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Monday, July 14, 2008

Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home
Do you know that in order to keep your heart healthy and your weight under control, you need to walk at least 10,000 steps each day? This may sound daunting but many activities you're doing everyday such as running errands or doing household works can add up to a few hundred or even thousand of steps for you.
To maintain your health and make sure you achieve the 10,000 steps each day, here are some simple and easy exercises that you can do at home. These exercise routines not only help to keep you fit but also will tone your body as they work on some specific muscle groups. They are a lot more effective than the general exercises such as running errands and doing house chores. Here are the exercises you can easily do at home:
- Stretching exercises. Stand with both of your hands against a wall and move your left leg back so that your foot is flat against the floor. Hold for a few seconds; then repeat this move with the right leg. Another great stretching exercise you can perform is to lie on your back, use both hands, bring up your right knee to your chest and hold it for a few seconds. Repeat this routine with your left leg.
- Curl is very easy to do. Just lie on your back with both hands behind your head and raise your upper body. Repeat this move for 15-20 times.
- Leg exercises can be done by lying down on your side and lifting each leg repeatedly for 15-20 times. You can also stand and hold on to the back of a chair and lift your legs backward repeatedly.
- Arm exercises. This is important to improve muscle tone. For arm exercises, you can use an exercise band. Place both feet on one end of the band, hold the other ends with each hand and then repeatedly raise and lower the band (in an up and down motion for 10-15 minutes). If you have a pair of dumbbell, you can also use them to exercise your arms.
- If you are working at home and sitting in front of your computer most of the time, try to press down on your toes in an up and down motion frequently. This activity will help to keep the blood circulation flowing in your legs.
- If you know how to dance, put on a music CD and dance for about 20-30 minutes. This is a great cardiovascular workout. You can also incorporate push-ups, sit-ups and jumping rope into your daily home exercise routine.
- Abs workout. I have found a great 8 minute video showing you how to do abs workout at home. You can watch the video at "Best Abs Workout At Home - Only 8 Minute".
NOTE: Always do some stretching to warm up before starting any exercise routine to prevent injury.
Leon is an Infopreneur dedicated to sharing his online discoveries across the net. You can visit his blogs at Leon's Self-Improvement Blog and Health Buzz Zone.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Cardiovascular Exercises:
1. Walking
Walking is the simplest, cheapest and easiest form of cardiovascular exercise.
It is the best starting point for anyone who is just starting to exercise.
It is very low impact and is extremely convenient.
Start slowly, then gradually work up to walking longer and faster.
Finding a walking partner can help keep you motivated.
2. Jogging/Running
This is a step up from walking. It is harder and puts more impact and stress on the body.
If you are just starting an exercise program, work through fast walking before moving up to jogging.
3. Cycling
Riding a bike is an excellent, no-impact form of cardio.
Be sure to follow the rules of the road and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
4. Swimming
Swimming involves all the major muscles of the body.
It is no-impact and is very useful for injury recovery
The major drawback is that you must know how to swim.
Resistance Exercises:
1. Chest
Wall Push-Ups
Stand facing a wall with your feet about 1 to 2 feet back from it.
Place your hands on the wall just outside shoulder-width apart.
Bending only at the elbows, lower yourself forward towards the wall then push yourself away from it.
Keep your body stiff and straight during the movement.

2. Back
Standing Rows
These are done from a standing position.
Loop a towel around a vertical pole or column or another fixed object so that the ends of the towel are pointing towards you and the towel is wrapped around the far side of the pole.
Have your feet close up to the pole and lean back gripping on the ends of the towel and keeping your body stiff and straight.
Row yourself up with both arms.
Keep your back arched and row with your back.
3. Shoulders
Use something around the house for weight, e.g. soup cans or milk jugs with water in them.
From a seated or standing position, hold the weights just above your shoulders.
Push them up overhead slowly.

4. Legs
Place your feet about shoulder width apart.
Keeping your torso vertical and a slight arch in your lower back, start the movement by bending the knees.
Go only as far down as you feel comfortable when first starting out. If you can go down until your thighs are just below parallel, do so. This is the full range goal.
Using leg power, push yourself back up to the start position. Use your grip on the bar only for balance unless you absolutely need to pull yourself up.
As you get stronger with squats, don't use the bar anymore. When you can do good, full-range reps without the bar, you can start using weight.
For weight, use two duffel bags (evenly loaded) or two milk jugs, etc. Hold them at your sides and squat.
5. Abdominals
Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
Hold your hands wherever you feel comfortable (on your chest or beside your head - just be sure you don't pull on your head).
The typical crunch is taught by instructing you to simply roll your upper torso forward. This is fine to start with.
To increase the effectiveness of the crunch movement, push your chest and head up towards the ceiling pushing your lower back flat onto the floor.
Your anatomy will automatically cause you to follow a crunching pattern.
Hold at the top of the movement for a second and squeeze hard.
6. Biceps
Stand with your knees slightly bent, arms at your sides, holding your resistance bags or two dumbells in your hands.
The curl movement happens only at the elbow. With your upper arm pinned at your side and bending only at the elbow, lift the weight up to shoulder level.
Your palm should be facing forward all the way up and all the way down.
Squeeze hard at the top then lower slowly.
Do the same with the other arm, alternating back and forth.
7. Triceps
Bench Dips
These can be done on the edge of a chair or bench.
Sit on the side edge of a flat bench or the front edge of a chair.
Place your hands on the edge of the chair right beside your glutes and grip the edge.
To start with, your feet should be flat on the floor about two feet in front of you with your knees bent.
Move yourself off the chair so you are now supporting yourself on your hands.
Bend your arms, dipping your body down. Go down only as far as you feel comfortable, being careful not to bounce out of the bottom.
Push back up, squeezing the triceps.
It is important to keep your back close to the edge of the bench as you do these to minimize shoulder stress.
When you're done the set, push yourself back onto the chair.
8. Calves
Standing Calf Raises
This exercise can be done on the edges of stairs, wood blocks, books, etc.
Do both legs at the same time to start with then, as you get stronger, do them one leg at a time.
Hold a bag in your hand for resistance as you get stronger
Stand on the edge of the block with only the balls of your feet on the block.
Keeping knees stiff and bending only at the ankles, lower your heels down towards the floor.
Go down until you feel a strong stretch in your calves.
Reverse the direction without bouncing and push up as high as you can.
Do this movement slowly to feel the contraction all the way up.

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