The Deck of Cards.The first time I heard about this was an in article about Clive (Iron Fist) Myers. It was one of his favourite routines.The idea is very easy to put into practise and will help build stamina, strength and energy. All you need is a deck of cards and some space to exercise. You could do this routine while on vacation if you want to maintain peak fitness.First you need to decide on 3 exercises to do 1. Chest 2. Legs 3. Abdominals.1.push ups.2.Free standing squats.3.Crunches.Each exercise will be done in strict form with no cheating.For the push ups, start in the low position and push up with slow steady motion until the top of the movement and then slowly lower back down under control. Breathe in as you go down and in as you push back up. This is one rep.Free standing squats, fold your arms across your chest and perform deep knee bends slowly, under full control. At the bottom of the movement push with your thighs and come back to the top position. Breathe in as you go down and out as you come up.Crunches, start by lying on your back on the floor with your feet on a bench or chair. Hold your hands beside your head (NOT BEHIND). Raise your upper body from the floor as high as you can. Breathe out as you raise and in as you lower your upper body. Do not hold you hands behind your head and pull as this will put excessive strain on your neck.Now take the deck of cards including the jokers. Give it a good shuffle and turn over the top card. Whatever the value of this card is the number of reps for the exercise. Face card valuesJack 11Queen 12King 13Ace 14Joker 15With each card you turn over, do that amount of reps for the exercise, and then turn the next card over and move onto the next exercise.When you are starting you may be unable to do a full deck of cards. No problem. Start with the number cards up to the eight. Add one more card at the beginning of each workout until you can use the full deck.Make sure to breathe regularly as you perform these exercises and do not hold your breath at any time.Shuffle the deck of cards each time you work out as the will randomize the number of each exercise.You can change the exercises if you are unable to do the ones recommended. There are a multitude of variations on free standing exercises that can be performed with little or no equipment. If you do change the exercises try to do one upper, one middle and one lower body exercise.The main idea is that you move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible to keep up your heart rate and build up aerobic endurance.When you have done this routine for a while you will be able to complete this workout in 20 minutes. If you want to you could add another deck of cards or two.I recommend that you do this routine every other day to improve your health. There is no reason why it could not be done daily if you wanted to.The purpose of this workout or any other fitness program you undertake is to make you fitter and healthier. If you start to feel unwell or have any pain while working out, slow down and listen to your body. As with any new program it is recommended that you start slowly and build up gradually as you gain experience. Even Arnold had to start with low weights and learn from more experienced bodybuilders.This article is provided as entertainment and no responsibility can be taken for loss or injuries incurred during physical exercise. If you have not undertaken any form of exercise for a while, please consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.Fitness is not a competition with anyone else. It is just for you, so find what you enjoy and go have some fun.
Before fitness training, one must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them. 1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility. 2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body's flexibility. 3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles. 4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position. 5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one's hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head. 6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength. 7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do it. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion. 8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don't work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out. 9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running or swimming. 10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn't disturb people who don't prefer music while exercising. Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one's limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.
Over the years, there have been people making up plenty of excuses to avoid exercising. Some of these excuses are creative, some are ridicules, but most are in a group of common excuses used everyday to justify not having to make the effort to improve their health and well being.How many people do you know who were going to start exercising and start getting in shape and they were going to start this coming week, but that was two weeks ago and they still havent started yet? What excuse did they have this time? Maybe this has happened so many times, you stopped counting. Maybe this has even happened to you more times than you can remember. Well, whats stopping you? Here are some of the most common excuses used by people to not exercise, and the ways that you can get around those excuses if they have plagued you and are stopping you from partaking in a healthier lifestyle.By far and away, the most common excuse used today is; I dont have the time to exercise. The old perception that you have to exercise for 1 to 2 hours a day is just nonsense. A good, solid exercise routine doesnt have to last for more than 20 to 30 minutes a day to be very effective. If you cant find up to 30 minutes a day to exercise, then how do you manage to find up to 2 hours or more a day to watch TV?Another popular excuse used often is; I cant afford to pay for a gym membership or for home equipment. The fact is, you can get in better shape and lose weight without ever setting foot in a gym. Walking and or jogging around your neighborhood or in the local park dont cost a dime and will give you all of the benefits of a cardio workout at the gym. Doing callisthenic exercises such as crunches and pushups and so on at home also cost nothing. Home fitness equipment can also be purchased that will give you a good resistance workout for under $50.00 such as resistance tubing bands and an exercise ball.I dont know how to exercise or what exercises to do is an excuse that gets used from time to time, but there are several ways to learn how to exercise right and what exercises to do. Using the services of a qualified, certified personal trainer is the best way to get you going in the fight direction. If affordability is an issue with a trainer, there are workout videos and books that you can buy to help you out, you can even find loads of exercise books at your local library that you can check out free of charge.Another excuse that seems to be fairly common is; Im too old and/or out of shape to start exercising. This excuse is really only valid if your doctor has told you that you should not exercise for some medical reason. If you are very out of shape or you are a senior citizen, then you may just have to start out slowly. Even starting out with only 5 minutes a day of exercise and slowly increasing as you go is much better than doing no exercise at all. Last but not least and by far my favorite excuse is; I hate anything to do with exercise. This one always gives me a laugh. Most people who really think they hate exercise do so because they are stuck with the image that exercise is a series of boring, grunt and groan exercises involving heavy weights, or jogging far enough to complete the Boston marathon. The old adage of no pain, no gain is still embedded in the minds of many people, and who wants to have to go through pain every day to get in better shape? Exercise is really all about getting active and getting your body moving. Even playing in a softball league or hiking on a trail or bicycle riding is good exercise. Just find activities that you like to do and you will find that exercise can be fun.Ok, no more excuses. The time is now. Making the time to spend even 30 minutes a day to get active, get in some exercise, and get yourself more healthy and fit will by far be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Think of how much more you can enjoy doing the things you like to do when you are in better condition and better yet, think about how much more you can enjoy your children as they grow up and how much more you can enjoy your grandchildren later in life.
