Posture is everything !

28 12 2010

Exercise is done best with good posture and when you train your posture properly it affects everything else that you do. This means that the right exercise can equal fewer backaches and injuries caused by chronic poor posture!
If you have chronic poor posture, over time that position causes muscular tightness and weakness which can eventually lead to back and joint pain. The good news is that you can often correct posture through Strength Training!

Your core includes all the muscles in your torso and pelvis. These muscles stabilize every movement that you do.
Not only that, but your core muscles work together as a unit. If you have ever had a sore back, abs, or groin muscles you understand how those muscles work in every action that you do.

It is not enough to simply do abdominal exercises to have a strong core. You can have tight abdominals and still have a weak low back or rounded shoulders, which contributes to postural imbalance.

 

Bad posture can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some of the more common signs of incorrect postural alignment include the following:

  •  Protruding abdomen
  •  Hyper extended knees
  •  Rounded or uneven shoulders
  •  Curved spine
  •  Sunken chest
  •  Unusually flat back
  •  Swayed back
  •  Uneven hips
  •  Neck craned too far forward
  •  Chin thrust out

Bad posture may contribute to:

  •   Limited flexibility and range of motion
  •   Loss of vital lung capacity
  •   Distorted skeletal alignment
  •   Headaches
  •   Joint stiffness and pain
  •   Jaw pain
  •   Reduction of blood and oxygen to the brain
  •   Muscular tension
  •   Wear and tear on connective tissue
  •   Predisposition to injury

Here are some posture tips for common activities:

Walking:

 Avoid locking your knees as you walk.

 Spring up lightly with each step.

 Try and keep the pelvis level with each step.

 Relax your arms, letting them swing straight ahead.

Standing at a table or sink:

 Bend one knee, placing the foot up on a box to relieve stress on the lower back.

Sitting:

  •  Adjust the seat to fit your body’s size and shape. The seat should provide support and comfort.
  •  The seat should be lightly padded, providing firm back support.
  •  The seat back rest should arch forward and support the lower back’s natural curve. Use a pillow if this is not the case.
  •  Match the seat height to the desk or counter height.
  •  Your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  •  Your knees should be slightly higher than hip level.
  •  Keep your feet on the floor.
  •  Your elbows should be at desktop or counter height.
  •  When sitting for extended periods, get up and move around every fifteen minutes or so.
  •  Keep your back upright and avoid forward lean of the neck and head.

Lifting:

  •  Lifting should be done by bending at the knees, keeping the back in an upright position.

Reaching:

  • Avoid reaching for objects when you are bent forward or the trunk is hyper extended.

Carrying objects:

  •  Keep the object as close to the body as you can to prevent back strain.
  •   If you carry a bag or case on one side or shoulder, regularly shift the object from side to side to ease stress and avoid muscular imbalance.
  •  If possible, carry objects at shoulder level or on the shoulder (“waiter style”) to keep the center of weight over the center of your body.

Driving:

  •  Adjust the seat to fit your body. Use a pillow or pad if the seat is not adjustable.
  •  Avoid discomfort by moving the seat forward so that your knees are slightly flexed.
  •  Relax those muscles that are not involved in driving control. Avoid tensing the shoulders, neck and back.
  •  Take frequent rest breaks during long drives.

Talking on the telephone:

  •  Avoid bending the head and neck to one side while talking on the phone.

Choosing footwear:

  •  Avoid excessive use of high heels. They can place too much weight on the front of the foot, while forcing the back and pelvis to overcompensate.
  •  Avoid excessive use of stiff, hard-soled shoes or sandals with flat bottoms.
  •  Choose shoes that match the exact size and width of your feet.
  •  Select footwear that has ample cushioning and support.

Activity choices:

  •  Avoid activities that are associated with previous episodes of lower back pain.
  •  Always warm-up and cool-down before and after all activities.
  •  Use proper techniques associated with each activity while remaining aware of postural positioning.




Importance of Stretching

23 12 2010

With age the muscles tighten and the range of motion in the joints can be minimized. This can become an obstacle for an active lifestyle and even make day-to-day, normal motions difficult. Tasks that used to be simple, such as zipping up a dress or reaching for a can off of the top shelf, now become extremely challenging. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.

It is important for people of all ages as you’re able to increase your range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs. Post-exercise stretching can also help the recovery from an intensive workout, decrease muscle soreness, and ensure that your muscles and tendons are in good working order. The more conditioned your muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of sport and exercise, and the less likely that they’ll become injured.

Benefits of Stretching:
  • Increased range of movement in the joints
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Enhanced muscular coordination
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)




Varieties of Vegan Milk

22 12 2010

Soy Milk
Tastes: thick with a chalky aftertaste; available in chocolate, vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened.
Nutrition: claims to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) by 10% with 4 daily servings; often fortified with vitamin A and D; a source of protein.  Cons: linked to hypothyroidism; not a significant source of calcium

Rice milk
Tastes: sweet, available in chocolate, vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened.
Nutrition: often fortified with calcium, vitamin A and D.
Cons: super high glycemic index rating

Hemp milk
Tastes: light nutty flavor, can taste a little thin; available in chocolate, vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened.
Nutrition: highly alkaline protein; complete protein containing 20 amino acids, including all 10 essential fatty acids; often fortified with vitamins A and D.

Almond Milk
Tastes: light, nutty flavor, definitely the best tasting of the “milks;” available in chocolate, vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened.
Nutrition: Rich in magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, vitamin E, selenium and calcium, as well often fortified with vitamins A and D, perhaps one of the more nutritious “milks.”






Muscle weighs more than Fat?

21 12 2010

The image above is that of 5 lbs. of fat and 5 lbs. of muscle. Fat is much bulkier than muscle, but five pounds is still five pounds. Muscle does not weigh more than fat.

