No time for a class? Exercise at home

If you are a reasonably structured person you can fit a little "at home" fitness into your lifestyle. It's easy and there are a lot of choices available. Put on some exercise clothes - without proper fitness attire motivation won't happen. There are three more items you need to consider for a well-rounded exercise program: Your heart, your muscles and flexibility.

Start with an easy stretch for arms and work down to your leg muscles. Do slow and controlled movements. Swing your arms around and bend over slowly to the floor and work your leg muscles both front and back, don't forget to loosen up your ankles.

What type of aerobic movement do you enjoy? You should raise your heart rate for 20 to thirty minutes, so pick an aerobic exercise that you enjoy.

Treadmill, stationary bike, jumping rope, dancing, swimming, or you can do your sweating outside with a 30 minute jog or bike ride. If you decide to walk then pick up your pace to show 125-130 pulse rate and do some hills, too.

To make your aerobic time go faster use music. Collect some of your favorite fast songs to keep your heart rate up. Personally, I could not exercise without the use of music, it makes the task enjoyable.

For muscles, work on arms and shoulders slowly and with hand weights. Move your arms up and down, do curls, back swings and extensions. Line up your arm movements with your body weight to prevent back stress. Then get down on the floor and do about 20 pushups, either on your knees, to the side or the full-out style. You can do pushups against the wall, and also do them by sitting in a chair and lifting your weight up and down off the chair.

While you are still on the floor, concentrate on your abdominals. There are a lot of ways to work those important muscles. Lie down on your back and do curls, opposite elbow to knee, full sit ups, sit backs, leg extensions, Pilates, or horizontal bicycles and don't arch your back during any of these movements.

When you work the leg muscles, put your hand on the area you want to work, move your leg until you feel the muscles working. Do lift movements slowly and when you bring your leg down, don't let gravity do the work. You can add leg weights if you wish.

Stretching at the end of your program can be the best part. The relaxing part of a stretch is the most enjoyable. Concentrate on the muscles you have used and stretch them while they are warm and loose.

There is never enough time for fitness and the reasons for loss of fitness time are many. But, an hour home program that you tailor for yourself can accomplish your needs and it can be included within your daily lifestyle - all it takes is structure.

• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.


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