One Easy Exercise for Beginners or People Who Are Seriously Out of Shape
At this time of year, many people make resolutions to lose weight and improve their fitness level. We vow to go on a diet, tone our bodies, and get strong. The problem is that most weight loss resolutions tend to fizzle. This is especially true if a person has led a sedentary lifestyle for any length of time.
Going with gusto, many people start exercising like crazy, only to injure themselves or wind up having such sore muscles that they can barely roll out of bed the next morning. When this happens, it becomes impossible to continue exercising. Let’s face it: if you are so sore that you cannot lift a cup of coffee, you will not be able to do those strenuous exercises. If you have not exercised in a very long time and are seriously out of shape, the exercise illustrated below is a great way to start.
Benefits of a Moderate Approach to Increase Your Fitness Level
Using a moderate approach has the potential of increasing your muscle tone more quickly than if you exercise very strenuously. Muscle tone, or density, is very important in maintaining your health. Muscles help to keep our spine in proper alignment, protect our joints from injury, increase our metabolism, and help us to go about our daily lives more effectively. It has become commonly known that we build muscle tone by using our muscles. When we exercise our muscles to the point of fatigue, the fibers in our muscle tissue break down and rebuild, creating denser, stronger muscles. This is also the reason our muscles get sore when we exercise strenuously. If a person exercises their muscles too strenuously, it takes longer for the body to heal and regenerate muscle tissue fibers. This is why using a moderate approach to beginning a fitness regimen is beneficial if you are just beginning, or getting back into the groove after a lengthy time-period.
A great way to begin a fitness program is to increase your duration of continuous motion in your daily life. Use an oven timer, or an inexpensive kitchen cooking timer, and set a goal of five or ten minutes of continuous motion. Then, do house work, play with your pet, play with your children, vacuum the floor or dance until the timer dings. It really does not matter what you do, as long as you are not sitting! Go at your own pace. The goal is not to work up a sweat or raise your respiration to the point where you gasp for air. Right now, you are just working to sustain motion, and get your body used to motion again. Incorporating more motion into your daily life will help to work out the kinks that have built up over long time periods of inactivity.
The Core for Beginners
This is a great exercise for beginners because it is gentle to your body and strengthens you core muscles (the muscles between your neck and hips which hold your spine in alignment) as well as your arms, neck, and shoulders. It also has the potential of increasing flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder joints. So, what is this great exercise? Old-fashioned arm circles!
How to Do Arm Circles for Maximum Benefit
Step 1: Stand with feet placed shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees soft, as opposed to pushed or bent backward. This helps to keep your hips under you, with your spine in a good position.
Step 2: Slowly circle your head in a clockwise direction several times. Then reverse. This will help to loosen up your neck and shoulder muscles.
Step 3: Gently contract you abdominal, thigh and buttock muscles. Doing this applies the principle of Isometric exercise, which helps to increase the effectiveness of this exercise.
Step 4: Gently contract your arm muscles from your shoulders to your wrists. Raise your arms out to the side, approximately to shoulder height.
Step 5: Slowly begin to make small circles with your arms while keeping your muscles contracted. Gradually increase the size of your circles until they are medium sized. Avoid making the circles very large, though, as this defeats the purpose. Slow and steady is the key. To find your unique starting point for repetitions, do this until your muscles feel fatigued, but not so long that you are feeling pain. Count how many repetitions you were able to do. Shake out the kinks and give your muscles a rest for about 60 seconds, and do it again, this time going in the opposite direction.
More Healthy Tips for Fitness Beginners
- Strive to improve your posture as you go about your day. This helps strengthen your core muscles.
- Drink plenty of water. An oldie but goodie.
- Breathe deeply. Using continuous motion, try to increase your activity level until your breathing is slightly elevated. Our bodies need oxygen in order to burn fat, as well as for other vital cellular functions.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Find some you like and vow to begin incorporating them into your daily food intake.
© 2011 Nancy Owens