Body-fat Invasion of a Different Kind

2 Dec

PhilPortraitSmlby Phillip Tomlinson

Thinking of doing the two-step?

Better think again.

May not be such a good idea.

But before I explain, let me take you back to the day something caught my eye – as I sat soaking up the sun.

Yes, there it was – this little ball of grey – making its way up a flight of stairs leading to someone’s front door.

The kind of action, I’m sure, that has inspired mousetrap manufacturers to riches.

But it wasn’t this attempted house invasion that caught my eye.

No, siree.

It was the way that mouse went up the stairs:

One step at a time.

Well, not that it had any other choice, except staying put.

But that’s just the point:

Rather than a recommendation for staying put, this is an endorsement for “mousing.”

Yes, just call it your own invasion of a different kind.

Body-fat invasion.  No fancy equipment needed.

HiGH-STEPPING IT TO SOME HEALTHY BONUSES

You see, if you find a set of stairs and followed that mouse’s lead, you’ll be going a far way in effectively incinerating fat.

No two-stepping allowed.

That’s because taking one step at a time will cause you to log more steps per minute, resulting in greater muscle contraction and metabolic burn.

In fact, when scientists took a look they found that climbing five flights of stairs five times per week – one step at a time – burnt an average of 302 calories as opposed to 260 when a two-step strategy was employed.

But that’s only part of the story, considering all the bonuses.

You see, as your legs pump like pistons in your ascent, you’re taxing your biggest muscles and that action encourages the secretion of growth hormones that benefit the rest of your body.

Need any more prodding to send you high-stepping it toward the concept of leaner, faster, stronger, more shredded and, by extension discovering a worthwhile two-step?  You know, that smoother one on the dance floor?

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

Aside

For A Health Boost, One Leg Can Be Better Than Two

24 Aug

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For A Health Boost, One Leg Can Be Better Than Two

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by Phillip TomlinsonPhilKneeUpPartial

It was a real precious moment and, if you saw it, chances are you would have thought so too.

You see, babies have been known to be the authors of some pretty awesome moments – like the time when one little guy put forth a giant effort in accomplishing a first.

Yes, “first” would be the operative word, as in if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

Needless to say, this little guy didn’t succeed at first, but he did at last – after falling smack on his butt several times over.

But, eventually, he pulled himself up in his crib and found that he was a little stronger for it.  And guess what?

He now thought it was a good idea to stand only on one leg.  So, doing just that, he swung the other up, because may be — just may be — climbing out may not be impossible after all.

Something tells me you too may want to become adept at standing on one leg.  Heck, may even want to improve your climbing and, to that end, you may find that standing on one leg could do you a world of good.

For a balancing act that’ll give your core a workout, take a look at the Bodinsync Prescription below.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  • Bend from your waste and reach your arms straight out in front of you to hold on to a sturdy support.  As in diagram 1 — lift and bend your other leg to point your knee behind you as far back as you can so that your toes point toward the ceiling.  That’s your starting point.

    digaram 1

    digaram 1

  • Now re-position your leg by moving your knee toward your chest as in diagram 2.

    diagram 2

    diagram 2

  • When your knee is as close to your chest as possible, lift it out to the side to form a right angle with your supporting leg as in diagram 3.

    diagram 1

    diagram 1

  • Return your leg to the starting point.  That’s ONE REPETITION.   Do 10

TIP:

Move from one position to the next slowly to develop a rhythm until your are able to smoothly quicken the tempo so that your knee moves freely in a circular motion.  Once that’s achieved, reverse the movement, and then switch your legs.
You can make the routine more challenging by letting go of the support and straightening your back to stand tall on one leg while performing the movement with the other.
NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

Aside

One Plus One Can Add Up To A Healthy You

11 Jul

PhilPortraitSmlby Phillip Tomlinson

“One plus one equals two…”

Yes, here they were – these cute kids — gleefully clapping hands, along with their teacher, while reciting what to so many before them should now be obvious:

“Two plus two equal…”

You get the idea.

