Exercises and Workouts – Three Reasons To Use The Rowing Machine

As you head to the gym to get your cardio training in, you might gravitate to the rows of treadmills or elliptical trainers due to the fact this is what you’ve either always taken part in previously or have seen other people doing. At first the rowing machine can appear intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an effective way to spice up your cardio routine.

So, are you neglecting one of the most powerful forms of cardio out there? If you aren’t making good use of the rowing machine you definitely are.

This type of exercise machine offers plenty of advantages and if there’s one at your gym, it’s high-time you took advantage of it.

Let’s go over the top three reasons you should be considering exercising on the rowing machine…

1. It’s Low-Impact. One of the very first reasons to give the rowing machine a try is because it’s lowimpact in nature. Anyone who suffers from joint pain will definitely want to consider this exercise form as it will take all the high-impact stress off of their knees and ankles.

Swimming is the other alternative you could do, but for some people, getting to a pool isn’t realistic. The gym is just easier and, as such, the rowing machine should be the primary choice.

2. It works Both The Upper And Lower Body. Next, another great benefit is that it’s going to work the upper as well as the lower body while you do it.

Both the bike and the treadmill cardio machines only work your lower body, therefore your upper body goes untouched. The rowing machine will give you a more complete body workout, which also means a greater total calorie burn.

3. It Will Challenge Your Strength Level. Perhaps you weren’t aware of this, but finally, the last great thing about the rowing machine is it will also challenge your strength level. As you are going about the movement pattern, you’ll be hitting your quads, hamstrings, glutes, as well as your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who isn’t also using a resistance training program. Doing some form of resistance activity each week is vital to good health and muscle maintenance, so the rowing machine is another choice that can help you accomplish this objective.

So make sure you don’t overlook working this machine any longer when you hit the gym. It’s a great cardio machine to add to any workout program.

Exercises and Workouts – Best Workouts To Perform On An Exercise Ball

One of the best and lowest cost pieces of fitness equipment to consider picking up to keep in your home is a basic exercise ball. An exercise ball is a fantastic way to work multiple muscle groups in your body and provide extra agility benefits as well…

1. Crunch On The Ball. First you have the basic crunch on the ball. If you’re a beginner who’s hoping to gain some abdominal strength, this is a great place to start. Doing your crunches on the ball will help you move through a wider range of motion, which then means greater physical benefits will be experienced.

The crunch on the ball will also help to work the muscle fibers deep within your core much better as well, as they’ll need to contract in order to keep you fully balanced.

The end result? Far superior core strength compared to doing this exercise on the floor.

2. Prone Roll Ins. Next, another exercise to try out with your exercise ball are prone ball roll ins. This one is great for those who are a little more advanced and who want to challenge their abs from another angle.

To perform it, simply place your feet up on the ball, arms directly beneath you. Then slowly roll the ball into your body as you bend your knees. Pause in this position and then roll out again to complete the rep.

Prone ball roll-ins will test your balance and agility, and also hit your shoulder muscles as well.

3. Ab Pike. If you find the prone ball roll in is too easy, then the next step is to perform the ab pike. This one is done just like the prone roll in, only this time rather than bending your knees as you pull the ball towards your body, you will keep your knees extended and move into an inverted pike position.

Pause at the top of the exercise and then roll back out to complete the rep.

4. Push-Ups On The Ball. Finally, the last of the exercises to consider is the push-up on the ball. For anyone who needs more of a challenge on the basic push-up, this is the one to do.

You can either do this with your hands on the ball or with your feet on the ball – whatever you prefer. Note your hands on the ball will be much more challenging however, so it’s a more advanced variation.

So grab a fitness ball and get going with these exercises – they’ll go a long way towards building up your fitness level and keeping you interested in your regular workout sessions.

Exercises for Autonomic Disorders

Exercise is a recommended component of treatment for any autonomic disorder including POTS. Your doctor or physical therapist will assign goals and stipulate target heart ranges to achieve but not exceed.

If you are exercising at home, you will likely need a “workout buddy” so you are not alone if you experience any negative symptoms. This is especially important if you’ll be at a local gym. A knowledgeable personal trainer or physical therapist is invaluable to your progress, and many hospitals maintain rehabilitation facilities that employ such people.

Such a setting also allows for vital signs to be monitored during your workout, data that is valuable to your physician in assessing your progress. In cases of severe deconditioning, a brief stay in an in-patient physical therapy program is an option as well.

Unless your physical therapist or personal trainer understands POTS, you could be assigned inappropriate upright exercises like walking on a treadmill or riding an upright exercise bike.

The best exercises are those that cause no orthostatic stress. Reclined stretches, yoga positions, and weight lifting as well as seated exercises on recumbent bikes or rowing machines are good choices, as is swimming.

The patient must build up tolerance over time and should not attempt upright exercises for several months. (Note that this varies from case to case.)

Dysautonomia International provides the following home exercises tips. REMEMBER, never start an exercise program without consulting your doctor!

