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movement

35 articles in movement

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Release Tension & Breathe Vitality: Harness Body's Potential for Ageless Aging

Too many of us - fitness freaks and lounge lizards alike - experience our body not as a joy or a finely tuned instrument of expression for our inner being, but rather as a prison incarcerating the Self which cries out for physical expression but is rendered mute by walls of chronic tension, fatigue or postural distortions. Most of us live at only a fraction of our capacity for vitality and we have not the least notion of our body's potential for beauty and for pleasure. For exercise to be of real benefit it needs to be an integrating activity which draws together mind and body. We live in an age of aerobic fitness. Joggers pound the pavements summer and winter, dance studios brim with all sizes and shapes of sweaty women in lycra, and every month or so a `new' system of physical exercise appears on the scene. You'd expect to find the world full of strong supple bodies brimming with grace and energy. The reality is somewhat different. The fine muscle tone, buoyant energy and rich mobility of a coordinated, supple and responsive physical body is a rare occurrence in the Western world even amongst those who consider themselves most fit. Instead we are faced with contracted shoulders and sunken chests, distorted thighs and faces which have aged before their time thanks to poor muscle tone and flagging energy. the body as energy Just as it's important to recognize that the aging process as a whole is not only a biochemical phenomenon but is also dependent upon energy changes - structural information that comes to us through our food and our environment, and our mental attitudes and expectations - so a new approach to exercise is needed to make the most of its potential. Thinkers such as von Bertalanffy and researchers such as Szent-Gyorgyi and the American orthopedic specialist and expert in electrobiology Robert Becker have helped to create a new awareness of the physical body and the mind as a single complex. They have demonstrated that it is no longer enough to consider the body as a physiological and biochemical phenomenon alone. Beneath our physiology and biochemistry lies a unifying system of energetics, which is subtle and complex as well as enormously potent in its effect on body, mind and overall vitality. Becker even uncovered a second `nervous system' previously unrecognized by science which he insists controls growth, healing and regeneration of broken bones. This energetic system appears to be influenced by both our environment and by our thoughts. It is currently being used to explain such diverse phenomena as why acupuncture can be used for pain relief and how hypnosis works. So far very little of the new scientific findings about the body as a unified energetic system has filtered down into the awareness of exercise physiologists and teachers. As a result there are still a great many people for whom even a dedicated and dynamic exercise program followed regularly but mechanically does little good. To an unfortunate few it can even be harmful. To make the most of aerobic exercise for ageless aging, you need not gear yourself up for some superhuman effort. You only need to leave behind the mechanical approach to exercise which tends to treat your body as a machine to be put through its paces - and to get back to basics.

Back Help When You Need It

Relieve Muscle Spasms with Essential Oils: The Natural Pain Cure

Pain is what many of us fear most. We all know the misery that can come from a sore back, a throbbing headache or toothache, not to mention children’s earaches. All too many also know the immobilizing pain of migraine. Herbs and essential oils can reach out and help when pain strikes, and without the upset stomach and muzzy heads that over-the-counter treatments can bring in their wake. We’ve all done it—picked up something too heavy or twisted awkwardly—and suffered the pain of an indignant back. Essential oils really come into their own with back pain; use them to relieve muscle spasm and ease your mind. Essential oils of sage, thyme and rosemary all contain thymol and carvacrol, which are excellent muscle relaxants. Rosemary has the added advantage of being anti-spasmodic. Clary sage is also used traditionally to ease the pain of a pulled back. You can mix a few drops of one of these essential oils with a couple of tablespoons of almond oil, coconut oil, or walnut oil. Either massage it into the sore spot yourself, or allow someone you trust to do this gently for you. A warm bath will also help ease the tightness out of strained back muscles. Put a few drops of essential oil of rosemary or clary sage in the bath, plus 2 cups of industrial grade Epsom salts—simple magnesium sulfate—which you can find at a pharmacy in kilo packages or order much more cheaply over the net in big 25kg bags. Allow the essential oils to vaporize on the steam to help you relax all over. Stay in the bath for half an hour, topping up with warm water, to let the Epsom salts do their muscle-relaxing work. Then get out of the bath, dry yourself gently, and crawl into bed or lie down for 30 minutes with a good book. For my family, Epsom salts in huge bags are always in good supply. Aaron and I take an Epsom salts bath daily. It’s a practice which is not only health enhancing but deliciously pleasant.

