Brief Look at Pilates Movements

It is just logical that Pilates is currently one of the most popular exercise programs. More and more people are getting into it because of the health and physical benefits it provides. Other than that, peer influence is also one important factor that helps make the popularity of the exercise program further rise.

Pilates involves a great deal of physical discipline. A person needs to be properly motivated to be able to conduct the tasks involved. The activity is also very relaxing. Many people assert that Pilates helps them achieve overall relaxation after a long day of work. Through proper breathing techniques along with required body movements in the exercise, people could achieve physical coordination, strength training, and relaxation at the same time.

pilates

Indeed, Pilates helps people not just achieve physical goals. The exercise also helps them improve body balance and overall posture. Specifically, Pilates is aimed at helping people develop balance between aligning spine and proper breathing (inhalation and exhalation). Let us look at the basic movements when doing the exercise routines in Pilates.

The footwork

More emphasis is given to footwork in Pilates. That is because muscles in the legs and in the lower part of the body are the main focus and source of strength in the exercise. Surely, you would be moving your body muscles but control and balance is dictated by the biggest muscle group, which consists of the foot and lower body muscle group.

You could choose to do a variety of Pilates footwork tasks. You could take in combo or single exercises. The combo exercises are naturally consisting of a set of leg exercises infused and integrated into a Pilates exercise. Example of which is the ballet combo, which is an integration of a number of ballet movements specially modified for Pilates. There is also the sleeper style of exercises for Pilates.

Lying positions

Other than the footwork, you should also be aware of the different supine or lying positions when doing the exercise. Such exercises really help the body achieve total relaxation. Take note that while the body is in the relaxed state during supine positions, movements still are burning calories to achieve benefits similar to those from regular exercises.

Supine positions could be strategic if you would observe proper form. This is why you should be guided by a professional. Attending a regular Pilates class is one way to learn effective and proper lying positions in the program.

Rowing movements

If you are observing Pilates exercises, you must have noticed that there are tasks that resemble movements in rowing. Such movements are also recommended and are required in every Pilates session because they facilitate proper coordination between breathing and different muscle groups all across the body.

Overall, you would notice that Pilates exercise routines involve a combination of footwork, supine positions, and rowing movements all rolled into one. It could be the main reason why Pilates is very effective in extracting sweat from your body, which in turn helps burn up stored body calories.

 

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Breathing, Exercise and Eating

If I had not gone through several diet and exercise programs, I would not believe the connection that the elements of breathing, exercise and eating share. Since I have however, received quite an education in these three areas, I can vouch for the certain fact that they are all interrelated and do affect the body individually and jointly.

Now, the eating and exercise you may have already figured out, but are you aware of the role our breathing plays in providing the body with the oxygen needed for maximum metabolism? No, most people aren’t.

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This is how the process works. In order to metabolize food, the body needs certain elements to come together and create the right conditions for food breakdown. Oxygen is one of the elements. The more oxygen we add to the process, the better our metabolic process can work to properly utilize the energy from the food we have consumed.

It is here that our breathing plays a key role in the metabolic process. The deeper, and more efficiently we breathe, the more oxygen we consume. The more oxygen we consume, the more we provide to the metabolic process. Makes sense doesn’t it?

What role does exercise play in this process? Well, exercise conditions our body to keep it in optimal shape. To keep muscles functioning correctly and build muscle mass. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn; the more calories we burn, the better our metabolism is at using up the calories we take in through food consumption.

Can you begin to see how our body is really a well functioning machine? It’s a continual circle of events, one feeding off the other. When all the events are coming together properly, we are healthy, happy individuals. It’s only when abuse of the system begins to occur, that we put our bodies in jeopardy. Perhaps is we educated our children, while they are young, about the dangers of abusing their body, we would have better equipped young adults. We educate them about the dangers of household appliances that are incorrectly operated, about the danger of driving recklessly, and improper operation of the car they’re driving; we just don’t take the time to educate them about the most important piece of equipment they will ever operate, their own body.

