Specific Exercises for Body Parts
We all have body parts we would like to improve.
And, of course, we all know that we can't "spot-reduce" (well,
at least, most of us know that, no matter what the "Tummy-Cizer"
and "Butt-O-Matic" folks want us to believe!) And it's true, as far
as it goes. But as far as it goes, pertains mostly to fat, not muscle.
So, while you can't remove that extra inch of fluffy matter from your
thighs directly, you should know that you can instead add some not-so-fluffy
muscle, which will serve multiple purposes. First and foremost,
of course, more muscle will make you stronger. But there are other
uses for muscle:
And how do we get this wonderful muscle stuff? Well, we literally
work our butts off! Which isn't at all as unpleasant as it may sound
to some of us. Especially at the end of the day, when our muscles
have that warm little ache that says we did a good job, and we look in
the mirror and see the improvement.
Metabolic activity. Muscle burns kCals - about 35 to 50 per day per
Size reduction. A gram of muscle is smaller than a gram of fat.
Shape improvement. As the fat comes off, the underlying muscle will
Firmness. Slap a muscular thigh, and see that it doesn't jiggle nearly
as long as a fat one!
... isn't exercise. Those infomercials which promise it are simply
not telling you the entire story. The "air-walker" type machines,
for instance, while possibly a valid exercise machine for the totally un-fit,
or persons who have joint problems, simply don't provide enough of a workout
for even the casual exerciser, much less, somebody who's been working out
regularly. Now, this is entirely anecdotal, and not by any means
intended to be a scientific study, _but_... I've been on just about every
brand of those things on the market, and there is no way I could hit my
THR (Target Heart Rate) on one, without pushing my exercise/leg-swinging
speed to dangerous levels. The problem with these machines is just
that - they supposedly "work you out" by supporting you while you swing
your legs (and sometimes your arms) in a somewhat-unnatural arc.
No real serious resistance, and no use of the large muscles on these things.
Easy? Of course they're easy! For most of us, though, I'm sorry
to say, they simply are a waste of time, money, and (very little) effort,
in my opinion. Another fancy gadget to hang stuff on out in the garage.
If you must have one, wait until spring and get it at a garage sale
for ten bucks!
So What Can We Do?
At the risk of sounding like a continuously-repeating tape loop --
Find Something Fun To Do, And Do It! After your hips? Your
options are many. You can run, walk, jog, do aerobic dance, step
aerobics, tennis, inline skating -- you get the idea. Arms?
Push-ups, curls at the gym (in the "iron-head" area!), Nautilus, Cybek,
resistance tubing, baseball (!), boxing, tossing a medicine ball around,
chins, and lots of other exercises. See your Certified Personal Trainer
for more ideas specific to your (personal!) situation.
And How Do We Do It?
Three words. "Regularly, and intensely!"
Summing Up The Pep Talk
If it isn't hard, it probably isn't exercise. But just being
hard doesn't mean it can't also be fun. The key to a life of fitness
and health is to be found in your own motivation. You can own every
gadget in the world, eat all the weird supplements there are, and still
not be fit and healthy. Or you can simply set yourself on a path
And that's all for now. Keep dropping in for more articles on subjects
which interest you. Be sure to sign the free magazine below, and to email me
or any of the folks on the site, if you have questions or suggestions.
Tell your friends about this site!
Cardiopulmonary exercise in THR for 20 minutes minimum, 3 to 4 times per
Strength training which involves weight bearing exercise at or near max
load, twice per week.
Plenty of clean water (at _least_ 8 glasses per day!!)
Proper nutrition, incorporating whole foods and minimal supplementation.
Stretching and other relaxation exercises.
Freedom from tobacco, other addictive drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption.
A "Can-do!" attitude toward fitness -- possibly the _most_ important thing!
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