[ad#mseoptinpagewpic]If there is one piece of equipment you should not miss utilizing in your training, it is the stability ball. The market comes up with new training tools every now and then but you may be hesitant to use them because you’re not sure if they do work and if they are safe. One that is guaranteed to work is the stability ball.

What Is a Stability Ball?

This is a large, inflatable ball used as exercise equipment. It is generally heavy-duty and capable of holding 600 to 700 pounds of weight. It is comfortable and gives good support. It may also be known as the physioball or the Swiss Ball.

The good thing about using the stability ball is that it gives some element of ‘play’ as you get tough with your training. It adds some fun and challenges as you advance in the movements and techniques.

Another good point with the ball is that it can be used by anybody. No fitness level is required. It is very portable, light weight and easy to bring along even when traveling. It is also inexpensive compared to other exercise equipment and it could last for a very long time.

How Stability Balls Came About

Stability balls were originally invented for rehabilitation purposes. As early as the 1900’s, physical therapists were using balls in addressing the neurological disorders of their patients.

The ball then shifted from rehabilitation device to an exercise tool in the 1990’s, to condition the bodies of professional athletes. From then on, the ball has been prominent in the fitness community.

At present, both medical specialists and fitness professionals recommend the use of the stability ball by the public. It provides more than just a solution to physical problems. It’s also good in preventing you from having any.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Stability Ball?

The stability ball definitely is best to improve the strength of the abs and the lower back. It also improves the functional strength, balance and flexibility of the body.

1. Proper Alignment

Using the ball during training will challenge your body to use a variety of muscles to help you maintain the proper balance. The dynamic movements during exercise will improve the natural motor reflexes of the body as different muscles are utilized in movement, especially the ones that are not usually used.

2. Great Abs

For people working out to achieve great abs, this ball can definitely target the abdominal areas. The abs and the back muscles are simultaneously moved as you work to achieve balance.

3. Muscle Strength and Endurance

The stability ball can help in alleviating any back pain and preventing it in the future. As all the major muscle groups are exercised, the muscle tone, strength and endurance are also improved. Thus it gives the body flexibility, stability and resistance.

4. Core Stability

This concerns the major muscles that helps stabilize and support all of the body movements. This is made up of back and the deep abdominal muscles. With the ball, no matter how ‘deep’ or ‘into the core’ these muscles are, they are still exercised. This is something only the stability ball can guarantee. If you want an extra workout, sit on the ball for about 20 minutes a day while you watch your favorite show. While you try to balance on it, you are strengthening your core muscles.

5. Stretching

The ball is a good companion during stretching exercises. With this, you can easily move into and move out of different stretching positions.

6. Losing Weight

Of course, with all the good benefits of using the ball, you will not miss out on the aspect of losing weight. With regular exercises and training done with the stability ball, you can lose unwanted pounds as your body is firmed.

Health is definitely your most important asset. Do your regular exercises and maintain a healthy diet. Most of all, have fun training with your stability ball.

Categories : Fitness
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Getting Fit As Fast As Possible

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[ad#mseoptinpagewpic]Many people who feel it’s time to get healthier want to get fit fast. They don’t want it to take a long time for their sacrifices and hard work to start showing itself off to themselves and others. A new level of fitness will depend on how out of shape you are currently and how self disciplined you are as to how quickly these changes will happen. Assess yourself and your lifestyle realistically. It is obviously going to take longer if you are morbidly obese and have terrible eating habits. If this is your situation, please don’t expect to get fit in a month.

For those of you who are only a few pounds overweight, and are truly motivated  to get in better shape, it is obviously very possible for you to do this much faster than someone who has 50 or more pounds to lose. The extra weight can be conquered with a healthy eating plan and regular resistance training, which helps grow and define muscles. This calls for dedication and commitment to whatever exercise program and eating plan you design for yourself. A good plan that is tailored to your specific needs can start to show some results in as little as 30 days. While you may not get fit overnight, you will see something positive for your efforts.