Exercise, breathing properly and healthy eating are the ingredients vital to the proper operation of the body. Of all the things we ever learn, of all the thoughts we ever entertain, or the abilities we acquire as we grow, our health and the means to maintain it, are the most important. Nothing else works unless our mind and body have been kept in working condition. Have you ever noticed someone who is paralyzed? So many of the choices they could make about how to spend their time, playing sports, skiing, or swimming, have been taken away. The same is true for someone who has abused their body to the point of being an invalid; so many of the choices that could have been made to enrich their lives, have been taken away.

 

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Agility Training for the Football Player

Agility training has become an integral part of football training at both the high school and college levels. In order for players to play at championship levels they must have power, speed and agility. It isn’t enough to just be strong and not sufficient to be very fast. Players must also have the ability to turn instantly, stay on their feet and out-maneuver the opposing team.

There is a science to the approach of teaching players agility. It isn’t enough to build endurance through long runs or speed through interval training or speed work. These all develops specific muscle groups, but by developing agility the player also hones his neuromuscular system and engages more of his muscles to perform the same motion.

agility training

Players who are agile on their feet are able to maintain their balance during direction changes, starting, slowing or stopping. It also helps the player the chance to develop better kinesthetic awareness, and stronger neuromuscular coordination that increase control of the body and prevent injuries.

The cornerstone of agility is explosive start speed, better reaction time, more stable balance, stronger footwork, and more reliable acceleration. For players to achieve these things, coaches must use less than ideal tools, the unreliable body of the player. Utilizing exercises like as traditional, the standing broad jump, tires, repeated short distance runs or explosive starts over a distance of between five to 30 yards.

But today agility training for football players, and other ball related sports such as soccer and basketball, must include other forms of training to improve their skills. High school players are starting from a point where they are bigger and naturally stronger than in past years which means they need more aggressive training to achieve good results.

One way of teaching agility to even larger players are the ladder drills. These drills can take many forms and teach the player to move their feet quickly in and out of small slots while maintaining balance and changing direction. Coaches can encourage explosive speed by directing a 30 yard sprint at the end of each pass over the ladder.

Another new addition endurance and agility training is proprioception training. This is a means of muscle training that physical therapists have been using in rehabilitation for many years. Only recently have coaches discovered the benefits for their players.

Proprioceptors are special biochemical receptors in the muscles, joints, tendons and inner ear which collectively provide us with a strong understanding of the body’s general position, and the positioning of body parts, body parts. Proprioception training puts a strong focus on the development of core muscles in the abdomen and back in order to improve balance.

When it comes to joint stability, balance is necessary. Without the joint being balanced, a player becomes at risk for developing an injury. Proprioception increases balance and by improving stability also decreases the risk of injury. Part of the training forces the body needing work onto uneven surfaces which develops significantly improved overall strength and endurance.

Tools for proprioception training can include cones, plyoboxes, balls that are weighted to the player’s needs, ropes, ladders with flat rungs, and agility mats or dots. Other training items that are more specific to proprioception are trampolines, wobble boards and dyna-discs, all increase the balance ability of the player.

Including agility training for football players will only help to improve their overall performance and decrease their rate of joint injuries. Both of these factors will help to keep the player on the field all season and improve the overall level of play for the entire team.

 

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Quick Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

There are a lot of people who would give a lot to increase their metabolism. Having a high level of metabolism enables one to maintain burn fat and lose weight fast with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the rate by which the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life.

There are several factors that affect the metabolism of a person, such as the amount of muscle tissue, the frequency of the meals one consumes, genetics, stress levels, personal diet and activity levels. Metabolism slows done due to the following: loss of muscle because of not enough physical activity, the tendency of the body to cannibalize its own tissue because there is not enough food energy to sustain it, and the decrease of physical activity that comes naturally with old age.

metabolism

Here are several ways to fire up one’s metabolism:

  1. Build up on lean, mean body mass. It is only natural that metabolism decreases along with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential. Build strength and resistance by working out at least twice a week, preferably with weights. Do easy exercises in between workouts. Simple tasks such as walking the dog and using the stairs in place of the elevator can already take off calories. The key is to match the amount of eating to the amount of activity one has. Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:

For strength training

-Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
-Add the level of resistance
-Utilize advance exercise techniques if possible

For cardiovascular training

-Insert intervals between exercises
-Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
-Add up on resistance and speed

  1. Eat breakfast. A lot of people are ignoring the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Surprisingly, the ones who eat breakfast are thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during mid-morning or if one waits until the afternoon to eat.

