Is Exercise A Dirty Word?

We all know that exercising is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. we do it? What if you could give yourself permission to start small in your exercising still feel good about yourself?

Exercise is essentially movement using various muscle groups. By this definition, almost any sort of activity can be considered exercise. The more your muscles and body work to keep going, the stronger they become.

There are many benefits to exercising, such as increased energy, weight loss, and even reducing the risk diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

Before you begin any new exercise regimen, it is very important that you consult your doctor, start out slowly and increase your regimen in simple steps.

Start Exercising Slowly

Leading a healthy lifestyle means eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. What do you do if exercise is that one thing that you can’t bring yourself to follow through with on a regular basis? We lead busy lives and can always find a reason or two not to exercise. What if you allow yourself to start slowly? Think about these easy steps:

-Take an extra flight of stairs instead of the elevator.

-Instead of priding yourself in finding the closest parking spot, cheer yourself when you park a little further away and walk to your destination.

-Walk in place or do some stretching in front of the TV during commercials.

-Every hour or two, stop work and do some stretching.

-Reduce emails and phone calls and take a walk to speak with a co-worker.

-Walk around the block after lunch – this simple act will make a difference in your level of energy throughout the afternoon.

-Turn cleaning the house into an exercise experience.

create your own list of ‘muscle movements’ throughout the keep it simple.

Different Types of Exercising

If you are ready to start a formal fitness program in your life, find an activity that you enjoy doing. Don’t choose an exercise program because everyone else in doing it. If you hate lifting weights or walking on the treadmill, find something that you love to do that gets you up and moving. You’ll be far more successful if you like the activity.

There are different types of exercise including running, biking, aerobic classes, yoga, and walking. The best strategy for incorporating beneficial exercise into your lifestyle is to do a variety of exercises. For instance, a good exercise regimen will include both cardio (biking, swimming, running) with weight training.

How about Pilates? This form of exercising is low impact and gentle on the body. Pilates often focuses on the “core” muscles that are around your midsection. Pilates aims to tone and strengthen the body’s muscles.

Another option to get you moving is to join a sports team. There are many types of sports that you can choose to play depending on your interests: basketball, soccer, volleyball, bowling, or baseball.

Group exercises are another choice that you can make when it comes to getting in your weekly quota of physical fitness. Some popular choices of group exercises include belly dancing, kickboxing, hip-hop dance, and all levels of step classes. When you exercise with a group of people you’re often more motivated to keep going since being part of a group with the similar goal of getting in shape is a powerful incentive.

There are specific Chinese forms of exercise that you may want to explore:

-T’ai Chi. This form of Chinese exercise uses movement to achieve peace and harmony in your mind and body. -Yoga. Yoga uses certain body postures to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and relieve the physical symptoms of ill health.

-Martial arts. Use a variety of marital arts, such as Kung Fu, to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

-Qi Gong. This form of Chinese activity combines breathing exercises and mental exercises to prevent as well as treat health problems and disease.

Final Thoughts

One mistake that many people make when they’re deciding to get into shape is to tackle the entire concept of “fitness” at one time. Incorporating fitness into your life takes time and won’t happen overnight. Your body, mind, and spirit need time to adjust to the many changes that will be happening as you start to add exercise to your daily routine. This is why fitness in small steps is so important and will ensure that you’re less likely to quit when you become overwhelmed with the changes in your life.

Exercise is essential if you’re going to lead and maintain a healthy life. Select your favorite form of exercise and stick with it so you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and mind.

Copyright (c) 2008 Pat Brill

Could Exercise Really Help To Protect Against Skin Cancer?

The benefits of exercise to the skin have become more and more apparent over the past couple of years. It has been established that exercise provides great benefits in ways there were not ever thought of. When combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise can dramatically help to produce healthy, glowing skin.

However, not only can exercise help with a glowing complexion, it has also been proven to dramatically cut the risk of skin cancer. With skin cancer being such a massive threat these days, anything that can seriously cut the risk of developing it is definitely a positive thing!

