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Elliptical Exerciser
By: Gary Gresham

Several years ago elliptical exercisers were introduced to the fitness world and have since become very popular and very sophisticated. Over 6 million people now use elliptical exercisers as part of their regular routine.

Elliptical exerciser technology is relatively new. The word elliptical means oval shaped. The basic design of the elliptical exerciser uses oval pedaling motion for a smooth, elliptical movement that provides a low impact form of weight bearing exercise.

You begin by standing with your feet firmly planted in the movable footpads. The advantage of your feet being stationary makes this a smooth and non-jarring motion that is unique to the elliptical exerciser. Grab the handles and add the upper body movement for a total body workout. It is easy to learn and fun to use.

Elliptical exercisers provide a total body workout that is safe for beginners and will even challenge the more advanced athletes, creating a great cardiovascular workout. Because most people like to use these machines they are more likely to workout on a regular basis. Consistent exercise on the elliptical exerciser will help in attaining good overall cardiovascular health.

Elliptical motion feels very natural and compliments normal body movements only making it feel like the workout is easier. The elliptical exerciser is equal or greater than similar equipment such as the treadmill creating a safer workout. It reduces the harmful stress and impact on your muscles and joints.

With time a major concern in our daily lives, an elliptical exerciser can be very desirable. It provides a total body workout utilizing one machine therefore saving time in having to go from machine to machine to achieve the same effect for all the different areas of the body.

Studies have shown that generally the best fitness equipment provides weight bearing exercise that limits impact, has cardiovascular benefits and provides a total body workout. This makes an elliptical exerciser an ideal choice.

Copyright 2005 Treadmill Info.com All Rights Reserved.

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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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