When it comes to our bodies, we all have one place or another that we are somewhat unsatisfied with. You always here people say things like I hate my thighs or my butt is too big. Of course some of these things are said in jest, but there is still discontent hidden in there.Despite it all though, the one thing that has become almost an obsession today is the way our abs look. It seems that everyone is looking for those ever elusive six pack abs, but much like Ponce De Leons search for the fountain of youth, it seems like it is impossible to find. Now, while there is no magical formula for attaining a flat, firm, and toned stomach, there is something you can do that if done regularly, will get you the results that you are looking for. To get these results, stomach crunches need to be done daily but keep in mind that stomach exercises alone will not burn the fat off of your midsection. Keeping your calories in check along with doing your crunches everyday will be the way for you to see that flat, chiseled, sexy stomach. Crunches are easy to do, and if done properly, are very effective for toning those abs. Here is a step by step breakdown of the proper way to get the most out of your crunches. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs bent to about a 90-degree angle with both your rear and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head making sure not to interlock your fingers. You can make your hands into fists so you do not pull up on the back of your neck. The next thing to do is to pick a spot on the ceiling directly above you. This should be done in order to ensure that you do not bend your neck during the duration of the movement. Do not take your eyes off this spot! The most common mistake while performing a crunch is too much stress on the neck as a result of pulling on it with the hands. The next step is to stabilize the low back. This can be done by tightening the muscles in the abdomen. Slowly curl forward and up using your abdominal muscles only. There should be no bending at the waist. Keep your abdominal muscles firm for the entire duration to ensure low back stabilization. Keep your focus on that spot on the ceiling to prevent neck pain as a result of stress. At the top position your shoulder blades should only be between 4-8 inches off the ground. There is no need to go any further. Pause at this top position. This whole movement should be performed slowly and take about 2 seconds to perform. Pause at the top position for 1-2 seconds to ensure full contraction of the abdominal muscles. Slowly return to the starting position keeping your abs contracted. That is all there is to it. The crunch is not a very big movement because you are working your abs only. A full sit-up does not work your abs better than the crunch because once you are past the crunch position, your abs are fully contracted and it is your hip muscles that are straining to lift you up, not your abs.Doing a hundred of these a day is not the key here. Doing two to three sets of 15 to 20 of these at a slow and deliberate pace with good form is what is recommended for maximum benefits and minimum risk of injury.
There are statistics which show that, after years of training in body building, many of the persons who practiced this sport turned to fitness. The reasons of this change are different, from the most common ones, like the boredom which intervenes at a certain time, to health problems.It is well-known that "body building" training of anaerobic type is very demanding. In most of the cases, the aerobic programs are avoided because sportsmen are afraid of losing muscular mass. Another disadvantage of body building trainings is the fact that sportsmen have to work a lot with their chest blocked, in apnea, because of the great weights they use for increasing their muscles. The respiratory blocking during the force effort is also known as the Valsalva phenomenon and it was initially studied in the case of weightlifters. Applying this technique can have as consequences, in time, rising of blood pressure, low blood feedback through the veins, varicous veins, etc. It is obvious that because of the ageing process, the blood veins become more rigid, a process favored by the arteriosclerosis which appears to younger and younger people. The elasticity of the walls of these blood vessels decreases, so while making force effort with really heavy weights, the sportsmen are in danger of having a stroke, because the vessels can break. This risk is much smaller in fitness.The weights used in this sport are small or medium, because the purpose of doing this sport is not a spectacular hypertrophy of the muscles, but fortifying, putting into relief and reshaping the muscles. Another advantage of fitness is a richer and more varied area of exercises, inspired from the complex training of body building but also of many other sports. For example, we find in fitness plyometrics exercises used in athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting, fight sports, etc. These programs have as consequence the forming of much more functional muscles, which can cope with demanding situations in real life, not only with posing during body building contests. Because there is no obsession for muscles, aerobic training can be introduced in the programs. Its advantages are: making the blood vessel walls more elastic, decreasing cholesterol and making excellent prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases. Time is another factor which must be considered. While in body building the simplest divided program requires a minimum of four weekly trainings, in fitness, where all or most of the muscle groups are exercised during one training, three non-consecutive days a week are enough. The aerobic exercises can be done either in the free days, or additional to the training in the gym, in this case the total time of training being of one hour and a half at most. Passing from body building to fitness does not have as consequence significant loss of muscular mass, even if the volume of the muscles is diminished. Anyway, the fortifying and relief of the muscles are not lost. This small loss is fully compensated by the advantages of practicing much more complex exercises and, why not admit, much safer for the health of the people.