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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Beauty And Reality Of Stretching Exercises For Sedentary Persons

Stretching exercises are not very common these days with some fitness enthusiasts.

Do you keep a dog or cat? I do not period.

But my mother kept cats. My neighbor has dogs

One health worthy thing I usually take not of in these domestic animals is stretching.

What Is A Stretching Exercise?

In terms of physical exercises, what is a stretching exercise? The various muscles in your body connected to joints and bones.

There is a range of movement so to speak, within each joint that is vital for peak operation of the muscles.

Stretching is the action employed to improve or enhanced the range of motion, ROM.

It, stretching elongates your muscles and makes them flexible. This stretching action is necessary before doing any of your aerobic or isometric exercises; and after.

However, some will argue here that you do your aerobic exercises first before stretching as a warming up. This school has certain drawbacks.

These animals above go out and come in. Then their rest or sleep. Not just in the night, but in the day time too. Within an hour or two during the day time nap, they will wake up. The first thing I realize much is their stretching ability. Their will stretch their legs to full as far as their can, thus stretching their entire body.  Furthermore, animals do this before going to sleep.

Stretching In Man

Stretching is an exercise for animals. Man is the higher animal. He needs do some stretch exercises. The contrary seems to be the case with him. Birds, like they inferior counterpart, I observed do stretch on waking up.

Stretching is less prone with human beings. When a sedentary person stretches, I think majority of them will only do so via, yawing!

Chopping woods and vegetables are not stretching. Climbing the stairway or stair case and arranging the living room are not stretching. They are forms of physical activity. Stretching exercises are more superior to those. You have to stretch before all these things.

Stretching will make your body muscles more flexible than anything else. Further, it will keep your muscles supple. It will pay you well during and after your middle age and into old age.

Stretching is a type of warm up prior to exercise. It will raise your body temperature and heart rate. It will improve your coordination. Blood flow to your muscles and the range of motion of your joints will be greatly enhanced. Stretching exercises will prevent injuries before doing any of your aerobic or isometric workouts.

Let me ask a question here. How many times can you claim to stretch in a week? Apart from doing some physical exercises or the ordinary day by day physical activities, do you take time to stretch two or three times in the week? I mean do you stretch before rushing into the bathroom or doing some of your aerobic or isometric exercises? Do you stretch after the exercises? This is vital to good health.

Let’s be honest here. Inactivity leads to sedentary life. Many usually dig their graves that way!

Emphatically, do you ever stretch on waking up from sleep (if you are not used to doing physical exercises like aerobic) before rushing into the bathroom to wash?
Be real with yourself. Perhaps, you are such that you do not have one minute to doing a stretching exercise! But you have spent some minutes, even up to an hour watching your favorite reality shows on the TV screen or you are surfing the net via, facebook and instagram moments on waking up after a good night sleep.

Then, you are not used to exercise once in the week playing sporting games? Do you?

If you are used to sitting that long and doing these things, you need to stretch your neck, eyes, shoulder, back and waist to prevent neck, eye and back pains, for example. 

Can you take an evening stroll to stretch and stir like a sheep or a cow

Sedentary life is bad. It breeds ill-health, deformities and injuries when a small fall takes place.

Digging The Grave

Most of the time, we lay the blame for heart related illness on sugar or starch; and animal fats in the red in eggs, red meat, margarine and lards. But that we do not stretch is where the trouble is. You gain weight. And your blood pressure will go up. Then you go and worry the doctor. His advice and prescriptions can help alleviate the issue.

Some still carry the matter into their graves!

And what about those joint, hip or back pains? Is your joint or muscle stiff or supple? You do not have to live with arteritis all your life; and then dig your grave!

Start Stretching

It is never too late for you to begin doing stretching exercises. If you can do one or two stretching exercise for one minute each, before heading into the bathroom.

 Once a week, you can stretch two or three times as a routine. (You can stretch certain parts of your body daily at odd moments like cats and dogs.) That is just once a week say, on weekends when you are completely free from going to work, if you do not have time during working days. But alas you make time watching the streaming shows on your TV set!

10 minutes is all that you need to begin with. It is the beauty and reality of stretching exercises. It is not taking too much or all of your time. Increasing the time to 15 minutes or more is your opinion and at your pleasure.

