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Three exercises featured in my article, Falling Back into Fitness in The News Courier.🍂🍁🎃👻 @itsamatteroftheheart
1. Notice how I am sitting off the seat about 2-3 inches, sitting at a 90 degree angle my back is straight, lay back untill you feel your lower back muscle contract than slowly return to starting position. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring and lower back.
2. Always situp straight, keeping arms beside you as close as possible. You should feel your shoulder blades rotate as you pull your elbows back. Imagine pinching a penny between them and squeeze before returning to the startling position.
3. Always keep soft knees ( do not lock them ), lean forward with straight back, elbows locked and push bar down. Control weights on the downward and upward motion.
Getting Back to The Basics
Welcome back guys! I’m excited about this article, getting back to the basic’s. In this new age of technology, we are constantly looking for the next “new” thing. That new workout, diet or pill that’s going to get us instant results. We are a society of instant gratification, with no work involved. We’ve all but lost that sense of a good day’s work, that feeling to have worked hard and be proud of what we’ve accomplished at the end of the day.
Maybe this is why so many people have decided that exercise or making changes to our diets are not for the average person but that of the athlete. Sometime in the early nineteen hundreds, “physical activity was no longer the medicine of the masses but the privilege of elite athletes,” reads Time Magazine. You can thank the insurance companies and government spending or lack thereof for the shift in our ideal about exercise and who can participate in getting fit.
I honestly sat down to write about the back and the different types of exercise, even my title was supposed to be a pun of the back. But really getting back to the basics is really about getting back to physical exercise and the health benefits. So for this article let’s take a break from our series of large muscle groups and discuss the benefits of exercise.
Billions of dollars have been spent researching the numerous benefits of exercise. Some of the benefits of regular exercise include cardiovascular function, lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, improved lipid profiles and glucose control, positive changes in the function of the brain and in the epidermis at the cellular level. Exercise speeds up the cardiovascular system, pumps blood throughout your body delivering nutrients and fresh oxygenated blood keeping the body from fatiguing prematurely. Weight bearing activities build bone density. Exercise also decreases anxiety and depression, enhances feelings of well-being, speeds up the healing process of wounds, decreases incidence of several cancers, improves memory and “for now prevents or delays onset Alzheimer’s” according to Time Magazine. Studies are now working to understand how exercises may improve eyesight. So what does all these benefits boil down to? Exercise helps keep you looking younger, stronger, smarter, and reduces illness. It just makes you feel better!
With all of the evidence pointing to better health and wellness why aren’t people exercising? Time, is one of the answers I’m commonly told. My mom, Dinah Nichols born in the 1950’s, called while I was writing this particular article. We talked about what I was writing and I explained all the benefits of exercises and popped the question to her, “why don’t people exercise anymore, I remember you exercising growing up?” Her response, “Because times have changed. It was all about work when we were growing up, we got our exercises. You had to hand wash dishes after you pumped the water. You had to grow your own food before you could harvest it. You had chores to do, animals to feed, eggs to pick up. Now we have dishwashers, grocery stores and microwaves. You know Heidi, we don’t have a bit more time.”
Fear, has been another reason for not exercising, fear of either looking foolish or failing at something. This is where the battle of the mind is forged and conquered. You can have courage and be fearful. “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear,” says Ambrose Redmoon. Fear and anxiety are some things I’ve struggle with in the later seasons of my life, I was fearless in my younger years. Not debilitating fear just that nagging headache, anxious stomach and nauseating dread. I don’t do well with drama or conflict. It’s a waste of my time and I try and veer well away from it. But sometimes, …sometimes though, I find that there are things, people or opportunities in life that are worth stretching for, that something else is more important than my fear. 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. My fear and anxiety are just feeling, your fear and anxiety are just feelings. We make the choice daily if we are going to have a good day or a bad day. Children of God have power, love and a sound mind. It’s our birth rights, and “All the kindness of Jesus, it draws me in” sings Big Daddy Weave.
Money, is another reason that keeps people from exercising. You do not have to have a gym membership to work out or have store bought equipment. Some of the best exercises are the basic such as pushups, pull ups and situps. Get outside and visit your local parks. Use empty water bottles filled with sand as hand weights. Bands are great to take to parks and tie off to work upper and lower parts of the body. Be creative and use house hold items for weights and turn chores into fun workouts. Gardening is a great outdoor activity to work arms and legs. Dig in the dirt and grow something. Get your kids out there and get dirty and have fun!
Scientist are studying the benefits of exercise but the fact is undisputable, exercises is good for the body and soul. We’ve come full circle as a society. Once a people defined by history as a health conscience society is now a nation satisfied as being spectators. We get our exercise sitting in the bleachers watching football or tuning in to the Olympics. Use that time to do something that is going to benefit you and your family. Get outside with your kids and start teaching them the keys to health. This community has too many opportunities not to do something positive toward a better life style. Change doesn’t happen overnight and it’s hard to start a habit but it’s well worth the uncomfortableness if not for you but then your children or grandchildren.
Remember, if you’re saving my articles you will have a total body workout at the end of this series. You can find my WordPress page by hitting the contact button on my Facebook page, It’s a matter of the heart. Also don’t forget that you can participate in my 30/30 Cardio Challenge, Pika-Pika run, that gets you out in the community where we walk or do some form of cardio for thirty minutes daily for thirty days. This time you will only check in on Fridays to my Facebook page. This month’s drawing will be awarded to one lucky person. They will win a diet and exercise consultation by me and a one-month free membership to Anytime Fitness gym here in Alma! Next time we will be back on our series, large muscle groups, the back.