Beginning Gentle Movements

Remember to be patient with yourself, especially if you are suffering from reconditioning as a consequence of a long period of inactivity. Remember that even 1-2 minutes a day is progress, so long as you stay with it and work to increase your tolerance.

    • Leg Pillow Squeeze – In a reclining position, place a folded pillow between your needs. Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat.
    • Arm Pillow Squeeze – Fold the pillow and squeeze it between your hands in a “praying” position for 10 seconds. Repeat.
    • Alphabet Toes – In a reclining position, lift your leg slightly and write your name in the air with your toes. Build toward doing the whole alphabet several times a day.
    • Side Leg Lifts – Lie on your side and lift your leg up and then down without touching your legs together. Repeat.
  • Front Leg Lifts – Lying on your back, lift your leg until your toe is pointed at the ceiling. Repeat and then switch to the other leg.

Remember that any kind of stretching will help your blood to move around your body and will take stress off of your joints. Go through your whole body simply performing mild stretches with your feet, legs, back, arms, and neck. Going through this sequence when you wake up in the morning is a great way to start the day. Use the same technique to help relax before going to sleep at night.

Recumbent Cardio

Many patients will be able to begin at this level if they have not experienced a long period of deconditioning. Plan on stretching 5-10 minutes to warm up before doing the exercises.

Discuss a target heart rate with your doctor. Most patients can tolerate 75-80% of their maximum heart rate, but this can be affected by currently prescribed medications.

Purchasing a heart rate monitor is a good idea to more accurately work within your set target range. The most accurate units are the ones that place the sensor on the chest where it is held in place with a strap. Finger-based units are not as accurate for patients experiencing problems with peripheral blood flow.

    • Rowing – For indoors a rowing machine is excellent, but if possible, plan on graduating to using a kayak or similar boat outdoors. Start slowly, going 2-5 minutes per day. Work toward 45 minutes per day, 5 days a week, with 30 minutes performed within the target heart rate zone.
    • Recumbent Biking – Recumbent exercise bikes allow riders to pedal in a seated position. As with rowing, begin with just a few minutes per day, working up to 45 minutes a day, five days a week, with 30 minutes at the target heart rate.
    • Swimming – The pressure of being in the water helps to prevent orthostatic symptoms so even those patients with forms of dysautonomia that have kept them bedridden for years are able to stand upright in a pool for as much as an hour. Begin by stretching and strength training in the water with an exercise “buddy” and work toward actual swimming sessions. It’s possible to get a well-rounded cardio routine in the water that will tone your legs and build the muscles of your core.
  • Weight Training – Weight training is extremely useful to increase muscle tone and strength, which in turn leads the body to use oxygen more efficiently. Place particular emphasis on the leg and core muscles. Begin with weight machines or adjustable dumdbells that allow you to work in a reclined or seated position Be cautious about lifting your arms over your head.

Normal Workouts

Achieving a level of conditioning that allows for 45 minutes of exercise (including cardio) for at least 3 days a week with emphasis on leg and core strength is an excellent goal. Some patients recover so well that they are able to jog, run, or walk several miles per week.

Again, do not attempt an exercise program without first consulting with your doctor. If your POTS symptoms occur in concert with other conditions like:

    • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – One of several inherited collagen protein disorders.
    • Joint Hypermobility Syndrome – A benign syndrome that often exists in concert with POTS in which the patient’s joints move beyond the normally expected range of motion.
    • Mitochondrial Disease – Disease that results from the failure of specialized compartments in the body’s blood cells called the mitochondria.
    • Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis – A disorder characterized by periodic episodes of muscular weakness and also higher than normal levels of blood potassium.
    • Electrolyte imbalances – Electrolytes are chemicals in the blood that regulate numerous important bodily functions. Imbalances can results from loss of bodily fluids from vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, or a high fever, or from dietary or hormonal issues, kidney disease, or as a consequence of chemotherapy.
    • Diabetes – A disease affecting the body’s production and processing of glucose. Discussed earlier in this text.
    • Myasthenia Gravis – Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, this condition causes an abnormal and irreversible weakening and atrophy of the muscles. Autoimmune in nature.
    • Heart problems – This can be any one of a number of cardiovascular problems, especially those affecting circulation, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Or asthma (among others)… – Asthma is a respiratory condition involving spasms of the bronchi in the lungs causing severe breathing difficulties.

There are special considerations that must be met for a safe and successful fitness routine.

Running for Your Best Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight running can prove to be one of the most effective calorie burning exercises there is however it is important to ensure that your overall plan is done correctly to achieve the weight loss you are looking for. To lose weight and to make sure that the exercise you do is effective you need to make sure you get your diet right.

For years we have been told that calorie counting is the way to go but this will only work if the food you eat is the right food. Weight loss and weight gain is all about the levels of insulin in your blood. If it is high the energy you eat will be channeled into your fat stores. If it is low it will not only not store the energy but will allow for the release of the energy you already have. This is the perfect scenario for weight loss because as the energy is released it is available to be burn. The result is the weight loss you have always wanted.