Breath Of Youth

Learn How to Breathe Fully for Ageless Aging and Improved Health

Every one of our cells needs a continual supply of oxygen. It is this oxygen that feeds our brain, sparks metabolism and calms nerves. One of the reasons why regular aerobic exercise is so beneficial in slowing down the rate at which you age and warding off degenerative diseases is because it improves your use of oxygen. So can learning to breathe fully. It can also improve your mood, increase your resistance to colds and illness, and improve sleep as well. Full breathing is also an important tool for encouraging waste elimination. It is a kind of spring-cleaning process that can go on all year round every day of your life. Chinese medicine (which I spent three years studying and working with) has a long tradition of natural-law ageless aging. And a great deal of it centers around the use of the breath. This is something to which we give little attention in the West and it is strange to think that specific breathing techniques are so ignored when the body's use of oxygen is the central determinant of the rate at which we age. Few people breathe fully. Most of us, particularly if we have sedentary jobs, breathe high - that is we breathe quickly and shallowly concentrating the inhalations in the upper chest area which is the part of the lungs which holds the smallest quantity of air. Not only does this kind of breathing inhibit oxygen intake, it can also encourage the lungs to atrophy and to lose much of their natural elasticity - something which is a common occurrence as people get older. Other people, who allow the air to flow deeper into their lungs are mid-breathers - an improvement over breathing high because it encourages the ribcage to move and brings more oxygen into the lungs for body use. But to make the best use of oxygen for ageless aging it's important to develop the habit of taking total breaths so they become your normal way of breathing. The Total Breath This is not something that you can learn overnight for there is nothing more unconscious and habitual than the way we breathe and that takes time and a little persistent effort to change. In breathing totally all of your breathing apparatus comes into play - the chest and ribs are lifted but not by themselves. The intercostal muscles also expand the ribs outward to create a large space in which your lungs can inflate to their maximum. Finally the diaphragm moves down, pulling the lower ribs outward which lets even the very bottom of your lungs fill up completely with air. With total breathing a much higher proportion of your lung power is used, as are most of your chest, rib and stomach muscles. Practice it lying down for five minutes a couple of times a day - perhaps just on awakening or just before going to sleep - and gradually it will become an automatic way of breathing which will not only help in ageless aging but will also improve your resistance to fatigue, improve the glow of your skin and help protect you from minor illness. Here's How Lying flat on your back with a small pillow beneath your neck, place one hand on your abdomen and rest the other on one side of your ribcage. Now inhale slowly through your nose while imagining that you are sending your breath to a place about 2 inches below your navel. Your tummy will start to well outward rather like a balloon. This has the effect of filling the lower part of your lungs with fresh air. As the in-breath continues, let it fill the rest of your stomach and then expand your ribcage outwards to the side as well as the midsection of your chest. You can feel this side expansion by keeping your hand against one side of your ribcage and making sure it moves outward. Now let the fresh breath fill the upper part of your chest area as well, watching it as it expands outward and to the side. (The whole process of inhalation should take about 5 seconds altogether.) Hold your breath for another 5 seconds. (In time you will find you can hold it much longer which gives your lungs a good opportunity to absorb all the oxygen available to them.) Now exhale following the same process you did in inhaling: first contract your lower abdomen gently to move the air upwards then as the lower lungs deflate you should feel the ribcage contracting again followed by the upper chest. This process too should take about 5 seconds. Rest for a second or two before beginning the whole cycle again.

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Experience the Rejuvenating Power of Hydrotherapy: German Blitz Guss Protocol.

Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters at it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on the body can alter the electrical charges of molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up the capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through the blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and helps you feel energetic. Here's how: After standing under a hot shower for 3 to 5 minutes so that your body is warm and comfortable, alternate hot and cold water—2 minutes of hot followed by 30 seconds of cold—three times, finishing off with cold. Once you get used to the Blitz Guss protocol you are likely to find that you want to increase the time your body is exposed to cold water just because it makes you feel so good and so alive. Don't do this just before bed or you may feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart condition it is essential that you check with your medical practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be sure to check out the video below: [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ]

The Wonders Of Exercise

Uncovering the Truth About Exercise: Debunking BMI Myths & Benefits of Regular Exercise

