Health and Healing With Tai Chi

Health and Healing With Tai Chi

The practice of various forms of martial arts has been around for ages and there are many varieties and variants to choose from. Taking the time to do a little research before making that choice is very important, as this will eventually dictate the success level garnered from the choice made.

The beautiful movements of Tai Chi are both slow and fluid. This style of non aggressive exercise is what attracts most people to take up Tai chi. Largely popular among the older ages, tai chi is now becoming an accepted art form for the younger generation, as well,  to calm today’s fast-paced style of living.

Tai Chi, as it’s practiced in the west nowadays, may best be thought of as a moving class of yoga and meditation blended. There are a number of supposed forms (likewise called ‘sets’). which consist of a succession of movements. Instinctively focusing the mind solely on the movements of the body in connection with the surroundings, tai chi helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. The obvious benefits to which are general health improvements and better stress management in the individual.

Practicing Tai Chi
Practicing Tai Chi

In Chinese philosophy and medicine lives the concept of ‘chi’, a life force that animates the body. Among the professed aims of Tai Chi is to further the circulation of this ‘chi’ inside the body, the notion being that by doing so the health and life force of the individual are enhanced.

Three primary aspects are addressed when practicing Tai chi:

  1. Health
  2. Meditation
  3. Martial arts

Using the different movements taught in tai chi, the individual is able to be one with body and mind.

Tai Chi & Your Health

Many tai chi practitioners lay claim to the fact that this art form helps to promote greater health benefits for some medical conditions like heart diseases, high blood pressure, arthritis, migraine and other stress related medical problems. Tai chi is also a good choice to make when recovering from bone related injuries. An individual with an osteoporosis condition can greatly benefit from taking up tai chi. As most elderly people increasingly lose their ability to maintain good balance, using tai chi can help to correct this problem.

Tai chi is also purported to be able to correct the body posture and various spinal ailments. Most people complain of some form of back pain or another. This is mostly due to bad posture and other unnecessary strains put on the spine area. Tai chi helps to release the tension and pressure build up caused by slouching or slumping.

By distributing the weight throughout the body through various arm, leg and hand movements, tai chi helps to vary the load on joint surfaces thus increasing the flow of natural lubricant and nutrients into the joints. The fluid movements that are typical to tai chi often disguises the incredibly high percentage of joint movements and rotations. All this eventually translates to better and more coordinated movements especially for the aged. A certain amount of flexibility is also gained when tai chi is practiced regularly. Thus pains from conditions like lumbago, arthritis and sciatica can be eliminated.

Tai Chi Helps Stress

High stress levels are often the main contributing factors in many diseases. By bringing down stress levels through the practice of tai chi, many people have attested to positive results shown in their general health conditions.

The smooth flowing and fluid movements is the basis of this gentle form of martial arts, thus making it very accessible to a wide range of age groups. Tai chi has many benefits on many levels. Medically, physically, to name a few, are just some of the areas one can garner positive impact and results.

In this fast pace world of today, engaging in something that requires patience and time is somewhat of an out of norm thinking. Most people are looking for quick fixes and don’t really want to take the time and effort to explore other avenues that don’t follow this pattern. But tai chi is worth your time – and the patience it helps us learn is a rare and much needed characteristic in all of us these days.

See also: Tai Chi: No-Sweat Pain Relief (for Seniors) and/or Practicing Tai Chi.

Pick a Fitness Routine You Stick With

Part of a Fitness Routine
Part of a Fitness Routine

Pick a Fitness Routine You Stick With

If you want to lose weight, try body building, get in shape or just maintain your health and fitness, you have to have a fitness routine. For many people, though, exercising is difficult, boring, or just plain not fun. They come up with excuses why they can’t work out: they don’t have time, it’s raining, they aren’t seeing results. (See: Analyze Your Excuse for Lack of Physical Activity.)

Working out doesn’t have to mean spending hours on the treadmill or doing extreme workouts that make you miserable. When you choose the right fitness routine for you and your fitness level, it can actually be fun! You’ll reap the benefits of regular exercises. But how do you choose the right fitness routine?

Try Different Things

For some people, the ideal workout is a long run. For others, it’s a group exercise class. When you’re looking for the right fitness routine for you, don’t just hop on the treadmill and walk for an hour each day. That’s just a recipe for boredom. Pick up a class schedule at the gym or local Y and try a few. You might think that you will hate spinning but surprise yourself by enjoying it when actually doing it.

And don’t think you have to do the same class every time. Mix it up – take a kickboxing class on Monday, swim on Tuesday and so on. Keeping your workouts fresh prevents boredom and has the added bonus of working your muscles differently. This forces them to move in different ways and burn more calories and fat.

Get a Trainer

Have you been hitting the gym somewhat regularly, but not seeing the results you want? Or are you new to the gym and intimidated by all of the machines beyond the treadmill or elliptical? You could be working out incorrectly, or just not challenging yourself enough. Schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer to power up your workout. A trainer can show you new moves to try and develop a fitness routine that works for you and your goals.

