230619 The leg press


230619 The leg press

Here Cliff is doing a quick, and I mean quick, set of leg presses. We keep the speed up on these in order to develop the power necessary to condition his legs and perhaps help him prevent a fall. However, in order to do these safely, please follow these exercise form suggestions.

  1. Adjust the backrest to suit your body, and put your feet in the most comfortable position on the footrest.
  2. Make sure that you keep your lower back pushed against the backrest and do not allow it to round off during the exercise.
  3. Push up on the foot rest and reach over and release the safety catches on the machine.
  4. Lower the weight down as far as you feel comfortable doing and then push back up.
  5. When you push back up make certain that your knees do not start coming together, this is dangerous to the anterior cruciate ligament of your knees.

Sometimes we do as many as 5 sets of 20 reps with a one minute break between sets to vary the program. Other times we do heavy weight and lower repetitions. The key take away it to vary your program so it doesn’t get stale on you.

160619 Introduction to aerobic conditioning

160619 Introduction to aerobic conditioning

Aerobic conditioning is your body’s adaptations to working continuously ‘with oxygen’ or in other words ‘with air’. It is also known as cardio respiratory endurance or aerobic power. The word ‘power’ indicates a strong response to imposed conditions.

Cardio work is a continuous activity that puts an increased demand on the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems of the body. Generally, large muscle groups of the body are involved for extended periods without a break, thus the term, ‘with air’. The original term “aerobics” came from the father of cardiovascular training, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the famed Cooper Institute.

It is a recognized fact that aerobic conditioning accomplishes all of the following:

  1. It has the potential to increase life expectancy
  1. Improvements occur in the overall quality of life
  • Overall improvements in health and well being
  • Reduces fatigue and increases the adaptability to meet the challenges of each day as they arise
  1. It can improve appearance, posture, self confidence and self concept
  • Positive body composition changes occur with regular aerobic exercise
  • Muscular endurance and muscle tone changes are positive in nature
  • Stress maybe reduced
  1. Improvements in relaxation ability and decreased sleep pattern disruptions
  • Positive cardiovascular changes and improved sport performance result from aerobic exercise
  • Reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol may result-studies indicate this to be true
  1. Increased bone density due to the impact of the jogging or running
  • Seniors may become more independent
  • Finally, the ability to physically meet and hopefully overcome emergency situations

Image 510 home gym

Home gym Image 510
Here it is, in all of its glory hiding in front of a bunch of junk in the spare room. Notice that it is still located where it can be used…now by the grandkids.

Here is the exercise chart that came with the gym. It covers all of the major muscle groups.

The Image 510 home gym

We bought this years ago and have used it periodically since then. I find it most useful after a surgery when it is hard to get out to the weightroom. According a quick Google search, here https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&channel=cus&q=Image+510+home+gym

They are still available but they seem to be on the expensive side.

Right now, it resides in one of our sort of unused rooms. I say sort of, because the graandkids play in the room when the weather is not fit for them to be outdoors.

I realize the exercise photo chart is rather unclear but then I am not a professional photographer either. However, the video explains the functions of this compact machine.

Guide to physical activity

Guide to physical activity

“Physical activity is an important part of your weight management program. Most weight loss occurs because of decreased calorie intake. Sustained physical activity is most helpful in the prevention of weight regain. In addition, exercise has a benefit of reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, beyond that produced by weight reduction alone. Start exercising slowly and gradually increase the intensity. Trying too hard at first can lead to injury.

Examples of moderate-intensity amounts of physical activity:

Common Chores

  • Washing and waxing a car for 45–60 minutes
  • Washing windows or floors for 45–60 minutes
  • Gardening for 30–45 minutes
  • Wheeling self in wheelchair for 30–40 minutes
  • Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
  • Shoveling snow for 15 minutes be careful of this if you have heart disease or have not been active.
  • Stair walking for 15 minutes

Sporting Activities

Temper your activity commensurate with your current physical condition. If you have had artificial joint replacements, avoid high impact exercises as they may damage these joints.

  • Playing volleyball for 45–60 minutes
  • Playing touch football for 45 minutes
  • Walking 1.75 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
  • Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
  • Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
  • Water aerobics for 30 minutes
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Basketball (playing game) for 15–20 minutes
  • Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)

Your exercise can be done all at one time, or intermittently throughout the day. Activities to get you started could include walking or swimming at a slow pace. You can start out by walking 30 minutes for 3 days a week and build to 45 minutes of more intense walking, at least 5 days a week. With this plan, you can burn 100 to 200 calories more per day. All adults should set a long-term goal to accumulate at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. This regimen can be adapted to other forms of physical activity, but walking is particularly attractive because of its safety and accessibility. Also, try to increase “everyday” activity such as by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Reducing sedentary time is a good strategy to increase activity by undertaking frequent, less strenuous activities. With time, you may be able to engage in more strenuous activities. Competitive sports, such as tennis and volleyball, can provide an enjoyable form of exercise for many, but care must be taken to avoid injury.”

