July 24, 2020

5 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BACK MUSCLES and More…

In today’s digest we bring you articles on 5 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BACK MUSCLES, 5 EASY EXERCISES TO TRIM YOUR WAISTLINE AND ELIMINATE MUFFIN TOPS, ‘I was a healthy, active adult training for my 7th marathon. Then I was diagnosed with heart failure’ and 4 Moves You Can Do in Less Than 10 Minutes to Clear Your Lungs of Toxins and Bacteria. Hope you enjoy them…

5 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BACK MUSCLES

Scientists say that being sedentary is the disease of our generation. Well I don’t even know if we’re part of the same generation – so let’s just agree that this applies to everybody who’s ever worked in an office. You sit all day, and lie all night, and when you finally have to lift a…


Scientists say that being sedentary is the disease of our generation. Well I don’t even know if we’re part of the same generation – so let’s just agree that this applies to everybody who’s ever worked in an office.

You sit all day, and lie all night, and when you finally have to lift a heavy box, or a not-so-heavy-and-more-adorable kid of yours, you feel like you’re going to break in two.

The problem is that our lower back muscles are underdeveloped because we stay in front of a computer all day. No wonder we’re all aching before we even reach 30!

So are we doomed, or is there salvation? Well the salvation is there, and I call it The Deadlift & Co.

Perform these 5 exercises to strengthen your lower back muscles so that the modern work style doesn’t ruin your modern life.

 The Deadlift

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Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your feet pointing forward. Put your right hand behind your lower back to make sure your lower back does not hyper extend. Bend your torso forward at your waist and bend your knees slightly. Reach down with your left hand toward the ground without rounding your spine, tucking your chin against your head. Shift your weight slightly toward your heels as you bend forward.


 Superman

Image result for Superman exercise gif women

You might have done this exercise before. It consist of you lying on the floor with your stomach toward the floor, raise your arms and legs out like superman. Many children love this pose but it’s a lot harder as you grow older. This exercise strengthens your chest, shoulders, arms, lower back and core. This is a better exercise than crunches and also help improve posture.

 Hyperextensions

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If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m crazy about exercises that work more than one muscle. So while hyperextensions are great for your lower back muscles, they will also help strengthen your upper legs, and also it they will activate your core.

All you need to do is fight gravity using your lower back muscles as you lower your upper part of the body, and then get it back up.

If you want a little extra edge to make sure you feel your lower back muscles burning a little bit more, grab onto a weight while you perform this exercise.


 Russian Twist

Image result for Russian Twist exercise gif women

Sit with knees bent and together, feet lifted to knee level, and arms extended overhead (sit up as tall as possible through spine). Shift weight onto left ‘cheek’ and press arms down to outside of right hip. Return to start and repeat on opposite side. Do as many reps as possible in 60 seconds.


 Child Pose

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This is an excellent pose for healing and relaxation. Grab a mat, kneel on it, your bottom should be resting on your heels. Lean forward and make sure that your legs support your chest. Place your forehead on the mat. Place your arms by the sides, with the palms facing up. Take a break and make sure to breathe deeply.

After 4 intense exercises, you can’t just pack your gym bag and go home. Your lower back muscles are going to be very tense. And by the time you wake up for work tomorrow, they’re going to be super-sore too.



5 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BACK MUSCLES was originally published at http://www.trainhardteam.com/5-exercises-to-strengthen-your-lower-back-muscles/






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5 EASY EXERCISES TO TRIM YOUR WAISTLINE AND ELIMINATE MUFFIN TOPS

You are what you eat right?  Well not necessarily. The truth is you could be eating all the right things and still finding yourself far from the healthy figure you should portray. Well if you have been eating clean, and still find yourself with rolls of unsightly fat spilling over the side of your pants….

You are what you eat right?  Well not necessarily. The truth is you could be eating all the right things and still finding yourself far from the healthy figure you should portray.

Well if you have been eating clean, and still find yourself with rolls of unsightly fat spilling over the side of your pants. Then what follows below is definitely for you.

What Is A Muffin Top.

