Category Archives: core fitness

Mental Fitness The Missing Link for Wellness

Recently, we experienced another tragic event: a mass stabbing at a Pittsburg-area high school. Just one week prior it was yet another mass shooting at Fort Hood. And before that a long line of devastating and preventable tragedies of the kind that are seemingly becoming more common by the day. The Navy Yard, Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine: once names that simply brought to mind placid locations across our great nation that, sadly now, conjure devastating memories of unspeakable heartbreak.

In the midst of all of this, a national dialogue has again begun to emerge. It’s one that, given the questionable mental stability of a great many of the shooters in these events, involves discussions revolving around our nation’s attitudes and policies regarding mental health.

~ Are we doing enough to treat the mentally ill?

~ How can we better screen people for mental illness?

~ How can we keep guns out of the hands of those with histories of mental instability?

And so on…

But here’s a question I’ve yet to hear: “What can we do to prevent mental illness to begin with?”

Seems logical. And truthfully, if we were dealing with an epidemic of flu, obesity, or some other physical malady, prevention would be at the top of this list. But strangely, our culture’s attitudes and habits pertaining to mental health differ significantly from those toward physical health.

Consider this.

In the realm of the physical, it’s universally recognized (albeit not always practiced), that if you want a healthy body, you’ve got to do preventative maintenance: brush your teeth, eat reasonably healthy food, exercise, get enough rest. Day in and day out we engage in a host of chores designed to help enhance the well-being and longevity of our physical selves.

In other words, we understand that physical fitness is a precursor to physical health. Yet, in matters pertaining to our mental and emotional selves, we find a different story.

Developing habits to nourish and exercise our mental and emotional selves is not something regularly considered by most Americans. On the contrary, most of our effort aimed at attending to our mental and emotional needs are more about coddling than fitness. Feeling stressed? Grab a beer with friends. Sadness got you down? Go see the latest blockbuster movie. Anxious about work? How about a round of golf?

Rather than increasing our mental capacity, we medicate ourselves. We engage in activities to make us feel better in the short run, but without really addressing the root problem which revolves around an insufficient ability to absorb and cope with life’s difficulties. It’s like addressing your weight gain by removing all the mirrors in the house. Sure it may make you temporarily feel better, but what does it do to solve the problem?

The truth is it’s an approach that all too often produces what can only be described as free-range, feral minds.

Mental Fitness Defined

To be clear, in this context Mental Fitness does not refer to the development of knowledge or even mental acuity. This is an important point. Many of the mental activities we undertake to develop our minds have very little to do with Mental Fitness, as referred to here. Examples of activities that DON’T dramatically increase our Mental Fitness levels include:

~ Digesting data as part of the learning process

~ Exercising one’s cognitive facility to make the mind more nimble

~ Participating in activities that soothe and nurture the agitated mind and emotions

This is not to say that these activities aren’t worthy and valuable, for they obviously are vital in our development as productive and happy human beings. Even so, for the most part, they are not helping to increase our ability to synthesize a relatively ease-filled experience in the most challenging of circumstances. And cultivating that ease-filled experience is heart of Mental Fitness.

The key to the understanding Mental Fitness is the notion of capacity. Mental Fitness is the measure of one’s capacity to weather life’s challenges without being thrown unduly off balance. It’s the capacity to withstand a layoff, to bear a health diagnosis, or to endure a financial challenge with grace, élan, and a sense of confident calm.

We all know people like this, who never seem to be ruffled. A layoff? No problem. IRS audit? Fine. A traffic accident? No biggie. While everyone around them is sent into tailspins, these folks stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what life throws at them. So what is it about these people that makes them so well-equipped to cope artfully with life’s challenges?

You guessed it: they have a level of Mental Fitness that allows them to artfully ride out such things. The greater your Mental Fitness level, the greater your mental and emotional capacity, and the greater your capacity for living happily-despite the curve balls life throws your way.

