Monday, March 16, 2009
Exercise is an important part of our lives. Staying in shape
is one way to increase your life expectancy. Weight bearing
exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and
bone density as you age.
Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to
exercising. The problem is where and when to get the job
done. With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a
Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders. As
you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin
to lose muscle mass. For women especially, bone loss becomes
a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it
from your bones. Building muscle not only increases their
mass but your strength.
Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done
anywhere and whenever you have time. At home, at the office,
or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely
1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery
technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks. Lay
down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart.
Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your
body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles
and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a
count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and
the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can
use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet
firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing
to sit on a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body
straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the
position for a count of two to five and release. At the
lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for
balance and maximum toning.
3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They
can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge
still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure
on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your
sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in
lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back
leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From
this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost
touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to
4. Push ups – This is a classic toning exercise that works
all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t
comfortable or strong enough to perform a push up on your
toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are
tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and
lift your body.
5. Superman Push ups – Take the normal push up position, then
run your hands forward as far as you can, like superman flying.
Pull your abs in tight and lower and lift your body as per the
normal push up. You will struggle to do many of them and you
will feel a burn in your abs like no crunches can ever give you!
These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have
time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are
cumulative. Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to