Exercise and Skin Cancer:

The tests that were done to prove the link between exercise and skin cancer, were carried out on mice. It was shown that mice who had exercise wheels, and who were exposed to ultra violet light, had a reduced chance of developing tumours than those who did not have a wheel. This does not mean that they did not develop the cancer; it just took longer exposure for them to actually get it.

It is thought that the results are the same with humans, only obviously we wear sunscreen to protect ourselves so we have even less risk of developing the cancer if we exercise and protect ourselves. It is thought that the less fat we have in our body, the less chance we have of developing the cancer.

Although the tests have shown that the mice fought off the cancer for longer, scientists have yet to discover what it is exactly that helps fight it. It seems that the mice were able to destroy the skin cells which had been damaged by the sun’s UV rays once they had undertaken regular exercise, and now the challenge the scientists face, is finding out exactly what it is that helps fight the effects of the rays.

It is obviously better for the body all around if you keep it fit and healthy. Being overweight can really put a real strain on the body, and you are generally more likely to be unhealthy if you are overweight, than if you were the right weight for your height. This means that if we exercise and control our weight, our bodies will be healthier and they will help us to fight off more illnesses, such as skin cancer, than we could if we were overweight.

So there are serious links with exercise and the reduction of skin cancer, but what is the best exercise to participate in?

The Best Types of Exercise:

Generally any exercise is good, but there are some that are better than others. Walking may be considered to be one of the best methods of exercise as it is the easiest to do, but some experts argue that walking is just not enough to provide the best results. However, if you power walk then you are going to achieve better results than slow walking!

Anything that gets the heart rate going and that makes you sweat is definitely the best type of exercise that you can do. Never try and do too much however, you should only go at a pace which you can handle and which is right for you, otherwise you could end up doing more harm than good.

So, whether you want to do jogging, horse riding, swimming or aerobics, as long as it gets your heart rate going, it is doing you some good. Aim to do at least thirty minutes each day, that way you will get the best possible results for you. You should notice that your skin starts to look a little clearer and that you feel more energized after around a week.

Overall, any exercise you choose to do will benefit the skin and help you to fight off skin cancer cells. Keeping yourself fit and healthy has never been as easy as it is today so there really is no excuse!

Starting An Exercise Program

You know you need to exercise but have no idea how to start. What exercises will work the best for you? How much physical movement do you need? How do you find the time in your busy schedule to start an exercise routine?

If you have been inactive for a long time, consult with your doctor before you attempt any exercise program. Set a practical, sensible goal, one that is reachable for you. If you cannot exercise every day, do not worry, any physical movement is better than none and will benefit your body.


How much exercise is reasonable and how much do you need? A good goal for most people is to exercise at least every other day and spend at least 30-60 minutes doing it. However, if you are just starting out, DO NOT attempt 30-60 minutes.


Start out slowly! You cannot expect to easily workout for 60 minutes if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle for a long time. Begin with 10 minutes of light exercise or vigorous walking every day and gradually increase the intensity and length of your workout.


During the course of your day, there are a number of tricky ways to incorporate some exercise into your routine.

*Walk or bicycle to work.

*Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

*Take a walk on your lunch or coffee break.

*Get up and walk around your desk or office every 30 minutes.

*Do your housework at a rapid pace.

*Do yard or garden work (raking, mowing, tilling, planting, etc.)


How do you keep from getting bored and frustrated with your exercise routine? The tips below may help you stick with it:

*Make your exercising more fun by incorporating some enjoyable activities into your routine. Read, watch TV, or listen to music while you are riding a stationary bicycle.

*Learn how to dance.

*Learn how to play a sport.

*Choose something you take pleasure in doing. For instance, roller skating or inline staking is excellent exercise and a lot of fun.

*If you decide to walk every day, find a partner to go with you. Having someone to talk to can make the time go faster and make the experience more enjoyable all around.

