Tag Archives: swimming

Exercise ideas for hot weather

As regular readers know, I feel strongly about the great outdoors, savoring the experience of it as well as exercising outdoors. Summer has made its presence known with a vengeance this year and there is a time and a place for everything.

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I have been riding my bike around sunrise lately as a method of avoiding the oppressive heat. I am 76 years old and in excellent shape, but my doctor said that she tells even her 40-year-olds not to push exercise in extreme heat. You can check out my Page – How to deal with extreme heat for lots more examples.

Meanwhile the Go4Life folks offer the following excellent suggestions for heat extremes:

 •    Walk on the treadmill, ride the stationary bike, or use the rowing machine that’s gathering dust in your bedroom or basement. Or use one at a nearby gym or fitness center.
    •    Work out with an exercise DVD. You can get a free one from Go4Life.
    •    Go bowling with friends.
    •    Join a local mall walking group.
    •    Walk around an art gallery or museum to catch a new exhibit.
    •    Check out an exercise class at your neighborhood Y.
    •    If you like dancing, take a Zumba® or salsa class.
    •    Try yoga or Tai Chi.
    •    Go to the gym and work on your strength, balance, and flexibility exercises or set up your own home gym. All you need is a sturdy chair, a towel, and some weights. Soup cans or water bottles will do if you don’t have your own set of weights.
    •    Go to an indoor pool and swim laps or try water aerobics
    •    How about a game of indoor tennis, hockey, basketball, or soccer?
    •    Go indoor ice skating or roller skating.
    •    Maybe it’s time for some heavy duty cleaning. Vacuum, mop, sweep. Dust those hard-to-reach areas.

Tony

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What are the five best exercises?

Not everyone likes to work out. I see the cross fitters in the park and they don’t look like they are enjoying themselves a bit. On the other hand, everyone’s body needs to get exercise regularly. Adults should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise a week, or 1.25 hours of vigorous aerobic physical activity or some combination of the above.

Harvard HEALTHbeat offered the following: “If you’re not an athlete or serious exerciser — and want to work out for your health or to fit in your clothes better — the gym scene can be intimidating. Just having to walk by treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines can be enough to make you head straight back home to the couch.

“Yet some of the best physical activities for your body don’t require the gym or require you to get fit enough to run a marathon. These “workouts” can do wonders for your health. They’ll help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, and even ward off memory loss. No matter your age or fitness level, these activities can help you get in shape and lower your risk for disease:

1.    Swimming. You might call swimming the perfect workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. “Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing,” explains Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. 
Research finds that swimming can improve your mental state and put you in a better mood. Water aerobics is another option. These classes help you burn calories and tone up.

Tai Chi is called meditation in motion. It is excellent for seniors because it helps balance.

Tai Chi is called meditation in motion. It is excellent for seniors because it helps balance.

2.    Tai chi. Tai chi — a Chinese martial art that incorporates movement and relaxation — is good for both body and mind. In fact, it’s been called “meditation in motion.” Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next. Because the classes are offered at various levels, tai chi is accessible, and valuable, for people of all ages and fitness levels. “It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older,” Dr. Lee says.

Take a class to help you get started and learn the proper form. You can find tai chi programs at your local YMCA, health club, community center, or senior center. Continue reading

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What are the benefits of swimming?

Experts estimate that just two and a half hours per week of swimming can significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease.

SwissChiropractic's Blog

Swimming isn’t just fun.  It’s also an excellent way to increase your fitness, help control your weight and improve your overall mood.  Plus, swimming is exercise that people of any age and physical ability can enjoy.  It’s easy on the ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????musculoskeletal system while at the same time providing a good aerobic workout.

The governing body for all swimming-related activities in Britain (called the ASA) compiled a report of scientific findings from all over the world on the health benefits of swimming.  Researchers have found that swimming regularly reduces men’s risk of dying early by a staggering 50 percent in comparison with those who run, walk or do no physical activity.  Experts estimate that just two and a half hours per week of swimming can significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease.

A good all-around exercise, swimming involves both aerobic activity and working against resistance.  Unlike most aerobic activities, however, swimming…

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New Year’s Resolutions, er, Revolutions

Getting through December in a four season climate like Chicago is a dicey experience for a guy who wants to ride his bike every day. You just don’t know what the weatherman will be serving up on any given day.

December usually has some of the most bizarre offerings, unfortunately. However, this year was one for the record books. No snowfall of an inch or more since March. This was the third most snow free season on record with 0.9 inch the lowest since 1939. The year 2012 was the warmest in Chicago’s 142 year observational record dating back to 1871.

Easily mistaken for Tony, this is an ad from J2 Studios. That' one hot set of wheels.

Easily mistaken for Tony, this hot-looking guy is from Shawn Jantzen’s J2 Studios. One hot set of wheels.

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I just finished adding up my bike riding for the year and it comes to, wait for it … 8,433 miles. I don’t know if you are impressed, but I am. This mellow December has been most helpful in my biking. Normally, we have snow and really difficult weather for riding at all, let alone virtually every day. This year, as you can see from the first paragraph – warmer and less snow. I bought a new car on February 25. I have driven it 4200 miles.

This cycling total is most gratifying to me because last year I rode 6,300 and thought I had begun to slow down due to my age. In 2010, the prior year, my total was 7,111 which was the most I had ever ridden. I was not surprised when I slid back the following year.

The 8,433 miles comes to a daily average – 366 days in 2012 – of 23.04 miles. A 23 mile ride lasts around two hours and burns about 1000 calories, thus expanding my gustatory horizons for the remainder of the day. It also works my heart and lungs and pumps up fresh oxygen to my brain creating new neurotransmitters.
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Filed under 2012 in review, aging, biking, calories, cardio exercise, cold weather, Exercise, happiness, heart, heart rate, men's health, seniors, Weight, winter

Is Swimming a Good Way to Exercise?

A new study says swimming is, indeed, a great way for older adults who might not get much other exercise to deal with health issues such as high blood pressure.

“Previous studies have found similar advantages from walking exercises, but this was the first to demonstrate swimming’s vascular health benefits for older, sedentary adults. Because swimming puts less stress on joints and the body’s cooling mechanisms than many other exercises, it ‘is an ideal form of activity for older adults,’ the study’s authors noted,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
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Filed under aging, blood pressure, Exercise