For many years I have used my desktop computer while standing. I happened to have a desk with a shelf that is about chest high to set my monitor on. I answer emails, check facebook, and even do photo editing while standing. I have a cushy mat to stand on, and a low step to place one foot on from time to time to alleviate any back strain. I set my keyboard onto an elevated platform so that my forearms are just about level with the floor when typing. If you would like to set up a standing desk for yourself, there are many on the market. You MUST have a monitor with a power cord that will reach your outlet - so check its length against the distance from your shelf to the powerstrip.
This setup will ensure that your overused hip flexors will stay lengthened - they can get very tight from long periods of sitting - and you will use slightly more calories maintaining a standing position.
I also have a laptop that I use to watch media, so I switch back and forth. I hope you will consider standing if you are on your deskstop for longs periods of time!
I have been training J.B. since January 2014 to meet strength goals, and coaching him on his knee replacement rehabilitation. This amazing man made it a personal goal to work out diligently three times per week with the program(s) I designed for him. He achieved 100 workouts in the 8 months since our first appointment. Here he is doing a Low Row, wearing the badge that I made for him to acknowledge his good work. He has seen all kinds of improvements since he started working out. You can too!
I will be taking a trip of a lifetime soon to Italy! I have been there before, when I bicycled from Venice to Florence and it was time to go back. This time I will be walking everyday, up and down hill towns, cobblestone streets, and carrying a back pack. I have rediscovered my passion for photography and so will be carrying camera equipment with me.
In preparation, I have been trying out my sneakers to see which two pairs will be the most comfortable for long day treks. I use orthotics, both over the counter ("Sole" from REI) and prescription. Trading out shoes is a good idea, and occasionally I will switch to cushioned flip flops. I also will bring "Mole skin" by Dr. Scholl (also available at REI), (precut, because I can't bring scissors in my carry-ons!) This great product adheres to your skin, and can be applied anywhere you might form a blister (most likely on the heel).
Now that I have the footwear figured out, I can make sure that I cover a lot of ground every day. These next couple of weeks I will be wearing the weighted backpack on my training walks to get used to it. Of course, I will not be able to replicate the warmer weather I will experience, but that is why it is a good idea to train ahead of time.
With this preparation of footwear and walking I should not experience discomfort. I will bring latex flat bands also, so that I can do resistance training on upper body without much loss of muscle tone while I'm gone.
I hope you have a wonderful vacation planned for yourself too - keep these tips in mind when preparing for it!
Although the crunch or curl up is an easy go-to exercise for the rectus abdominus, try adding this exercise to recruit the oblique muscles. Obliques run diagonally to the waist. They stabilize your core, define the waist, and aid in rotation of the body. The "old school" bicycle exercise will work your obliques, but if you do a Pilates interpretation, it will slow you down and emphasize them more. Lie on a mat, hold the sides of your head instead of clasping your hands behind your neck. Keep your elbows back as you lift your feet off the floor with both legs bent. This is your starting position. As you extend one leg, lift your back from the floor and bring your elbow towards your opposite bent knee. Now, bring your extended leg back so that both legs are together and return to the starting position.Only then will you extend the other leg and bring your opposite elbow to your bent knee. You will inhale at the start position, and exhale while you bring your elbow across your body, inhale as you return to the start position. This slow interpretation of an "old-school" bicycle exercise will be tougher, so start with about 10 repetitions, and add more reps as you become more adept at the exercise. If you have low back issues, be aware that there is a load on the spine, so check with your doctor for an OK. http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/1/241/
You will find an article in the November 2013 newsletter about a study comparing weight loss among participants who either exercised with high energy expenditures and those who did a more moderate workout. Those who participated in the moderate workouts lost weight without as much effort. Keep in mind that this study used aerobic exercise sessions, not resistance exercise sessions.
This study also did not look into interval workouts, which have been shown to be a superior way to burn calories and thereby lose weight. The current HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training methods are a better way to bump up your weight loss program and in a shorter amount of time. Those long cardio machine bouts of up to an hour may send you right to a highly caloric meal that derail your efforts.