Benefits Of Stretching Exercises Summarized

·        It will improve your balance and posture
·        It will elongate your muscles
·        It release lubricating fluids to greased your joints and muscles before exercise, hence
·        Reduces muscle tension
·        Less injuries
·        Transport blood and nutrients to joints and muscles
·        Less pain in the joint, neck, back and muscles
·        Improves flexibility
·        Enhanced performance of physical exercise and physical activities
·        Enhanced sexual performance.

20 Stretching Exercises That Will Rejuvenate Your Body

Ever before you do these stretching exercises, do some warming ups. This will further help grease your joints, muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons. Otherwise, the risk of injuries to these tissues will be high. Some pains will be beneficial to the exercises, but too much pain is a signal to stop what you are doing at the moment.

You can warm up by way of:

1.     Jogging: Yes, you can slightly jog within your living room for 3 to 5 minutes. There is enough space for you to do it, even if you are to go in circles slowly.

2.     Barbell: You can use your barbell or dumb bell to warm up.

3.     Weight Lifting: Light weight lifting can raise your cardiac rate.

4.     Swimming: Some authority recommended swimming as a warming up before stretching. Do you have a swimming pool or have access to it near your residential? If you live near a River or water front, you can take advantage of it to swim and warm up.

5.     Circling: Others suggested circling as alternative to swimming as a warm up before you do any stretching exercises.

ALWAYS WARM UP BEFORE STRETCHING? But stretching exercises are a form of warming up prior to doing your aerobic or other forms of physical activities. You will notice for example, that footballers always warm up before actual practice and play on the football pitch. So, you have got to jog slightly as a warming up before doing some stretching.

The purpose of stretching includes a further warming up of the muscles and joints; peak the body temperature in other to prevent any pre-injuries during the exercises.

Before I do my jogging exercises, I always warm up by brisk walking, and stretch briefly for 10 minutes. Then I do some aerobic, isometric and plyometric exercises. Otherwise, I will not benefit from the jogging.

Here are some 20 stretching exercises (do only 10) you can do either out doors or in your living room. Each exercise is to be done 60 seconds, 2 or 3 times in the week. No repetition. Do each exercise gentle first to avoid any injuries.

If you are a new comer here, do each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds before the next workout.

Good luck to you!

1.     Thigh Stretch: Stand straight on the floor or ground and walking from one point and back to the starting point with your toes only. This will stretch the calf and the inner thigh

2.     Hand Stretch: You can sit or stand doing this. Hold out your hands in front of you; and open and close your fingers repeatedly.

3.     Neck Stretch #1: Stand with your hands by your side. Turn your head to one side at 90o and return the head to the starting position after 30 seconds. Do so the other side at the same angle of 90o for same 30 seconds.

4.     Neck Stretch #2: With the same position as in #1 above, tilt your head sideways towards the right shoulder and hold for 30 seconds and return the head to the starting position. Tilt the head on the opposite side for another 30 seconds.

5.     Neck Stretch #3: Still with the same starting position as the above two neck stretches, this time you tilt the head forward to stretch back of neck for 60 seconds; and release it.

6.     Shoulders, Middle Back, Arms, Hands, Fingers And Wrists: Interlaced your fingers and stretch out your arm just parallel to your head. The palms should be turn out and hold for 60 seconds.

7.     Triceps, Shoulders And Waist Stretch: Stand with knees with a slight flex and your arms overhead, while holding your elbow with hand of the opposite arm. Pull your elbow behind your head gently to the right side and at the same time leaning to the same side for 30 seconds. Return to starting position and do so the left side for another 30 seconds.

8.     Middle Of The Back Stretch: Standing with your hands on your hips, twists your torso at the waist at the right side for 30 seconds; return to starting position and do so on the left side for another 30 seconds. Your knees should be kept slightly flexed.

9.     Ankle Stretches: Stand and place one hand on the wall for balance or you hold a chair or any support. Lift your right foot and rotate foot and ankle clockwise and counter-clockwise for 30 seconds. Repeat with the left foot.

10. Thigh Stretch: Stand near a wall and place your left hand on the wall for support. Grasp your left foot with your right hand and pull heel to your buttock for 30 seconds. Do so with your right foot for another 30 seconds.