THE AVENUE TO SUCCESS

But, thankfully, while counting is no longer a problem, do we really get the idea that, in many instances, the numbers game is the avenue to success?

And, yes, wouldn’t you know it, that idea also extends to slimming down and toning up.  In fact, the research is definitive:

Adopt a numbers strategy.

In other words, incorporate several ideas that in their totality will be efficient.

TURNING HEADS THIS SUMMER

Do this and you would have employed the fastest strategy to sculpting that body that’ll have you turning heads this summer.

Here’s a snapshot of what your strategy may look like:

  • Do full-body workouts.  Remember, you are looking for quality and not quantity.  Do repetitions that will challenge the maximum number of muscles at once. which means your workouts will be shorter but more effective.  Resistance exercise is king because you continue burning calories for hours after your last rep.
  • Make the best use of protein.  Because it takes your body twice as much energy to break down protein as it does to break down carbohydrates, you’ll need to include protein in all your meals and snacks.
  • Nourish your body smartly.  Ingest the majority of your carbohydrates when you’re active.  For example, your body needs protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout, with as little fat as possible – no more then two grams.
  • Eat fats when you are less active.  Examples would be fatty fish like salmon, nuts, avocado, turkey, etc.  The idea here is that your body will burn what’s available.  Hence the saying, you need fat to burn fat.  This is where you’ll need to go very, very easy on carbohydrates
  • Rest.  Remember, your body does most of its repairing and growing when you rest.
  • Drink water.  All that needs saying here is that every metabolic reaction in your body needs water.
  • Avoid, as much as you can, sitting for long periods.  If you have a job that confines you to a desk, take a standing break once an hour.  Why?  Research has shown that right after sitting down the electrical activity in your muscles slows down and your calorie-burning rate decreases to one calorie per minute.  Over an extended period this puts you at risk for weight gain.

So, what are you waiting for?  Start planning that strategy now.  Make a checklist, and pretty soon you’ll discover that one plus one can magically add up to lot more than two.

Do The Darnest Thing And Boost Your Health

15 Jun

ResistBndHeaderby Phillip Tomlinson

They’ll say the darnest things, won’t they?

Kids, that is.

And if they aren’t saying anything, well…

You can count on one thing:  They’ll do the darnest things.

And while you may not remember the first time you held yourself aloft while pushing up from the floor with your hands, ask your momma and she’ll very likely remember the exact moment oh-so-many-years-ago when you did just the darnest thing in reaching that milestone.

So, how are you doing on milestones these days?

And, of course, you have to know that I am referring to milestones of a health-and-fitness nature.

You see, if you aren’t still doing the darnest things, it’s time to get in touch with your inner kid and remember how moments like that one oh-so-many-years ago was instrumental in turning you into the incredible bipedal machine you are.

Ready to raise the bar on incredible?

Then check out the Bodinsync Prescription below for a routine that’ll put you back on all fours and have you doing the darnest thing to benefit just about every muscle in your body.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  • Attach one end of a resistance band to a firmly anchored point, like the foot of a weight bench.

Assume a push-up position away from the point of attachment,  and reach under and across your body to grip the free end of the band as in diagram 1.  You may have to vary your body’s distance from the bench to find the correct tension.  Be sure to position your legs away from your body and out to the side to form a firm base.

diagram 1

diagram 1

  • Pull on the band, extending your arm from under your body and out to the side as in diagram 2.
diagram 2

diagram 2

  • Hold for a count of five before returning your arm to the starting point.
  • Do 10 repetitions while maintaining the push-up position.
  • Switch to the other side and do another 10.
  • Now re-position your body or the band, extending your arm out to the side to grip the band as in diagram 3.

    diagram 3

    diagram 3

  • Pull the band toward you and under your body to the farthest point, as in diagram 4.

    diagram 4

    diagram 4

  • Hold for a count of 10 before returning your arm to the starting position.
  • Do 10 repetitions.

REMINDER: For a closer look, click on each image for a bigger picture.