Let’s talk exercise. It’s time we did. For there is no area of health more misunderstood than exercise—its benefits, its drawbacks—what it will and won’t do. The medical profession continues to feed us the party line: It begins with “every calorie is unique…it doesn’t matter where it comes from…if you want to lose weight, all you have to do is burn calories through exercise.” This is absolutely untrue—in fact, exercise can sometimes be seriously detrimental to those who are considerably overweight. Nevertheless doctors, and the media, keep telling us that it works. And, like sheep, we just keep trusting them. MEDICAL IGNORANCE What happens? Well, when people find that it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They feel like failures. They stop exercising and start eating more because they’re disheartened. They figure that exercising is no use. This makes metabolic syndrome—Syndrome X—worse than ever. For metabolic syndrome and chronic high blood sugar levels are what makes us fat, and keep us that way. That’s the bad news. The good news about exercise is this: Whether you’re overweight or not, exercise done regularly, for as little as 15 minutes a day, is absolutely the single most important thing that you can do to improve your overall health. TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES Because of the media, the medical profession, and purveyors of diet supplements, just about everybody still believes that energy expenditure—and therefore calorie burning—comes with exercise. However the truth is that during physical activity, only the smallest amount of energy expenditure takes place. Exercise accounts for no more than 5% of the calories you burn, unless you happen to be a top athlete. I think this will surprise you too: The greatest percent of calorie burning takes place, not while you’re moving, but while you are sleeping. This phenomenon is called “resting energy expenditure”. Depending on how heavy or light you are, resting energy can account for as much as 60% of your total daily energy expenditure. Another way your body expends energy by burning calories is thanks to the “thermic effect of food”. This refers to the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and metabolize the foods you have eaten This thermic effect accounts for about 10% of the energy that you burn during the day. So you can see by contrast just how low, in fact virtually insignificant, is the amount of calories burnt during most physical activities. TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD The idea most people have—that if they exercise they can lose weight—is also nothing more than a pipe dream. So what does exercise actually do for you? The answer is: some pretty wonderful things. Exercise enhances sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body make use of the fat that has accumulated in the liver and around other organs improving insulin sensitivity and lower ing insulin levels. It also improves both leptin signaling and leptin sensitivity in the cells., calming food cravings, improving muscle tone, and making you feel more vital. Exercise builds muscle. Most people, including most medical doctors, still wrongly equate BMI (Body Mass Index) with body fat. The truth is BMI does not measure the difference between muscle and fat, or between subcutaneous fat (the inessential fat) and visceral fat. Many studies looking at body composition before and after periods of exercise show that the percentage of fat goes down. But this is only because muscle has increased. As this takes place, a person’s metabolic facilities are also improved. PREVENTING ILLNESS We are often told that we need to change our diet in order to prevent heart disease. Indeed this is quite true: However, the metabolic transformations that take place during regular moderate exercise are an even more powerful force than dieting for preventing disease—including heart disease. To take things further, exercise is actually a more effective force in preventing heart disease than losing weight! A study of almost 40,000 American men demonstrated quite clearly that physical activity was more important in preventing heart disease than being normal weight. These major gifts of exercise are more important than people realize, but they have nothing to do with controlling weight. Let’s look now at how exercise works, biochemically and physiologically. NEW ENERGY FACTORIES Regular exercise activates your sympathetic nervous system. This , in turn, tells your muscles to make new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the amazing little energy factories inside muscle cells that burn glucose or fatty acids, to produce vitality for your whole body. Regular exercise plays a big role not only in building new mitochondria, but in getting rid of the old, inefficient mitochondria. Old mitochondria do not function properly. As a result they produce free radicals to undermine your health and encourage rapid aging. Regular exercise clears away the old and helps your muscles make clean and efficient use of the energy stored within the new. This too improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances metabolic health all round. STRESS BUSTER Regular exercise lowers your stress levels. It’s true that blood cortisol levels go up temporarily when you start to exercise. This is a good thing, It keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure up while you are moving. They come back down quickly afterwards. In fact, one of the long term benefits of regular exercise is that it reduces blood pressure. This is thanks to exercise’s ability to lower stress levels all round. Regular exercise also encourages your body to release feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This makes regularly moving the body one of the most effective treatments for depression, far better than drugs or psychotherapy. The way exercise increases endorphins always fascinated me. This was what made me become a regular runner. I was determined to experience what is known as the “runner’s high”. And I found it wonderful. WHAT EXERCISE IS BEST For a long time we’ve been told that the best kind of exercise is low-intensity, long interval, aerobic practices, now known as “cardio exercise”. We learned that cardio worked the heart in a beneficial way, and provided all sorts of cardiovascular benefits by pumping more blood to the heart, slowing heart rate, and increasing peripheral muscles. The one thing it was never able to do—although we were misled to believe that it did—was bring about weight loss. Recently, however, a number of studies have shown that high-intensity interval training, where you use an extreme activity for a very short period of time interspersed with a short recovery—as well as plain old weight training—brings equal improvements both in waist circumference and blood vessel flow. So the bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose. Just do it. BE CAUTIOUS Whatever kind you decide to try, you need to do it regularly—at least five days a week. Why? Because the wonderful metabolic effects of exercise—which tell your mitochondria to divide and make new mitochondrial factories for vitality—slow and decline when you miss even a day of exercising. Miss two weeks, and your insulin sensitivity is likely to decline as well until it reaches the level it was before you started exercising. So whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. You need only do it for short periods, but do it every day. A FINAL WORD It is not only the overweight by the way who suffer from insulin resistance—metabolic syndrome. So do 40% of normal weight men and women, especially those who have fatty livers. Recent research shows that fitness not only helps mitigate the effects of overweight on visceral fat. In fact, it mitigates many other health complaints also provided you are consistent with doing it. This is also likely to increase your longevity. And...great news...if you are overweight, but not obese, exercising regularly can help you live significantly longer than that emaciated model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Recent research shows that overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 30 tend to live longer than skinny people with BMIs of less than 19. DO WHAT YOU LOVE The most important thing for you to decide is what kind of exercise you want to do. It can be as simple as going for a walk each day for half an hour—not a power walk, just one where you feel the movements of, and a connection with, your body. It can be dance. It doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be rebounding on a mini-trampoline. It can be moderate weight training, for 15-20 minutes a day. I personally like cycling on a wind-trainer. This is a device that your bicycle fits into. It allows you to regulate how hard you choose to pump while the wheels spin but the bicycle remains static. I use a wind trainer because I don’t like cycling on roads. The other exercise I do is on a Concept 2 rowing machine which I was given many years ago. I use it five days a week for 20 minutes at a time. I love doing it: It enables me to move my whole body, and brings me a rhythmic feeling of being completely connected to it. What exercise you do depends entirely on what you love. So begin to experiment. Let go of the idea that exercise is going to make you thin. It will not. What it will do for your health, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and to slow the aging process, is fantastic. It can also be a lot of fun. Discover the joys and great gifts that come with moving your body. The time is now. REFERENCES P. Wen et al., "Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study," Lancet 378 (2011) S. Ludwig, "The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease," JAMA 287 (2002) Stensvold et al., "Strength Training versus Aerobic Interval Training to Modify Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome," /. Appl. Physiol. 108 (2010) P. Little et al, "Skeletal Muscle and Beyond: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator of Systemic Mitochondrial Biogenesis," Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 36 (2011) K. J. Acheson et al., "Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism," Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93 (2011) Shaw et al., "Exercise for Overweight or Obesity," Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. CD003817 (2006) M. J, Gibala et al, "Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease," /. Physiol. 590, no. 5 (2012) A. McAuley et al., "Obesity Paradox and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in 12,417 M a l e Veterans Aged 40 to 70 Years," Mayo Clin. Proc. 85 (2010) Bajpeyi et al., "Effect of Exercise Intensity and Volume on Persistence of Insulin Sensitivity During Training Cessation," /. Appl. Physiol. 106 (2009)

