Exercise and Asthma

If you suffer from asthma, you probably think that you can’t exercise properly or safely. Contrary to what many think of this subject, there are ways that you can get in shape and exercise, even if you suffer from asthma.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that is marked by characteristics such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Asthma tends to occur with people who are genetically or environmentally presdisposed to the condition.

Some of the triggers that may start or make an attack worse include exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, airway irritants, exercise, and exposure to things such as dust mites or cockroaches.

You can prevent asthma attacks by doing the following: 1. Bathe your pets weekly.

2. Don’t smoke or permit smoking in your home.

3. When mold or pollent counts are high, you should stay inside with air conditioning.

4. Wash your bedding and any stuffed toys at least once per week in hot water.

5. Wash your hands every chance you get.

6. Get a flu shot.

7. Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in the winter months.

8. Be proactive and know your triggers and how you should avoid them.

Now that you know what you know about asthma, you may be wondering where exercise fits in. As most doctors will tell you, you shouldn’t give up on sports or exercise at all. You just have to be smart about how you play and take special pre cautions to avoid attacks.

Almost all doctors agree that the best way to prevent attacks during exercise is to keep your inhaler and medication close by. You should never use the inhaler more than 3 times during a game or exercise session. If you are up the previous night with coughing and wheezing, it’s always best to go light with your exercise the next day.

For something known as IEA (Exercise Induced Asthma), the symptoms are somewhat different, in the fact that they appear after 6 – 10 minutes of exercise and will often be worse in cold or dry air.

If you have IEA, there are several activities that you can enjoy such as swimming, walking, biking, downhill skiing, and team based sports. There are many activities for you to choose from, to ensure you get the exercise you need as well.

Keep in mind that the condition of asthma isn’t “all in your head”, it is a real physiological medical treatment that will require treatment to prevent and treat. Even though your doctor will be your best friend in treating asthma, you are the one who can prevent your symptoms.

Always be smart, take your medication, and be proactive. Don’t let it put you in a life of misery – as you can enjoy exercise just like everyone else.

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ThrowBack Exercises That Work

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Circuit training is one of the best ways to gain all round fitness and strength. Intensive circuit training can be done at home in sports halls as well as in the park. Each exercise is performed at a “station”. There are usually no or few weights involved. Generally, the exercises include:

There has never been a better time to start doing workouts at home, with the ever increasing number of Youtube videos and commercials for a small fee allowing you to do exactly what we have been doing for years, at no extra cost.

  • Press ups
  • Sit ups
  • Star jumps
  • Squat thrusts
  • Squats
  • Step ups (using the stairs)
  • Jumping onto steps with both feet together
  • Burpees (sort of star jump followed immediately by a squat thrust – a killer !)
  • Skipping
  • Sprints up and down hall
  • Running backwards, sideways etc.
  • Passing a football between two people, either back to back or

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Leg Workout (Heavy)

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Below is a leg workout I did with Nick this morning. It incorporates 3 sets of 3 moves with increasing weights for each set. The goal was to max out on the amount you are lifting by the 3rd set.

After the 3 sets, there is a quick burnout done.

I will include the dumbbell weights I used throughout the workout. Make sure to test what your limits are.

During the lunges and squats, I put on a 25 pound vest for extra weight.

Exercise 1: Lunges

10 reps (on each leg) of forward lunges with 25lbs in each hand + Vest (vest isn’t necessary)

30 second rest

10 reps (on each leg) of backward lunges with 30lbs in each hand + Vest

30 second rest

4 reps (on each leg) of forward lunges with 35lbs in each hand + Vest

30 second rest

(With it being my first time doing…

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The Best Way To Get A Flat Firm Stomach

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 Leon’s 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.

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The Connection Between Exercise And Brain Power

You shouldn’t begin engaging in regular physical activity only after you’ve already noticed a potential health threat. If you start exercising now, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, amount other health problems. Other benefits of exercise include weight loss and lower blood pressure.

However, regular physical activity won’t only keep your body healthy, but your brain as well. After all, your brain is no different than the muscles in your body. If you don’t stimulate and preserve it, you’ll be faced with certain problems.

Although you’ll experience mental health benefits from almost any type of workout, aerobic exercise is especially known for improving your brain health. Here are some of the main health benefits of exercise for mental health.