11.  Calves And Achilles Stretch: Stand with your feet at shoulder wide length apart, your heels firmly on the floor and toes pointing straight. Now, assume a quarter squat position and hold this for 60 seconds.

12   Back And Waist Stretch: Stand foot together and hands by your side. Now bend your head forward trying to touch your knee with the forehead. Do not force yourself doing it. If your forehead did not touch your knee the first time, do not worry. You can achieve that at the next try, say when cooling off after your aerobic exercise.

13.  Side Of Hip And Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bent the left leg and place it across the right leg. Pull the left knee up toward your left shoulder and hold for 30 seconds. You do so on the opposite side

14.  Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the floor with legs wide apart, bend one leg against the ground, and keep the other straight and extended. Bring your knee against the bent leg, the forehead resting on the knee and flex your toes toward your body.

15. Calf Stretch: There are more than two calf stretch exercises. Here is another one you can do by pushing against the ground. First, take the plank or press-up position. Push one leg at a time against the ground and it does not matter which angle your foot is action against. Try pressing both feet if you can. This loosed your calf and is very good for joggers and runners.

16. Abdominal Stretch: Lie flat on the floor with arms between chest and shoulder; now push upper torso upward with your palms until head rise and form 90o with the lower body; and hold for 60 seconds. This stretching is similar to the cobra posture in yoga.

17. Biceps Stretch: Reach your arms behind your back and interlock the fingers. Now, raise your arms and pull away from your trunk.

18. Mild Back Stretch: Kneel down and place your hands (palms) on the small of the back behind the hip. Slightly bent back the head facing skywards for 60 seconds.

19. Latissimus Dorsi Stretch: While still kneeling down as in the mild back stretch, extend forward by bringing the forehead to the floor. The palms should be placed flat on the floor too. Hold for 60 seconds.

20.   Inner Thigh Stretch: Sit on the floor and bringing both heel of foot touching together. Push knee down toward the floor with your palm.

These are some of the stretching exercises I did before doing my aerobic exercises and isometrics and before executing my morning jogging.

You should not hold your breath, but breathe in and out slowly during the execution of the routine all the time.

You will notice I do not suggest repeating any of the exercises more than once with any rest periods in other to build endurance strength. But you can rest for 15 seconds after each exercise if you are a new comer to stretching workouts.

At the end of the jogging, I rest for 3 minutes and I repeat some or few of the aerobic, isometric and plyos; and cool down with stretching. My final stretch will be a yogis dead man posture to bring my blood pressure to normal level.

I think when you are used to all these workouts, you may add some more and you can go online to google stretching exercises to add to your exercise bank. Have fun.

To your good health!

Miebakagh57 (Miebakagh Fiberesima) Copyright 2016.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Beauty And Reality Of Muscular Endurance Strength Training For Non-Athletes

Muscular endurance strength training in exercise activity is definitely training your aerobic and muscular system.

It is both a cardiovascular and muscoskeletal training. 

As a keep fit rut or non-athlete, you want to increase your strength to jog more than half a mile; or even up to a mile. How far did you go within the first 15 minutes? Did you burnt out and tired? Does it occur to you that you should stop and take some rest? Be honest with yourself here. What is the distance you covered within the first 15 minutes? 
I would go more than 60 meters.

Perhaps, it is hard for you to jog further and you start taking a walk when that is not your intention. During a short leisurely jog less than 750 meters, I jog 15 to 20 minutes than I take a short walk for 3 minutes. I follow this up with a short dash or sprint 3 minutes, just to align or coordinate my body. Then, I would begin to jog normally at a leisure speed. You begin taking a walk not because you wanted to adjust your body but because you cannot breathe or you are very tire out and lethargy

Well, the solution is that you need muscular endurance strength training as you cannot endure more than 15 minutes of jogging. 

This is the beauty and reality of muscular endurance strength or power training.

You badly need some strength, right? You need to be strong and stronger. 

Here is the thing I like about jogging or slow leisurely running. The longer the distance, (up to a mile), and the ease in which you executed same within a specific time frame of 1 hour 23 minutes, the stronger and healthier you become. So to endure a mile or more of leisurely running, you need to train for that strength, retain such strength, via recovery processes and carry it to the next level of a mile plus.