*Change your routine. If you get bored easily, do different activities on different days. Walk one day, ride your bike the next day. Play basketball one day, dance the next day. You get the idea.

*Choose a time of the day that works best for you. Do not exercise too soon after eating.

*Try not to get discouraged. It can take weeks before you notice changes in your body. It will happen and it will benefit your body in so many ways.

Remember, do not give up. The key to beginning a successful exercise program is to start slowly and sensibly. Try to find creative and appealing ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine.

Exercise To Detoxify Your Body

When most people think about a body detox system they often think that the only way to work with this is through diet and nutrition. The truth of the matter is that detoxification can be greatly implemented by the use of movement and exercise; In fact, some people say that detoxification is something that cannot happen without it! Any way you look at it, you’ll find that moving your body freely and with enthusiasm is something that many people agree will make you feel better. The symptoms that are addressed by full body detox, including lethargy, constant loss of energy and depression, can all be addressed through exercise as well, so when you are looking into a natural body detox, make sure that exercise is part of your regimen.

When you are thinking about a full body detox, you will need to think of the ways that toxins actually leave your body. You’ll find that your skin is actually one of your major eliminative organs, and that you can get a lot of the toxins out of your body by sweating them out. Take some time to think, though, about the last time you sweat. Whether it is due to wearing clothes that are too tight, or don’t allow your skin to breathe because they are synthetic, you’ll find that sweating is something that we often take pains not to do. Similarly, the masses of skin care products that we put into our skin can also be quite difficult when it comes to making sure that toxins are leaving our bodies, so make sure you think about what this has to do with your body detox plan.

Good exercise can help this out a great deal. When you exercise, your body is allowed to sweat freely, and you’ll find that toxins will be removed from your skin. When exercising make sure that you wear loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers. This will allow you to really get the toxins out when you are working out. Working out will also increase your circulation, allowing your body to fuel the metabolic processes that help you during a natural body detox.

The important thing to remember is that your exercise should not be a source of stress, as stress, after all, is another thing that can cause toxic buildup in our systems. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and make sure that it is one you want to stick with. Whether you are a dancer, a martial artist, someone who loves treadmills or someone who prefers tae bo or jazzercise. You’ll find that there is a great deal of different exercises out there for you that can help you with a full body detox. Take some time to really consider what you are doing and why; don’t keep doing one exercise over and over again, take some time to find a few that you like and rotate to keep from being bored.

Exercise is an important part of any good body detox plan, so make sure that you don’t take it lightly. The more you like your exercise regimen, the more you’ll want to do it, and you’ll find that with just a little bit of work, you can really get into the swing of your chosen body detox system and feel great.

Exercises For Seniors

Walking at a brisk pace is simply the single best exercise you can perform. If you are fifty years of age or older, it should be your activity of choice. To reach your goal of optimal health, resolve today to begin a regular program of walking, at a pace which will provide an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Before beginning any exercise routine, especially after age fifty, you would be wise to consult your physician. If there is anything on your chart that would call for caution, your doctor will so advise you. I am sixty five years of age and I enjoy brisk walking for one hour each day. I am careful not to exceed my maximum heart rate which is 155 beats per minute.

The target heart rate for me, for the greatest benefit, is seventy to eighty five percent of the maximum heart rate. That would be anywhere between 109 and 132 beats per minute. I maintain a rate of 120 beats per minute throughout my walk. You might not be able to exercise every day and you do not need to. If you are walking for 30 minutes three times a week or every other day that will be sufficient as long as you are training at a pace which will raise your pulse to the target rate for aerobic conditioning. If your heart rate is higher than the target for your age, slow down.

Taking your pulse as you walk is easy. Wear a watch and midway through your walk, stop for a few seconds to check your heart rate. This can be done by gently touching your neck or left wrist. When you feel the pulse, count the number of beats for a period of 10 seconds. Now multiply that by six. If for example you are 55 years of age and counted 22 heart beats in the 10 second time frame, your training heart rate is 132 beats per minute. That fits perfectly within the desirable range of seventy percent to eighty five percent of the maximum heart rate of 165 beats per minute.