Based on recommendations from the http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/phy_act.htm

090619 The T-Bar rows

T-Bar rows

Cliff doing a quick set of T-Bar rows

Put the end of an empty barbell into a 90° corner of your power rack, corner of your exercise room, the attachment built into your rack or as in this case an individual T Bar row apparatus.

If you are using the corners of your rack, room or other set up you have to continually pull the bar not only up to your chest but also back into the 90° space you’ve selected to place the bar when doing these exercises. Some people put a heavy dumbbell over this loose end to help keep it in place.

Once you have the bar where you want it, then load the opposite end with weight. Use the smaller 25s so you get more range of motion (ROM). The 45s are too big and will touch your chest before reaching your full ROM.

Flex the hips and move your buttocks back until your upper torso is at about a 45°angle to the floor with both arms fully extended. If you want a more direct hit on the upper back, then lie prone on a high bench and use a camber bar.

Here is an example of a camber bar from Ader Sporting Goods. I don’t know the country of origin.

These bars have a six to ten inch camber or arch right in the middle of the bar. Using one of these will allow you to lay prone on a flat bench and lift the barbell up under the bench.

Doing a prone row on a bench with a camber barbell makes it almost impossible to cheat the bar up. It eliminates virtually ALL body English during the exercise. It may also help prevent a back injury because of the stabilizing effect of the bench.

050619 Starting out with an aerobic exercise plan

050619 Starting out with an aerobic exercise plan

The research over the past several years continues to support the benefits of aerobic exercise. Not only is it good for your cardiovascular system but it helps ease fatigue symptoms in those with chronic fatigue syndrome, in the elderly, and the long-term sedentary person. However, this does not mean that people in these categories should just immediately go out and try to run a marathon. Before you even start, check with your doctor and review your history of activity, any type of joint problems, cardiovascular conditions, or other conditions that may cause you problems if you exercise

If you have not exercised consistently in the past or in the recent past, start out slowly and build up gradually your ability to tolerate the physical activity. Even though exercise will help most people, those with chronic fatigue syndrome should start out very slowly because it can aggravate the symptoms in some.

Older, sedentary, people must also start building a foundation of activity by increasing their levels of exertion on a smaller progressive scale. This will go a long way to avoiding injuries.

One of the easiest ways to get started on a physical activity program is to start walking. Begin with a slow pace of eighty steps per minute for about half as far as you think you can go every day. Increase this distance until you are walking a mile or so each day all the while being cognizant of the traffic and the phenomenal ability of some idiot drivers who are not paying attention to come dangerously close to you. (Oops, that just slipped in)

Some of the more recent studies have shown that brisk walking, one hundred steps per minute, five times a week for at least half an hour results in almost the same health benefits as exercise that is much more vigorous.

Another advantage of taking a brisk walk is that those who take these walks lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, Osteoporosis and potentially other diseases. It has also been found that mental health issues seem to occur less frequently.

Gradually you will notice your ability to go longer increases until you are walking thirty to sixty minutes a day. Once you are able to do this, you might want to start including biking or some sort of an exercise class.

One of these new activities could include resistance training. You do not need to go to a gym to resistance train but the advantage of doing so and hooking up with a certified strength specialist is that you will learn how to do the exercises correctly and in most cases avoid injury. Old style bodyweight calisthenics can be effective in increasing your muscle mass, strength, and power output.

Power output is important because it develops the strength necessary to rapidly catch your balance if you begin to fall. If you do not have the strength, you will not have the power to protect yourself.

Do not be fooled by the advertisements saying that you can use light hand weights to get strong because it will not happen. You have to challenge your muscles and unless your condition is such that you cannot move heavier weights these small hand weights are not going to suffice.

020619 Introduction to flexibility

020619 Introduction to flexibility

Flexibility means being able to move the major joints of your body, such as your shoulders, arms, back, legs, and ankles in an easy fluid manner. This ability of the joints to easily move within their normal range of motion allows you to put on your socks in the morning without unduly stressing your low back and hamstrings. It also makes it easier for you put on a coat or your shoes. If you stretch, once or twice a day for three to five minutes, you will, in very short order, begin to notice the ease with which many of your daily tasks are accomplished.

A Daily Stretch

Stretching increases the range of motion (ROM) around the joints (flexibility is the ability of the joints to move through their full range of motion)

Do you feel stiff and sore in the morning or after getting up from a chair or from your desk? Then a regular stretching program is the thing for you. It does not have to be a complicated, long program. A few easy stretches every day can get start the day, energize you up in the afternoon, and provide a relaxing end to the day before you go to bed.

You can always find time to stretch in your day. It doesn’t take much time or any particular style of clothing. A good rule to follow is if it’s stiff, stretch it but only to a point of mild discomfort, never to pain and don’t bounce as it engages the stretch reflex which automatically tightens up the muscles you are trying to relax!