hand down. Strain your right hand to counteract the left hands’ strength. When your muscles get tired, change your hands and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-10

Exercise 10: Exercise for arms, shoulders, and back
Take side edges of your chair with your hands. Pull up as strongly as you can for as long as you can.office-fitness-exercise-13

Exercise 11: Exercise for arms, shoulders, and chest
Put your hands on the tabletop. Make a fist with your left hand, and set it against your right palm. Press the hands firmly against each other. When your muscles get tired, change your hands and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-14

Exercise 12: Exercise for arms, shoulders, and chest
Lower your hands, join your palms (fingers pointing down) and press them firmly against each other, for as long as you can. Then, repeat the exercises with fingers pointing up.office-fitness-exercise-15

Exercise 13: Exercise for abs and legs
Raise your feet above the floor, couple them together, and pull in the opposite directions, till your muscles get tired.office-fitness-exercise-17

Exercise 14: Exercise for abs and legs
Raise straight legs above the floor and cross them. Press with your top leg on your lower leg. When your muscles get tired, change your legs and repeat the exercise.office-fitness-exercise-18

Enjoy your workout!

Source: http://going-well.com/2009/12/04/office-workout-routine-14-simple-and-effective-exercises-you-can-do-at-your-desk/

 

CLIMB THESE STEPS TO A HEALTHIER YOU

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

You are never too out of shape, overweight, or old to change your habits. With all of life’s demands, it is easy to let your health and fitness slide.

 

Below are a few tips on how you can get on track with healthy habits. Chances are, you will realize it is not as hard as you think.

STEP 1: NO MORE EXCUSES. IT IS TIME TO THINK POSITIVELY!

Set goals and target your motivation.

Think of realistic and gradual changes you can make to improve your diet and physical activity level.

STEP 2: WHAT IS STOPPING YOU? JUMP OVER THOSE OBSTACLES!

Identify your roadblocks.

•No time? Exercise before work, during your lunch break, or before dinner.

•Do you dislike the taste of healthy food? Make your favorite meals in a healthy way.

STEP 3: CREATE A PLAN OF ACTION.

Make fun, small changes to improve your habits.

• Explore fun activity options like dancing or biking.

•Include family and friends for motivation and support.

STEP 4: STICK WITH YOUR NEW HEALTHFUL HABITS.

Do not be discouraged if you slip up. Keep going!

Reward yourself as you meet your goals. You deserve it!

Are you ready to change your habits and maintain a healthier lifestyle?

 

Active at Any Size Day 11: Tips for Safe Physical Activity

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

Tips for Safe Physical Activity

 

Stop your activity right away if you:

◆Have pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest or neck, shoulder, or arm.

◆Feel dizzy or sick.

◆Break out in a cold sweat.

◆Have muscle cramps.

◆Are extremely short of breath.

◆Feel pain in your joints, feet, ankles, or legs. You could hurt yourself if you ignore the pain.

Ask your health care provider what to do if you have any of these symptoms.

Slow down if you feel out of breath.

The “Talk Test” is an easy way to monitor your physical activity intensity:

◆You should be able to talk during your activity, without gasping for breath.

◆When talking becomes difficult, your activity may be too hard.

◆If talking becomes difficult for you while exercising, slow down until you are able to talk comfortably again.

Wear Suitable Clothes

◆Wear lightweight, loose-fitting tops so you can move easily.

◆Wear clothes made of fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.

◆Never wear rubber or plastic suits. Plastic suits could hold the sweat on your skin and make your body overheat.

◆Women should wear a good support bra.

◆Wear supportive athletic shoes for weight-bearing activities.

◆Wear a knit hat to keep you warm when you are physically active outdoors in cold weather. Wear a tightly woven, wide-brimmed hat in hot weather to help keep you cool and protect you from the sun.

◆Wear sunscreen when you are physically active outdoors.

◆Wear garments that prevent inner-thigh chafing, such as tights or spandex shorts.

Drink fluids when you are thirsty.

Drink fluids regularly while you are being physically active. Water or other fluids will help keep you hydrated when you are sweating.

THIS CONCLUDES OUR SERIES ON BEING  ‘ACTIVE AT ANY SIZE’. HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT.

 

Active at Any Size Day 10: What can I do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

Lifestyle Activities

 

Lifestyle physical activities do not have to be planned. You can make small changes to make your day more physically active and improve your health. For example:

◆If possible, take 2- to 3-minute walking breaks at work a few times a day.

◆Put away the TV remote control— get up to change the channel.

◆March in place during TV commercials.

◆Stand or walk, rather than sit, while talking on the phone.

◆Play with your family.

Even a shopping trip can be exercise, since it is a chance to walk and carry your bags. In addition, doing chores like lawn mowing, raking leaves, gardening, and housework can count as activity.

Applaud yourself!

If you can do only a few or none of these activities, it is OK. Appreciate what you can do, even if you think it is a small amount. Doing any movement—even for a short time—can make you healthier. Remember, each activity you do is a step toward a more active lifestyle.

 

Active at Any Size Day 7: What can I do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

Weight Training (Weight Bearing or Nonweight Bearing)

 

Weight training may help you:

◆Build strong muscles and bones. You can weight train at home or at a fitness center.

◆Increase the number of calories your body uses.

You do not need benches or bars to begin weight training at home. You can use a pair of hand weights or even two soup cans.

To make sure you are using the correct posture, and that your movements are slow and controlled, you may want to schedule a session with a personal trainer. Ask your health care provider for a referral to a personal trainer. You may need to check with your health insurer about whether this service is covered by your plan.

Weight Training Rule of Thumb

If you cannot lift a weight six times in a row, the weight you are lifting is too heavy. If you can easily lift a weight 15 times in a row, your weight is too light.

If you decide to buy a home gym, check its weight rating (the number of pounds it can support) to make sure it is safe for your size. If you want to join a fitness center where you can use weights, shop around for one where you feel at ease.

 

Active at Any Size Day 6: What can I do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Water Workouts (Nonweight Bearing)

Exercising in water:

◆Helps flexibility. You can bend and move your body in water in ways you cannot on land.

◆Reduces risk of injury. Water makes your body float. This keeps your joints from being pounded or jarred and helps prevent sore muscles and injury.

◆Keeps you refreshed. You can keep cool in water—even when you are working hard.

You do not need to know how to swim to work out in water—you can do shallow-water or deep-water exercises without swimming.

For shallow-water workouts, the water level should be between your waist and your chest. If the water is too shallow, it will be hard to move your arms underwater. If the water is deeper than chest-height, it will be hard to keep your feet on the pool bottom.

For deep-water workouts, most of your body is underwater. This means that your whole body will get a good workout. For safety and comfort, wear a foam belt or life jacket.

Many swim centers offer classes in water workouts. Check with the pools in your area to find the best water workout for you.

Where to Work Out

You can do many activities in your home. But there are other fun places to be active, including health clubs, recreation centers, or outdoors. It may be hard to be physically active around other people. Keep in mind that you have just as much right to be healthy and active as anyone else.

Active at Any Size Day 5: What can I do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 5, 2012 at 8:02 am

Dancing (Weight Bearing or Nonweight Bearing)

 

Dancing may help:

◆Tone your muscles.

◆Improve your flexibility.

◆Make your heart stronger.

◆Make your lungs work better.

You can dance in a health club, in a nightclub, or at home. To dance at home, just move your body to some lively music!

Dancing on your feet is a weight-bearing activity. Dancing while seated is a nonweight-bearing activity. Sometimes called chair dancing, this activity lets you move your arms and legs to music while taking the weight off your feet. This may be a good choice if you cannot stand on your feet for a long time.

 

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