  2. Avoid sugar. Sugar enables the body to store fat. It is recommended that a person consumes food that helps sustain an even level of blood-sugar. Additionally, progressive execerise 2-3 times a week should be in order to stabilize blood sugar.

  3. Eat spicy foods. Hot cuisine with peppers can increase metabolism.

  4. Sleep more. According to research, it is riskier for people who do not get enough sleep to gain weight. Also, muscles are regenerated during the last couple of hours of slumber.

  5. Increase water intake. Water flushes out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat. Majority of bodily functions involves water, and lack of water causes the body system’s operations to decrease its speed, and produces unneeded stress as a result.

  6. Eat smaller meals. It is advisable to consume 4 to 6 small meals that are timed 2 to 3 hours apart.

  7. Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake since it slows down metabolism.

  8. Plan meals in detail. Always prepare the right amount of food to be consumed at the designated intervals. Do not commit the mistake of eating meals in sporadic patterns.

  9. Ditch the stress! Stress, be it physical or emotional, triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism. Also, people tend to eat excessively when stressed.

  10. Guzzle up on green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has the ability to stimulate metabolism, and unlike coffee, it has no undesirable side effects when too much is consumed.

  11. Include more energy foods in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Achieving the desired body weight is never impossible if one has the determination and patience needed to stabilize the metabolism level, which plays an important role in weight loss. A person needs to realize that eating right and working out is not just a passing fancy, but a way of life.

 

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Run For Your Life ( Running Or Jogging Tips)

There are different reasons why people engage in running or jogging. Some run for health reasons, which means that they see running as a way to get physically fit. Others are more specific in their goals and motivations on hitting the road. There are runners who engage in the activity to lose that excess weight. Still, others see running as a means to release stress and tension.

There is another group of runners who enjoy this form of sport for the simple fact that they find it leisurely. Running can actually be a leisurely way of spending time with family and friends, or a way of meeting new acquaintances, and even starting new relationships. For the more serious, running is for sports and competition. To compete with other runners or joggers in a race gives them their natural high.

running

Whatever the reason may be, running and jogging are definitely beneficial to a person’s well-being. A person who is into regular jogging or engages in a running program is bound to be physically fit. Running burns fat and enables a person to lose more calories per minute as compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercise.

Running also helps prevent muscle and bone loss that naturally accompanies old age. The pressure that is created on the knees and legs during running actually help strenghten bones, muscles and ligaments —- provided that one runs in a proper manner. Regular daily tasks such as sitting in front of the computer the whole day weakens the bones unlike when one goes for a run. Regular, high-intensity exercises have been proven to encourage human growth hormone, keeping our internal anatomy from getting old fast while helping us to look young and vibrant.

The ability to resist illness is another benefit that can be attributed to running or jogging. Amazingly, it reduces the risk of heart stroke and breast cancer that doctors have made it a point to include regular running as a treatment option for those patients with early signs of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. The risk of heart attack is greatly reduced by running which lowers blood pressure and maintains the elasticity of arteries.

Running also aids in raising HDL or good cholesterol, reducing the risk of blood clotting, and promotes 50% of lung function that is usually not being used. Also, the immune system gets that needed boost from running by producing a higher concentration of lymphocytes or white blood cells that is crucial in fighting illnesses.

The list of the rewards you can get from running does not end with improved health but extends to psychological benefits as well.

As if the health benefits of having a regular jogging or running program is not enough, there are also mental or psychological advantages and rewards to be reaped from running such as building your self-esteem and self-confidence, gaining an effective tool for stress management, the attitude boost, and the runner’s high.