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

Uncover the Causes Behind Inflammation & How to Avoid it

The most dangerous damage your body ever has to handle is inflammation. When your body becomes inflamed this can trigger serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance, and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury, and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute inflammation and chronic/ systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation, however, can be dangerous. It can turn into a festering fire that creates pain, illness, and disability. This is because your body reacts to chronic inflammation by triggering cellular and molecular distortions to pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body. This can bring damage to healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels, as in arteriosclerosis, or your joint tissues in arthritis, or gut mucosa and diabetes. It may even act as a precursor to cancer. When it comes to the treatment of long-term illness—such as heart disease—savvy medical doctors now warn that we’ve been misled. It is inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls and cause heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. So prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and telling people to restrict saturated fats do not protect from heart disease as we’ve been told. In fact, statins, which the majority of cardiologists continue to prescribe for cholesterol, can seriously damage your health. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. As he says, “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority, often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.” He continues, “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” So, what are the causes of chronic inflammation in your body? The most common causes include: Exposure to chemical inhalants and pollutants, and electromagnetic exposure to cell phones, smart meters, and towers. Another is taking long-term courses of powerful drugs, from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics, and sedatives, as well as drugs like statins and other pharmaceuticals, the remains of which can literally poison your body long term. Want to protect yourself from inflammation? Become aware of your possible exposure to these things and make changes to help protect you from possible causes. In many ways the simplest place of all to begin is by changing the way you eat, since the typical 21st century diet is right at the core of widespread chronic inflammation. Learn which foods are inflammatory in nature and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. Foods that cause inflammation, which you want to avoid at any cost, are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you;” all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population nowadays reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Buy goat, sheep or buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese instead. Another category of foods that can be seriously inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods—breads, pasta, cakes, and biscuits made from common grains and cereals as well as all the common convenience foods that line our supermarket shelves. These are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals that poison your body. And it goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods completely. Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements can help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs is likely to be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age.