TIP:

  • If a full push-up position is too difficult, the routine can be done with your knees on the ground.  CAUTION:  If you do this from  knees-down position, be sure to do so with ample padding on the floor to avoid injury.
  • The routine can be made more difficult by narrowing the placement of your feet while in the push-up position, or/and moving your body away from the bench to increase the tension of the band.

NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

Aside

Play Ball And Rev Up Those Muscles

27 Mar

HandOnBall0.8by Phillip Tomlinson

Let’s play ball!

Yes, America’s national pastime has begun and that familiar refrain not only inspires the boys of summer to arms, but may just as well be a clarion call for every living thing that had tucked itself in away from the cold.

And, if you’re taking stock, it all seems to magically unfold like those first petals opening to greet that something in the air.

And by the time that first pitch is thrown on Opening Day, everything and everyone is beginning to come out to play.

Yes, it’s a time when the birds are back to sing on cue and bushy-tailed squirrels find joy atop a power line.

And because it’s time to play ball, we too can’t be more excited to shed the restrictions of winter and a lot more.

A lot more?

Sure.  You knew I‘d be going there.

That’s because there’s no better time than spring to step up to the plate and hit one outta the park by shedding those extra pounds hidden under wintry layers – unearthing that beach body that’ll have you gliding into summer.

So, since I’m thinking you’ve got game, check out the BodinSync Prescription below and, well…

Let’s play ball!

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  • With your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and slightly pointing out, squat down and place your hands on top of a medicine ball as in diagram 1.
    diagram 1

    diagram 1

    Be sure your heels are touching the floor to create a firm base for an effective hip, lower back, hamstring and Achilles tendon stretch.

  • Bring your body forward directly over the ball as in diagram 2.
    diagram 2

    diagram 2

    Your hands should be firmly on top of the ball and your heels should now be up.  CAUTION: Be sure your shoulders are exactly over the ball and not too far forward or you could topple, causing serious injury.

  • Press your hands into the ball and simultaneously jump your feet back into a pushup position as in diagram 3.
    diagram 3

    diagram 3

    Be sure your feet follow their trajectory from the squat so that you land with a firm base that completes a tripod with your hands.

  • Slowly – very slowly – remove one hand from the ball and out to your side as in diagram 4.
    diagram 4

    diagram 4

    If this proves too difficult, simply remove your hand a few inches away from the ball for a few seconds and replace.  Now do the same with the other hand.

  • With both hands firmly back on the ball, jump your feet forward into the sumo squat.  THAT’S ONE REPETITION.  Try five repetitions.  You can make this routine more challenging by doing a pushup before lifting your hands from the ball and by standing up and squatting back down before starting the next repetition.  .

TIP:

If the sumo squat is too difficult, squat at a manageable angle, bend over and place your hands on the ball.  Next, walk your feet out until you have assumed a pushup position and do the rest of the routine.  Of course, you will have to walk your feet in and stand up to complete one repetition.  For a bigger challenge, walk your feet back in, remove your hands from the ball and bring your torso upright into the squat before bending back over to start the next repetition.

NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

The Fast Lane To A New, Healthier You

13 Feb

PhilPortraitSmlby Phillip Tomlinson

Was like clockwork.

Whenever I was there, she was too. Or so it seemed.

Slow and steady.  An Eveready bunny on a treadmill.  In search of that thinner waistline. Just going and going and…

Well, you get the idea.

But if more could turn out to be less, this was it. And the proof was right there in the pudding.

But this is not about her; it’s about you.

And if you’re among the legions who’ve committed to getting in better shape this year, your head is definitely in the right place. But…

NEWSFLASH

If the Eveready bunny treadmill thing is part of that New Year’s resolution, you could be making a big mistake.

That’s because treading rubber like this for long periods could do more harm than good.

Yeah, I know, distance runners do this all the time, and just look at how much asphalt they eat up.

Two cheers for endurance!

A PROBLEM HIGHLIGHT

Now that’s out of the way, let’s defer to science to highlight the problem:

This kind of training is a sure-fire way to wipe out your heart and lung reserve capacity.

