Monday, December 28, 2015

Taps with Plank

You can use your hands and arms to make the plank harder! Get into and stay in the plank position and do one of these variations or alternate them:

1. Hand tap:  Tap one hand at a time with the opposite hand.
2. Elbow tap:  Tap one elbow at a time with the opposite hand.
3. Shoulder tap:  Tap one shoulder at a time with the opposite hand.
4. Hip tap:  Tap one hip side at a time with the opposite hand.
5. Knee tap:  Tap one knee at a time with the opposite hand.
6. Foot tap:  Tap one foot at a time with the opposite hand.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jump for Your Abductor Muscles

Place a yoga mat on the floor.  Bend your elbows and hold your hands together in front of your chest. Jump from side to side over the thinner part of your yoga mat for four sets of ten repetitions. This works your abductor muscles. It may seem easy when you are doing it, but you will most likely feel it on the side of your hips for days later.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Medicine Ball and Swiss Ball for Abdominal Muscles

This is a tough abdominal exercise. Get a medicine ball that will give you a workout and that you can use for four sets of ten repetitions.
Lie down on the floor. Keep your back flat against the floor. Spread your arms and legs straight above and beneath you. Place a medium-sized Swiss ball between your ankles. Hold the medicine ball with your hands.

Lift your arms and legs straight until they meet above you. You are using your abdominal muscles to squeeze the Swiss ball between your ankles. For an advanced exercise, lift your hips an inch or two inches off the floor when your legs are up. Inhale when you lower your arms and legs and exhale when you lift them. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions.
 

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stability Ball Plank Rotations

This is a tough abdominal exercise. Grab a medium-size stability (Swiss) ball. Place your forearms on it. You can grasp your hands together or just keep them close. Stabilize your legs on the balls of your toes. The rest of your body is straight, neck, back, hips and legs aligned.

First, rotate the stability ball clockwise for two sets of ten repetitions (full circles). The rest of your body does not change position. Then, rotate the stability ball counterclockwise for two sets of ten repetitions. If you can, repeat these four sets.

For an even tougher exercise, lift your right leg sideways to a 90-degree angle to your left leg and bring it back to center for each circle of the first clockwise set. Do the same with your left leg for the first counterclockwise set. Then repeat starting with the left leg for the first counterclockwise repetition and then the right leg for the next counterclockwise repetition.

Stretch by hugging your knees for 10 seconds. Then lie down on the floor and stretch your arms and legs straight away fro your center for 10 seconds.




Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Plank with Triceps

This is an advanced exercise. Get into a plank position. (Search for the original plank post.) Rest on your left forearm and on the balls of your feet. Keep your body straight and off the floor except for your forearm and the balls of your feet. Keep our head, neck, spine and hips aligned. Use a free weight for your right arm that will give you a workout and that lift for four sets of ten repetitions. Keep your right elbow near your right side. Extend your right arm backwards to work out your triceps. After four sets, place your right forearm on the floor and repeat the exercise for your left arm.


My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Great Therapy Video on Anorexia and Bulimia

You may want to check out her other videos too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDSVKLJAAh0

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lower Abdominal Muscles with Bench and Free Weight

Sit on the narrow edge of a bench. Hold onto each side. Hold up a free weight that will give you a good workout with the top of your feet (under the circular part of the free weight). Your knees should be perpendicular and your thighs should be parallel to your hips. Exhale and bring your thighs up. Use your lower abdominal muscles to lift your legs about tow inches from being parallel to your hips.
Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions.

Hug your knees for 10 seconds as needed before, in between and after sets.




Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Abdominal and Glute Exercise

Rest on your forearms and elbows facing the ceiling. Lift your hips. This activates your gluteus maximus. Bend your left leg and rest on the left foot. Extend your right leg, pointed or flexed, and move it straight from in front of you to the right side. This activates your abdominal muscles. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. Then do the same with your left leg while keeping your right leg bent.


My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Active Plank

There are several variations you can do with a plank (for abdominal muscles), and you can find some by searching for past plank posts. One simple and effective variation is to get in the plank position, with your head, neck, back and hips in a level position, and slowly bring your hips and buttocks up while keeping your legs straight. Return slowly to the starting position. Repeat for four sets of 10 repetitions, or until you fatigue. 

When you finish, lie on your back and hug your knees for 10 seconds. Repeat as needed. 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Medicine Ball for Lower Back

Grab a medicine ball that will give you a workout (not too easy or hard) With your legs shoulder width apart and knees a little bent, hold the ball tightly over your head. Bring it down in from of you and let it "bounce" about an inch over the floor. [If you let it hit the floor hard while holding onto it, I believe the friction forces will travel up your arm to your spine, skull and brain, and you don't need that.) Bring the ball back up over your head in a moderate speed and about two to four inches behind your head (with arms straight up). Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions if you can.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Art, Thoughts and Health


I just finished reading How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life by psychotherapist Nicholas Kardaras. One topic he wrote about is how keeping your thoughts high on nature, art, beauty and mathematics can affect you and your health at a cellular level. Everything has a vibration, and keeping in sync with these can boost your mind and health.

Serendipitously, I saw an article about something similar in the Health & Fitness section of the Epoch Times of Sunday February 15, 2015. The article is How Awe and Beauty Can Boost Your Health by Yasmin Amwar. Certainly, you need awe and wonder to learn about your body and take on working out each time. She writes that bad emotions boost the production of cytokines which are associated with inflammation and Type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that depressed patients had high levels of cytokine INF-alpha. The researchers found that the people with these emotions had lower levels of cytokines. Cytokines may boost neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

Psychologists at UC Berkeley conducted two experiments of 200 young people, who recorded how many times a day they felt good emotions like awe, amusement, compassion, joy, love, contentment and pride. Gum and cheek samples showed that those who experienced more of these emotions, especially awe, amazement and wonder. 

Psychologist Dacher Stellar, co-author of the study, said that the relationship between the cytokines and emotions may be bidirectional; researchers are not sure which comes first. But who cares. If you feel lousy, take a walk, preferably by the beach, listen to relaxing music, look at your favorite art, paint, dance, or read an inspiring book.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stretch Your Hips Using a Bosu Ball

I just finished another Martha Graham dance intensive. I felt that my hips and lower back were a bit stiff, maybe because it is winter time and I had not taken such classes since the summer. In between doing sit-ups on the Bosu ball in the gym, I discovered I can use it to stretch my hips.

Place your lower back on the Bosu ball's center. Place your feet on the floor and bend your knees. Move your right knee toward the floor. Do not force your knee. The key is to feel a stretch in your right front hip. Use your right hand, if you want, to get your right thigh closer to the floor. Most likely, your right knee will be outside your left leg. Do what feels right. Hold five to ten seconds and do as many times as you feel are helpful.

Now, keep your left leg bent and bend your right leg the other way: have your right knee point away from your left knee. You may want to use your right hand to "help" your right leg.
Hold five to ten seonds and do as many times as you feel are helpful.

Now repeat the two previous paragraphs for the left hip: substitute left for right and right for left.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.