Saturday, 17 March 2012

Health 101: Tackling your body

If you are anything like me, and by that i mean you walk past a pizza shop and you instantly gain weight, then you will agree that we need to do some form of exercise, it doesn't always include going to gym, lets face it most gyms are not every forgiving on the wallet these days, and not everyone can afford it, But the fact still remains that we need to get some exercise. Whether you choose to walk, jog or get on your bike and ride for a few min at least that means you are moving around and by doing that you are getting some degree of exercise.

With all the junk they put in our food these days, it comes as no surprise to read through the obesity figures from around the world.

There are currently 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world, according to the World Health Organization. That number is projected to grow by 40% over the next 10 years. The following list reflects the percentage of overweight adults aged 15 and over. These are individuals who have individual body mass indexes, which measures weight relative to height, greater than or equal to 25. Obese is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

 As a South African there is nothing to be happy at when i look at this list, just because we are not in the top 30 countries on the list it does not mean that we have nothing to worry about

 We are located at no 76, and 53.3% is no reason to celebrate!

The list is compiled by Forbes and you can view the complete list HERE 


We live in a world that is filled with junk food, fast easy meals that contain very little if any healthy ingredients. We are not moving around as much as the generations before us, for us, comfort comes at a very high price, our health..

Drinking enough water is a very good place to start living healthy.
When you feel hungry it is often actually thirst. Your body needs plain old water, not soda, not coffee, not high fructose corn syrup. A glass of water can help stop hunger cravings.
So how much water?
The age-old standard about water is to drink eight 8 glasses a day.
However, no one ever asks how much your body weighs. Someone who weighs 150 and sits at a desk all day may need less water than someone who weighs 250 and does physical labour outdoors in warm weather.
The bottom line is, very few people drink near enough water. Most people are dehydrated. So to start out, drink a full glass with each meal. This way you will make sure you are drinking at least three glasses a day. Make this a habit.
You'll find that if you drink a glass of water about 15 or 20 minutes before a meal, you will eat less at each meal and will be less hungry later. Remember, many hunger pangs are actually thirst pangs. You will enjoy improved digestion. Some people even find that they sleep better at night. I am currently drinking between 10 and 12 glasses of water per day, and i find that i don't get hungry that often, and when i do i don't eat that much, just in the 2 weeks that i have been doing this daily i can already see a difference in my body and how my clothes fit me.

Courtesy of Mark's list i also started following this routine.
Tackling Upper Body

Looking for exercises you can do at home or on the road? Want to take a break from clanking machines and noisy gyms? Then calisthenics, also called bodyweight exercises are the way to go!

Calisthenics are exercises consisting of movements which use your body weight as resistance to work against when exercising. Yeah, we’re talking here about the jumping jacks and pushups that your dopey, paunchy homophobic gym coach had you do back in high school. But calisthenics are much more – they are an extremely efficient way to build muscle and stay fit using short bursts of intense training that involve almost all muscle groups.

Free weight training is still tops when it comes to building muscle, but calisthenics have advantages, too! They can be done indoors and outdoors. You can do them in the privacy of your home. They can improve cardiovascular endurance as well as build muscle strength.

So get up off your butt, stretch those shoulders and arms and let’s get this party started with some upper body calisthenics.

Push ups are the best bodyweight calisthenics for building your entire upper body – chest, back, shoulders and arms. Push ups can be a mighty challenge if done at various angles and super-setted with chin-ups.

Lay face down on the ground with your legs straight, knees off the floor, and arms supporting your upper body. Now raise yourself off the ground straightening your elbows and arms, but keep elbows close to the body. Raise until elbows are locked and pause for a moment and squeeze everything at the top of the movement. Now lower your body slowly, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.

Here’s a real tip, you can vary your arm and hand placement while doing pushups to target different muscle groups. Place your arms and hands out as wide as you can to blast chest. Bring them in at shoulder width to pump shoulders and biceps. Isolate triceps by bringing hands and arms in close and turn palms inward.

Pull-ups build arms and a wide back. All you need is a bar to hang from. Beginners will probably need a chair or a spotter to assist them until strength is built up.