Moreover, the vital question is, should you be able to remain this strong for a minimum of 4 weeks, and can execute same feat in your next jogging program while doing conditioning exercises (specific leg exercises and others) in the mean time. Hence, you must of necessity keep your practices concurrent. You can learn to become ironman strong if you care in actual run training.

All your stretching, aerobic, anaerobic, isometrics and plyometrics; and yoga exercise will be geared to achieve such strength training and power training, or you cannot go that far, not even with strong will power without experiencing adverse results of bodily harm.

Strength or endurance strength training has many good things with it even if you are not an athlete person.

Exampling Endurance

Let’s say you are doing some isometric and plyometric exercises as a keep fit enthusiast. You execute the isometrics press up or the jumping jack plank while holding it for 1 minute. Remember the longer the set period, the shorter will be the rest time. For this 1 minute set, you rest for 15 seconds; and repeat the set for another 1 minute for 4 to 5 repetitions resting for 15 seconds on each repetition.

Did you go through the 4 to 5 repetitions? Congratulations for achieving such a feat!
Your endurance is at a good level. But I am also sure that some persons cannot pass the second repetition within the next 1 minute and rest.

This is where the issue of strength or power comes in. You endure the first set but cannot repeat a second or third. You lack the strength or rather muscular endurance strength.

It is this type of persons that cannot go this far that are in need of endurance strength training exercises.

Such persons even have a hard time doing domestic chores in their homes like re-arranging the living room or washing the car.

Merits Of Endurance Strength Training

Endurance strength training is exercising to increase endurance as an athlete or non-athlete person.

Some of its many advantages include:
·        It increased the rate of heart beat and stroke volume of the heart
·        Increase in blood plasma without any change in red blood cells
·        The mitochondrial volume in muscle fibers is greatly increased in number and size; and a corresponding increase in myoglobin and oxidative enzymes
·        Glycogen and fat storing capacity is increased for the length of time work is to be done
·        The type 1 slow twitch fibers are develop to resist fatigue
·        Improves catabolism process. The fat and glycogen stored is use efficiently as energy during work, exercise or sport activities
·        Oxygen is efficiently transported and distributed all over the body system
·        You become healthier
·        You make your daily chores easier
·        A beautiful, energetic and younger you. You may act much younger than your peers
·        And because you are active in physical exercise or conditioning, the tendency for your bones degenerating during middle age is minimized. In other words, osteoporosis is reduced to a minimum. 

With all these good pictures on the board, one would think that strength endurance training has no negative side. That is far from being true. We can pin-point one or two of the negative effect as a result of taking the training and practice overboard.
·        Reduces testosterone level
·        Heart-rhythm abnormality.

As in all sporting and exercise activities, you should not go beyond set limits disallowed by medical science. For example, I can jog a mile and a quarter within 1 hour 24 minutes, two times in the week. This is the limit set by medicine. But should I do it four times in a week, which I am able, I will be doing my body some harm in years to come.
So you should be concerned more with short time endurance strength training. It is very beneficial in long distance run like jogging and playing any power games like football, hokey and base ball.

Now, let’s take a practical good example in jogging for a mile. We begin with some stretching and aerobic exercises. I think walking, apart from some of the exercise to stretch the leg muscles will do well.

Okay, let’s do few aerobic, isometrics and plyometrics exercises 1 minute each without any rest here:
·        Jumping jack
·        Press up and down
·        High knees
·        Mountain climbing
·        Wall sit
·        Prayer pose
·        Wall push
·        One leg jump
·        Jumping jack plank
·        Super man
·        Rope skipping
·        Push and pull.

Add or substitute your favorite to the above if you like. All these twelve exercises will take 12 minutes. How far did you go through them? Did you find it easy? Next time, try these 2 or 3 repetitions without any rest. It will take you 24 or 36 minutes. Be sure to keep breathing during each exercise or your blood pressure will rise abnormally!

After doing these exercises as a warm up, start walking round a foot ball field twice, two or three times in the week. You do this for between four to six weeks.

Since you can endure these distance (load) well enough, we should now apply the number of times you walk round the football field. Say you walk twice two times in the week, you have to jog 2 times (90 by 100 meter maximum) from your starting point and back to the same starting point. Did you get the math?

