Fitness and Exercise Blog
September 2006 fitness blog

Girls on Boy's High School Teams

Should girls be allowed on boy's high school teams? 

You've probably heard about this topic on the news. Girls have gone to court challenging this issue for the right to try out for a boy's team. Whether you are for girls being on boy's teams or you support the status quo, is of course your opinion. Some girls argue that their teams aren't competitive enough. Now that's a real slap in the face of a girl's team! The whole point of creating girls teams is to give every girl a chance to play competitive team sports with other girls. If girls were allowed to play on a boy's team, why not the reverse being true? Boys allowed to play on a girl's team. Do you see how ridiculous this may get? 

A solution to this issue would be to create co-ed high school teams. Instead of wasting money in courts on high priced lawyers and tying up the courts with legal issues, the money can go into a co-ed high school teams. In this way, the girls who want to compete on a more competitive level can. Of course, you'd have to create some team rules i.e, the number of boys to girls that a team can have.

This is just one point of view. You'll see this issue brought up time and time again.

Posted on: Wednesday September 27, 2006

Exercise and Longevity

Your longevity, how long you live, depends on exercise, nutrition, your genes, your size and just plain luck, too! As you can see, a lot of factors determine how long you live.

I was watching the news this morning and there is this 75 year old man from Canada who competed this past Sunday in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. He completed the marathon in one hour and 30 minutes which according to someone interviewed is a good time for most people. For someone his age, it's a fantastic time. They showed him jogging towards the finish line. He looked great for his age.

This is not his first marathon, either! He's competed in many and I hear he is known worldwide by many people for this. So what's his secret? It's staying active and exercising. Preferably you should start exercising, i.e., taking part in sports or some sort of physical activity when you are young and continue exercising throughout your life. For those of you who haven't done this or stopped for whatever reasons, it's never too late to start exercising again.

Posted on: Monday September 25, 2006

Tax Break For Your Gym Membership

Here's an idea that's been mentioned for a few months in Canada. To encourage fitness and exercise, fitness gyms and a few politicians are trying to get the Government of Canada to give tax breaks called a tax credit for people's gym membership fees. I do not know how many countries, if any, are currently offering a tax credit or tax deduction for gym memberships but it makes perfect and logical sense to do so. It will encourage a lot more people to hopefully exercise and stay in shape. Secondly, why should you be taxed on your income that is used by you to stay healthy, anyway?

Will this be extended to personal trainers or online fitness programs too? We'll have to wait and see. I try to stay on top of worldwide news to see if any other countries are currently doing this or proposing this sort of idea. Maybe other countries are offering other creative alternatives?

Posted on: Saturday September 23, 2006

Exercise For Your Abs

Everybody wants toned abs. Am I correct? Most people want toned abdominals for aesthetic reasons namely to look beautiful, but there are other health reasons why you should be exercising your ab muscles. The main reason is that a toned tummy puts less strain on your back and prevents you from encountering future back problems. Also, you do not have to strive for a six-pack to have beautiful tones abs. Toned abs are just as beautiful and sexy!

One of the most effective and simple exercises for your abs that can be done almost anywhere and anytime are ab crunches. These can be done in your home, gym or even your office, preferably 3 times per week. You do not even need any equipment except maybe an exercise mat if you like!

Here's the best way to do Ab Crunches to get optimal results:

Lie flat on your back making sure your back touches the ground. Put your hands on your chest or behind your head. Slowly lift yourself from the ground using your abs only and your eye focusing forward. If you have your hands behind your head, do not lift yourself using your hands. That's why hands on your chest is better. It keeps you from improperly doing the exercise. Once you reach as far as you can go (but not in a seated position, this is not a situp), slowly lower yourself to the ground. 

I know text instructions are difficult to follow, but I will be adding a video demonstration of Ab Crunches for you soon.

Posted on: Wednesday September 20, 2006

Ideal Body Weight

How much should you ideally weigh?

It all depends on a lot of factors. Some are obvious like your height, your body's natural width and girth. Other factors are not as obvious such as your bone mass and density. There are adverse side affects to either weighing too much or too little. If you weigh too much then you may feel lethargic during the day and your body functions have to work extra hard putting unnecessary strain on your body. Likewise, weighing too little is not good for your health and various body functions. Also, trying to perform or take part in sports or exercise would not result in optimal performance.

The idea for this topic came to me while I was watching CNN. They reported that Madrid is banning extremely skinny models. What constitutes skinny to them? Models who are 5'9" tall must weigh at least 122lbs and have a BMI of 18.

You must be wondering by now what your ideal weight should be? The answer is twofold. First, based on your given height you should fall within a certain range. Your doctor should have a chart to show you this or be able to tell you this. Secondly, your body will tell you if you weigh too much.  For example, if you are tired a lot during the day or unable to exercise at optimal levels.

Posted on: Saturday September 16, 2006

Bringing Your Fitness to New Heights

At one time or another everyone who visits a gym gets tired or bored by their fitness routine. This boredom can quite often cause many people to climb the walls, literally!

One of the most common items being added by fitness centers around the country are rock climbing walls. You may have seen these walls at fairs, amusement parks, or children’s centers. They are irregularly shaped walls with small hand and footholds attached at various intervals up the height of the wall.

Looking at them than can sometimes be quite intimidating because who wants to look like a fool and fall off the wall in front of the entire gym. However once you realize the benefits rock climbing has, you might be willing to give it a try.  Before you get started you’re probably going need to take a safety class. These are between an hour or two in length and go over the safety rules and may include some climbing tips as well. The fitness center should always have an experienced staff member manning the ropes at the bottom (known as a belayer). Should you fall off the wall (and you will at some point) the belayer slows your descent to prevent injury.

Most climbing walls will have at least two difficulty levels, beginner and advanced, while some may have three or four. Resist the temptation to go directly to the advanced and start on the easiest course. Most people assume that climbing a rock wall will only exercise their upper body muscle groups. However, as muscle soreness the next day will show you, it’s a whole body exercise. Even people with well developed arms, shoulders and chest muscles may experience some soreness, as these muscle groups are now being used in new ways. Climbing a rock wall is also a mental challenge, as you will have to negotiate a path with the hand and foot holds to reach the top. Here are some tips for people just starting out:

Use a firm but not overly tight grip. Don’t grip too strongly to the handholds like clinging on for dear life. If you do fall the belayer at the bottom will slow your descent.

Use your feet. Use your lower body to help balance your weight. This not only gives you a better exercise but makes the climb easier.

Use you hips. By pointing and shifting your hips in the direction you are reaching you can better control your center of gravity and keep your balance.

Be calm. Your first few times you are probably going to be very nervous. Let the belayer on the ropes know you aren’t experienced. The main advantage indoor climbing has over outdoor climbing is controlled conditions that were designed with safety as a priority.

This article was written by Allison Preston.

Posted on: Monday September 11, 2006

Airfares and Being Overweight

We all know that being overweight has many costs to the individual and society. From increased healthcare costs to your health in general. If you travel on several US airlines, everyone now has to pay more for airfare because people in general tend to be overweight. With the cost of rising fuel prices, the increased passenger weight results in more fuel being used. This increase in airfares will most likely result in worldwide airfare increases in countries where obesity is a problem. One airline in the US even charges 'Customers of Size' two airfares!

It's interesting to contemplate this notion. You have so many seats on a flight. When an airline books a flight to capacity, how do they know they are not going over the weight limit for the flight? They do not know how much each person weighs! I think that they must figure out an average weight per person. If this wasn't the case, your safety during air travel could be at risk.

Posted on: Sunday September 3, 2006

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