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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

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

Boost Your Health By Adding Some Spice To Your Life

23 Aug

by phillip tomlinson

“Keep your edge.”

No better advice from a hall of fame running back who made a habit of keeping an edge.

So much so that by the time the great Emmitt Smith said goodbye, he had not only secured three Super Bowl rings but had amassed more rushing yards than any running back in history.

Now, that’s hard to beat.  But, nevertheless, when it comes to our own body, there’s a lot we can do to keep our edge.  And, as every great athlete knows, it’s the little things that can eventually end up helping us do just that.

PEACE-OF-MIND-ANYONE?

Looking for that edge?  How about a beach-body-to-die-for?

Yes and yes again, right? 

Well, here’s another question that gets to the heart of the matter: 

Would a jacked-up metabolism do wonders for your piece of mind?  Damn right it would. 

A NOT-SO-LITTLE-THING

And since it’s the little things that can often give you that edge, how about adding a little spice to your life?  Literally.

Specifically the red-looking spice you may be overlooking.  One that is thought to inspire a metabolic increase for up to 30 minutes after consumption.

Yes, even if you are faint-of-heart, you cannot afford to overlook the benefits of cayenne pepper which is believed to not only boost metabolism, but enhance circulation and increase heart action.

Now, how’s that for a little action on the cheap?  Especially if — along with your already good exercise and eating habits — you can turn up your metabolic fire a little higher.

HOW ABOUT A BONUS?

And if you are afraid of setting your taste buds on fire, start out by mixing small amounts into your shakes, building your tolerance by slowly increasing the amount.

Incidentally, this one little addition could turn up bigger for you in the form of a nice bonus, since the antioxidant benefit of cayenne pepper is great for combating inflammation and the army of free radicals that seek to ravage your body after a workout.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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TIP:

Want to make your own power tonic that can help combat the damaging action of free radicals on your cell membranes?  Do the following —

Juice a few squares of red cabbage and combine with cayenne pepper.  Cabbage contain phytonutrients that can help protect the body.

NOTE

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

Let’s Be Fair & Call A Spade A Spade

27 Feb

by Phillip Tomlinson

Tepozteco.

Talk  about licking your wounds in admiration!

Six hundred meters above the base of the Tepoztlan valley in Mexico.  That was where I found myself licking those wounds much more than a few years ago.

It was an arduous climb up those craggy cliffs to Tepozteco Pyramid, an ancient structure dedicated to Ometochtli-Tepoxtécatl, the Aztec god of pulque — an ancient and once sacred alcoholic beverage.

But, forget about exhaustion or a thirst-quenching bottle of pulque!

Instead, I definitely could have used a boost to my battered ego from good, old Ometochtli-Tepoxtécatl.

Yes, I was nursing my wounds in admiration after Tepoztlan locals, twice my age, with better-conditioned core muscles, blew by me on the way up in what seemed like a daily routine.

Matter-of-factly leaving me in the dust and adding insult to injury by passing me on their way back down as I completed my ascent. 

Yup, the altitude was a definite factor, but let’s be fair and call a spade a spade:  Those core muscles also needed some work.

How regularly do you really take your core muscles for a drive?

If you have to think about it, then you wouldn’t fare too well going up that mountain and since, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, that news is a bit dire.

Of course, for many of us, that weak link is our core — the key to the functional fitness we need for everyday life.

Ready to start climbing for a good or better set of core muscles? 

Then check out the routine in the BodinSync Prescription below.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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Mountain Climber 1

  1. Place your hands on the side of a weight bench, assuming a push-up or plank position with your feet straight out behind you on the ground.
  2. bend one leg, bringing your knee up toward your chest as in diagram.
  3. Place that foot back on the floor as you, alternately bringing the other knee up toward your chest.
  4. Replacing one leg with the other in this manner will simulate a walking or climbing motion.
  5. Count out 20 steps — 10 on each leg — and rest for 10 seconds.  That’s one complete routine.  Work your way up to four of these before trying “Mountain Climber 2 below.  