Exercise Improves Brain Growth

As you get older, your brain will start shrinking due to the decreased speed of the birth of new brain cells. Engaging in aerobic exercise will improve blood flow to the brain by increasing your heart rate. Increased blood flow means that more oxygen will get delivered to your brain, which will encourage the birth of new brain cells.

Exercise Fights Anxiety And Depression

When you’re depressed, your ability to process information will slow down significantly. This can cause memory problems, as well as difficulty with making decisions and concentrating. If you’re suffering from mild depression, then exercise may be all that you need in order to fight this disorder. For serious depression, you’ll most likely have to take antidepressants and exercise. The reason why exercise is known for fighting anxiety and depression is because it will increase your body’s production of feel-good brain chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are crucial if you want to experience happiness.

Exercise Decreases Stress

While some chemicals can improve your mental health, others will only harm it. One of the most dangerous chemicals is the stress hormone known as cortisol. Nowadays, stress is one of the most common causes of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Not only that, but stress can also cause memory loss and difficulty thinking. By decreasing cortisol levels, you’ll stimulate the growth of new nerve cells in a part of the brain known as dentate gyrus. This brain area is part of the hippocampus, which is linked to the creation of new memories. When you’re stressed out, the number of brain cells in the dentate gyrus becomes insanely low.

Exercise Improves Your Focus

It can be incredibly hard to focus in today’s world, with all the smartphones and numerous other distractions that we’re faced with almost every moment of the day. In order to focus on the task at hand properly, you’ll need to learn how to ignore these distractions. Thankfully, exercise will teach you discipline, thus making it easier for you to focus all of your attention on a particular task.

Exercise Will Help You Control You Emotions

If you tend to lose your calm or let your emotions control you often, then you should consider working out regularly. According to a study conducted by the Department of Psychology of the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, you can decrease emotional stress and increase emotional control just by exercising regularly.

Exercise Will Improve Your Self-Esteem

Having low self-esteem can lead to anxiety, depression and stress. It can also have a negative impact on your work or academic performance. In order to live a happy life, your self-esteem needs to be high. Thankfully, exercise is known to impact self-esteem positively in people of all ages. A review of 113 different studies was published in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology showed that your self-esteem is likely to change for the better if you exercise regularly.

 

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The Six Principles of Pilates

Pilates has always been noted as among the trendiest and most effective exercise programs around. It is currently one of the most popular fitness programs not just in the United States but in many countries across all continents. Among the best selling points of Pilates is that it works very well for a great range of people. It is popular among dancers, athletes, women, seniors, and even expecting moms. What makes the program effective?

There are six main principles that serve as important components or factors in a good Pilates workout. The method has always highlighted quality instead of quantity. Thus, unlike most other exercise systems, Pilates does not require numerous repetitions for every movement. Here are the six Pilates principles so you could better understand the philosophical foundations of the program.

Centering

In general, Pilates physically brings the focus of the entire exercise to the body’s center, which is considered as the powerhouse area. It is located in between the pubic bone and the lower ribs. Thus, you may notice that the exercise movements are energetically and strategically sourced from that center. This makes the program effective in focusing at the core.

Concentration

Unlike other exercise programs, Pilates methods require your full attention. The movements are not repetitive. You have to focus to be able to go on with the flow. Experts assert that if you would bring your full attention to Pilates movements and do them with your full commitment, you surely would attain maximum value and benefits from doing the program. Pilates could also serve as a practical test on how well you could control and target your focus.

Control

You would notice that every movement in Pilates should be done using complete muscular control. The methods are strategically developed to make sure no part of the body is left uncontrolled and missed out. To be able to attain the benefits, you have to learn how to control your movements and the pacing of the routines. It is like observing proper and correct form when exercising.

Precision

Awareness is effectively sustained throughout every movement in Pilates. Take note that there is an appropriate alignment in relation to body parts, placement, and overall trajectory for every muscle. The key to doing the methods in Pilates is in precision. Every movement should be performed correctly.

Breath

Joseph Pilates, the physical trainer who developed Pilates methods, emphasized the use of full breath when carrying out his exercise routines. He advised people to think of the lungs as bellows, which should be used strongly enough to pump air in and out (fully) of the body. Thus, you would notice that most Pilates movements are coordinating with the breath. Remember that breathing properly is a very integral part of Pilates.

Flow

Do the Pilates exercise program in a seemingly flowing manner. There should be grace, fluidity, and ease when doing every movement. If you do so, you would feel that the energy of the exercise is connecting with all the parts of the body and is flowing throughout the body in a very even way.

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