Second Coming

Unlock the Benefits of Exercise: How a Woman Can Revitalize Her Body and Mind

What a woman can accomplish through exercise is impressive not only in terms of protecting her body from the ravages of female troubles, and even from time itself, but also in preventing illness and rejuvenating her body in medically measurable ways. But exactly what kind of exercise is the right kind? It is an important question to answer because so much of what has become fashionable - fancy clothing and tossing weights around in a gym - is mostly the wrong kind. Walking or running along roads filled with air pollution and subjecting your body to the stress this brings can also do more harm than good. Aware of the benefits of exercise, most people who exercise regularly do aerobic movement - swimming, cycling, running or walking. There is a great deal that is wonderful about this kind of exercise. It improves the functioning of the heart, lowers cholesterol, and shifts brain chemistry so that you produce natural opiates which make you feel good. It also increases noradrenaline - a brain chemical which improves your self image and confidence so you feel even better about yourself and your life all round. Aerobic exercise can also enhance your body's ability to burn fat not only while you are working out but for many hours afterwards as well. This makes aerobic exercise an important part of any good exercise program. So get out and walk briskly as often as you can. But aerobic exercise doesn't go far enough. It does not offer the body enough weight resistance to maintain muscle mass. One interesting study compared the Lean Body Mass to fat ratio in three groups of women - non-exercisers, aerobic exercisers, and weight trainers. Researchers found significant differences. In sedentary women, 21.8 percent of their body weight was fat. Among the aerobic exercisers 16.2 percent was fat while among resistance trainers only 14.7 percent of their body weight was fat. This is revolutionizing fitness advice as exercise physiologists have come to realize that, although aerobic exercise has a place as part of an exercise program, it does not maintain bones and muscle the way resistance exercise does. The bottom line is we need both, although resistance exercise is the more important of the two. In an official statement of advice issued by a member of the advisory board of The American College For Sports Medicine - who in the past promoted aerobic exercise as the best form for over all health and fitness - the word is in: "Done correctly, weight training is the most efficient, effective, and safest form of exercise there is, and it won't be long before people realize it." let's get started What does a confirmed lounge-lizard do once she decides she wants to explore how exercise can change her life? First you get an OK from your doctor to make sure that there is no reason you should not start on a simple graded program. Then go easy. If you start small and work up you will win. If you start big you can not only wear out your body but also lose your taste for movement, then the whole effort will have become counter productive since you will end up hating exercise and getting nowhere. For exercise to work it has to become an ordinary part of your daily life. It needs to done regularly at least three times a week. Begin with only 15 minutes in the morning when you get up or at any other time of the day that is convenient. The great news is that right from that very first session your body will begin to rejuvenate itself. Exercise routines progress well when you work out at the same time each day. Try to do this if you can. Your body will get used to the routine and love it. When it comes to resistance training you don't need to own a lot of fancy equipment either. Nor do you need to join a gym. A couple of dumbbells will do. Later on if you catch the exercise bug big you might like to have a barbell as well. Dumb bells and barbells are what are known as free weights as opposed to the kind of gym equipment you find in a multitude of sizes and shapes and glitzy finishes these days. Beginners are often dazzled by the high tech stuff in gyms, but as any serious weight trainer will tell you, for most exercises free weights are far better. They are also far simpler since you can tuck them under the bed out of sight when they are not in use and you can make use of them any time you want without having to dress in special clothes and go to the gym. Choose the kind of dumbbells - each of which fits into one hand - that have six removable weights on each so you can add and then take off weights as needed for each exercise. When you are not using the dumbbells stash them away out of sight. Your body and their weight against gravity offer all the resistance you need to work muscles deeply. The machines you find in gyms are designed to mimic the effects of free weight exercises but - with a couple of minor exceptions - no matter how flash they look, they are not as good as simple free weights because the range of movement which you go through in each exercise is restricted by the machine. Once you get into weight training and gain a bit of confidence with it then you might find it fun to work out in the gym using these machines occasionally. But free weights should form the basis of any good weight training routine, whether you are a complete beginner, as I was, or a professional weightlifter. There are three things you want to accomplish on your exercise program. First you want to maintain and to improve your heart and lung fitness. For this you will use weights plus some form of aerobic activity for warming up and cooling down. Second you want to maintain and increase your muscle mass. Finally you want to improve and maintain your flexibility, and for this you need some kind of slow stretching afterwards. warm up It is important at the beginning of any exercise session that you spend a few minutes doing an aerobic activity. (You must never pick up a weight when your muscles are cold). This can be running in place, slow steady jumping jacks, using a rowing machine (my favorite) or bouncing on a rebounder. In the beginning, your total exercise session may only last 15 to 20 minutes, in which case you will want to devote five minutes at the beginning to the aerobic warm up. Later on it can be longer. I generally row on a Concept II rowing machine for about 10 minutes at a slow steady pace to get my heart and lungs moving and warm up before beginning my weights. As the length of your exercise session grows week by week, until it is ideally 45 minutes to an hour at a time, so will the time you spend on your aerobic activities at the beginning and end of the session, and perhaps in the middle too. stretch out After this initial warm-up period which should last long enough that you feel fully warmed up, you should then spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching. Stretch slowly and smoothly towards the ceiling, towards your toes, to the side. Never jerk when stretching and breathe deeply. Stretching before a workout but after a warm up is done to allow major muscle groups along with associated tendons and ligaments to be gently stretched, ensuring possible injuries are greatly reduced. Now you are ready for your muscle work. weights workout To work with weights properly, you need to split your sessions into different body parts and work one or two body parts per session, leaving at least 48 hours between that session and the next time you work that body part. The muscle and bone strengthening that comes with resistance training does not take place while you are using the weights. In fact, working out stresses the muscles and bones, causing tiny breakdowns in the cells to occur. It is during the rest that comes after a workout that new muscle and bone is built in direct response to the piezoelectric stimulation at a molecular level. If you come to the point of using quite heavy weights and training five times a week then it is important to work out each body part only once a week for it can take about 48 hours for the breakdown process to take place and between 48 and 72 hours to build new strong tissue to replace it. Ignorant of these facts, many gung ho body builders and weight trainers over-train their muscles and end up undermining their immune system as a result ,while getting nowhere near the benefits in terms of strengthening LBM (Lean Body Mass) that they should. Exercising a particular muscle group every 5 to 8 days is ideal for optimum progress. Stand in any gym and watch weight trainers do their stuff. It can be highly instructive, at least so far as showing you how not to work with weights. 