Mountain Climber 2

  1. Follow steps one to three in “Mountain Climber 1
  2. Now, instead of walking, do the repetitions using a slow jog.
  3. At the end of 20, hold your position with one leg on the ground and one arm off the bench.  In other words, if your right leg is on the ground, lift your left hand from the bench.
  4. balance and hold for a count of 10.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

TIP:  For a greater degree of difficulty, you may also first do a pushup on the bench in between bursts of 10 steps.   You may kill two birds with one stone by also using this as an interval cardio workout doing ten rounds of 1o repetitions. 

NOTE:  If you are interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness, you’re welcome to send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $30.

Exhilaration Boulevard: forego the trip and it may cost you

12 May

Functionality Taking a Nosedive

By Phillip Tomlinson

Are you in sync? No, really? If you have to think about it, then you may have more than a chink in your armour. That’s hardly good news, considering that, if you are like most, you were given a body with the mechanics to keep you gliding in perfect sync. But things a have a way of getting out of hand and, before you know it, functionality has taken a nose-dive — right out the window in front of your very eyes. And, well, you are left waddling along and groaning in discomfort when faced with the simplest of tasks — like picking up a pencil off the floor.

As for that pencil, it may be more useful than you think, so hold on to that thought and it’ll be a pleasant surprise to you later, especially if you are interested in reclaiming lost glory. That means really holding on to the mechanics that make your body the anatomical wonder it is. If this blog, in this first installment and beyond, does nothing else it will provide insight as well as some fun and helpful ways to reprise or improve the functionality that adds new meaning to “have a nice day.” That means looking and feeling your best which can go a long, long way — all the way to Exhilaration Boulevard.

Let’s just say it’s a highway worth traveling. No tolls here. But forego the trip and it’s a fair bet it’ll cost you. In fact, you’ll definitely be missing out. Of course, you gotta start somewhere, so you might as well strap yourself in for the ride — at the beginning. Right where you are.

I started right where I was way back when I was a scrawny, skinny 12-year-old. You could say I looked like a puppy with overgrown paws. Now, that definitely didn’t sit well with the shy, sensitive boy I was. So, I discovered an exercise that is a common yardstick for measuring strength which wasn’t something I had much of.  The push-up became an obsession, along with a pair of exercise springs.

That was then. Today, after competing in karate and track and field on the national level, graduating with a Master of Science degree, and working as a television anchor and a medical reporter, I find myself still being a student of body movement — even moreso in my capacity as an athletic trainer. 

Phillip Tomlinson

That has paid big dividends by not only keeping me primed for daily life, but also in enlightening my approach to activities like weight training  and karate. You may say I have been to Exhilaration Boulevard and back.  

Of course, while your story is different, I’m sure you’re not averse to hanging out at Exhilaration Boulevard. You may discover you’re gliding in perfect sync and, at that, you’ll definitely breathe easier. And that pencil? Now, I can just about pick it up any which way. If you are up to the task, pull up a chair — literally — and give this simple routine a try:

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The Pencil Snatch

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  1. Sit on a chair, its back supported against a wall, with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart firmly on the ground.
  2. Position a pencil on the ground on the inside of your left foot.
  3. Pull forward to the edge of the seat. This is your starting position.
  4. Let your right arm hang on the inside of your right leg, while placing the other arm on your left hip.
  5. With a straight back, ease yourself up a few inches off the chair so you are now being fully supported by your legs.
  6. Holding your leg position and your left hand against your hip, bend over and pick up the pencil with your right hand .
  7. As you stand up, simultaneously pull your left knee up as high as you can while raising the arm with the pencil straight up over your head so that you are now balancing only on your right leg.
  8. Hold your position steadily for a count of two.
  9. Lower your arm as you simultaneously descend to place the pencil back on the ground and sit back on the chair to complete one repetition.
  10. Assume the starting position as in number 3.

Aim for 10 repetitions, take a 30-second break and repeat on the other side.

Note:  This routine can be made more challenging by substituting the pencil with a weight and shortening your rest time.