If time is a concern for you, keep in mind that you can burn just as many calories in a 30-minute workout as a 60-minute workout. The key is the push yourself harder in those 30 minutes and a trainer can show you how to do that. Work with a professional to build a fitness routine that works for you and the time you have, and working out won’t be chore.

Make a Date

When you make a vague plan to work out “at some point” during the day, it’s easy to let other obligations get in the way. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you might tell yourself.

Instead, make a date to work out, and put it on your calendar. When you treat working out like you would any other appointment, you’re more likely to get it done. Try scheduling your workout first thing in the morning. Get up 30 minutes earlier and go for a walk, or hit the gym before going to the office – not only will you get an energy boost to carry through your day, you won’t have all day to come up with excuses for skipping your workout.

Think Outside the Gym

Some experts suggest setting a goal other than losing wait to encourage working out. Sign up to run in a 5K race, for example. Gear your workouts toward the goal of running the whole thing.

Or: try something completely unusual. One recent study suggests that exercisers are more successful when they base their fitness routine on their blood type. Yes, blood type. Researchers recommend that those with Type O blood are best suited for vigorous workouts first thing in the morning, while Type A blood types should avoid strenuous aerobics and stick to calming, controlled exercises, like yoga and Pilates. Blood Type B exercisers are a combination of both – a mixture of aerobic and stretching workouts, and AB exercisers tend to do best breaking up their workouts over the day, with short bursts in the morning and afternoon.

Whether you want to work out based on your blood type or weight loss goals, or just to maintain your current shape, you have to work out. Don’t be afraid to try new things like legal alternatives to steroids or ask for help. Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever resisted making exercise part of your day.

This post was written and contributed by Jackson Morrows. Jackson has been bodybuilding naturally for over ten years. As an all-natural athlete Jackson carefully looks for the most natural supplements to assist in shaping up.

Time to rework your workout?

Time to rework your workout?

Sometimes you need to rework your workout to keep things from getting stale and boring. Doing this will also challenge your body in new ways.

Combo Workouts

Time to rework your workout? American and South African researchers discovered that people who combined aerobics and weight training in their workout for 16 weeks curbed their intake of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

The aerobics-only group reduced only their fat consumption, and the weights only group saw no reductions. The researchers think that a combo workout alters metabolism in a way that makes you feel full sooner.

Aerobic workout
Aerobic workout

 

Before You Purchase an Exercise Machine…

Looking for an exercise machine that gives an excellent workout to both the upper and lower body? Consider using a Fitness Rowing Machine
or a ski machine. An exercise rider is also a good choice, but it doesn’t give as good a workout as a rowing or a ski machine, however, it is much easier to use.

Stair climbers, treadmills, and stationary bikes give good lower body exercise, but neglect the upper body. See also: Weighing in on Exercise Machines.

Rowing Machine

 

40 Minutes…

The key to staying thin may be 40 minutes of a daily workout, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Brown and Wake Forest universities.

In a two year study, they found that overweight and obese could lose 10 percent of their weight (or more) – and keep it off – if they ate 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day and worked out for four and a half hours a week. Shortening the workout time led to regaining some of the weight.

All types of exercise got the job done, including walking.

Don’t have time to exercise every day? No problem. Just meeting the weekly total is enough.

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Top Five Jogging Strollers

Jogging Strollers
Jogging Strollers

Top Five Jogging Strollers

In the past, parents who wanted to walk or run with their children in strollers found it impossible. Now parents can buy jogging strollers that specifically accommodate their fitness needs while also considering the comfort and safety of their children. Today, there are jogging strollers that have features for the runner or walker on various surfaces. For example, there are jogging strollers for long-distance runners and all-terrain jogging strollers.

Walking Mama gave these five jogging strollers the thumbs up for 2012.

BOB Ironman

This stroller’s lightweight and sturdy frame is made of aluminum. Safety and stability are due to the five point harness restraints, handbrake, and front fixed wheel. Other features include an adjustable seat, exceptionally smooth ride, a generous under seat basket, and quick two step folding process. Overall, these jogging strollers have an excellent rating.

Schwinn Instep Arrow Single

If runners want a stroller that performs well at a good price, this is a good choice. At only 20.5 pounds, this jogger is the lightest on the market and serious joggers will find the adjustable handlebar a convenience as well. The consensus is that these jogging strollers offer high performance at a good price.

Joovy Zoom ATS

This stroller accommodates the taller runner by eliminating the rear axle for longer stride lengths. In addition, the stroller comfortably holds children weighing up to 75 pounds. The materials used and the sturdy, lightweight frame are excellent for rollerblading, running, and walking. Joovy Zoom’s taller handlebar is comfortable for taller runners. It is the largest stroller on the market and a good choice for larger children and taller runners.

Baby Jogger F.I.T. Single

The F.I.T. gets high marks for its quality materials, sleek design, sturdiness, and durability. It has a higher seat, curved canopy, and added long leg drop for taller children. It performs well at jogging speeds and has effortless maneuvering when turning into curves. The taller handlebar in addition to the other features strikes a balance between performance for parents and comfort for children.

