Monday, November 30, 2009
One of my favorite exercises to do is the abdominal crunch. Some people don’t like them, which is fine. All exercises are not for everybody. But I happen to find them to be very effective and easy to do. I like crunches because you can do them virtually anyplace. I often drop and do them between commercials while watching television, or I incorporate them into my overall exercise routine.
They are particularly good when travelling, especially if you can’t get to a gym. You can do a crunch on a mat or a towel – with or without dumbbells; but sometimes I will do them seated on a stability ball. Here is how I like to do them. Regardless of your fitness level and regardless of your waist size, the crunch can fit into your workout regimen. The method can vary but this is the basic technique:
First, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Some people place their hands across their chest while others place the hands behind the head. Either method is fine.
Next, rise up off the floor – exhaling as you rise – approximately three or four inches (about a 30 degree angle) keeping your feet flat, and hold for about three seconds and return to the starting position and inhaling on your way back down. Repeat for a total of 12 repetitions. If you can’t do that many, try fewer repetitions.
Like I said, crunches may not be for everyone. But I find them to be a great way to tighten up the abs and the sides as well. Below is a set of “How To” videos if you’re interested in more information and demonstrations on how to do them:
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
So I was recently talking with one of the trainers at my gym. It wasn’t an official personal training session: we were just chatting. You know many of them will talk to you about fitness unofficially. He mentioned a “Hot Yoga” class that he would be teaching in a few weeks and invited me to join in.
I said sure. At first I thought when he said it would be a hot yoga class, I thought it would be a regular class that would be hot, as in one that I didn’t want to miss; however, I discovered that “Hot Yoga” is a type of yoga class created by a Yoga aficionado, Bikram Choundhury.
Have you ever heard of it? I bet many of you are like I am, in that you may not know what it is. But if there are any classes in your area, it’s definitely worth your time to check out. Hot Yoga is a yoga class that is held in a room with an elevated temperature. While many exercise rooms range between 68 and 74 degrees, a Hot Yoga classroom has temperatures in excess of 90 degrees, oftentimes reaching temperatures as high as 100. The creator’s classes, called Bikram Yoga, is trademark protected and only those yoga instructors certified by one of Bikram’s training institutes can use the name; so others who teach the class call it Hot Yoga. The world headquarters is in California, however there are facilities in many places around the world. www.bikramyoga.com/ (And while I was searching for information to learn more about it, I found a Sparkpeole.com article: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
Supposedly, the elevated room temperature helps to promote sweating and helps to rid the body of impurities and toxins. I still have yet to take the class; however, I’m very intrigued and hope to try it one day.
Monday, November 09, 2009
It you’re like lots of people, I bet you wake up in the morning struggling to get out of bed. If you don’t, then you’re lucky. I have been reading lots of things on this topic and this is one common complaint that many people have. I don’t have this problem routinely, but I am bothered by it from time to time.
So, why do we suffer from this? Well, I have compiled several common things that can affect the body by making us feel tired. So of them are serious things, others not so much. But each one can have a huge impact on how well we sleep.
First and foremost is the amount of sleep you may be getting. Most doctors say we each need to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. When I think of this, I can only say that there’s no way for me to get that much sleep a night. Once in a while perhaps, but not every night; however, insufficient amounts of sleep is the number one cause of fatigue.
Second, look at your mattress and your pillows. These are important. If your mattress is too firm or too soft, your sleep could be affected. This could pose a problem if you share a bed with someone who wants a firm mattress and you want one that is soft. But if you shop around, you can find one that is adjustable, such as a Sleep Number® Bed or a Tempur-Pedic® mattress. Finding the right pillow can make a difference too. Taking some time to look for the right mattress and pillows can help to enhance your sleep.
A third cause of sleeplessness is obesity. The extra makes the body work harder during the day, which may cause the body to crave more sleep. This can make you feel sluggish all day long.
Fourth, your medication can affect your sleep. If you are taking any medicines, especially if you are taking more than one type, this often can affect your sleep. Make sure your doctors knows about other medicines you are taking, even if the same doctor prescribed everything. Many medicines have negative interactions with other medicines, which may affect your pulse rate, heart beat, and consequently impact your sleep.
Fifth, stress can be a big factor. Stress on the job, problems in the family, loss of income, sick family member, or other life events can weigh on the mind and affect your sleep. Learning ways to minimize the effect these things may have on you can greatly improve your sleep patterns.
There are many things that may affect your sleep. These are just some of the ones that stuck out for me. Below are some articles I found with additional things for you to read. If the problem persists, bring it to the attention to your health care provider.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
An Iowa cat contracted the Swine Flu from it’s owner. I never thought much about pets getting sick from humans. But it’s a reality we don’t think of. People should exercise the same precautions for their pets as they would for themselves or members of their families. People also should seek medical attention for their pets.
Read more about it in this news article:
Friday, November 06, 2009
Donald Watson, Founder of the Vegan Society and the Vegan Way of Life
November 1st was World Vegan Day, and November is World Vegan Month. Most people don’t really know the origin of the word or what it really means. Donald Watson, along with a colleague Elsie Shrigley, created the word vegan in 1944. He created the word vegan by taking the front and back of the word vegetarian. People who identify with the term vegan do so for many reasons: a stance on world hunger; environmental concerns; improved human health; or improved welfare of animals. A vegan may support one, several or all of these.
Mr. Watson was born in 1910 in the UK and died in 2005, ironically during World Vegan Month. He was the founder of the Vegan Society. Read more about Mr. Watson and veganism at the Vegan Society’s Web site:
(Many thanks to www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=ST
EVIE281 for giving me the idea for this posting.)
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