Exercise is a key player in disease reduction, optimal mental, emotional and physical health, and longevity. It's really a phenomenal way to get the most out of your life! It also slows down the rate of aging itself, even stimulating the regeneration of the energy-producing mitochondria in your cells, providing perhaps the closest example of a real life fountain of youth as we will ever find. As with most things in life, a balanced routine works best, so you'll want to avoid placing too much emphasis on cardio, strength training or any one type of activity.
Many public health guidelines still focus primarily on the aerobic component of exercise, but this limited activity can lead to imbalances that may actually prevent optimal health. Now let’s challenge ourselves this month, working with these forms of exercise-Crunches, Squats and skipping.
Reasons why we need them.
When discussing six-pack abs and a toned belly, crunches often spring to mind before any other exercise. While it takes more than crunches to get a defined stomach -- you'll need a balanced diet and regular cardiovascular exercise as well -- this classic exercise continues to serve its traditional tummy-flattening purpose.
1. Builds Muscle in Your Entire Body Squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building. In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs. So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
2. Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities Easier Functional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
3. Burn More Fat One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
4. Maintain Mobility and Balance Strong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
5. Prevent Injuries Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
6. Boost Your Sports Performance -- Jump Higher and Run Faster Whether you're a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you'll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.i Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete's training program.
7. Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire Body Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it's an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
8. Help with Waste Removal Squats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They're also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.
Incorporating skipping into your workouts will boost your:
• Cardiovascular fitness (give your heart and lungs a good workout)
• Leg strength
• Bone strength
• Agility It's no coincidence that boxers, who are arguably some of the fittest athletes around, regularly perform skipping drills to help with their hand-to-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness. So why not introduce some jump rope into your workouts and reap some of the fitness benefits above?
So it goes like this; You skip first, squat second and crunch last. I will personally upload pictures of the results.