When discussing muffin tops it’s rare for the conversation to be focused on the delicious top half of a breakfast pastry.  Muffin tops are actually known as an overflowing of fat. Muffin tops usually occur when someone is wearing a pair of fitted pants.



However, if your muffin top is spilling over in a pair of pants you know fits you perfectly, then these 5 fat targeting workouts are for you.

Note: Always remember to properly warm your body before engaging in exercise. Warming up will insure your body is prepared for the vigorous movement you are about to engage in and keep you injury free.

1. Jump Up Push Ups.

Image result for Jump Up Push Ups.

Jumping pushups are a perfect workout for fat burning as they can easily raise your heart rate. Increasing your heart will trigger your body’s fat burning mechanism.  Jump up push up’s will also activate almost all the muscles in your upper and lower body , which will further contribute to fat burn.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.

Squat to the floor with hands on either side of your legs.

Assume the pushup position by pushing your feet back.

Perform one push-up, bring your knees back up to your chest.

Explode up with a jump, as you reach for the sky with your hands.

Repeat three sets of 15 reps.

2. Dumbbell Twist.

Image result for Dumbbell Twist.

Dumbbell twists are perfect for targeting your hips and oblique muscles. Targeting these specific muscles will help your body burn a significant amount of fat in your problem area (muffin top).

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.

Take one dumbbell (about 10-15 pounds) in both hands and straighten the arms.

Reach it to the right (turning your head and torso to this side) while pivoting on your left toe.

Bend the elbows and knees while bringing the weight to the left hip in a squat.

Tighten the abs as you exhale through each rep.

Repeat this exercise 15 times, then switch to the opposite side.



3. Heel Touches.

Image result for Heel Touches.

Similar to dumbbell twist; heel touches help to target your oblique muscles and burn fat.

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your heels up to your glutes.

Place your palms flat on the floor at your sides.

Lean to each side allowing your fingertips to touch your heel, hold for a count of 2 seconds and then lean to the other side.

Repeat this exercise for 15 repetitions a side.

4. Side Planks.

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Side planks are an effective exercise for targeting the core muscles.  This exercise can be performed anywhere at any time.

Lie flat on the floor.

Place on hand on the floor for balance and elevation.

Stretch your other hand high in the air.

Hold for a count of 15-25 seconds then relax.

Repeat this movement on your opposite side.

5. Run.

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This might be the most basic exercise, but, it’s by far the most effective. When you engage in running, your body is able to burn off loads of calories.

Your body gets rid of fat by converting fat in the body into usable energy (calories) thus removing it from your body.

While performing these exercises, remember to remain hydrated.  While exercise and eating right are important to fat loss, your hydration is the key to quickly and efficiently burning away your unwanted fat.





5 EASY EXERCISES TO TRIM YOUR WAISTLINE AND ELIMINATE MUFFIN TOPS was originally published at http://www.trainhardteam.com/5-easy-exercises-to-trim-your-waistline-and-eliminate-muffin-tops1/







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‘I was a healthy, active adult training for my 7th marathon. Then I was diagnosed with heart failure’

In the spring of 2016, I was 41 years old and training for my seventh marathon. At one point during a run, I suddenly felt as if I was only breathing from the top of my chest. It was as if there was a lump in my throat preventing me from taking deep breaths. I…

'I was a healthy, active adult training for my 7th marathon. Then I was diagnosed with heart failure'

In the spring of 2016, I was 41 years old and training for my seventh marathon. At one point during a run, I suddenly felt as if I was only breathing from the top of my chest. It was as if there was a lump in my throat preventing me from taking deep breaths. I went from running 25 miles a week—five miles, five days a week—to struggling just to get through the first mile.

I noticed this happen several times, until it became routine for me to need to stop and start a lot during every first mile of my runs. During the rest of the miles during my runs, I’d stick to a consistent but slower pace unless I really pushed myself—and I often did. When I felt like I was running too slowly or fighting to breathe through that lump in my throat, I would try to sprint through it.

I remember sitting down at a few bus stops and on more than many curbs pouting and tearing up. I was frustrated and probably a little angry, too. I’m a determined person (or a stubborn one, depending on who you ask), and this challenge made me even more so.

