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Yoga: Postures and Poses

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Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, however, some styles focus primarily on physically working the back, for instance: the most important Yoga poses in this case will differ from others, remaining the most important Yoga poses for another kind of Yoga.

There are also very difficult one might focus on in other styles of Yoga designed to stretch and strengthen other specific parts of the body, and many that work the entire body, treating the body as left and right equals yin and yang.


There are specific Yoga poses for the floor parts of Yoga exercise, as well as the more familiar standing Yoga poses.

One of the most basic kinds of standing Yoga poses one will learn in Yoga is what is called the tree balance. In this balance you will:

  1. Prepare as always by checking the posture and lifting through the torso, pushing your shoulders down.
  2. Hold your eyes on one object diagonally or straight forward for the entire pose.
  3. Stand with your feet together.
  4. Lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  5. Rock your weight back, onto your heels.
  6. Strengthen the right leg shifting all of your weight and lift your left leg slowly up so that your foot lays flat, toes down, resting on your right inner thigh.
  7. Your arms slowly lift up to what is called the prayer position: both palms meeting directly above the top of the head–the full body in perfect alignment. Meeting above the crown chakra and lengthening all the way through the body.

The benefits of practicing this posture are many. It will result in remarkably noticeable balance and grace.

The posture requires balance, focus and concentration–all the basic guidelines of Yoga–both spiritual and physical are involved in Yoga poses. The tree balance is one of the many Yoga poses where the key is to relax and clear your mind. Not thinking about the difficulty of the pose itself–releasing tension–that is the mental aspect of several complex positions–without which many Yoga poses would be virtually impossible to hold.

This is one of the most well known Yoga postures. However, there are many. Including, as I mentioned before, many floor Yoga poses. Focus and breath–this is how you remain in any of the Yoga poses.

One example of the floor Yoga poses is the snake:

  1. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands on your shoulders.
  2. Lift up by straightening the arms and focus up–as though your eyes were also a part of the arch.
  3. Focus on pushing the pelvis down towards the floor–arching your back.
  4. And keep your shoulders down, as with virtually all Yoga poses.

Remember, all Yoga poses are meant to be held. You do not just reach the posture. Instead you reach it and remain there–thirty seconds, a minute etc. Holding, breathing, the asana, and the pranayama, this is how the balance is earned. In all Yoga poses you will find that you can stretch further and further each time. There are many other yoga poses and techniques out there–go find the perfect kind of yoga for you!

Wonderfully Fit

The Basic Facts About Nutrients, Macronutrients and Micronutrients

In the complex, elegant system called the human body, the nutrients that are ingested and absorbed are essential for the growth, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the trillions of cells of the organs and tissues that do the body’s work. These nutrients are the substances in the foods and beverages we ingest.

Nutrition is the sum total of the interaction between the foods we eat-our diets-and the ways in which our bodies process, use, and are nourished by the nutrients in those foods. Although human bodies are incredibly adaptable and may maintain themselves for a long time when nutrition is inadequate or improper, optimum health is dependent on optimum nutrition. When proper amounts of nutrients are lacking or out of balance, or when nutrients are not adequately processed, dysfunction, ill health, and disease are inevitable.


Nutrients for Life

Scientists and researchers are still learning to define optimal nutrition and understand how nutrients affect health and disease. So far, more than 40 nutrients have been identified as substances that are essential to life. They are grouped into six categories or classes. These classes are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, some minerals, and water are considered to be macronutrients, because the body needs them in large quantities. Vitamins and most minerals (often called trace minerals) are needed in relatively small amounts and are referred to as micronutrients. They are essential because they enable the body to use its macronutrients. No single food contains all essential nutrients, but most foods are a source of one or more in varying degrees. People must ingest a variety of foods in order to nourish their bodies.

Energy And Fuel

One of the most important functions of nutrients is to provide the fuel that powers the body’s functions. Glucose is the sugar from carbohydrates that provides the major source of fuel for the body, its organs, and its cells, but fats are another important source. When necessary, proteins can also be used as fuel. These macronutrients provide the body with 100% of its energy. Energy is measured in calories. Some foods, such as cheeseburgers, are calorie dense, while others, such as celery, provide few calories.

How much food is required to provide enough energy depends on the kinds of foods a person eats, as well as a person’s activity level, age, and size. In other words, how much energy is used up and how quickly it is used depends on individual factors and is never standard for all people at all times in their lives.

Because of the energy supplied by these macronutrients, muscles move, lungs breathe, and hearts beat. Bodies use the energy to maintain the correct temperature. Cells build the proteins that do the work in the body. With too few calories, cell activity and organ function falter. A complete lack of energy (meaning zero calories consumed) would lead to cell death and organ failure from starvation within about 8 to 12 weeks.

If too many calories are taken, the body stores the excess as fat, in case extra energy is needed in the future. Every healthy person needs to have some fat stores for emergencies, but an excess amount leads to unhealthy body weight and stress on organs, which also can lead to disease.

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Should Seniors Exercise and What are the Benefits?

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As we grow older our bodies go through various changes. One of the best ways to ensure the health and fitness is to practice safe senior exercise in our retirement years. Many doctors will often prescribe a regime of exercises that are safe and effective. However, due to the fact that many seniors are dealing with different degrees of various illnesses and health concerns, every senior exercise routine should be tailored to meet each individual’s health needs.

It is best to choose simple forms of senior exercise if you haven’t been steadily training or exercising in your former years. Always consult with your physician before embarking on a new method of exercise. However, once you receive your physician’s OK; you should feel confident in beginning your routine.

senior exercise

A great way to learn a new workout is to use a senior exercise video or DVD. Aerobics is a wonderful workout and it keeps the heart healthy and strong. If your doctor has given you a target heart rate to maintain, then consider choosing an aerobic senior exercise workout video.

For those who suffer with painful arthritis, senior exercise may be prescribed as a form of therapy. You can find special arthritis based workouts that will slowly help you move and restore flexibility to your joints. Continuing to exercise is one of the most beneficial tools that you have to fight off the painful stiffness of arthritis.

Some seniors have limited mobility and there are many seated exercises that you can still perform. Choosing a video or DVD that will instruct you in these exercises is a great way to keep flexible and healthy. Many seniors choose to perform yoga for its stretching and toning benefits. This gentle form of exercise will help keep the spine flexible and supple.

One of the most effective forms of senior exercise available today is good old-fashioned walking. Walking can help keep the hips strong and flexible, keep the legs toned, and improve circulation throughout the entire body. Try walking whenever possible to receive these life saving benefits. You can avoid many sicknesses and illnesses just by increasing circulation and keeping the body in a lifestyle of motion.

Many active seniors prefer to exercise through hobbies such as dancing and swimming. Most senior communities will include a health club, fitness room, swimming pool, and offer dance lessons. Weight training is also beneficial in senior years, and research is showing that a weight-training regime can help prevent bone loss in seniors.

By participating in the exercise programs offered in your senior community you are taking the best course of action to maintain your level of health, as well as to improve your current state of health. Whether it is swimming, dancing, weight training, yoga, playing golf or simply walking exercise is the key to enjoying your retirement years and limiting painful conditions.

Always follow your physician’s advice and consult with him or her before starting any new exercise routines. By living a lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, plenty of rest, and a reduction of stress, you can be sure that you are taking vital steps to ensure your health.