Fat is bulky and lumpy so if you carry an extra five pounds of fat, you’ll be lumpier than with five pounds more muscle. A five pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five pound pile of muscle.

Correctly said : Muscle is heavier by volume than fat

A person weighing 150 pounds with 19% fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a person at 150 pounds with 35% fat. They weigh the same, yet the composition is different. Because muscle is denser than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller.

Don’t obsess with body weight and start paying attention to body composition. How much body fat do you have compared to muscle? Simply seeing how much you weigh isn’t very helpful.





Women & Weights Myths Debunked!

21 12 2010


#1 Weight training makes you Less Flexible

When performing all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Correctly executed exercises, such as dead lifts, chin-up, will increase your stretching capabilities.

#2 Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.

Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. Unfortunately, this is the very common myth and the image that comes to your mind of professional female bodybuilder. Most of these women use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity. They spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. It doesn’t happen by accident that they look like that. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness magazines.

#3 Exercise increases your chest size.

Not quite so… Women’s breasts are composed mostly of fatty tissue. Therefore, it is impossible to increase breast size through weight training. As a matter of fact, if you go below 12 percent body fat, your breast size will decrease. The only way to increase your breast size is by gaining fat or getting breast implants.

#4 If you stop weight training your muscles turn into fat.

Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated.

#5 Weight training turns fat into muscle.

The way a body transformation occurs is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobics and diet simultaneously. Again, muscle and fat are very different types of tissue. We cannot turn one into the other.






Importance of Resistance Training

21 12 2010

 

What is Resistance training?

It  is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.

Most people believe that by doing resistance training, the body will grow bigger. Actually it does not have to. Resistance training is simply about increasing the strength of the body, not always it’s size. Resistance training basically strengthens the muscles and leans the body. It is beneficial for anyone!

However This kind of training must be properly done. It requires commitment and consistency. It will have to be done in a regular basis, following a schedule that your personal trainer would recommend. If done incorrectly, the benefits of a strength training program may not be enjoyed and it can even result the injury.

Benefits of strength training:

  • Increased Bone Mineral Density
    Bones are constantly remodeling. The bone tissues break down at the same time they build up. The peak rebuilding time is during puberty. But as a person ages, there may be problems with the bone mineral density as activity and hormone levels change also. This is especially a problem to post-menopausal women whose changing hormones can actually rob the bone off mineral content. Osteroporosis is a thinning of the bone mass that can result in bones easily breaking. Bone mineral density is usually supported by the hormones. To address the problem of not having the hormones to maintain the bone mineral density, physical activity is the next best option. Resistance training is one physical activity that can address this.
  • Increased Strength
    Strong bones and strong muscles will be developed as you undergo resistance training.
  • Increased Range of Activities
    You are strong enough to carry some considerable weight, then you will also be capable of doing more strenuous activities. You will feel energized and actually want to live a more active lifestyle.
  • Reduced Body Fat
    It is a proven fact that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. Not only will resistance training build fat burning muscle, but fat is also being burnt as you workout. Your muscle tone will improve, fat will be reduced and the shape of your body will improve. Be sure to combine some aerobic exercise into your workout routine.
  • Improved Mobility for Seniors
    Elderly people that undergoing a resistance training program will help improve their health and decrease the risks brought about by old age. They can be more independent, without needing to rely on other people for doing simple things. A weak body is much more at risk for injury and prone to injury causing accidents such as falls.
  • Improve Heart Condition
    Resistance training can result in a lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure, especially after exercise. The risk of heart diseases is reduced to a considerable extent.






Yoga

18 12 2010

Yoga’s existence was found to be from around 3000 B.C. It is said to be as old as civilization!

Yoga is a healing system of theory and practice issued from a Hindu discipline made to train the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.  It is a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation.

Who can Practice Yoga?

Yoga is suitable for most adults of any age or physical condition. Because of the nonstrenuous nature of our approach to exercise, even those with physical limitations can find a beneficial routine of Yoga.  Any of the following may benefit from yoga practice: physical limitations due to age, illness, injury, substance abuse recovery, obesity, or inactivity.

Types of Yoga:

Bikram Yoga – Get ready to practice yoga in 105 degree heat and in 40% humidity.  Though Bikram only has 26 poses and there’s lots of alignment work so it might be a good fit for beginners.

Hatha Yoga – Also good for beginners, Hatha typically requires a lot of breath work. Class is also likely to be focused on slow and gentle movements so it’s a great type of yoga to wind down with at night.

Vinyasa Yoga – Vinyasa is usually a fast-paced type of yoga with lots of different poses. Other than starting with a sun salutation, no two classes will be alike. You definitely won’t get bored!

Kundalini Yoga – “Kundalini” refers to the energy of the Root Chakra, which surrounds the area around your lower spine. Expect lots of work on your “core” area and your abs. You should also expect rapid movement and more sitting than usual.

Ashtanga Yoga – Commonly called Power yoga, Ashtanga is physically demanding. It’s probably best suited for an ex-athlete or someone looking to sculpt their body.

Iyengar Yoga – Focused a lot on body alignment so you will use some of the following equipment: blocks, harnesses, straps, and even cushions. It is great for physical therapy.

Anusara Yoga – It is epitomized by “the celebration of the heart. It is one of the more spiritual types of yoga and you should expect a more upbeat, community-type vibe in a class.

Kripalu Yoga – Considered to be one of the gentlest forms of yoga, Kripalu has more of an “inner focus.” It’s a great type of yoga for those who are either out-of-shape or just beginning to practice, as you’ll learn the basics in an easy manner.

Restorative Yoga – Looking to wind down after a long day of work? Or perhaps you want to quiet your mind? Restorative yoga might be the answer as it’s focused on relaxation.

 








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