Running allows the person to have a sense of pride, empowerment and freedom due to the knowledge that his/her body is at its best and capable of climbing the uphill or clearing the obstacles on the way. The confidence-building and improved self-image goes hand-in-hand with losing weight. Running builds confidence like few other individual sports can. It allows the runner to defeat trial after trial, growing stronger and more sure of themselves with each stroke and stride.

It allows a runner to literally climb hills, overcome mountains, and clear obstacles. It provides a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that your legs and body are strong and capable. Confidence is even more a product of running for those who lose weight and gain a better self-image through running. Indeed, a day’s jogging can greatly reduce stress levels and tension.

In spite of the great benefits attributed to running and jogging, one must not overlook the fact that caution is needed in everything. Too much running may cause a person to lose a lot of fluids in the body more than what he/she takes in. This will result to dehydration. Dehydration will not only cause a runner to slow down but can also cause muscle spasms in the legs due to the depletion of essential electrolytes in the body. Muscle spasm is the involuntary contraction of a muscles in the legs that is which can last for a few seconds or may extend to several minutes, and is often very painful. Sometimes, it is called “charley horse.”

The muscle does not simply relax by a mere wishful thinking. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises may help the muscle to relax a bit. More often than not, people actually contract other muscles in response to the pain of a charley horse, which can make the duration of the muscle spasm longer. To counter dehydration, one must restore the proper balance of water in the body. Stay away from caffeine in coffee, sodas, and tea. Caffeine is a diuretic. It makes you urinate more frequently than you usually need to.

Before you engage in a running or jogging program, be sure to consult your doctor to check on the condition of your health, especially your heart. Make sure your limbs are properly stretched to avoid any muscle injuries. Drink lots of water or other fluids to avoid dehydration.

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Keep Your Inner Body Healthy

The human body has daily rhythms that seem to be governed by what scientists now regard as a “biological clock.” Heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and urine excretion all have varying levels (peaks during the day and troughs that occur at night). Such functions are also known as “circadian rhythms.”

Although environmental clues sometimes influence these rhythms, such as the light and dark cycles, many rhythms persist when environmental clues are removed.

body

In experiments designed to understand the workings of the body’s inner clocks, people were observed as they lived for weeks with neither social nor geophysical cues, such as set meal times and light-dark cycles. The basic rhythms continued.

The most well-known circadian rhythm is that of body temperature, which varies daily only a degree or two in a healthy person, peaking in late afternoon and dropping during early morning hours.

The temperature rhythm persists when the individual does not follow daily routine, such as periods when one is confined to bed for 24 hours, or when meal time is varied, or when no food is eaten during fast periods.

Levels of blood sugar, essential to body fuel, start decreasing about noon. By 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., the body has used up much of its supply. This aspect of rhythm explains why diabetics experience low blood sugar in the morning.We have all heard our body grumble when it needs to be fed; it growls and screams at us for not looking after it. Hunger pains should not be ignored, they are your body’s way of signaling that it is in need of something. If you break your meals into smaller, more frequent meals this will help to quell the hunger pains.

But when your body is being fed junk, it does fill the gap, but the body starts to realize that every heartbeat will get tougher and tougher to achieve if we constantly input unhealthy foods loaded with saturated fats and preservatives into our systems everyday.

Natural health foods are not available to just make you look good; they are there to make you feel good, as well as to be able to achieve that greater feeling of overall well-being. Natural foods are essential for maintaining the proper balance in our bodies.

You do not have to jump straight in the deep end either when looking for health natural foods; there are books designed to help the beginner start to gain a healthier body.

These books will help you make decisions, such as what type of healthy natural food you should be looking at buying, as well as how to achieve and maintain a health body.
The greatest medicine can be the food that we eat. Don’t just rely on taking supplements, be sure to eat the most naturally healthy foods as well. Natural health supplements should be an addition to a natural health diet, nit something to take in place of one.

Healthy bodies maintained properly will not only help our immune systems, but it will also improve our overall health. With the various new viruses and other diseases coming up every day it is essential now more than ever to maintain a healthy immune system.

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