The positive results you desire won’t happen if you don’t fully commit to sticking to your program. If you aren’t used to getting a lot of physical exercise, you may need to start out with a regular walking plan, either outdoors or on a treadmill. Set reachable goals and increase them steadily. Do something that you enjoy as part of your workout, whether that is playing tennis, dancing or swimming. Something fun will add to your motivation in keeping to your workout, and it may help you to get fit faster. Look for a walking partner, someone you can meet 5-6 days a week at the same time each day. You won’t want to let the other down, so you will be extra committed to your workout.

While your new exercise routine will help you get fit, making healthy changes to your diet will speed up the process. You can still enjoy foods that you love (for now), but start eating those in moderate to smaller portions than you are used to. Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals, and eat them for a healthy snack. Drink plenty of water each day. This flushes impurities out of your system, and keeps you from retaining excess fluids.

If it’s really important to you that you get fit fast, sticking to the plan you have chosen for yourself will make it happen. It might not happen as fast as you like, but you must remember that you didn’t get out of shape over night, and you will not get fit over night. It takes work, dedication and new choices to be made with every step.

But it can be done.

Categories : Health
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[ad#mseoptinpagewpic]As we go through living our lives we sometimes fail to notice the changes happening to us. Have you taken a look at yourself in the mirror lately? If so, do you recognize who is looking back at you? Has time been kind to you? Have you taken care of your health? Many of us get caught up in the day to day rut of making a living and we seem to forget to take care of our most valuable resource – our body.

If this is the case with you then don’t you think it’s time to do something about it? You may very well ask when you should start. The best answer to that question is right NOW, this very minute, and as the popular quote goes “Just Do It”. The transformation will not happen overnight; after all it took years to get to where we are. But I can guarantee you that if you put your mind to it and work hard at it, it will happen. By the way there is no such thing as a magic pill. If there were someone would have become a multi-multi-billionaire.

At this point you are probably wondering what miracle drug, or expensive process I will be recommending. The reality is neither. You need to develop a good exercise plan for yourself, one that you can live with on a day by day basis. Perhaps having a mentor, mastermind group, or accountability partner may help you. But in the end it is up to each one of us to make it happen for ourselves.

Put together a reasonable exercise plan, couple to that a healthy balanced diet and throw in a pinch or two of a positive attitude and you will be well on your way to seeing the person who is looking back at you in the mirror is much more reminiscent of your youthful days.

Start by assessing your fitness level. While it is good to set outrageous goals, be realistic with yourself. This is also a good time to go visit your doctor to make sure you will be up to what you are planning. Now that you’ve been given the green light let’s get started. Go for a walk see how long you can walk comfortably. Walk for as long as you comfortably can and then write down the results.

Now let’s push it a little. Try some good strength training exercises. How many push-ups can you do? How about chin ups, or squats? Write down the results. Do some jumping jacks for 3-4 minutes, check your heart rate,  and write it down.

The last step is perhaps the most telling. It is now time to take measurements – yes, your waist, hips, thighs, whatever area you are concerned about. Take them and write them down. This will help you recognize the progress you will be making. Don’t just rely on the notch on your belt – I’ve done that before and just sucked it in a little to get to the next notch. Be honest with yourself, or don’t bother wasting your time.

This should give you a pretty good profile of where you are. Now is the time to set some goals for yourself. Decide what you are looking to accomplish: lose some weight, get back into wearing your favorite outfit, (you know the one you haven’t been able to wear in 5-10 years), regain your flexibility, feeling healthier than you have in years or to look good for your next class reunion. You decide what you want to achieve, write it down and start moving toward accomplishing it.

Put the note you wrote on the refrigerator, or post it in the mirror of your bathroom where you can see it every day to help motivate you to achieve your goals.

This is just the beginning. To continue to grow keep learning more about your body and how to get it back into health.

Categories : Fitness
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