Now, to be real, if you cannot walk 90 by 100 meters, totaling 380 m, I do not see any sense in you to jog same distance, especially when you are always sedentary!
Start to walk! Walk up to jog.

In other to take advantage of such endurance strength training, you have to extend it over a period of time in your exercises or sports; and apply same in anything you do. Now, if you walk round a football field or a similar distance two or three times in the week, why not increase the distance later up to five times in a week? You will be greatly training both your cardio and muscular system to become strong.

Strength-endurance is the ability to be strong over an extended period of time.

Heavy Loading

Physical exercises are geared toward conditioning a person for fitness, like in aerobic exercises. Endurance training is exercising to increase endurance. To train for a leisurely running event like jogging, one has to increase the distance up to a mile. If you target 190 meters, It got to be increase by 30% in the next training. Then you increase it by 50% in the next one and so on. In this way, you are adding more load to your training sessions that you are able to endure for a given period.

As the training progress, the rate of endurance likewise increases by a higher percentage. It is from such progressions that one can go for 800 meters to 1.4km. Road cycling and swimming are other examples.

Weight Lifting

You can use weight lifting to train for endurance strength. But the bulky muscles that will result will not help you run or swim well. It will do you some good in cycling. So if you use weight lifting to train for endurance strength, apply it where it will be beneficial. In case of jogging, you should not allow gain in weight or it will undermine your jogging efforts. Muscle mass is not strength. Building lean muscle is much better for a jogger.
How To Increase Endurance Strength

Now, the question is how to increase endurance strength. You must have a program to do these three things:
·        Increase your work load
·        Have shorter rest times
·        Increase volume of work

Increase your work load (jogging distance). To be stronger, you have to increase your jogging or leisurely running distances. This is the work load. The more you increase the distance you have to jog, the stronger you become till you pass the 1 mile limitation.

Shorten your rest periods. At the end of every run, you should shorten your rest periods to not more than 5 minutes. Then carry out some more aerobic, isometric and plyometric exercises as a recovery processes. You should try to recover faster when you are under tension or strain! This will make you much stronger.

Increase Your Work Volume. It is when you are best at doing big volume of work along with less rest periods that you will have the endurance strength.

Fueling And Refueling

In all these warming up and practice exercises, you have burn up some fuel. These need to be replaced. You also have to consider more fuel for damage done to muscle tissues and for repair, and to build up the body.

Before doing any of the exercises, you have to eat. Eat some good and nutritious meal that will deliver the energy to give you peak performance. Junk or convenience foods are not suggested here. Eat complex natural food sources from nature.
You must rest for a minimum of 1 hour if you had a light breakfast meal; if the meal is heavy rest for 2 to 3 hours.

It will do you much good if you include fruit and vegetables more matter in your chop plate to deliver natural phytonutrients the body needs.

If you do not eat well, and refuel well, you are a loser in endurance strength training.
Hence, include much protein (fish) complex carbohydrates and some fats especially red meat in your diet; along with greens, nuts, seeds and fruits.

Of specific interest is the place of both animal and vegetable or plant proteins in the diet.

Proteins, when properly digested  released amino acids, the building blocks that make cells and are use to build body tissues.

How much protein do you need? It is estimate a fully grown up person taking up physical fitness program needs a minimum of 35g of protein for women. Men need more 48g. It all depends on your eating habit or metabolism plus body mass index. Normally, 0.8g of protein is need per kg of body weight. This would equate to 1.00g in simplify numbers. Say you weight y kg. So you may need y x 1.00 g of protein per kg of body weight. Your maximum protein intake for the day should be 200g or 1000 calories and not much.

Of equal importance is the amount of both animal and vegetable proteins in the diet. Should you prefer animals to that of plants or vegetables? Both make a good balance. I usually include beans and peanuts along with sardine and mullets plus red meat in my chop plates; plus seeds and avocado. These paired combination deliver the much need heart health plus muscle health!

Drink water to replace losses in sweat. Drink when tasty. Cut a fresh lime or lemon and squeeze same into your bottle of water and drink. It is very good for the muscles.
I have never eaten a supplement whenever I go on a jogging session, because I am not intended on building muscle mass. I depend wholly on natural complex food stuffs; and I have always been well physically and strong.

To your good health and running pleasure!
Miebakagh57 (Miebakagh Fiberesima) Copyright 2016.