Simply grab hold of a bar with arms shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until the bar touches your chin. Then lower yourself in a controlled motion until arms are fully extended without using gravity too much. Don’t bounce or jerk. In overhand pull-ups the palms should face away from you. In underhand pull-ups your palms should face you. For advanced commando pull-ups, keep one hand on one side of the bar and the other hand on the other side. Here you do pull-ups sideways wherein you pull yourself up so that the bar is hitting your neck and trap muscles nicely.

Now you can pump up your upper body at the beach or in the privacy of your own home.

Tackling Lower Body


Squats squats man The squat is one of the most important exercises with or without weights. The squat takes the crown as the best lower body calisthenic exercise much like the push up is the winner of the calisthenic exercise for the upper body. Squats work nearly every major muscle group in your body including:
  • Calves
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Gluts
  • Quads
  • Lower Back
  • Abs
How to Perform a Standard Traditional Basic Squat (no weights): 
The squat is a very simple motion but with many details:
  1. Begin by standing and with your legs and feet spread slightly further apart than shoulder width.
  2. Feet may point outward up 30 degrees to better stabilize your body for the exercise. They should not move after you are comfortable with the position of your feet.
  3. Slowly bend your knees and push your gluts out as if you were about to sit on a small chair, go down with your weight on your heels – the ball and toes of your feet should only stabilize and help your balance.
  4. Knees may bend out due to the slight angle of your feet, but that’s okay! You want to push your knees outwards too!
  5. You may squat slightly lower than 90 degrees between your leg and thighs.  The keyword there was “slightly.” Also known as, “squatting below parallel” (your thighs go beyond parallel to the ground). Many may disagree with this, but if you are worried, bending your thighs to parallel is perfectly fine.
  6. Contract your abs as you bend at the knees.
  7. Keep looking straight forward through the exercise.
  8. Your torso may lean forward slightly in the process, but that’s okay as long as your torso remains straight!  Just don’t lean too far forward, just enough to be comfortable performing the exercise.
  9. Also, while your torso  is being lowered, you may extend both arms in front of you for better stability and balance.
  10. Keep in mind your knees should not bend over past your toes!
  11. Once you are low enough, push yourself back up to the original position through your heels.  Pushing through your heels engages the correct muscles in the exercise and builds strength in the leg muscles.
Running and walking are probably the oldest forms of calisthenics exercise known to man.  It burns more calories per minute than almost any other form of cardio exercise.  It is one of the best all-around exercises you can perform.  So if you want six pack abs, or to get rid of cellulite around your legs, or the flab underneath your upper arms – running or walking should be at the top of your list.
Neither one is better than the other, however they do have some minor differences:
  • Running burns calories in less time than if you’re walking, but if you are not in a rush you can walk a bit longer instead and burn the same amount of calories.
  • Running impacts the knees greater than walking
  • Walking is a low-impact exercise for your knees
  • Walking is just as beneficial to your health as running
It’s good to wear shoes made for running or walking as they are designed to absorb impact and help keep your knees in good shape.  You can increase the intensity of walking by or running by increasing your speed slightly.
Benefits of Walking and Running:
  • Burns calories and fights obesity
  • Lowers risk of health ailments such as heart disease and diabetes
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Relieves stress and anxiety and used as a treatment for depression
  • Improves stamina and energy
  • Improves physical strength and endurance
  • Maintains bone density and muscles mass
  • Improves confidence because you realize you’re doing something beneficial for your body
  • Helps you stay focused and determined
Stay motivated!
It is said that aerobics can make you look years younger and helps slow down the aging process since it maintains your muscle mass and bone density; it also releases good hormones into your body such as growth hormones and endorphins.
Running and walking are excellent aerobic exercises because they generally improve anyone’s health and fitness. Either is better exercise than sitting around doing nothing.  Add in a balanced diet and you’ll get results really quick. 
Don’t be discouraged to stay consistent when you start a running or walking exercise regime. Not everyday is a beautiful day to go outside and run or walk. It’s worth the effort to gain the health benefits so stay motivated and be strong!

For more help and info regarding getting back to a healthy lifestyle please visit CALISTHETIC EXERCISE

Make a change to your life guys

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