Playing the Balancing Game

Balance is an import aspect for everyone. Nobody wants to be a klutz or uncoordinated. Yet many people overlook including balance work in their regular training routine. The reason seems to be that people don’t realize that you can easily improve your balance and coordination via exercise.

Activities that involve balancing or things that take coordination are basically neurological issues. Growing up you learned how to do activities based on your body learning how to coordinate impulses sent from the brain through the nervous system to the body. As you learned how to throw a ball, for example, you created new pathways in your neural network. The stronger those connections are, or even making new ones, directly relates to how your body reacts and compensates during certain situations.

Want proof?

Pick up a small ball like a tennis ball or baseball. Use your off hand to throw it at your couch from ten feet away. Try aiming at something like a specific pillow. More than likely the motion feels weird and you can’t easily aim. Do it again. Then do it ten more times. While the motion feels awkward at first, after ten throws it should feel less so and your aim should start to improve. What is happening is new neural connections are actively being created during these exercises and the brain is learning how to coordinate this movement.

This type of training can be brought into the gym as well to help work on coordination and balance which then translates over into everything else you do from sports to daily life.

Balance Training Exercises

Essentially for balance training you will be incorporating movements that put you in an off-balance position and force your body to adapt and compensate. If you want to practice your balance then try incorporating these various exercises into your existing program.

  • One-Legged Squats – Stand on one leg. Your other leg should be bent at the knee with your calf parallel to the ground. Squat down as low as you can and then come back up. At first use no weight. You should aim for 12 to 20 reps. If it becomes too easy then grab a dumbbell or two for added resistance.
  • Box Jumps – Basically you start in standing position, crouch down, and then jump sideways over an object like a box. People jump over cones or benches as well. To start use something simple like a sweatshirt folded on the ground. Jump over then jump back for 1 rep. Aim for 12 to 20 reps total.
  • Balance Ball Crunches – Using a big balance ball for abdominal work adds a degree of difficulty. You can do normal crunches as well as twists for the oblique muscles. The size of the ball creates a stability issue which helps with balance training.
  • Uneven Push-ups – Place a block or medicine ball under one hand creating an uneven stance and perform pushups to exhaustion. Switch positions (object under opposite hand) for a second set to exhaustion.
  • Use a Barbell – On some exercises that you normally use a dumbbell (like bicep curls, deltoid raises, or overhead presses) switch to a barbell with slightly less weight. The extra length will cause a balance issue that your body has to overcome.
  • Use One Leg or Hand – Certain exercises can be done standing on one leg. By the same token some exercises can be done with just one hand or one leg instead of both. The uneven weight distribution will help to train your body to compensate. Make sure to start with less weight than you would normally use.
  • Jumping Rope – This helps with hand-eye and foot coordination. As you get better you can hop on one foot at a time versus two.

Ben Sanderson is an author for Nutribomb Bodybuilding Supplements. Nutribomb’s goal to provide you with information and advice on the best supplements on the internet.

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Tips For Staying Fit This Winter

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Tips For Staying Fit This Winter

The winter season brings in bulky clothing and heavy coats. Because we tend to cover up more in colder weather, it is easy to neglect staying in shape. Don’t let this year’s cold snap leave you lagging behind feeling tired, bloated and weak. Your exercise routine may need a few adjustments with tips for staying fit this winter.

1. Warming Up the Muscles
Before you step outside for a morning run in the snow, be sure you have warmed up your muscles and properly stretched. Tight muscles exposed to the cold will cramp and the weather conditions can tear a ligament in your feet and knees. Ten minutes of stretching your calves and flexing your feet gets your body ready to take a pounding on the pavement with a brisk walk or jog in the cold.

2. Keep Your Head Covered
The temperature of the head regulates the rest of the body. It is important to wear a knit cap when running or walking in cold weather to keep you warm before and after your have reached your target heart rate.

3. Muscle Cramps
Your muscles may feel strained and tight when exercising in colder weather. Remedies such as liniment, tiger balm, and soaking your feet in Epsom Salts provide immediate relief to enable you to maintain your winter routines.

4. Avoid Chapped Hands
Winter winds can cause chapped hands to the point of severe cracking of the skin. Protect your hands with wool gloves when you run to prevent winds from drying out your skin. If your hands are already sore, apply a skin softening cream and cover with rubber gloves.

5. Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Your body needs water just as much in the winter as it does in the summer. Be sure you keep your system hydrated with eight glasses of water per day. Your water intake need not be ice cold from the fridge. Try your water bottles at room temperature or heat a cup of hot water with a dash of lemon.

6. Stay Connected
Be sure to take your mobile phone in case of an emergency. Roads and sidewalks can be slick in winter and you want to stay connected should an accident arise.

7. Eating Light
Calorie burning is accelerated when you eat light before your run. Try to avoid heavy meals that have little water content. Hamburgers, breads and pastas should be avoided before you work out. Instead, fuel up on a protein shake, piece of fresh fruit or a cup of steamed vegetables.

8. Adjust Your Routine Times
Longer days in the summer equals more hours of light at the end of your day. As winter sets in, the daylight hours become shorter and can reduce your quality time to run. Jogging on city streets may be unsafe after dark, so you might have to shift your exercise time from late afternoon to early morning.

9. Skid Resistant Foot Wear
To avoid a nasty slip and fall, be sure you have plenty of tread on your trainers. Your shoes may fit your foot comfortably, however the tread on the sole must be in mint condition to keep your feet firmly anchored to the ground.

10. Take Your Vitamins
A daily dose of vitamins and supplements will keep your body strong and help fight off the winter flu bugs. Vitamin C tablets plus a few glasses of orange juice should keep your immune system ready for anything and help you remain on track this winter workout season.

 

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the fitness, travel, and fashion industries for three years. Last year Nicole decided to start eating well to lose weight. She made sure to look into what she was eating, but to make sure she lost weight Nicole decided to purchase so equipment to assist in her weight loss. She made sure to check for daily deals on workout equipment.

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Life Begins at 60: Five Experiences to Make You Feel Young Again

Don’t grow old gracefully, spice up your life with some excitement – your advancing years don’t have to mean joining the pipe and slippers brigade. Maybe you’re looking for 60th birthday ideas for a loved one without making them feel like you’re nudging them towards the pension queue, or perhaps you don’t see age as a barrier and you just want to seek new thrills without letting greying hair and creaking joints stop you. New experiences make us all feel vibrant and alive so here are some ideas to help you roll back the years:

Get pampered

Feeling young again doesn’t have to mean surgery or Botox injections, but there are plenty of more natural beauty, skin and body treatments which can reinvigorate you and give you that glow. There’s plenty you can try from all-over body massages, cutting edge skin creams, or even an organic chocolate face mask. You might not come out looking like an 18-year-old but you will certainly feel rested, relaxed and full of energy, while a decent facial can shave a few years off your appearance.

Fighting spirit

Martial arts don’t have to mean kicking lumps out of each other and rolling around the gym floor. But staying active and getting regular exercise is essential to maintaining vitality and there are plenty of forms of martial arts which suit anyone from eight to 80. Aikido is a passive martial art with the emphasis on self-defence, learning movements which allow you to use an opponent’s speed or strength against them, while slow and patient Tai Chi places the emphasis on movement, flexibility, breathing and health.

Rally driving

Trundling along in the family saloon might make you feel more like Victor Meldrew than Jenson Button, but you can satisfy your need for speed on muddy off-road tracks, or racing through picturesque forest routes. The car does all the hard work so it’s not too gruelling on your body but you still test your skills to the max, or you can even just join the fun as a passenger alongside an expert driver and still enjoy the thrill of high speed driving.

Dream of Wembley

Your peak footballing years may be behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream. Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most exciting football stadiums in the world, including Wembley; see the trophy cabinet up close, explore the dressing rooms and even set foot on the hallowed turf. Just for a day you can imagine what it’s like to score that winning goal and lift the FA Cup.

Take to the skies

Look down on everyone else by gliding through the air with a bird’s eye view of your surroundings. Experience the thrill of flying your own plane with an accompanied lesson, soar through the air in a microlight, or simply enjoy the serenity of a hot air balloon ride. The exhilaration of being so high and so free will leave you feeling on top of the world.

This article has been created by Activity Superstore, the UK’s leading gift experience days supplier.

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