Contact a trainer who can fully round out all the information about aerobic sessions and weight loss before you decide to throw in the towel on your hard workouts....
Fall weather in Colorado is changeable. We can expect to see the first snow and/or yet another 90 degree day. Listen to the weather forecast and plan your outdoor cardio days in advance. I take advantage of these last warm days to get out on our South Platte River Trail to inline skate for miles. You may choose to get an early start for your hike in the mountains, being on alert for those chilly afternoon storms that come rolling in. There will be those days that you will have to duck indoors to avoid rain or snow, so check out a facility with newer cardio equipment. Try the Open Stride machine at Buck Rec Ctr. This PreCor equipment allows you to change from a stair step motion to an open stride similar to running just by the resistance you apply to the foot holds.
Be consistant with your cardio, getting at least five days per week of walking, hiking, biking, inline skating or other outdoors, or going indoors when the weather deosen't cooperate.
Everywhere you turn today, you will find the latest exercises being demonstrated as a way to lose weight, tone up, and get "flat" abs. TV shows may devote 30 seconds to three exercises that you have to do. The newspaper has articles once a week showcasing a fitness professional and his/her exercise recommendations. Magazine covers have toned bodies that encourage you to buy off the rack at the supermarket to get the latest celebrity exercise routine.
How can you stick to a routine of your own when you are surrounded by other ideas? Some of the exercises/programs that you come across have merit, but when you try them on your own, are you doing them correctly? Do they seem too easy, or exhaust you and make you so sore that you can't exercise for two weeks?
I became a Personal Trainer because I saw people making mistakes at the gym and felt the need to help clients with proper form, breathing, and most importantly, taking into account their individual needs. That is what is missing with the ubiquitous exercise suggestions in the media. Will they work for you? Are they safe? How can you progress past the initial program after you have mastered that exercise? As a Certified Personal Trainer, I must fulfil continuing education requirements to become recertified with ACE every two years. I read peer reviewed studies to find out the safety and eficacy of many exercises monthly.
Get set on a course towards your goal with a Personal Trainer, and if you need continued adherence and accountability, make regular appointments with your Trainer. I have a client that I see every three months to fine tune her workout and that works for her. I also meet with a younger client twice a week to keep her on a lifetime course of fitness and wellness. Other options are to start intensively, meeting twice per week initially, then tapering off to once a month.
Balance training exercises can be simple yet effective. The exercise described below will get you "in touch" with your footing, strengthen your ankles, and help bone density! Standing on one leg will have you making minute adjustments to the weight distribution on your foot, and the full weight of your body on one leg has been shown to increase its bone density.
You can get up from that easy chair while watching your favorite show and stand on one leg for 30 seconds.Work up to a 2 minute hold on each leg. As you stand, imagine a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you up to the sky. Here is where "getting in touch" with your core comes in handy. Pull in your lower abs (transverse abdominus), and the isometric contraction will also help your balance.
Have a chair nearby if you feel you need it. Eventually you can try different positions for the unweighted leg as shown here. If you have access to a Step 360, try holding your one leg balance pose on it. The next way to bump up the exercise is to throw a ball to someone while on one leg.
You can do this everyday! Try it tonight!
Some of you may know that I have had a rough summer, losing both of my parents. I was lucky to have them in my life for so long, but it is still a tough transitional time for me. What saves my emotional and mental states through this time is exercising my body! I went for a walk tonight on the Highline Canal, where I have a "destination" bench at Millikin Park. It's always beautiful among the tall cottonwood trees, and greener grass than I have in my yards! (My weimeraner really likes that.)
Tonight I was treated to the sight of a carriage, drawn by a Clydesdale, going by the bench where I was doing my stretching routine. I just never know what I will see over there, but it rejuvenates me. I love living in Colorado!
I hope you can get out to enjoy these warm evenings with your sport, gardening, or a run. Just fill your lungs with that fresh air! It will put your problems in perspective, and lift your spirits.