Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting Stronger

What can you do to create more strength...without building huge muscles, without pumping iron and without taking a lot of time?

Here are a couple easy, no cost (or free) tips on building strength...

Take a 2 cans from the pantry...try soup cans at first. If they are too heavy, try cans of tuna. Hold the cans while you are doing some bounce and shake exercises or walking or dancing around the house. Or hold them while you stretch and reach. If cans aren't comfortable try water bottles. You can increase the size of the cans or water bottles as long as you can comfortably hold them in your hands.

Isometric exercises: squeeze the muscle and hold for a count of ten and then release. These are great for post-surgery and beginning to get back into condition. Isometric exercises focus on specific muscles rather than an overall conditioning.

Clench your thighs, calves, butt muscles and even your abdomen while seated at your chair, or on the couch, or lying on the bed. If you don't scrunch up your face you can even do it at work and no one will be the wiser!

Arms require a bit more obvious motion--so reserve them for break time if you are at work. Easy to do while watching television though, take advantage of a commercial break or two--bend your elbows, place your palms together and press them together. Start with them at chest height. Do a couple sets there and then move up to shoulder height, face high, and over the head. Final squeeze is with arms straight squeezing against your head. Repeat the process on the way down.

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