And if this sounds bad, it is.

Here’s the skinny: If you hop on the treadmill or elliptical trainer consistently for long periods without the benefit of short bursts of intense activity, you could eventually cause your heart and lungs to shrink.

And, yes — you know where I’m going — this could leave you susceptible to a heart attack.

Why?

THE FAST LANE IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE

Because reserve capacity is what allows your heart and lungs to deal with sudden stress like when you dart for that train before it leaves the station.

Simply put, the fast lane of interval training is where you need to be.  In other words, only short bursts of intense activity will improve your reserve capacity thereby priming your heart and expanding your lungs and, in the process, turn you into a fat-burning, high-performance machine.

You’ll be doing yourself a few other big favors too — like saving a ton of time, adding years to your life, reducing your risk of joint problems, escaping the ravages of the army of free radicals generated by conventional cardio, strengthening your immune system and, of course, doing better than you ever imagined with that New Year’s resolution.

So go on: Run or walk up a staircase as fast as you can, then descend slowly back down, doing these back-and-forth intervals for, say, about 10 minutes and you would have done more for yourself than if you did a steady endurance run for 40 minutes.

And chances are, in no time, you’ll agree that the proof is in the pudding.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

A Healthy Way To Get A Leg Up. Wow!

13 Jan

PhilLegUpSmlby Phillip Tomlinson

Sometimes a leg up is more than you expect.

And what a leg up it was!

Wow!

Right there from the other side of the variety store I had gone into just to look around.

There she was with a leg up.  And I mean way up.

To put it into perspective, a-hundred-and-eighty-degrees-way-up.

Yes, and if you must know, it could be referred to as a complete split — one leg firmly planted on the ground and the other pointed way up there to the heavens.

Heavens!  What a look!

Know what I did?

I took her home.  Yup.

And, yes, that postcard with an eighty-something-year-old woman at a bus stop, her body pressed up against a light pole, one leg snaked up against it into a complete split, is still my favorite postcard never-to-be-mailed to anyone.

Now that’s a leg up!

What’s your idea of a leg up?

Need a minute to think?

Well, here’s a suggestion:

Postpone your thinking by checking out the BodinSync Prescription below and trying its version of a healthy way to get a leg up.  You may notice that it’s an even more effective take on a routine that has already been covered in this blog.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  1. Select a moderately weighted dumbbell.  Place one leg, instep-side behind you on a weight bench to assume a lunge position as in diagram 1.   The other leg should be firmly on the ground in front of you.  CAUTION:  Be sure to position your front leg at a distance that will not cause your knee to protrude past the front of your sneakers when you lower yourself into a full squat.  Place the dumbbell on the outside of  the foot on the ground (placing your free hand on the ground to assist you if need be) and re-assume the lunge position.  See diagram 1.  Check your stance for a firm base before proceeding.

    diagram 1

    diagram 1

  2. Now, lower your hips and reach across your body with the hand furthest away from the planted leg and snatch the weight as in diagram 2.

    diagram 2

    diagram 2

  3. As you raise yourself back up from the squat, use the other hand to re-enforce the one holding the weight as in diagram 3.  Simply do this by curling your fingers on top of the snatching hand.

    diagram 3

    diagram 3

  4. Continue your motion upward raising your arms over the shoulder opposite the leg on the ground.  See diagram 4.

    diagram 4

    diagram 4

  5. At the top of the arc above your shoulder, begin to descend again by lowering your hips and swinging the weight across your body — as in diagram 5 — just past your knee.  THAT’S ONE REPETITION.  Immediately begin to raise your arms and body back up to start the next repetition.  Do 10 repetitions on each side.  CAUTION:  On the squatting portion of this wood-chopping motion, be sure to reach sufficiently across your body so as not TO strike your knee.

    diagram 5

    diagram 5

TIP:

You may vary the difficulty of the squatting portion of the routine by lowering your hips to a manageable height, going lower as you become stronger.  You may also vary the load by experimenting with different weights.

NOTE:

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to chairotom@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20