90 percent of the men and women who use weights let their bodies swing all over the place and when they are doing an exercise such as a dumbbell curl they let the weight just fall back after each movement instead of being in control. When you do your movements be sure to keep your body absolutely centered with each movement, only using the particular muscle group that is supposed to be working, and emphasize the eccentric contraction or return movement where you are returning the weight to its original position. Resist the movement all of the way back. It is the stress placed on your muscles of lengthening again when they are under resistance load that brings about most of the gains in strength and LBM you are after. Be sure while you are working out that you drink lots of water - between each set - and eat plenty of alkaline forming foods since any kind of exercise tends to make your system more acid. the cool down It is also important to spend a few minutes at the end of a weights session again doing some kind of aerobic activity to cool down. How long depends on the length of your weights session. You can go through the same kind of activity you have used in the beginning of your session, or even take a brisk walk, but make sure you stay warm by adding an extra sweater, for after a session your body cools down fast and you don't want to become chilled. the stretch out Then do some more stretching for a couple of minutes. You will find that your body stretches more easily now since your muscles are full of blood and energized. Go slow and enjoy the feeling. It can be wonderful. beginners program All of the exercises here are classic weight training movements. They are simple and straightforward. They require nothing more than a couple of dumbbells - the kind that have six weights on each which can be unscrewed and changed will give you the particular weight you need for an exercise. Start with the lightest weights. You will be able to tell for yourself if something feels right. Never strain. As your body becomes accustomed to the lighter weight you can add a bit more. The object of the exercise is not to use heavy weights but simply to provide your body with enough weight to create resistance against which your muscles do their work. You will find pictures of the movements below in any standard book of weight training, or you can find pictures and videos showing you how to do them on the internet.  Or ask a fitness instructor to show them to you. Each exercise is done smoothly and with complete control, both on the contraction of the muscle group and on the relaxation. While one muscle group is working, the rest of the body remains still and centered. Start off by doing only three training sessions a week with one set (a set is the same exercise repeated a certain number of times: so 2x10 would mean ten repetitions of the movement, rest for two to three minutes, then ten more repetitions of the movement: 3x10 means the ten repetitions is done three times with two minutes rest between each set) per exercise, then work up to longer by adding more exercises for each muscle group you are working with, and doing one warm up set of easy repetitions (10-15) followed by a heavier set using a little more weight (5-10 repetitions). Begin with very light weights - just enough for you to feel that your muscles are being worked as you near the end of your repetitions. Then by the time you are ready to add your second set, put on a little more weight until at the end of your repetitions your muscles feel tired. Session One: Shoulders and Arms Dumbbell press 2x10 Side lateral raise 2x10 Single arm tricep extension 2x10 Tricep kickback 2x10 Dumbbell curl 2x10 Concentration curl 2x10 Session Two: Chest and Back Dumbbell bench press 2x10 Dumbbell flies 2x10 Single arm rowing 2x10 Dumbbell shrug 2x10 Floor hyperextensions 2x10 Session Three: Legs and Abdominal Muscles Dumbbell squat 2x10 Dumbbell lunge 2x10 Calf raise 2x10 Abdominal crunch 2x10-15 Reverse crunch 2x10-15 advanced workout Once you have got a taste for weights and have trained three times a week you can begin doing longer sessions - up to 45 minutes to 1 hour. You might also like to do more sessions per week moving up from three to five. Then you would divide your body part work in this way: Session One: Shoulders Dumbbell press 1x12, 2x8 Side lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Bent lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Front lateral raise 2x10 Session Two: Back Dumbbell dead lift 1x12, 3x8-10 Single arm rowing 3x10 Floor hypers 3x10-12 Dumbbell shrugs 3x10 Session Three: Chest Dumbbell bench press 1x12, 3x8-10 Dumbbell pullover 1x12, 2x8-10 Dumbbell flies 3x10 Session Four: Arms Single arm tricep extension 1x12, 3x8 Tricep extension 3x8-10 Dumbbell curl 1x12, 3x8 Concentration curl 3x8-10 Session Five: Legs and Abdominals Dumbbell squat 1x12, 3x8 Dumbbell lunge 3x10 Dumbbell step up 3x12 Stiff leg dead lift 3x10 Calf raise 3x12 Abdominal crunch 3x15-20 Side crunch 3x15-20 Reverse crunch 3x15-20 the result Each woman is in reality two women, an outer woman which can come in many forms - conventionally attractive, plain, sexy, dynamic, withdrawn, aggressive, apparently assured or terribly uncertain about herself - and an inner counterpart, that is an individual self that is utterly unique. Each woman has a stable center of strength and growth. Each inner woman sees the world in her own way, has her own brand of creativity, her own needs and desires, and is a law unto herself. The inner self holds the power to create, change, build, nurture and transform. The outer woman is the vehicle for what the self creates. When her self is allowed free expression, then a woman is truly beautiful for she is fully alive. Her body is strong, her skin is clear and healthy, and her movements, speech and actions radiate a kind of vitality that is unmistakably charismatic because it is real, an outward expression of who she truly is. Many of the secrets to calling forth this kind of aliveness are to be found within the body itself - secrets which are best learned by working with muscle. Once you get the hang of it, working with weights is like meditation - one of the most mind-stilling activities in the world. Meanwhile, as your LBM begins to develop, you will find your muscles and whole body have come alive. Then, as you work out, your muscles will begin to glow, until after a few months your body begins often to feel the way it did when you were a child - radiant with life and spirit.

