Getting Fit Without The Weights

There’s a lot to be said for weight resistance training – but some of us are just bored with dumbbells and repetitive movement.  Diet is also critical when it comes to fitness.  There are many options out there like Paleo, low carb, etc..  But we recommend the keto diet lifestyle!

Try these alternatives to invigorate your fitness lifestyle:

Upper body:

1. Do the Gumby dance with Rubber Bands.

I get bored with repetitive moves here too – so I make it stupid and it gets fun! You can break up repetitive moves like a bicep curl and pretend you’re working with more resistance. I pretend to be a Gumby mime artist, doing the same movements with extra resistance. The bands are great for improvising with, so combine your different movements to see how you can break the routine.

2. Known as dancer’s balls, use 1pd, 3pd or 5pd weighted balls.

Try this activity – slow arm circles while sitting and lying, feel where you arm collapses, falters of feels weak. Now take the ball around your weak spot and see how you can integrate your abs into making the movement stronger. Try not to overwork your weak spot as this can cause muscle fatigue. The intention is to find how your abs and back can shift to SUPPORT the arm movement, rather than using your arm to do all the work.

3. Use the weighted balls while sitting on a fitness ball.

This makes it more interesting and challenging for your muscles and mind to balance. Do the arm rotations slowly and enjoy the massage of your joints. It’s not all about muscle – your tendons and joints need to feel some juice moving through them too. You can use the balls to do arm stretches and reaches and create your own dance and stretch.

Lower Body and cardio combinations:

The legs act as a pump for the blood to return back to the heart. So find activities that are not repetitive to activate your heart and muscle health.

4. Boot camp training.

You can sign up for a weekly training that gets you playing games and doing physical activities you would not do unless someone you “forces” you to do them. These activities get you playing as if you’re in the playground – walking, running, jumping and balancing through obstacle courses, running up and down hills. Having someone yelling at you to do different activities activates the muscles and brain to fire in new ways, which stimulates the metabolism like crazy. Make sure you are not forced to do activities beyond your limit.

5. Game Days with the Kids. (Or just adults if you wish!)

If you have kids, you can play great activities that involve them too. Does anyone remember the old jumping sack race, three-legged race and egg and spoon race? These are great activities for co-coordinating brain and muscle strength that challenge and increase your metabolism. Ball games and frisbee are always a great way to challenge your brain and muscle coordination as well.

6. Hiking.

Getting out in the outdoors makes “working out” a pleasure and gives you the oxygen you’re starved of in a gym and in air conditioning. Hiking also challenges the muscles and metabolism to fire in different ways that will only increase the need for more muscle cells and increase metabolism.

Combo workouts – Whole body:

7. Clean out the garden.

OK – I always resented doing the weeding in the garden. But these days a good session of pruning, weeding and breaking up garden waste involves every muscle group you could imagine. If you don’t have a garden – you probably have a friend who does and they will love you for thinking about them!  This workout also has a great secondary benefit… you grow food for your Keto lifestyle…  haha

8. Martial Arts.

There is nothing as deflating as trying to do a series of 10 kicks and realizing you have another 100 or so to go. Be warned that some martial arts training has no sympathy for the faint-hearted. The kicking practice and warm-ups of Kung Fu is the best way to activate the power and integration of your leg muscles. The warm-up kicks will give you more control over your leg muscles that using a machine in the gym or even your good old leg lunges. Leg lunges are great but only work on balancing joints and muscles in a stationary position. Once you start using kicks, you activate your core muscles, your guts, and your attitude.

9. Qigong

For beginners find a tai chi class that gets you to do real slow form (Wu style) that activates your legs. For the more gung-ho, try fast form. Qigong classes are also great low-intensity ways to activate your legs and core as well as balance your blood pressure and breathing at the same time. You will be surprised how this slow form can tone your whole body.

10. Start Bouncing!

A good bouncing trampoline or “rebounder” with the right spring balance will tone all your muscles, inside and out. Dave Hall has created a mini-trampoline called “cellercise” which has springs with the right rebound so you avoid jarring the body and spine. Bouncing and balancing on a rebounder wakes up the core muscles, stirs up the body fat and invigorates lymph, blood vessels, organs, bones, skin and hormonal system.

Keeping Fit With Tai Chi And Kung Fu

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art, which is part of the internal martial art (Neija Quan). It is a style of fighting which presupposes taking the opponent’s energy and releasing your own energy through your body, called Fa Jing or explosion of energy. This thing can be achieved only by reaching a state of mind of complete relaxation and connecting each bone of your body to the whole. This is the main difference between the external martial arts, like Karate or Kung Fu, where the fighters focus on physical force.

By practicing this type of “internal fighting” you might have the ability to face a fighter who is apparently much stronger than you are, provided that, he is not also applying the same type of techniques as you are. Another major advantage is that, during the practicing, instead of getting tired, you actually acquire a lot more energy and you feel better and better.

The energy entering your body strengthens you and all your energetic meridians, like your bones, organs, and immune system. The traditional style, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, is much better for your health than the modern, “contest-like” style. There are very many other internal martial arts, such as Hsing Yi Ch’uan, Pa Kua, Yi Ch’uan and others. T’ai Chi Ch’uan can be translated as the “supreme ultimate fist”. It is based on a great harmony between you and the entire universe.

One of the nicknames of tai chi is the Queen of Chinese martial arts, being one of the most efficient fight systems ever created by men. Nevertheless, many people practice it only for the benefits that it brings to their health system. The authentic traditional style is the one called Tai Chi Chi Kung which is part of the Tao Healing Universal system.

One of the most important things that you must keep in mind is that you need to correctly practice the moves. If we adopt an incorrect position, we may lose the energy and the blows might not be as powerful as they should. The body position which is not a martial one, like a ballet pose, makes the energy slip between our fingers and, hence, the exercise is useless.

The Value of Martial Arts Training for Children

Some parents are reticent to allow their children to take martial arts lessons in the fear that such training will make them more aggressive and combative. The truth is quite the opposite, however–training in the martial arts actually teaches children restraint, respect, and self-control, all of which are positive traits that parents attempt to instill on their own with varying degrees of success. Other positive benefits of martial arts training for children include increased physical fitness and the ability to defend themselves and others should a genuine need ever arise.

All quality martial arts schools stress respect and self-control to a degree that is rarely seen in other aspects of American society. Students are required to always be polite in speech and action, to show restraint at all times, and to treat others with respect. These messages are reinforced by the actions of fellow students and instructors, and infringement of these precepts is met with some sort of disciplinary action such as being forced to sit out the rest of the lesson or to do extra push ups or sit ups. The martial arts student learns that positive behavior is rewarded and negative behavior is punished or ignored.

Some have said that we are currently in an “obesity epidemic.” While comparing obesity to the Spanish flu might seem a bit ostentatious, the fact remains that American children are more overweight and inactive than ever before. This is leading to an increase in the occurrence of juvenile diabetes, heart problems, and other serious health disorders caused by leading a sedentary lifestyle. Martial arts training is typically quite physically rigorous and, particularly if classes occur more than two days a week, can have a very real positive impact on health.

The self-defense aspects of martial arts training for children are minor when compared to the positive benefits of health and attitude. However, the ability to react to stressful situations with a clear mind and a thorough knowledge of how to defend oneself against a violent attack is a very real benefit and could even be a lifesaver. This is the one aspect of martial arts that every student and instructor hopes that he or she will never have to use, but it is nice to know that the knowledge is there should the terrible need ever arise.