Exercise is important the health of your body and mind. It gets your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and helps your body function and absorb nutrients at it’s best. When you exercise, you are releasing tension and stress, allowing your mind to relax, and clear a little bit. As a result your ability to focus will be much stronger. Many good ideas, and solutions to problems came to me while I was exercising. Many people who exercise will tell you the same thing I just did. Any exercise is better than none. You don’t have to run four miles a day or join a gym. You can swim, play a sport or take a simple walk around your home or neighborhood. You can even just do basic chores around the home, just really get into whatever it is you do. I have a friend who is a very serious health and exercise nut. He disagrees on my idea about doing chores as exercise, he says it isn’t the same. I suppose those strong, muscular farm boys were just born that way. Nope, lifting sixty pound bails of hay and wrestling cattle all year didn’t have a damn thing to do with it. In case your wondering, I’m being sarcastic. Anyways, here are some ways to keep in shape and you can do all of them indoors.
Stretching: Stretching is the most important exercise there is. You won’t break a sweat stretching your body, but it is exercise, and it’s important. Stretching is natural, necessary and feels good. Everybody does it, even couch potatoes and the kinetically challenged. Stretching the muscles primes them for activity, helping to prevent injury by having them prepared to react to movement. Stretching also help your blood flow better and you to take in more oxygen. Who feels bad after stretching? No one. Do it.
Aerobic activity: This is a form exercise designed to get you sweating, low impact or not. Aerobics get your body moving, your heart pumping and improves your body’s ability to consume and utilize oxygen. The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen”. Aerobics also helps tone and condition your muscles, including your heart. You can incorporate aerobics in your every day routines. Put on some music that make you want to move your feet and get your body in action before you start your chores. When dusting put a little elbow grease into it, same when mopping the floor. Focus on your muscle movement when doing this. You can even do a few jumping jacks or run in place in between chores. Do arm circles, side bends, you don’t need weights for aerobics. It’s about movement. Have fun with aerobics, there is no proper way to do it other than to be active.
Isometrics: Isometric exercise is a type of strengthening exercise where there is little to no movement of the muscle or the angle of the joint. Isometrics increases strength at the specific joint angles of the exercises performed and additional joint angles to a lesser extent, rather than increasing strength throughout the full range of motion. The joint and muscle are either worked against an immovable force or are held in a static position while opposed by resistance. Isometric exercises typically involve contractions of the muscle using either the body’s own muscle, structural items such as a wall or counter, and even weights. Personally I think isometric exercises is one the safest way to increase joint strength.
Weight training: The use of weights is a common type of strength training for developing the strength and size of the skeletal muscles, or the muscle responsible for voluntary control of body movement. Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment to target specific muscle groups and types of movement. When training with weights, it is important to focus on movement technique, and safety. Never try to lift more than what you can comfortably. You are lifting your ideal weight when you can ten or more repetitions without muscle fatigue. If you are doing a weight exercise that requires you to be under a free weight, such as a barbell, always have a partner and alway make sure of what weight is on it. I learned that lesson the hard way. I was a teenager, I had a weight bench which I shared with my dad. He had used it one time and had added about sixty more pounds to the weight I had on the bar for my use. Me, not noticing that, laid down on the bench and had no trouble lifting the bar off of the rack. However as I began to lower the barbell I realized I screwed up. That realization became even more apparent when the barbell reached my chest. It wasn’t coming back up by my own strength. I was pinned. It was pretty scary as well as uncomfortable. I lay there pinned and hurting for about fifteen minutes before someone heard me stomping my foot on the floor and yelling. Always use caution when exercising with weights. Even if you don’t end up in the situation that I did, you could still tear a muscle or ligament.
Guerrilla drills: We did these a lot in the Army. Although these exercise are typically done outdoors, I remember doing them inside on occasion. Guerrilla drill are a form of exercise designed to improve agility, cardio respiratory endurance, muscular endurance, and to some degree muscular strength and can be done with, or without a partner. These drills require the participant to change positions quickly and perform basic skills while moving either forward, backwards, or side to side. Some drills involve walking on all fours, like the bear walk or the crab walk, and other exercicises like the straddle run. These types of exercises are often performed in both the military, and certain types of sports like football.
Posing and flexing: Body builders often pose and flex to separate and define certain muscles. In other words, these exercises are what gives bodybuilders that ripped, or “cut” effect. This is an exercise that is super easy, and there is no way to get hurt doing it. Simply assume a position that contracts a muscle, squeeze it and hold. It works great on many muscle groups.
Yoga or meditation: Both yoga and meditation involve the control of the body, breathing, and mind. It helps a lot to be a flexible person if you choose yoga as an activity, as there are many unusual positions and exercises. However you can increase your flexibility over time as with any other exercise.
Wii sports: This is a video game system, and the sports game is intended to keep the players active rather than sitting as with other video gaming systems. The game comes with five sports simulations and is designed to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote to players. Players use the Wii Remote to mimic actions performed in real life sports, such as swinging a baseball bat. There have been reports of people injuring themselves playing the Wii, however those people had to be either severely out of shape, or just played the game like a completed idiot.
Calisthenics: These are the basic exercises we all learned in grade school. Push ups, crunches and sit ups, lunges and arm circles are a part of this group. These exercises are great for warming up for aerobics or weight training.
Martial Arts: I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any ninja who isn’t fit. Martial Arts builds self esteem, confidence and discipline while teaching you to defend yourself. I recommend martial arts for anyone, especially for women and children.