Why You Should Climb Rocks

Score an Alpha Climb: Woman Tackles Rock & SAS Major's Team Challenge

The first time I climbed a rock was 35 years ago. I was terrified. I was the only woman on an all men Outward Bound course for top executives, which purported to teach them to work better as a team in the corporate world. The course was run by a ruthless retired Major from the SAS. He was also a Scottish Rugby International with an ego to match. TESTS AND MORE On the first day, each participant had to choose from one of three activities that he would follow for the week—canoeing, underwater diving or climbing. I rejected diving and canoeing, since neither posed a challenge to me. I carelessly opted for rock climbing. Whatever activity one chose, the course demanded that we accomplished a series of personal tests. These became more and more severe as the week went on, culminating in an all-day challenge which was a bit like a grail quest. All challenges were team challenges. On the final day, the grand quest involved doing something over the water (which the canoeists did), under the water (which the divers did) and, for us climbers, scaling a pinnacle of rock high above the trees, towering above the river—a place, we were told, where “only men and gods dared go.” DAY ONE Having opted for rock-climbing on the afternoon of that first day, I stood at the foot of a spiky rock surrounded by 10 men who had made the same choice as I had. Most of them were none too happy to have a woman as part of their team—something that did not inspire self-confidence in me at the challenge that lay ahead. Our climbing tutor turned out to be a muscular creature with a voice as gorgeous as Richard Burton and a caustic sense of humor. I later found out that, in addition to being accomplished at rock climbing, he was also the director of an adventure center in the wilds of Wales, as well as an expert at mountaineering and orienteering. His name was Graham Jones. Graham stood in shorts with legs spread and hands on his hips at the top of the rock and shouted to us below, “Which one of you is going to go first?” My male colleagues shuffled around, looking down at their feet. They failed to respond to Graham’s demand. Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with contempt from other members of my team at being forced to work with a woman. Far more important, I was frozen with fear. This made me blurt out, “I’ll go first.” “OK,” shouted Graham, “get moving.” MY CHALLENGE I started up the rock. I had no idea if I’d ever get to the top. I had to grab onto any little crevice I encountered with the tips of my fingers. Then, instinctually, I began to move the way a spider does, reaching out with hand or foot, pulling up, sliding over, reaching out again. I completely stopped thinking; it felt far too dangerous to think. At that point, I discovered something amazing: When you are crawling over a rock face, stresses concerning anything else in your life vanish. Mental chatter goes silent. There is only your body and the rock face. It is one of the most exciting relationships I have ever formed with anything or anyone… A simple, authentic freedom develops that cannot be described. It can only be lived. When I got to the top, Graham was waiting. The scowl he’d worn looking down at us from the top of the rock was now gone. He was grinning like a wicked child. Without warning, he handed me a rope woven through a stitch plate. The other end of the rope was tied to the belt of one of the men standing below. This guy was big—maybe 90 kg—rotund and awkward. “Wrap the rope around your waist,” Graham told me. “Put it over your shoulder then hold while he climbs.” “There’s no way I can hold this guy.” I said, and began to tremble. “Climb,” shouted Graham to the man below. “We don’t have all day.” I did the best I could to tighten the rope through the stitch plate in my hand as the man got closer. Halfway up, the guy did come off the rock. I held on for dear life. To my amazement, I found I could hold him without difficulty. Of course, what I did not know is that Graham had also tied me to a tree so even if I had failed in my belaying duties, neither he nor I were in any real danger. Like a lot of outdoor activities, provided it is done right, the danger of climbing is an illusion. For a beginner, this illusion is essential to make it a worthwhile activity. Complete trust in your instructor is as essential as the illusion of fear. You cannot leap into the process until you are confident that your instructor knows what he is doing. THE VALUE OF FALSE DANGER Rock climbing can feel like the most frightening thing you can do. Such beginner’s fear is of great value. Enduring it can ultimately breed confidence. In reality, skilful rock climbing puts much more emphasis on mental and emotional strength than on physical prowess. Because of this, I think it may well be the most valuable of all outdoor sports activities. Most of us could make a list a mile long of things we are unable to do. Rock climbing has a remarkable way of shortening that list tremendously. Anybody who has scaled 100 feet of sheer rock straight up rapidly comes to know there is little one can’t accomplish, if one sets one’s mind to it. Most climbers will agree that rock climbing is far more than a mere sport. It is a perpetual challenge to climb better, faster, and with more agility than before. Soon, you develop more skills than you ever imagined you’d have. This special relationship develops between you and the rock: A sense of closeness and friendship. Once established, you begin to experience the most extraordinary sense of “flowing over” the rock—almost like a dance. This relationship demands all of your attention. This is how, while you are on the rock face, there can be nothing on your mind except how you are going to make the next move, find your way, keep going. It’s an experience which somehow sets your spirit free. I had never dreamed that I could get to the top of the rock. Graham taught me how to do it. You put one hand or one foot in front of the other. You care only about one step at a time. A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. By the way, all the men in our team who had treated me scornfully that first day had elected me leader of the team three days later. When the final day’s holy grail task took place, our team not only won the much sought-after grail prize. We achieved the highest number of points ever given to any team in the history of the organization. Miracles can happen! TRANSFORMING LIVES My experiences rock climbing, and later climbing mountains, are by no means unique. Deprived children who have never set foot out of the city have similar experiences and are rewarded with similar self-transcendence. The main difference between you and them is that you will be aware of what is going on, while they just blindly follow. Yet they, too, transcend themselves as we do. Rock climbing seems a dangerous sport, and because of its inherent dangers, safety rules and equipment are excellent. Provided you use them, you are safer on the rock face than you would be on the motorway. Yet there is something about the feeling of danger when you are climbing a rock or abseiling down from the edge of a cliff that is very valuable in terms of breaking through self-perceived limitations. You are safe, and yet you are presented in an immediate way with the idea of death. TAKE A COURSE You do not have to be fit to begin climbing. Take it slowly, climb regularly and you will rapidly gain skills and become fit. Sheer face climbing requires skill more than brute force. To learn, you can either join a club or go on a course where a guide teaches you. The best climbing gear is a pair of riding breeches with long socks, although a pair of straight-legged jeans or trousers will do just as well in the beginning. The equipment itself—ropes, belts, helmets and shoes—is usually supplied by the course. You’ll never know how much rock climbing or mountaineering can do for you until you try it. The exercise you’ll get is invaluable for toning muscles, improving skin and bringing you a new sense of vitality, whatever your age. Equally important, it can take you away from your everyday problems. You find yourself faced with totally different, unknown and unforeseen tasks to accomplish. I also love the way there is no competition involved in rock climbing. The only thing you are working against is yourself—bettering previous attempts, becoming more skilled, gaining more confidence in your judgment and yourself. This alone is what matters. There are very few areas in anybody’s life where you can say that. Try it. You may well come to love it as much as I have, no matter what your age.