Conventional diets will talk about calorie restriction but if the food doesn’t lower your insulin levels then calorie counting is pointless. The only way to reduce your insulin level and keep it there is to eat real food. Do this and your fat cells release their stored energy giving you plenty of energy for exercise; in this case running!

So you have got your food intake right now it is time to run. For me I have always tried combining two different methods of running. Firstly speed where you run for short distances but as fast as you can. One challenge that is tougher than it sounds is the 1 mile sprint. It is a tough run but will work you hard and after a few weeks you will really notice it. The results will b amazing to weight loss and to your overall fitness level.

The other way to run is distance. This is slower than the sprint but you can go for a lot longer. You run this slower but you really burn the calories why you are doing it. While you may not be able to run a marathon you will be able to quickly run up to a 5km and even up to 10km within a few months. Then who knows what you can achieve as your fitness level increases and your weight falls.

Running is a great calorie burner and with your fat cells releasing that energy the running will drain those fat cells resulting in a potentially fast and effective weight loss. Combining speed and distance you can really burn calories and get the fit healthy body you dreamed of. Other than some running shoes you don’t even need to spend much money making it something that almost anyone can do. I usually finish my run do a few curls using Adjustable Dumbbells!

Zumba: Still Keeping People Fit Years After Its Inception

There are many choices of exercise programs out there and some can be described as “more interesting” than others. Take Zumba, for example, a great program under the category of dance fitness that has been around for approximately 20 years. Zumba is trademarked and owned by a company called Zumba Fitness, LLC.

This class based exercise program was invented by accident by a Colombian man who was a dancer and choreographer, by the name of Alberto Perez. It is an aerobic exercise, meaning that it allows for increases in heart rate and blood pressure during exercise, helping to keep the heart healthy and free of heart disease.

There are components of both dance and aerobics in this program. Many people use it for weight loss, healthy weight management, heart health, muscle toning and for overall fitness. It can be done by people young and old.


Zumba is very popular, practiced by about 15 million people per week. There are 140,000 licensed and non-licensed sites for you to try Zumba. It is taught in over 185 countries so there is no good excuse not to try this fun and exciting form of exercise.

The Origin of Zumba

Zumba was created almost by accident by Alberto (Beto) Perez when he forgot to bring along his normal aerobics tape to an aerobics class he was teaching. He decided to improvise with music he found in his car-mostly non-traditional merengue and salsa music. He improvised his first class and soon had a large following in his home country of Colombia. He moved later to the United States in 2001, where he soon met and helped cofound the Zumba movement with two other men, Alberto Aghion and Alberto Perlman.

The team soon sold their program to a company called Fitness Quest. Through Fitness Quest, the Zumba program became licensed and its appeal spread through things like home videos and a string of direct marketing campaigns.

Dance Moves Incorporated into Zumba

A wide variety of dance moves in Zumba has been taken from some of the following dance styles:

  • Soca
  • Hip-hop
  • Merengue
  • Salsa
  • Mambo
  • Samba

Muscles Worked

The dance moves are incorporated into different aerobic moves like lunges and squats.

Besides the obvious benefits of fat burning that comes from the fast-paced cardiovascular workout that leaves you breathless while also strengthening the heart, Zumba also works various muscles groups in the body.

Every single move aims to build strength and lean muscle in moves that are perfectly coordinated to blood pumping music.

Muscle Groups Worked Include:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • And virtually all the large and small muscle groups of the body

Lunges And Footwork

Zumba incorporates body rolls and hip shakes, along with lunges and intricate footwork, all of which blend together perfectly to comprehensively work the core and lower body muscles.

It is truly a total body aerobic workout. Good for weight loss and good for building lean muscle mass. You will likely see a six-pack peeking through on your core after a few classes.

Classes Today in Zumba

Instructors in Zumba are first licensed by Zumba Fitness, LLC, and then teach hour-long programs that incorporate both slow and fast rhythms, squats, lunges, and resistance training. The music mostly used is Latin dance, although there is some hip-hop and other musical styles incorporated into the dance routines.

The dance routines keep people going almost nonstop for a fun and entertaining exercise style that rivals many other aerobics class routines. There is even a Zumba Gold program for the elderly that uses routines and styles of aerobics that are more appropriate for people with less vitality and flexibility.

Other Types of Zumba Programs

  • Another program derived from the original Zumba program is Zumba Step. This latest Zumba program is primarily titrated to work on the gluteal and leg muscles.
  • Zumba Toning is also offered, which utilizes toning sticks to help work out the abdominals, thighs and arms, in particular. Zumba Toning is a great program for people who want to sculpt lean and strong bodies.
  • Aqua Zumba is held in a pool and is easier on the joints when compared to other Zumba programs.

How To Get Started With Zumba

After checking with your doctor to be sure this type of intensive training is appropriate for you, you can do Zumba in a number of ways. Gyms, community centers, and private fitness studios offer Zumba classes. These options mean you go to a live class that will include an instructor and members. Another option is to purchase a Zumba DVD and participate it in the privacy of your home.