I want to leave you with this thought. Changing our outside is the easy part, it’s science. Changing the way, we think about situations and ourselves, well that’s the tough part. Nothing changes until we determine that we are worth it and we take intentional steps to correct negative thought and behavior. You have a heavenly Father that said you are worth it, you are dearly loved and you do count. My friend, I’ll talk with you next issue until then get out and get active!
Building on a solid foundation
Heidi Martell VOLUME 1, ISSUE NO 2 So here we are again! Congratulations to everyone participating in the 30/30 Cardio Challenge. This is a challenge that you make to yourself that for thirty minutes daily you will participate in some form of cardio. This issue starts our series of the major muscle groups and exercise that you can perform for each one.
Today we’ll start with the abdominal muscles, the foundation of our body. We’ll also talk about self doubt and how it keeps us from reaching our goals. We’ll discuss some of the solutions to resolving these issues and positive reinforcement. Finally, I think you’ll like the recipe I choose this week and find it fun to prepare.
The abdominal muscles, like a house should be structurally firm, cracks and faults in a foundation can cause structural damage to a house. Likewise, the weakness or imbalances of our muscles can cause structural damage to other parts of our bodies. Letting small problems go usually turns into doctor visits or worse… hospital visits. Building a firm foundation on solid ground is common sense it would seem but in our “instant gratification” society, we skip the basic work and build high rises on sinking sand. In other words, people want to jump on weights, build muscle, get lean and neglect the underlying issues that aren’t stable enough to sustain the changes to the body.
Abdominals, the foundation of our bodies is made up of four key muscles but the one everyone is concerned with is one long muscle that runs up and down the front of our anatomy. Females tend to carry more adipose fat in the lower abdominals and thighs than do males. I know, It stinks! The reason however is because of child bearing. When we work abdominals, remember we are working all of the abdominal muscle. We can isolate the lower abdominals but every part of the muscle should be exercised for a solid foundation. Each muscle group that is being worked should consist of at least four different exercises for that particular muscle. Your sets and reps can vary according to what your wanting to gain from your training. A good place to start would be four sets of ten to twelve reps per exercise. An example would be to preform the exercise twelve times, rest, perform the exercise twelve more times, rest, repeat this for two more sets. That’s four sets of twelve reps each. Four good exercises that would have low impact on your joints are, crunches on the ball, planks, decline crunches and six inches with hand pumps. When performing these exercises be sure to never use your neck muscles. This is one of the biggest mistakes people tend to make. Always be aware of which muscles you’re working and concentrate on those muscles to insure maximum benefit. All of the exercise I’ve mentioned will be demonstrated on the Facebook page, @itsamatteroftheheart. Always discuss with your doctor before beginning a workout plan.
Going into an unfamiliar place can be very intimidating to many people. The gym is no exception. Each one of us struggles in some form with self doubt on a daily basis. You go into a gym and not only are you worried that your neighbor might see how uncoordinated you are but you may feel you can’t work a simple piece of equipment. These thoughts can keep you from reaching your goals. You may be going into the gym because you’re building up weak muscles. You get on the equipment and determined that you aren’t as strong as you thought you should be and get frustrated. We each can struggle with self doubt. I think that’s a part of life and it’s ok as long as self doubt doesn’t keep us from accomplishing our goals. As Rev. Ron Sweatt said on Sunday, “ God sees you not just as you are but what you could be.” We see ourselves as the sin not the sinner. God doesn’t condemn you but the sin. He loves the sinner. That is why Christ came, to save the sinner. Dear friend see yourself accomplishing your goals, being enough. So what can we do to resolve our fear and self doubt?
Determine the goals that you’re planning on accomplishing. Write out your goals and set a date. If you’re going into a gym, ask the staff if they would walk you through the equipment. You should go to the gym to enhance your life so that you can complete your daily task, not to kill yourself. Remember the negative thoughts you have are only thoughts. They can keep you from reaching your goals if you give those thoughts power. When you go to the gym and become discouraged with something you can’t do, regroup and do something you can do. If you get on a piece of equipment and can’t lift the weight then get hand weights that are lighter and copy the movement. Always give yourself credit for attempting new things and reward yourself when you’ve accomplished your goals.
After you finish a workout, refuel your body with protein or a good BCCA. Our recipe this week calls for ground turkey meat. It makes a great meal or can be used as a recovery snack after your workout. This week’s recipe is one of my boys favorite dishes. I’m sure you’ll love it as well. The video and pictures will be uploaded to the Facebook page, @itsabouttheheart. Also there will be some tutorial videos on workouts for the abdominals. If you’ve missed an article you can hit the contact button on the @itsamatteroftheheart page, to go directly to my wordpress site to find the articles.
Turkey Stuffed Peppers
1 bag sweet peppers
¾ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
¾ cups chopped mushrooms
¼ cup scallions
1 lbs. ground turkey
Salt & Pepper to taste
I start out by searing my sweet peppers but this step is not necessary. I like details and I enjoy serving my guys meals that look appealing. People will tend to try things outside their comfort zone if something looks appealing. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, stuff peppers and place on a lightly greased baking dish. Cook for 20-25 minutes. I added brown rice, seared cherry tomatoes and stir fry squash for a complete meal.
Our thoughts can determine our day, not what actually happens in a day. Chose to have good thoughts about yourself and others. Choose to always see the good in others even if they can’t see it in themselves. Love the unlovable, show kindness to all mankind and strive to be your best even when you really don’t think people notice. Your working for the king! God sees it all and knows right where to find you, even if he has to send a whale.🐳