How To Tap Your Explosive Energy

Discover German Secrets to Rejuvenation with Hydrotherapy: Blitz Guss!

For generations European experts in natural medicine and top athletes have been masters at using hydrotherapy to vitalise, restore strength, regenerate and rejuvenate the body. Yet few of us anglo-saxons have been privy to their secrets. It’s time you learned about them. You’ll it once you do. Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters of it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on your body can alter the electrical charges of its molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up your capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through your blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and heightens your overall vitality. Hydrotherapy - Blitz guss Hydrotherapy in one form or another is a must both for helping to prevent cellulite and for restoring cellulite-riddled tissues to normal. It enhances circulation, eliminates stored wastes, increases energy exchange on a cellular level and even heightens immunity. The best water treatment for cellulite is the traditional German Blitzguss. The classic Blitz Guss needs to be done by a professional but you can get much of the same effecta and benefits in the shower yourself at home—especially if you have a hand held shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Here’s what to do Take a three minute hot shower so you skin is really glowing. Then turn off the hot and immediately turn on the cold water so it flows on you face and down your shoulders and arms, your chest and belly and back then down your legs but for no more than 30 seconds. Now go back to 2 to 3 minutes of hot shower followed by 30 seconds of a cold then back to hot again and so on. You repeat this process three times, always finishing off with 30 seconds of cold water. If 30 seconds seems a daunting length of time in cold water at the beginning only do 15 seconds of cold followed by 2 to 3 minutes of hot three times finishing off with cold. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you want to adapt to the full 30 seconds I suspect. When you get out of the shower, dry yourself briskly with a thick soft towel. The main reason you always finish your Blitz Guss with cold is that this stimulates warmth in your skin and whole body. It will surprise you just how warm and enlivening this experience can be. which leaves you glowing with life. How Good You Feel Once you get used to your Blitz Guss protocol you are you’re going to be surprised at how good you feel and how vital. Never do a Blitz Guss just before bed or you more likely to feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart issue or other condition it is essential that you check with your health practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be brave and give it a go. I thik you’re going to love the experience.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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