BOB Sport Utility

Dads praise this stroller because of its sturdiness and rugged looks. However, it lives up to its claims as a jogger hybrid of an all-terrain mountain bike and the smooth ride of a Cadillac. Although the stroller looks “heavy”, it can handle all terrains. If walking or running on off-road terrain, its heavy-duty shocks will comfortably handle the bumps. Overall, reviewers felt BOB designed a well thought out jogging stroller.

Water for Fitness and Fat Burning

Water for Fitness and Fat Burning

Did you know that in water, that simple substance called H2O, you have a powerful tool that can increase your muscle contractile strength by 10 to 15 percent? And it can increase your capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by 20 to 30 percent? It’s true. What’s more, in water we have a substance that is totally legal and has absolutely no side effects.

Water for fitness can also help you burn fat more efficiently and increase muscular development. If you are even slightly dehydrated and you have an average 8 ounce glass of water, your results and performance will improve instantly. Did you know? Most people are walking around in a constant state of semi-dehydration!

 

Drinking water for fitness
Drinking water for fitness

 

The 8 to 10 Advice of Water for Fitness

Most everyone has heard the advice at some point that we should all drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily – but do we? No, most of us do not. Inefficient water intake can have subtle but very negative effects on fat burning efforts. Have you ever awoken in the morning, after what was a fairly good night’s sleep, yet still felt groggy? You could be dehydrated. In fact, hangovers are partially caused by dehydration, a result of the diuretic effects of alcohol.

Mid-day fatigue can also be caused by mild dehydration.

The effects of dehydration are very subtle – they sneak up on you. By the time you do notice them, you are already dehydrated. Usually we don’t even associate these effects with a lack of water. Instead, we just think perhaps we didn’t get enough sleep or are over-worked. As you can see, dehydration is an aspect of nutrition that is easily overlooked. Without adequate water for fitness, nothing in your body could function properly. Water is the most abundant nutrient in your body.

  • Approximately 60-70 percent of your body is comprised of water.
  • Your blood is made up of about 90 percent water.
  • Your muscles are about 70 percent water.
  • Your bones are 20 percent water.

Water is necessary to regulate your body’s temperature, to transport nutrients, and to build tissues. Water is required for joint lubrication, digestion, circulation, respiration, absorption, and excretion. Without water, you would die in a matter of days.

Water for Fitness and Fat Loss

You need water to lose fat. Why? Because one of the important functions of the kidneys is to eliminate toxic waste products from you body through your urine. When you are dehydrated, your body has an instinctive reaction to hold onto whatever water it does contain. Obviously, if you are retaining the water in your body and that water contains toxins, you are also retaining the toxic substances. So now your liver is going to attempt to help with the overload – but! When your liver helps with fluid retention, it cannot do it’s main job properly, which is to burn body fat efficiently.

The Old Wives Tale

Contrary to a common belief that drinking water makes you retain water, the more water you drink the more your kidneys will flush the water out of your system. This actually results in less water retention.

Since dehydration effects are not felt until you are actually dehydrated, it’s a good practice to sip on water all day long. Feelings of thirst are not a good indicator of your level of hydration. For intense workouts, make it a habit to drink heavily before, during and after.

Beyond the Tap

Water need not just come from a tap or bottle; you can get water from food sources, as well. For example, fruits and vegetables are as much as 75 to 90 percent water. Even meat is at least 50 percent water. Beverages such as fruit juice and sports drinks are mostly water. Nutritionists do not agree on whether or not these water sources can be included in recommended daily water intake amounts, so it is still a good idea to get as much as you can from pure, liquid water, but these are good additions for water and nutrient sources.

Fab Abs in Five

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A give-away – for a tweet or a “like” on Facebook!

Note: This is long over, but you are more than welcome to check out the Fab Abs in Five eBook.

Fab Abs in Five Minutes a Day!

Fab Abs in Five
Fab Abs in Five

A manual that’s direct, to the point, and super simple. It will give you fab abs with only a five minute a day commitment!

You can have fabulous abdominal muscles with just a five-minute investment each day.

All it takes is five minutes for five fab ab moves with no equipment.  You can achieve desired results with just a five-minute effort and the floor.  A mat might not be a bad idea, but is not necessary.  This abdominal workout is neither tiresome nor boring – it goes too fast!

This workout will work the entire core area of the abdominal muscles.  This will increase the effectiveness of the workout.  You combine five moves, doing each for one minute. This will keep the workout challenging, upbeat and stave off boredom.

It is important to note that you do need to incorporate some aerobics into your exercise routine for maximal effectiveness.  Another option is to use this workout and repeat it at least three times to equal a 20-minute aerobic workout.

Always keep proper form while you are doing the following exercises.  If you do these exercises improperly, you will defeat the purpose because you end up working the wrong muscles.

No matter where you are – home, office, or the park — you can use these five moves to build stronger, more appealing stomach muscles. For a more intense workout, simply add a standard set of ankle weights.

Strong abdominal muscles have many benefits in addition to looking great.  They can help alleviate lower back pain, improve posture and are an essential to overall good health.

Now you can have the Fab Abs in Five Training Manual for nothing more than a tweet!

Note: Offer expired but e-Book still available. See above link.