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Boring Ol' Cardio
By: The Icon Diet Reader

By: The Icon Diet Reader



Cardio is a very important aspect of any work out. There are numerous benefits to a good cardio routine. In the real world, there are many ways to get a good cardio workout. You can jog, play sports and get chased by the police. In the gym cardio usually revolves around a handful of machines. There are the stair climbers or steppers, the elliptical trainers, tread mills, and bicycles. That's about it. A good cardio routine can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and is really intensive. The problem is that when you are on a cardio machine, you do the same thing over and over. What I am trying to say is that for most of us cardio gets boring after about five minutes. Don't lie, you know what I am talking about. The best I have every heard about cardio is I don't mind it.' In other words, I get really bored, but I will keep doing it cause it works.



Being bored is horrible. Being Bored is even worse when you know you have another 25 min left and the seconds crawl by like eons. So what gives. Why does cardio have to be so boring? I think it's a safety issue. In the real world if you go running or play soccer for example, you environment and all its inputs are constantly changing; you run by different scenery, you miss the shot on goal. These changing characteristics are what make the whole process fun. In the gym, however, since space is limited, you have to do your cardio rooted to one spot. Very little happens to your environment to elevate the boredom. Imagine though, if you could have all the excitement of a soccer game while sitting on a recumbent health cycle? At first you may think it's a great and fun idea. No more boring cardio! Think about it and it becomes a little terrifying. The sheer amount of stimuli hitting you from all angles, your mind would exhaust quickly and you would run the risk of injury (not to mention getting overwhelmed). That is why cardio machines are so boring. They design them to be boring so you don't hurt yourself. So when you climb up onto your favorite elliptical trainer, remember that its boring for a reason.



What can we do to make cardio more fun? Being new to the world of the gym I think I have some neat ideas to make cardio a more exciting activity. Ok that's a lie. I don't have any way to make cardio more exciting, but I do think there are some techniques to make the cardio experience pass more quickly, which, when you think about it, is the next best thing. I really try to distance my mind from my body. I try to unplug. I daydream, listen to loud music and think about my shopping list. For a whole week I designed a basement apartment for my house. It was quite the undertaking. Really focus on not thinking about time. Cover up the timer, know where the near by clocks are and avoid looking at them. Do what ever it takes to detach your self from the realm of the here and now. Remove yourself from our world governed by the second hand. Slip into recesses of your mind and tune out. While the cardio won't go away at least you can distract yourself. Cardio machines make cardio boring and boring cardio is hard to stick with. Take comfort in knowing that your body loves the attention of a good cardio workout.




About the Author

The Icon Diet offers a step by step weight loss
information
package to help people lose weight quickly, naturally and effectively. Visit the site by going to...

http://www.zizzoo.com/guides/loseweight/index.php



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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your 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 that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
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 work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
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 to
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 mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

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
for days.

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
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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