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Fifteen minutes of exercise a day to keep fit

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Gama, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Gama

    Gama JF-Expert Member

    Apr 11, 2011
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
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    Diet & Fitness

    Fifteen minutes of exercise a day to keep fit

    Doing a little bit of exercise every day is far more effective than taking part in a long session of intensive physical activity once a week.

    Doctissimo - Friday, 8 April 2011 01:00 BST
    © Thinkstock

    Finding a spare quarter of an hour during the day can seem a tall order for some of us and to others it’s really not that important. One thing’s for sure, setting aside fifteen minutes a day to keep fit is essential for a long and healthy life! So let’s find a way to chip away five minutes here and five minutes there and stop making excuses!
    8 minutes to tone your body

    To tone your lower body (buttocks, hamstrings and calf muscles), perform sets of lunges holding a weight in each hand (begin with 500 grams). Tighten your buttocks, pull your stomach in, keep your back straight and let your arms hang down by your sides. Move your right leg forward and then lower your body by bending at the knees creating a 90° angle (so your rear left leg is balanced on its toes). Raise your body up keeping your back really straight and bring your feet together back to your starting position. Perform sets of 10 lunges alternating with your left leg.
    To strengthen your chest and upper body, remain standing with your arms stretched out on each side. Begin by moving your arms in small circles 20 times first in one direction, then 20 times in the other direction. Next move your arms up and down using little movements and then rotate your arms 20 times (with your palms facing downwards, then upwards).
    As the days go by, you can of course increase the speed, frequency and number of repetitions.
    2 minutes to clear the lungs

    Because our breathing is instinctive, we don’t do it correctly. Yet our body’s mechanism for taking in vital oxygen says a lot about our state of mind. For instance, anxious or hyperactive people tend to take jerky breaths, while “lethargic” people breathe out for longer than they breathe in. In any case, breathing has to be learnt and breathing well comes with a bit of training. In the long term, you will be surprised to see its positive effect on stress levels, digestion and sleep...
    Lie down on a hard, flat surface and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, feeling your stomach expand with air. Hold your breath for 5 seconds and then breathe out very gently through your mouth for 10 seconds to expel all the air from your stomach. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
    And 5 minutes to stretch

    During all this physical effort, you’ve been oxygenating your muscles. So now you should give them a good stretch to get rid of the toxins and relax them. If you have woken up with pain in your muscles or joints or if you’ve been sitting down all day, stretching will loosen you up and ease the pain.
    Standing up with your arms stretched above your head and feet slightly apart, stretch your spine as much as you can as if you are trying to touch the ceiling. Stay in this position for ten seconds or so, inhaling and exhaling deeply. Relax and breathe out.
    Next, grasp your right ankle with your right hand and bring your heel up to your bottom. Hold this position for ten seconds or so. Stretch your left thigh in the same way.
    Sit down on the ground, with your legs stretched out and your feet together. Breathing out, slide down slowly and try to grasp your feet. As soon as you feel your muscles “pulling” (don’t force it), stay in that position for about ten seconds then relax. Finally, lie down on your back and bring your knees up onto your chest to completely relax your lower back.

    Of course you can exercise like this at home, but do appreciate that by exercising outdoors (in the forest, in a park, in your garden or on the beach...), this “15 minute work-out” will be a hundred times more rewarding!
    More information:
    Detox your body through exercise
    Get a move on: physical activity and menopause
    Nutrition discussions