Monday, August 18, 2008

Exercise Tips: Dynamic and Static Streches


Static Lower Back and Hip Stretch

A typical stretch for the lower back and hip would involve lying with back and arms flat on the ground, with one leg straight and the other across the body, holding the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. That is static.

Dynamic Lower Back and Hip Stretch

The dynamic stretch for the lower back and hip is similar in terms of form, but looks more like a can-can dance. Each leg is gently kicked across the body alternately, held for two seconds, before returning to its original position. This is done for eight to 10 repetitions.


Static Hamstring Stretch

These stretch the back thigh muscles. Raise one leg on a ledge, so that your knee is bent at about 120 degrees. The other leg should be straight and grounded. Body should be upright. Lean forward until you just feel the pull on the back thigh of the raised leg. Hold, relaxed, for about 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

Lie face-up on the ground. Bring both legs up and over your head, rocking back gently. Using the momentum, bring both legs down to the original position as you sit up and reach forward for your right foot with your left arm. Repeat for eight to 10 reps with increasing speed, alternating arm and foot.


Static Quadriceps Stretch

These stretch the front thigh muscles. Hold a rail or pole for support. Lift one leg behind your body and grasp it by the forefoot. Your heel should be away from your bum and your knee pushed back. Keep body upright. Hold for 30 seconds in a relaxed manner, then repeat with other leg.

Dynamic Quadricep Stretch

Do the same as in the static stretch, but hold each leg only for two seconds before releasing, alternating at an increasing speed for eight to 10 reps.

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Fitness Tips: Stretch Exercises

In addition to proper diet and nutrition, regular exercise at least three times a, for a half and hour duration, is important to maintaining your ideal body weight. This is especially important as we age and our body decreases its metabolism rate. The following article focuses on stretching exercises, which are an important thing to do before any workout program.

Most people include stretches as part of their pre-exercise warm-up routine. They sit on the ground with their legs straight, and fingers reach out for their toes, and hold the stretch for a good minute or so. People do this thinking that it will them prevent injury during exercises, and keep them flexible.

However, such stretches can actually slow you down, and increase your chances of pulling a muscle! Stretches held for 30 seconds or longer - called static stretches - lengthen and sedate your muscles, temporarily weakening them and "deprogramming" them for fast movement.

Doing too much static stretching just before your exercise routine or training will result in a lack of spring in the muscles, caused by a temporary loss of elastic recoil and neuromuscular coordination. This is known as the flat tyre effect.

To avoid this, one should do dynamic stretching. These sort of stretches are held for five seconds or less, and done in a controlled manner at different speeds and intensity. Dynamic stretching primes muscles for more power and better coordination, and decreases muscle tightness and thus prevents muscle tears.

So dynamic stretching should be done before your exercise routine.

Static stretching should be done after your workout - this will help maintain flexibility, restore muscle length anbd reduce muscle stiffness.

Click here for an article on how to do dynamic stretches.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

8 Ways To Healthy Bones and Joints



1) Do regular aerobic exercises, such as swimming, jogging or brisk walking. They will increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles.

2) When lifting something heavy, hold it close to your body, keep your back straight and bend at the knees. This reduces the strain on your back.

3) For pregnant women, try to squat instead of bending. The body's centre of gravity is then less likely to shift, putting less stress on the back.

4) Let your hands rest for 15 minutes after 90 minutes of repetitive movement such as tying or playing racquet games. This decreases the inflammation of the muscles attached to the elbow.

5) Eat food containing calcium, such as beancurd, eggs and milk. Calcium helps to strengthen the bones.

6) Get out in the sun. Exposure to sunlight allows the skin to manufacture natural vitamin D, which allows calcium in the gut to be absorbed.

7) Quit smoking, which lowers the level of oestrogen, a hormone that retains calcium in the bones.

8) Avoid lifting a child with one arm from the wrist only. It could result in partial dislocation of the elbow joint.

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Essential Guidelines for Healthy Living



Too often, people who are obese, or battling weight issues, are that way because of their unhealthy eating habits, mental attitude and outlook. I have compiled a list of 12 essential guidelines that you can follow to take charge of your life.

1) Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which contain various vitamins and minerals.

2) Increase the consumption of high fibre foods such as wholemeal bread and cereals.

3) Reduce the consumption of high saturated fat and high cholestrol foods such as fatty meats, coconut milk, cuttle-fish, shrimps for example. On the other hand, use other alternatives such as fish and lean meats to obtain protein in your diet.

4) Be moderate in alcohol consumption and increase water intake to at least 6-8 glasses per day.

5) Reduce sugar intake. Cut down the consumption of high-refined carbohydrate foods such as cakes, cream biscuits and reduce the amount of sugar in drinks.

6) Reduce the salt consumption. Avoid table salt and soy sauce.

7) Quit smoking. If you do not smoke, never start.

8) Maintain an ideal body weight.

9) Exercise regularly, at least 3 times a week. The aerobic exercises like brisk walking, jogging, cycling and swimming will strengthen the cardio-pulmonary system, muscles and joints.

10) For those who are too busy to have proper meals, make sure that you have adequate nutrient supplements.

11) Learn to relax in stressful situations and have a positive mind towards all matters.

12) Maintain your routine medical check up and full blood screening tests at least once a year.

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4. The balanced approach
5. Yes, you can get slim without the gym

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