 

Core Fitness Over50 Is Achievable

core fitness over50 Is achievable

Its definitely more difficult to maintain or achieve fitness after fifty the metabolism slows and you may gain a few extra pounds. But, achieving and maintaining core fitness isnt unreachable for the over 50 crowd, it may be a challenge and take more of a commitment, but it is achievable.

core fitness

Those who are fifty and over need to engage in core fitness exercise to slow down the effects of aging. Keeping in shape means that extra weight doesn, creep on and that muscles remain strong and flexible.

Here are some core fitness exercises that should be performed by every man and woman is 50 years of age and older.

Walking

core fitness

Walking improves cardiovascular fitness and helps keep you at a desirable weight. Swimming is excellent also an excellent cardio and core fitness exercise that has a lower rate of injury.

Yoga

The gentle, but effective poses and breathing exercises that is yoga can help to strengthen the core fitness and also prevent back, hip,

knee and muscle injuries. These exercises can be accomplished without special equipment and at home.

tai Chi

Besides toning the core, Tai Chi also improves muscles and benefits balance. Balance is one of the first abilities to become

affected by increasing age and any exercise that can help you maintain balance is also good for the abs.

Resistance Training of core fitness

Lifting weights or performing leg lifts with bands or tubes is excellent for maintaining overall fitness.

Remember, that no matter how old you are, its possible to build strength and increase muscle mass.

Crunches

Possibly the best exercise for the tummy muscles, crunches are performed by lying on your back, then raising the back and neck while holding in the stomach muscles and raising your

knees to your tummy at the same time. Perform this exercise slowly to gain the most benefit.

Push Ups of core fitness

You dont have to be an athlete to get the benefit from simple pushups. From a position of lying on your stomach, bring your hands parallel to your shoulders and push up slowly. You can simply raise your chest and stomach off the floor while tightening your stomach muscles.

If your core is weak, you may have problems doing simple things such as carrying groceries indoors, climbing stairs or performing simple housekeeping chores. When your core fitness is strong, you,ll be able to function in your daily activities much easier and have energy to burn.

A weak core may also be the culprit for digestion problems such as Gerd or heartburn in the evening. Ask your physician about performing core fitness exercises if you have questions about your health.

Medicine Ball Safety

The medicine ball safety

medicine ball

the medicine ball is one of the most versatile exercise tools we have today. It looks pretty straightforward and we hardly hear about medicine ball injuries. However, before you incorporate this training aid to your workout routine, you have to be aware how it will affect your body and the potential hazards that come with it. Here are some safety tips that will help you get the most out of your medicine ball training.

Choose the Right Medicine Ball

Whenever you start a new exercise routine, it’s important to choose an exercise tool that will suit your fitness level. Medicine balls come in different sizes and weight, 2 pounds to over 25 pounds. It’s smarter to start with the lightest. You can always work your way up

once you get accustomed to the weighted ball. Even if you can handle a 10 pound dumbbell or kettlebell it doesn’t mean that you won’t have any problems with a 10-pound medicine ball. Medicine balls can be tricky to handle so it’s a good idea to get a feel of how

these weights differ from one another before you purchase one. The right weighted ball for you requires effort to hold but shouldn’t cause too much strain to keep it lifted.

Always start medicine ball slow

Fitness experts do not recommend people who are new to exercise to start with medicine ball training right away. You need to improve your flexibility first and then move on to weight training with an emphasis on core strength.Once you are able to develop a stronger core that’s the time you can try medicine ball exercises.Don’t forget to warm up before you start training with a weighted ball.Start slowly and once you master the proper form and technique, you can increase your speed.

Don’t Hyperextend Your Spine

Many medicine ball exercises involve a throwing motion which means that you will toss the ball from behind the head. When doing this motion, avoid extending your spine too far as this may cause an injury to the back, spine, shoulders and neck.Make sure you know the proper technique in throwing the medicine ball from behind your head before you start.

Choose a Partner Wisely

Throwing the ball back and forth requires a partner,when choosing an exercise buddy, it’s important that you pick one with the same fitness goals. If you bring a couch potato to the gym, they may get

tired too easily and this will prevent you from getting the most out of your workout.The best thing to do is find a partner who is used to handling a medicine ball so they can help you master the proper form and technique.

