6 Fun Fitness Activities...
By: Kathy Burns-Millyard
Exercising and staying fit doesn't have to mean hard work. Simply being active will help you get or stay in good shape. So with that said, here are some enjoyable activities that can help with your fitness goals too.
When you ask many adults when the last time they rode a bike is, they cannot answer. Although bicycling is a favorite pastime, many adults do not take advantage of this great option for exercise. Not only does bike riding exercise the body and build a stronger cardiovascular system, it allows you to get out and enjoy nature, fresh air, and see new sites.
Jogging or Walking
Both jogging and walking are GREAT ways to get fit. Not only do they tone the muscles, relieve stress, create a healthier heart, and improve lung capability, they make you look wonderful, which in turns helps you get excited about doing other exercise for fitness activities.
Swimming is an excellent way to get into and stay in shape. If you do not own a pool, many high schools have aquatic centers, or there is always the YWCA or YMCA, or your local gym. Many offer water aerobic classes that will help you tighten your body, lose weight, and get a good overall workout.
Tennis is not only a fun sport, but also a great way to exercise. You do not have to be a Venice Williams to play; in fact, you do not even have to be good. Just running after the ball alone will help get you into shape. This is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular system and lose weight. You can find tennis courts in just about every city and if you would like to play but have no idea how, lessons are reasonable.
Tip: Raquetball is sort of a "one person tennis". If you don't have someone to play tennis with, or you aren't feeling sociable, try raquetball instead.
Dancing is so much fun and whether you enjoy a slow, Ballroom dance or a nightclub packed with people all moving to heart-pumping techno, as long as you are moving, it really does not matter what type of dance or music. The whole idea is to move your body. Dancing has long been recommended as an avenue to fitness.
Tip: Belly Dancing is an excellent workout for your stomach, waist and hips ladies!
If you have a VCR or DVD, rather than just using it for your favorite comedy or action-packed movie, try sticking in some good workout tapes. Even taking 15 minutes every day to work out will get you started. Try that for two weeks and you will be surprised at the results. Once you see that 15 minutes a day makes a difference, you will be encouraged to increase the time spent.
And one of my personal favorites... Yardwork!
Whether you're pulling weeds, planting flowers, mowing the grass or chopping wood: All of these activities can help you get into better shape. Don't cheat yourself though. Using a riding mower to cut the grass won't help you use the muscles or get your blood pumping ;)
So go out and get active, have fun, and work on getting or staying fit too!
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About the Author
© 2004 Kathy Burns-Millyard and The Health and Fitness Information Network - A large and growing health portal featuring quality health and fitness articles, tips, news, advice and resources. Visit http://www.health-and-fitness-information.com now and get subscribed to our RSS feed so you'll have the newest articles as they're published!
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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