But I kept thinking that I needed to train harder, so I increased the diversity, duration, and intensity of my workouts. I cross-trained with Bikram yoga, bought a bike, added a Vitamin B12 supplement to my regimen, and went to bed earlier. No doubt, I got dangerously comfortable with discomfort.

In June 2016, I was struck with unrelenting fatigue.

It seemed like I was always foggy and could never get enough rest, no matter how early I went to bed or how late I allowed myself to sleep in.

Looking back, I now realise that the fatigue hit earlier than I acknowledged it. At first, I associated it with my professional responsibilities and lifestyle. I was busy—I had recently accepted a promotion to become the chairperson of my department at the university where I worked as a creative writing professor. I’d also recently launched a visual art exhibit and was working on promoting that, traveling, and presenting my written scholarship at research conferences. Additionally, I was teaching a weekly fitness class and studying for certification to become a group fitness instructor.

fitness class

Darlene teaching a fitness class in spring 2016.

Courtesy

Once, while talking to one of my sisters on my cell phone after work, I revealed to her that I was still in my car, parked outside of my house, because I didn’t have the energy to cross the street and go inside. We laughed about it at the time, attributing my exhaustion to a ‘long day.’

But then I started to actually crash at night. I didn’t just fall asleep. I regularly woke up face down on the couch fully clothed, surrounded by work papers.

By the time my annual wellness visit rolled around that July, I knew that I needed to talk to a physician about my symptoms.

Given that I always had some fatigue, the primary care doctor I saw told me to stop doing so much, take it easy, go to bed, and up my calorie intake. But I explained that this fatigue was different. I was sleepy even when I’d had a full night’s rest and I was still having trouble achieving my typical running pace, despite all of the changes I’d made to my training.

Because my shortness of breath only occurred when I pushed myself, the doctor thought I might have exercise-induced asthma. An in-office breathing test didn’t reveal any deficiencies in my lungs, but she wasn’t convinced that she could rule out a diagnosis yet, so she sent me to another office to get a full pulmonology exam in August 2016. When the exam didn’t reveal I had asthma, I was sent to yet another clinic for a chest x-ray in early September.

On September 13, 2016, the pulmonologist called me in to share my results with me. He explained that my lungs looked great and he was prepared to treat me for a possible case of exercise-induced asthma. However, he said that he noticed my heart was enlarged on the x-ray and he wanted me to have an echocardiogram (a test that produces images of your heart) at a cardiology clinic within 24 hours to check it out.

That afternoon, I learned that I did not have exercise-induced asthma after all. I was diagnosed with heart failure.

As the doctor explained, I had dilated cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease where my heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, stretches and thins (or ‘dilates’). As a result, my heart can’t pump blood as efficiently, and sometimes I have irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias.

My initial response was, ‘So, how will we fix it?’ I believed that I was a healthy person, so I thought I could ‘health’ my way out of heart failure. I would find the right supplement, taper my exercise for a while, take the meds the cardiologist prescribed, and get better. I was in denial.

Within an hour, that changed. As the cardiologist went over the aspects of my disease and I began to settle into the news, I became scared and nervous. I had only associated the term heart failure with death—definitely not a condition with which someone lived.

“I believed that I was a healthy person, so I thought I could ‘health’ my way out of heart failure.”

While the diagnosing cardiologist was thorough in explaining my condition, he did not prepare me for a life with heart failure. At the time, his focus was on getting me out of the crisis I was in. He provided me with a prescription and told me that he wanted me to ‘slow down on the running,’ to which I asked, ‘How much I should reduce my mileage—five miles a day? Three?’ He looked at me incredulously and said I should not run at all.

Still, I thought easing up on running would be temporary, something I would do until I got better—whatever that meant. When I pressed the doctor for a specific prognosis, he refused to tell me, saying that every case was unique.

I called my parents to share my diagnosis and learned my grandmother and I had the same condition: dilated cardiomyopathy.

Growing up, I had always known my grandmother had some sort of heart problems. She was otherwise healthy and only 59 years old when she passed away. At the time, I was in the second grade. Until I was diagnosed with heart failure, I never thought of her condition as anything more than the thing that took her away from us.