Building Strength With Medicine Balls

building strength with medicine balls here

Although medicine balls have been used since ancient times for power and strength training, its just now enjoying resurgence in popularity. medicine balls are phenomenal for improving overall health, speed and immediate power bursts.You can purchase medicine balls in various shapes and sizes and can choose from rubber or leather.

The medicine ball workout focuses on strength,speed and velocity and is used by athletes who want to improve their performances on the court or field.It encourages the body to work as a balanced and integrated system and can be tailored to fit your own level of fitness and what you want to achieve.

 

Here are some exercises involving medicine balls that will greatly improve your overall health and strengthmedicine balls if performed on a regular basis.

  1. V Sit medicine Balls Chest Throws 

Performed while seated next to a wall, hips and knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You, ll be throwing the ball from your chest in one, powerful action against the wall. Repeat for upper body power.

2. Squat Jump all medicine balls Throw

You?ll be standing on a bench, medicine balls in hands. Step off the bench to the floor and then jump up again quickly while throwing the ball in the air when you, re at the pinnacle of your jump. Just let the ball fall without catching it. Repeat for full body power.

3. Explosive Supine medicine balls Chest Pass

This is performed by lying face down on the floor head next to an exercise bench.Have a partner site stand on the bench with the medicine ball and have the person drop the ball over your chest while you catch the ball and powerfully pass the ball up to the partner again. Repeat for upper body power.

4. Overhead medicine balls Throws

Upper body strength is achieved by standing with feet shoulder length apart, arms up and over your head, holding the ball. Quickly and powerfully throw the ball to a partner or a wall.

5. Rotational  medicine balls Throws

Using a semi-bounce able medicine balls, stand about four or five feet from a wall. Quickly and explosively rotate your hips and shoulders as you throw the ball at the wall. Catch as it bounces back to you and perform repetitions for body rotary power.

The medicine ball is an excelling way to increase your strength, power and force and to enhance athletic performance. You?ll have freedom of movement that isnt possible with other types of exercises.

Whether you want to achieve fitness or more power for your athletic pursuits, consider the medicine ball to improve your neuromuscular efficiency and encourage the body to work as one system.

Benefits Of Strong Core For Running

A strong core for running

Many people assume that developing strong legs is enough to be a better runner.They do not realize that having a strong core is equally important.If you aren’t sure what the core is,it is the group of muscles that stabilize the thorax and pelvis during dynamic movements.

running

To give you a clearer picture,the core simply comprises the muscles of the stomach, back and hips.Most functional movements depend highly on the core and this obviously includes running.Having a strong core translates to the transfer of energy to the other parts of your body arms and legs so you can perform at your best.

Chances a core for running

If you have a weak core, some parts of your body would have to work harder so they can produce the same motion.Eventually,those body parts will dwindle from excessive wear and tear.Not to mention you will be more susceptible to injuries.Core stability prevents the wear and tear of your joints. It also decreases the chances of muscle and bone damage.

Aside from injury prevention developing a strong core will definitely help your posture. You will stand and sit taller and you’d be able to maintain proper form when running.Your core muscles will help you to keep standing while gravity tries to pull you down.

Benefits a core running

People who like to run off road and experience unconventional or unpredictable trail will benefit greatly from having a strong core. The body will be trained to balance itself efficiently and react accordingly to any abrupt changes on the trail.Your torso will remain

steady while running and your core muscles will prevent it from wobbling when you do a wide range of movements with your arms and legs.You can bend and move better because your range of motion is better.

Core training is not just about improving body strength,and fitness experts believe that it’s more on training the brain and muscles to work as an integrated system.Some people like to do yoga exercises to achieve this goal while others prefer using exercise machines.

Doing core strengthening exercises is all about control.You want to make sure that you practice the correct form not only to prevent injury but to achieve optimal results as well.There are hundreds of exercises you can do to build stronger core muscles.

Needless to say, having a strong core has a multitude of benefits for runners so if you want to be more resilient, you better start incorporating core exercises into your workout routine.

