Health

How To Use Fitness Balls and Resistance Bands To Train Your Body

man working out open air gym

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), core strength is necessary because the muscles of the lower back and abdomen are used often in day-to-day activities and contribute to body posture. Core exercises can be done using a fitness ball also called a stability ball, Swiss ball, fit ball or physio ball. The brightly coloured oversized plastic ball can be used to work every major muscle group in the body. Stability balls have been in use for decades in physical rehabilitation clinics across the globe. But today the ball is being used widely by trainers and fitness classes and even at home. The ball is portable; you can deflate it and carry it even as you travel. It costs a little over a thousand rupees and is easily available at a sports store.

The stability ball is used in several exercise moves to improve your balance, co-ordination, strength, flexibility and posture by strengthening the core muscles in the body. The exercises, which you do using dumbbells for the upper body, can be performed using the fitness ball. The balls are also used to do abdominal exercises and crunches. When placed on a bench, it comes in handy to perform traditional strength exercises. The instability of the ball pushes an individual to use the core muscles of the mid-section to maintain the body level. While you sit on the ball, the continuous adjustment that your body makes on the ball, work your core muscles.

Fitness balls come in varied sizes. In order to judge the right size of the ball for you, try sitting on the ball. You things should be parallel to the floor. Experts suggest that a 5 to 5.6 feet tall adult can use a 55cm ball while those who are 5.7 feet and over can use a 65 cm ball. In order to ensure proper sizing of the ball, consult a trained professional. More air in the ball or firmer the ball; the more difficult will the exercise be.

Breathe deeply while you exercise on the stability ball; tighten your abdominal muscles during the exercise. Perform five core exercises initially and then slowly increase the number until you reach 15 repetitions. You can incorporate ball exercises with Pilates and yoga.

gym exercise ball

Resistance Bands

Exercising with resistance bands in equivalent to work out of nearly each and every muscle in your body. The bands use your own body weight instead of dumbbells to offer resistance. You slip a band around your arm or foot and extend or lift your limb. The bands are portable and cost less than a thousand rupees. They come in varied lengths and degrees of resistance. The shorter ones can be used for exercising and strengthening the hips, ankles, hands and wrists; and the longer ones are good for legs and arms. These resistance bands are color coded. The least resistance is provided by the yellow ones, followed by green, red, blue and black.

‘Sex-ercise’

Sex in itself is a form of exercise. During sex every muscle group is used, both heart and lungs work hard. Statistics reveal that half an hour of sex can burn about 53 calories. This is similar to three minutes of running up and down the stairs or six minutes of playing tennis or seven minutes on an exercise bike.

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends that for those people who are busy with work and who may not be able to fit in regular exercise schedule, sex can be a good exercise, which can lower the risk of heart attacks and help you live longer. According to the NHS studies, ‘sexercise’ releases endorphin’s—the brain chemical—natural pain relievers, which stimulate immune cells and cortisone, a chemical with anti-inflammatory effect. Sex may reduce headaches, especially migraine pain and is also good for mental well-being. And predictably, it is a sound cure for insomnia or lack of sleep.

Unfortunately, promiscuity does not have the same health benefits as sex. People engaging in adulterous relations are more susceptible to strokes, says Japanese research.

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