While doctors do not believe my condition to be hereditary—particularly because my heart failure is symptomatic of an autoimmune disease and not related to a heart attack—it was heavy to learn that the same condition that she endured was a new reality for my own day-to-day life.

We are caregivers to other people, workers who are required to do more than our peers to achieve professional success, and patients who are under-resourced and under-believed when they do identify health concerns through the health care system. All of these stressors put us at an increased risk of developing a condition like heart failure.

“I try to focus not on what I can’t do, but to celebrate what I can.”

Shortly after my diagnosis, I was looking for a support group and found WomenHeart, a patient-centered organisation dedicated to serving women with heart disease to improve our quality of life and advocate for our benefit. Through a program called SisterMatch, I was connected with another woman living with heart failure who had a similar fitness background and could relate to my loss of identity.

After this experience, I decided I wanted to try my hand at being that person for someone else. Today, I serve as an advocate for WomenHeart and am trained to be a community educator. I also look for opportunities to spread awareness among the African American community to talk about heart health and its link to family history.

womenheart members 2018

Darlene with fellow WomenHeart members in 2018.

Courtesy

Over the past few years, I’ve worked to manage my condition and not let it define me.

On June 30, 2017, about nine months after my initial diagnosis, I got a pacemaker implant that includes an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). The pacemaker regulates my heart rate about 1 percent of the time, and the ICD will provide an electrical shock should the irregular rhythm last too long and threaten cardiac arrest.

heart failure implant surgery

Darlene after her implant surgery in July 2017.

Courtesy

Today, I try to focus not on what I can’t do, but to celebrate what I can. While I haven’t been able to resume distance running to the same extent as before my diagnosis, I still run regularly at a reduced pace and mileage to strengthen the healthy parts of my heart. Staying active also gives me a sense of control in a situation that can feel so chaotic, which is one way that I deal with the trauma that comes with a diagnosis like mine. So far, I’ve worked up to running a 10K.

10k running with pacemaker implant

Darlene running her first 10K after her pacemaker implant.

MarathonFoto

One day, I’d like to return to marathon running again. I miss it a lot. But for now, I am happy to be able to go on with my daily life and stay healthy and active in other ways. I continue to work as a professor, enjoy various hobbies such as art and yoga, and eat a heart-healthy vegan diet. The mental part of moving forward is still a work in progress, but I practice meditation and try to make sleep more of a priority, too.

In light of the unique stressors Black women face in this society, my advice is to be a caregiver for yourself and advocate for yourself in your professional and personal lives. For women diagnosed with heart failure, my advice is the same: Take good care of yourself and always advocate for yourself. After all, as Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved, “You are your best thing.”

heart failure implantable cardioverter defibrillator icd workout

Darlene working out with her implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in April 2017.

Courtesy

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‘I was a healthy, active adult training for my 7th marathon. Then I was diagnosed with heart failure’ was originally published at https://trib.al/1AC8Oei







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4 Moves You Can Do in Less Than 10 Minutes to Clear Your Lungs of Toxins and Bacteria

I’ve suffered from asthma my whole life and have always found it frustrating when it gets in the way of my day. It’s particularly annoying when my wheezy lungs prevent me from reaching my full potential when it comes to exercise. I have always thought that a healthy outlook on life is the best route to a…


I’ve suffered from asthma my whole life and have always found it frustrating when it gets in the way of my day. It’s particularly annoying when my wheezy lungs prevent me from reaching my full potential when it comes to exercise. I have always thought that a healthy outlook on life is the best route to a happy life, so I try not to let asthma get in the way, but it loves to creep up at the most inappropriate of times.

There are around 25 million Americans suffering from asthma today and this number appears to be on the rise. There are lots of treatments currently available and many prescribed medicines out there which are still very important if you are an asthma sufferer, however, new studies suggest a novel approach which could actually have a pretty drastic effect on asthma.

Yoga’s Effect on Asthma

A new Cochrane Review published in the Cochrane Library has suggested that the practice of yoga may have beneficial effects on asthma’s symptoms as well as lung function. By practicing yoga on a regular basis, I have seen a difference in my lung health, as well as my overall health.

How Does It Work?

