Basic Equipment for a Home Fitness Program (Part 2 of 4)

Today’s post discusses medicine balls, another useful piece of gear to have available in your home gym.

Thank goodness they don’t make them the way they used to!  There’s no need to toss a sand-filled bladder or make your own medicine ball out of animal skins sewn together and filled with sand.  In the KISS spirit, don’t bother getting anything with a rope, handle, or anything that’s removable; if, down the road, you find that you’re a real med ball fan, then you can knock yourself out and collect them all!  Also, make sure you get one that doesn’t bounce!  We can’t say this clearly enough.  DO NOT GET A BOUNCY BALL!  You will fully appreciate this advice when Continue reading

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Basic Equipment for a Home Fitness Program (Part 1 of 4)

While it is absolutely true that you can get healthy and fit without owning one single piece of gear, the truth is that a few carefully chosen pieces of equipment can help you by providing you with:

  • More interest in exercising (Who doesn’t enjoy “toys?”)
  • Increased flexibility in program design (Having a medicine ball or a stability ball greatly expands the variety of exercises that can be incorporated into a program.)
  • Increased options for challenging your body (Trust us on this one.  While you can learn to do an L-stand against the wall to build upper body strength and get over your fear of being upside down, it’s not going to be the same exercise as going from a plank to a pike and back again a few times while your feet are perched on a stability ball.)

For this reason, we are sharing what we consider our favorite pieces of equipment and, when possible, options for substitutions or for making them at home.  We hope you’ll consider the cost in your time or money a small investment in your health. Continue reading

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Yoga for Runners (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we left off with descriptions of the Squat Pose and Low Lunge.  Today we break down 3 additional poses selected with the specific needs of runners in mind.

Standing Wide Angle Forward Bend: Many people enjoy this pose for no reason other than because it just feels good!  Continue reading

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Yoga for Runners (Part 1 of 2)

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!” (author unknown)

Two topics can be counted on to crop up in any conversation between two runners.  First, there will be juicy details about the latest run.  This will likely be followed by commiserations over the most recent injuries or nagging pains.  After all, anyone putting in enough miles can count on experiencing their share of stiff hips and tight quads.  Fussy hamstrings or tight calf muscles.  Low back tweaks or a random hitch in their gitty-up.  Many of these issues are directly attributable to repetitive use; runners get used to living with overuse injuries. Continue reading

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Reasons to Exercise (Part 3 of 3)

Here is your third, and final, set of 10 persuasive reasons to exercise.

  • Exercise provides opportunities for social interactions that couch potatoes miss.  Sure, watching the Super Bowl is great fun for everyone, but wouldn’t you rather be laughing and trash-talking with friends while tossing the ball and running yourself?  Taking a walk with a buddy?  Puddle splashing with your kids?  Have you considered running or walking to support your favorite charity?  There’s a word you used as a child when you wanted some exercise – you called it “play” and, most likely, you “played” with friends! Continue reading

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Reasons to Exercise (Part 2 of 3)

As promised in yesterday’s post, here is your second set of 10 compelling reasons to finish surfing in cyberspace and get your body moving.

  • Although it won’t take care of hot flashes, exercise can help cope with stress and anxiety that often accompanies menopause.  Researchers have found that not only do the symptoms of menopause drop with as little as 3 hours a week of exercise, but measures of physical and psychological functioning and positive state of mind actually improve.  (We advise friends and partners of menopausal women to exercise, as well, and to always remember that they’re safer teasing a grizzly bear than telling her she’s cranky.) Continue reading

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Reasons to Exercise (Part 1 of 3)

You know you need to do it, so we’re not going to hit you over the head with a zillion reasons why you should “Drop and give us ten!”   Instead, we’re going to share just 10 at a time.  What follows is the first of 3 sets of 10 repsContinue reading

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