What’s a good fitness routine for me?

Chris asks…

What’s a good fitness routine for me?

I’m a fifteen year old girl, and whenever I have time to work out I’m at home. At home we have a treadmill in the garage, a pair of five pound weights, a pair of one pound weights, a couple of pilates videos, a yoga mat (one of those ones so that you don’t slip), a small, flat back yard, and a basketball hoop (the area around it it about 12 feet by five feet)

What’s a good routine that I can use to lose some weight?

Author answers:

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Betty asks…

I need an at home work out with very little equipment…..?

2 years ago I left my beloved job waitressing to sit behind a desk! Over the two years I have put on around 20 pounds from lack of exercise! But I work 8-5 and have two children (4 year old and a 2 year old) which leave pretty much no time left for exercise after work, picking up at the house, bath times, cooking dinner, and actually spending a few minutes together before bed time! I desperately need some kind of a work out routine that I can do a full body work out in 30 minutes or so! With as little equipment as possible…..I thinking a yoga ball and maybe some weights? Please help! I’m desperately wanting to get rid of all this extra weight I’ve been lugging around!
Something I can do with my KIDS there! I cannot get a babysitter to run for 30 minutes plus drive somewhere to find a safe place to run! My road is def. not safe!
Nothing can be done in the morning! Sorry but I have two kids to get ready for school and the babysitters! I get up early enough! Something I can do right after work before the craziness starts

Author answers:

Sit ups- 3 sets of 20
Leg raises- 3 sets of 10-15
Push ups- 3 sets of 20 (or 6 sets of 10 if u can’t do sets of 20)
Squats-3 sets of 15-20
and if possible, get some cardio, such as Jump roping, jogging, oliptical machine, stationary bike. Cardio is the best way in my opinion to lose weight. A healthy diet (though expensive) is also important to weight loss. But the exercises listed above are just a few. You also want to make sure you’re not taking too much of a break in between sets, as you want to sweat!!

I would also recommend that you get some resistance bands to add resistance to your work out.

Mark asks…

How should I stretch my very tight muscles?

I used to be very flexible. Age has taken its toll and I am tight to the point of pain. I have been doing some gentle stretches from some old yoga routines I used to do. My shoulders, neck, and especially my hamstrings are terribly tight. I do seek massage therapy services, but I want to stretch on my own at home. How should I go about stretching these three areas (especially hamstrings and shoulders) and for how long? Any resources you have seen online or in a bookstore that you recommend? Thank you!

Author answers:

The most important thing about stretching and building your flexibility is to never stretch a cold muscle. So before doing any stretching take a walk, take a hot bath, or do something where blood flow is increased to the muscles.

As far as specific poses;

for the neck, gently bring your chin to your chest and if you want gently push your head down with your hand for further stretch. Hold for about 5 seconds and then bring your head back to neutral. Repeat about 10 times. Then again, gently bring your head from neutral position to the right as if you were trying to get your ear to be parallel to your shoulders. If you need a further stretch, gently use your hand to push the head a little further down. Keep it there for about 5 seconds then go back to neutral. Repeat about 10 times. Then switch sides. Do not arch your neck back. This will cause your vertebrae to compress and cause more harm then good.

For the shoulder, reach your arm out straight in front of you, then still holding it straight bring your arm across your chest (like the fore-arm to the opposite shoulder. Hold it there with the opposite hand for about 10 seconds, then release. Repeat about 10 times. Switch arms.

For the hamstrings, put one foot in front of the other shoulder width apart. Raise the toes of the leg that is in the front, keeping your heel on the ground, both knees should be slightly bent. Bending down from the waist, gently lower your torso toward your thighs keeping the toes of the front leg pointed up. Hold for about 10 seconds. Release and repeat about 10 times. Then switch legs.

Again remember. Don’t stretch cold muscles. It does more harm than good.

Hope this helps.

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