|F i t n e s s||
Sunday, November 1, 1998
You can actually
attain fitness at home, spending a minimum amount of both
time and money as you do so, if you go about it the
correct way, writes Anup Debnath
We all know that exercise is essential for everyone of us. Not only does it help us look better but helps us feel better and actually be better in terms of our health. Though we all may like to exercise and stay fit, not all of us get that opportunity.
Either there is no gym near our home, or the daily trudge between office and home doesnt leave you with too much time to work out. At times you simply cannot afford to spend too much money on a gym. Whatever the reason, there are always ways to find a solution.
Working out and keeping your body in prime working condition is the objective. It is not essential to do this by going to a gym only, nor is it necessary to pull out an hour every day to work out, or even spend money on expensive gadgets to help you work out at home. You can actually attain fitness at home, spending a minimum amount of both time and money as you do so, if you go about it the correct way.
If you are not the walking type of person, or you feel that along with your daily walk you would like to add in a little something more, than you can certainly do so in the house. Callisthenics or floor exercises can easily be done at home, and all you need for this is a carpet or mat to lie down on.
Try to target a different body part each day and do there sets of four different exercises every day. Stomach, back, thighs, hips, shoulders and the upper body would in themselves add up to a six-day workout, which would work your entire body in a week. It also gives you a day off! All you really need here are 15 minutes. Make sure you have a book or a tape that guides you through the exercise and remember to go slow, both in the counts you do as well as the speed you do it at. The slower the callisthenic exercises are done the more effective they will be. Five to seven second per rep is considered ideal.
This means that you should take three seconds in the upward movement and three in the downward movement, holding the position for one second. Often this sounds easier than it actually is, and it may be more practical to try to aim at doing the rep in five seconds instead of breaking it up into two seconds on the upward movement, holding it for one second and another two seconds for the downward movement. Also try to slowly get your body into the habit of exercising before you try to push it through long spells of workouts.
If you hanker for gym equipment at home but dont want to buy it then you can improvise with many things around the house and find them giving you just as good results. To work out your upper arm, back, thighs and calf two sturdy chairs are often all that you need.
A chair can be used to do proper squats which help you get shapely hips and thighs. Place a chair and (keeping your back straight and tummy pulled) lower yourself onto the chair as if you are going to sit in it. Raise yourself up as soon as you touch the chair end and repeat this movement 10-12 times.
For great thighs use a dining chair or any straight-backed chair. Sit in the chair with the small of your back tucked into the back of the chair as far as it can go, keeping your back straight. Stretch one leg out and slowly lift it till your thigh is lifted off the chair and then slowly return the leg down. Repeat this movement 10-12 times on each leg.
Heavy books can be used instead of dumb-bells to work out the triceps, biceps, forearm, wrist, back, shoulders etc. Sit on a chair with your back straight and both your feet flat on the ground. Hold a book that is comfortably heavy for you. Grip the book in your hand and slowly lift your arm up towards your shoulder, bending it at the elbow. Return it slowly to the starting position. Remember to keep the movement very slow and breathe out as you move the arm up and breathe in as you move the arm down. About 10 repetitions of three sets on both the arms will suffice.
Stairs in the house can actually be a boon for you if you are looking for a workout. You can make the going up and down the stairs do wonders for your figure.
Just remember to keep your back straight and keep the weight evenly on the entire foot. Just going up and down the stairs correctly can help you get more fit.
Think of every activity as an opportunity. In case you are without a maid and need to do some work around the house, dont curse your fate. Look at this as an opportunity to workout and save money. Sweeping and mopping the house, if done with a proper body posture, constitute perhaps the most exhausting workout you can put your body through. Thoroughly cleaning a two-bedroom house can easily equal up to the calories burned up in a regular aerobic workout.
Making beds, dusting and
washing clothes need not be treated as chores. If you
keep your body posture in mind and take some basic
precautions, then these chores can very well prove to be
a fun way to a workout and get your work done at the same
time. What could be better than a great home and a great
body working side by side?
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