How Runners Strengthen Core

Developing a strong core is critical for runners strengthen core not only to maintain stability and balance, but to prevent injuries as well. The core muscles are the ones that keep us from moving from side to side. Unfortunately, some runners do not realize the importance of incorporating core strengthening exercises into their routine and they think that having strong legs is enough.

runners strengthen core

How can runners strengthen core

If you want to improve your performance as a runner, here are some tips on how to runners strengthen core:

Before running, make sure you warm up to stretch out your lower back. If your lower back is tight, it will prevent the core muscles from firing properly. Some people encounter reciprocal inhibition and this occurs when a particular muscle group is tight.

Naturally, when one muscle group is tight, it prevents your other muscles from doing their job properly. Warming up prepares your mind and body for a demanding activity but it will also allows you to achieve peak performance. To warm up your lower back, do some spinal twists and forward bends.

How best runners strengthen core

Practice hip bridges and pelvic tilts to strengthen your core,these two exercises are very easy to do and they are perfect for beginners and people with back problems. They help isolate and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings as well as train your body to engage them when needed.

runners strengthen core

The hip bridge also improves runners strengthen core and spinal stability,to do this exercise, lie flat on the floor, lift your pelvis and hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Do 10 repetitions. If you want it to be more challenging, you can lift up on your toes alternately as if you are runners strengthen core.

marching. For pelvic tilts, get down on your hands and knees and then raise your lower back to the ceiling. Straighten your back and do 10 to 20 reps.

 All runners strengthen core

Another way to strengthen your core muscles is to do plank exercises. Aside from a flat stomach, planks will help improve your posture. Doing ten minutes of 1-2 minute plank routines outweighs the benefits of doing abdominal crunches for an hour.

Start by getting in the pushup position,your forearms and toes should support your weight and make sure your elbows are lined up directly under your shoulders. Keep your neck neutral by looking down on the floor,this prevents placing too much strain on your neck all runners strengthen core.

Hold the plank for at least 30 seconds and take a 5 second break in between repetitions. Once your core gets stronger, you can hold the for runners strengthen core position for as long as 1 minute or more.

 

5 Easy Core Body Exercises For Beginners

If you want to incorporate core body exercises into your current workout routine, but you don’t know where to start, check out the 5 exercises below that are suited for beginners.

5 Easy Core Body Exercises

Standing Side Bends

This is a great variation core body exercise of the side crunch. Stand up straight and engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your legs straight and put your arms at your sides. Lean from left to right while making sure you do not twist your hips. Your upper body should remain in all mejor body core.

core body exercise

forward facing position while you tilt your core body exercise to the left or right. Standing side bends will work your oblique muscles, the entire abdominal wall and some areas of your lower back. Do 3 or more sets of 15 repetitions.

Side Balance Crunch

Start by putting your left knee and left hand on the floor. Keep your right arm straight up and then extend your right leg. You should form a straight line. Now pull your right knee towards your torso and then your right elbow towards your knee. Straighten your arm and leg and repeat the move. Do 15 repetitions before switching to the other side and core body exercise.

core body exercise

All core body exercise best

Torso Twist

The torso twist is one of the easiest core exercises that helps tighten the midsection. Stand up straight and suck in your belly. Twist your upper body from left to right without rotating your hips. As

you turn your upper body, your legs should remain straight and don’t forget to engage your oblique muscles. It’s so easy, right? It is somewhat similar to the standing side bends but the contraction from torso twist hits a different plane of motion. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Easy core body exercises

Circle Plank

Unable to hold a plank for more than 15 seconds? Try the circle plank instead! Start in a plank position with your palms against the floor and engage your abdominal muscles. Pull in your right knee and draw a circle clockwise then counterclockwise. Try to keep your body steady. Do 5 to 10 repetitions then do the circle plank with the left leg. This is a great exercise that will work your core body exercise and legs.

Oblique Reach

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your right leg and roll your spine so that you form a C-curve. Put your left hand behind your head and stretch out your right arm. Now twist your body to the left and roll back a little bit. Hold this pose for one count before you come up. Do 10 repetitions then switch to core body exercise the other side.