Endurance Building

Advice and cautions for building endurance.

Check with your doctor before you begin your exercise program.

I think we all know the benefits of building endurance but how is it developed? What is more important, how is it developed without hurting our selves? Well now that's the question isn't it? The following are just a few suggestions with a few words of caution added in for good measure.

For starters, this article is not written with the professional athlete in mind but for the more sedate. Although the exercises that will be described herein will certainly be of benefit to anyone.

Step one to improving your endurance is to stand up, walk to the television set and hit the off button. If the television doesn't go off, you may have to apply just a little more force to the button. When they haven't been turned off in a while they have a tendency to stick.

The next step is walk over to the icebox and put that half a can of beer back in. Don't worry; you'll be back before it has a chance to go flat. There is no sense in wasting a good beer, especially if it's Guiness Stout or New Castle. On second thought, if you have more I'll come over and work out with you.

Let's head outside, and remember to take your watch. First we are going to do some light stretches. We won't be doing many stretches just enough to loosen up so nothing is pulled that we might want to use later.

To begin reach over, touch your toes and hold your position for thirty seconds. Straighten up and arch your back to relieve the strain. Do this a couple of times but after the first grab your ankles and apply a gentle pull to try and get a little lower. You should be uncomfortable but not in any real pain. If you catch a cramp, come up about six inches and then slowly work your way back down. Done yet? Not in the least.

Now spread your feet six inches and do it again, then attempt to touch each leg with your chest. Remember to go slow and steady, don't rush or jerk as this tightens the muscles and increases the chances of injury. Continue to work your feet out six inches at a time until you've gone down so far and your feet are so wide that you can't straighten up with out pulling your feet in. It is important that you rotate your feet up on your heels with your toes pointed to the sky as you do this stretch. By rotating the feet up, you will relieve the stress placed upon the knees and other joints. Once your feet are pointing upwards, allow yourself to go down as far as you can.

Sit down and leave your feet spread, if you have pets in the yard you may want to first look where you're about to sit. Pull your chest as close to the ground as possible then to the legs. Try to hold each stretch for thirty to sixty seconds. You will want to continue to increase the spread of your feet you can't spread them anymore. Each time you move your feet they should open approximately six inches at a time.

When you have finished this, cross one leg over the other and grasp the crossed foot and rotate it ten times one way and then ten the other slowly. Switch ankles and repeat. Stand up, bend over and place your hands on your knees move your knees ten times one way and ten times the other in circles. It's important that you stretch everyday whether you work out or not. This will help you to throw off the effects of the exercise a lot faster.



Walk to the road look both ways, pick a direction and start walking. The objective is to walk three miles in as close to forty-five minutes as possible. It sounds easy, right? Not very, at least not at first but it does get easier the more you do it. After doing this every other day for a couple of weeks move up to five-pound ankle weights. After six weeks, cut the time to thirty minutes and inject some running into it. The key is to go slow, allow the body to acclimate itself to the increased activity. It's not that you can't start the running right away, you can force the body to do incredible feats but you will be defeating the purpose if you injure yourself in the process. Plus the likelihood of your continuing after the injury is healed isn't very good.

Once you are back home, do some katas or calisthenics for about fifteen minuets. Toe touches, deep knee bends, sit-ups, and pushups are all good but remember to do some light stretches to cool down. If you need more ideas buy a book, you'll need something to read while you sit in your hot bath of Epsom salt. By the way you may want to invest in stock in this product for the first week or two. An important point, plan out what exercises you are going to do before it's time to perform them so you don't have to pause while your heart rate go down. As the time that you spend walking or running decreases increase the length of time you spend doing calisthenics by increasing the number of reps you do. You may try doing them to music or have a partner do them with you so the time doesn't seem to be so boring. Music and partners have both been proven to increase the chances of a sedate person keeping with an exercise program.

If you get tired of walking or running, break out that bike and go for a ride. Please use the appropriate safety equipment. By the way it's cheating if the bike has a motor on it although it is legal to ride a stationary bike inside while you watch television. Do make it a challenge so increase the tension so your heart rate will rise. Even with the stationary bikes, don't forget to do your stretches.

Another great cardio vascular work out option for martial artists is kata. Do every one that you know ten times as fast as you can while still maintaining your form. If you don't know that many

(a.) Do the one you do know more than ten times, working up to one hundred in one session.

(b.) Go to class or buy a kata book and learn additional katas.

While doing a kata, try performing them to fast tempo music. The style of music is a personal preference but it not only makes the time working on kata go smoother but your body's motions as well.

Do you remember earlier in the article it said something about every other day? Did you really think you were going to get a day of rest in-between? Hardly, now we get into resistance training. I'm not going to cover much on this, as there are too many books and information out there in the stores and on the web to have to describe a bunch of exercises. Remember we are not trying to bulk up here, although there's nothing wrong with doing that. Instead we are trying to build endurance so start out with light weights and do a lot of reaps. After you have built up your body some, start to increase either the weight or the number of times you do your routine. Don't forget to use a spotter in case you become overwhelmed, work carefully and try to increase your work out at least every other week.

The key to improving your endurance is going to be you actually getting up, setting a time aside for you to work out and doing it. Don't feel guilty about the time you spend doing this, as you are not taking it away from your family.

You're doing it for them. You will be in better shape while increasing your stamina and your chances of remaining in excellent health.

By doing this you will be able to do more with and FOR them.

An additional benefit is that you'll be in a better frame of mind. Regular exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress.

If for some reason you do feel guilty about your exercise time, make it a family affair. Get them up, make them join you and improve the health and mental well being of the entire family. Regardless, enjoy your workouts because you deserve them.

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