Now you might be inclined to say you don?t need to walk, you get enough exercise doing the household chores or walking to the car. Perhaps you play golf or go bowling. All of these activities are signs of life because while performing them, you are moving, but walking is different. Other exercises are good. Walking is great.

Here are just a few of the reasons for you to consider walking for health and well being. The degree of difficulty is low. You warm up and cool down by performing the exact same motion used during the walk, only you walk a little slower. It is a low intensity exercise with more time spent at a less strenuous level. You can do it alone or with friends. You can take your dog with you. During times of severe or inclement weather, you can move to an indoor track or mall.

Walking is basically an injury free activity, especially when compared to jogging. It is an excellent stress manager. No special skills are needed. No special equipment is required other than comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. Walking briskly provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. It develops muscle tone, endurance, strength and agility.

Walking out of doors amid pleasant surroundings gives you time and space to reflect. A good walk can lift you out of depressions, clear the mind, lift the spirit and even set the stage for problem solving later that day. You will lose fat, improve circulation, and expel waste matter through the lungs and skin. Increased intestinal motility results from the gentle swaying of the internal organs. Finally, walking fine tunes the metabolism, regulates the appetite, and increases your energy.

If you are between 50 and 100, a regular program of exercise can change your life and go a long way towards the prevention of diseases associated with aging. Why not get started this week? Speak to your doctor. Line up some comfortable clothing and break out those walking shoes. Aerobic walking is the best exercise, the best means, to eliminate or prevent sickness and suffering from your life, while extending your life expectancy.

Intense And One Of The Best Abs Workout

What I have outlined below is a very intense abdominal workout. You are encouraged to follow this but remember without a strict diet the training will not mean much. When training your midsection, I feel that you should either start with lower abdominal exercises where the legs come towards the chest (leg raises, knee-ins), and then finish with upper abdominal exercises where the chest comes towards the hips and oblique muscles (sit ups, crunches, machines, side crunches). The abdominal exercises for your lower abs are usually harder, which is why I believe that you are better do those exercises first in your workout. Another way to use this approach is to alternate between a lower abdominal exercise and an upper abdominal exercise, and then finish up with your oblique muscles. Let’s discuss the best exercises to maximally develop your abdominal muscles. Hanging Leg Raises: I believe that hanging leg raises for your lower abdominal muscles are like doing squats for legs and bench press for chest. This exercise is the hardest exercise for the abs, but it will also give you the best results. The hardest part of this exercise is to contract your legs up with your abdominal muscles, and to not let the rest of your body become involved in the exercise, causing your body to start swinging. This will take some practice as well as concentration. I would also recommend that you use wrist wraps with this exercise so that you don’t have to worry about your hands slipping off the bar. For sets and reps on this exercise I recommend starting off with two to three sets, while aiming to get 10-15 reps on each set. If you can do more reps per set, I wouldn’t recommend going over 20 reps, and if you can I would advise that you try putting a very light dumbbell in between your feet to add some resistance to the exercise. This would allow you to keep your reps in the 15-20 range.

Decline Crunches: Decline crunches are the second best mass builder for the abdominal muscles. Similar to the hanging leg raise being the hardest exercise for the lower abs, this exercise, when performed at a steep decline is the hardest exercise for the upper abs. When performing this exercise you want to keep your lower back really tight and keep your chest up through out each rep. As far as hand positioning goes I like to keep them across my chest if you are not holding a weight plate. Breathing technique is also very important with abdominal training to get a maximal contraction on each rep. On the negative portion of the rep you should be taking a deep breath, and then exhaling at the contraction while squeezing your abs. For this exercise the sets and reps should be similar to the hanging leg raise. However, with decline crunches I feel the reps should stay in the 15-25 range for two to three sets. What I like to do with this exercise is perform the first set with no weight for 25 reps. On the second set I will hold a 25 lbs plate and perform 20 reps. For the last set I will go up to a 45 lb plate and do 15 reps, then drop the 45 lb plate and grab the 25 lb plate and do another 15 reps, then do another 15 reps with my own bodyweight.