There are a lot of different suggestions out there as to how yoga works to combat asthma’s symptoms, and more research needs to be done to ascertain the exact reasons. Personally, I believe the fact that yoga allows us to focus on our breathing and start breathing in ways we never normally would in our day-to-day, has the greatest effect.

There are some very simple poses that I will share with you today that you can start doing to open the chest and lungs, stimulate proper oxygen flow, and begin blast away the wheeze!

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique

This is my favorite way to start yoga sessions as it completely calms the body down and settles the mind at the same time. It’s also really to do:

  • Find a comfortable place to sit, spine straight, body relaxed.
  • Bring your right to your head, placing the pointer and middle fingers gently on your brow to use as an anchor for the hand.
  • Gently squeeze your right nostril closed using your thumb and breathe in deeply, then squeeze your left nostril closed with your ring finger and hold this breath for a brief pause.
  • Remove your thumb and breathe out through your right nostril.
  • Breathe in again, then cover both nostrils at the top of your breath, and switch nostrils again.

Do this for 5 – 10 cycles, keeping a steady, calm breath throughout.

Taking the time to breathe deeply and steadily has a healing effect on the respiratory system, as you’re giving it a chance to recover from quick, shallow breaths that asthma brings on us. Simply by devoting your focus to your breathing in this way, you can quickly take control of it and calm yourself.

2. Sitting Half Spinal Twist

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) - Yoga Journal

I love this pose so much. You really expand your chest, which encourages a lot of air to fill your lungs. Plus this position really strengthens your spine which helps support proper posture. Posture is vital when it comes to dealing with asthma, and is another reason why yoga can be so effective in doing so.

  • Sit with your legs out in front of you.
  • Take your right leg, and place the sole of your foot on the outside of your left thigh.
  • Bend your left knee to bring that leg close to your body, and place your left hand on your right knee.
  • Support yourself with your right hand behind you.
  • Gently twist the waist, shoulders, and neck to the left, making sure you keep your spine erect.
  • Repeat this on the other side.

By continuing to breathe deeply throughout this pose, you welcome oxygen deep into your lungs. Furthermore, the stretch that this brings to your abdominal area helps you to avoid any restricting tightness throughout the day.

3. Bridge Pose

How to do bridge pose: Step by step Instructions and more

This is another pose that is very open in the chest area. This one might take you a little more time to get used to, but it’s well worth it once you can crack it. This is another fantastic lung expanding pose and once more stretches the abdominal muscles, encouraging deeper breaths.

  • Begin lying down with your arms by your side.
  • Bring your feet towards your butt, bending at the knees.
  • Once your feet are directly under your knees, lift your hips up off the floor, keeping the length of your arms on the ground.
  • Draw your shoulder blades back to encourage your chest to open in this pose.
  • Do this for around 30 seconds to a minute.

4. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose (Shavasana or Savasana) • Yoga Basics

You should end all of your yoga sessions with a 5 – 10-minute savasana. This pose, as the name suggests, is in the first impression simply lying down. It brings the body into a really calm state, encouraging relaxed, deep breaths.

For this pose, you simply lie down on your back, arms at your sides and completely relaxed, and breathe deeply. Your legs should be slightly spread apart, your palms facing the ceiling, fingers naturally curling in.

This pose is particularly useful for asthma sufferers as a lot of attacks are brought on by anxiety or panic attacks which lead to quick, sharp breaths – definitely something we want to avoid! The psychological effects of completely switching off, clearing the mind of daily stresses and calming down when in this pose will have some wonderful long-term benefits.

How Often?

If you aim to do each of these poses for 10-15 minutes a day, especially if you can make them part of your morning routine, you will really notice the benefits. By expanding your chest, you open your body to invite huge surges of oxygen which will not only help wake you up, but promote a healthier lifestyle and, most importantly, begin to treat the symptoms of asthma at their core.



4 Moves You Can Do in Less Than 10 Minutes to Clear Your Lungs of Toxins and Bacteria was originally published at http://www.trainhardteam.com/4-moves-you-can-do-in-less-than-10-minutes-to-clear-your-lungs-of-toxins-and-bacteria/