Cross Bench Knee-Ins: This is somewhat of a difficult exercise to describe on paper but I will do my best. For cross bench knee-ins (seated flat bench leg pull-ins) you position your body across a bench and place your hands with an underhand on either side of the bench. Your butt should be positioned at the far edge of the pad, almost like you’re going to slip off and keep your legs out in front of you. You then want to balance your body with your hands and your legs while keeping your abs tight. Now what you want to do is perform a knee-in in the position you are in. In the contracted position you want to bring your chest towards your knees and squeeze your abs for a hard contraction. This exercise will target the lower abdominal region as well as the upper abdominal region. I feel that this exercise should only be used with bodyweight, keeping your reps in the 15-20 range for 2-3 sets. If you are really strong with this exercise you could place a light dumbbell in between your feet to add some resistance, but I would still try to keep your reps up in the 15-20 range.

Kneeling Rope Pulley Crunches: Another great exercise that targets the upper abdominal region is rope pulley crunches (cable crunches) with added resistance. This exercise is pretty easy to explain, you basically just kneel in front of a cable station while holding the ropes over your head. One key point is to make sure your knees are in the right position in front of the cable stack or you will not feel the exercise correctly. When you’re set correctly in front of the stack, you then pull down on the ropes while contracting your abs. At the end of the rep the ropes should be pulled down on either side of your head, then slowly let the rope come back up to stretch your abs before performing another rep. For sets and reps I feel that three sets of 15-20 reps should be sufficient on this exercise. Start your first set with a lighter weight and work up to heavier weights through out the set. If you want you could even perform a triple drop set on this exercise going from a heavier weight to lighter weights, but I do not feel it is necessary if you already performed a triple drop set on the decline crunch.

Cable Side Bends: The last exercise in this workout is cable side bends for the oblique and intercostal muscles. For this exercise you want to have a handle attachment on the cable, with a moderate weight on the stack. You then want to grab the handle and take a few steps away from the cable stack so that there is tension on the cable. Using the handle on the cable you want to pull down and squeeze your side to contract you oblique muscles. After you perform one set for one side of your body turn around and perform another set for your other side right after. I do not feel that a lot of oblique work is necessary but this is one exercise that I find valuable to add to your workouts. For this exercise 2-3 sets of 20-25 reps should be more than enough to finish off this abdominal workout that I’ve outlined is a pretty detailed, intense and one of the best abs workout. However if your diet is not on point you can do this workout for years and still not see one visible abdominal muscle. I suggest performing this workout twice per week, and coupled with an effective fat loss diet you should see your abs poking through in no time. You have to remember though, everyone has their abs; they’re usually just covered with a thick layer of fat. So get to work!

Muscle Fiction

If you’v been training, here’s a short list of bodybuilding fiction.

1. 12 Rep rule

Most weight training program include this much repetitions for gaining muscle. The truth is this approach places the muscles with not enough tension for effective muscle gain. High tension e.g. heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to the maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, improving endurance.

The standard prescription of eight to 12 repetitions provides a balance but by just using that program all of the time, you do not generate the greater tension levels that is provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions. Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

2. Three Set rule

The truth is there’s nothing wrong with three sets but then again there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be base on your goals and not on a half-century old rule. The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the total number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

3. Three to four exercises per group

The truth is this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If your doing this much reps for a muscle group your not doing enough. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

4. My knees, my toes

It is a gym folklore that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” Truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely a cause of injury. In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

But hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted. Because the squatters needed to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee. Keep the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. These reduces the stress generated on the hips and back. To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degree to the floor.

5. Lift weights, draw abs

The truth is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise. The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercise, the body automatically activates the muscle group that are needed most for support of the spine. So if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can recruit wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This increases the chance of injury, and reduces the weight that can be lifted.