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Warm-up exercises for young and old.

Remove this warm-up centerfold and keep it as a handy aid for your next exercise session.

We read of a man whose only exercise was jogging his memory. This finally led to his getting in such bad shape that when his friends began making unkind remarks about his overhanging belly, he sent away for weights to begin a bodybuilding program. When the weights arrived at the freight office and he drove down to get them, to his embarrassment he was unable to pick them up. It took a young kid passing by to throw them into the back of his pickup. He was heard to say that he really hated show-off kids like her.

Perhaps this account is a tad farfetched, but whether you are a golden oldie or a smart little kid, it takes only a few simple exercises to build your muscles and improve your shape.

Why bother, you ask? Fitness and health can improve the way you look. Your body firms up, and the condition of your skin, hair, and so on improves. And a good level of fitness can lower your risk of having such illnesses as heart disease, arthritis, or cancer develop in later life.

Before doing any form of exercise, you need to warm up your body. This gets extra blood nowing to your muscles. They will need more oxygen when you begin exercising. Without it they may become damaged. You can warm up by stretching and relaxing your muscles and flexing your joints, especially the ones you are going to be calling upon for extraeffort.

Repeat each exercise up to ten times to start. Add one repetition each week as your muscles adapt.

After exercising, allow your body to cool down gently. Do some bending and stretching. Relax so that your heart can get used to beating more slowly. You have more than 600 muscles in your body, but if you ignore the warm-up and cool-down rules, for the next day or two you'll think you have twice that many.

To stretch the backs of your legs, stand away from a wall with your hands flat against it Then bend your arms, but not enough that your nose and the wall meet

To stretch the sides of your calves, try the exercise again with your legs bent

While lying on the floor, grab hold of your knee and bring it up to your chest Keep the other leg straight out on the floor. Then give the other leg a chance to meet your chest

While kneeling on the floor, slowly raise your arms as you lean back. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly straighten up while lowering your arms to your sides. With practice, your stomach and thigh muscles will strengthen, and you will be able to lean back further and hold the position longer.

Sit up in a chair with your legs stretched out Holding the sides of the chair, draw your legs toward your chest, keeping your back straight Lower your legs and repeat

Stand with your feet together. Then make like you're trying to stop a herd of elephants. Bring your feet together again.

No, this is not a stickup. It's just a way to tuck in your tummy by first stretching up as high as you can reach and then bending down and trying to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight

Grasp your ankle. Pull until heel touches buttocks. Repeat with other foot Old-timers who have Charleston records will enjoy doing a variation: to the beat alternate right and left legs quickly and tap ankle while circling.

Stretch your arms up as high as you can reach while standing on your tiptoes. Hold for a few counts to stretch outyour body. Return to a relaxed position, then repeat the exercise.

Stand with your feet apart and circle your arms. And after doing that slowly twist your trunk as far to the left as possible. Stretch, pulling your left arm back and your right arm around to the left. Snap back to starting position and place your hands on hips. Repeat to right side.

Lie on your stomach on the floor and raise your head, shoulders, and chest as high as possible. When you are stronger, bring your body off the floor, bearing its weight on your hands and toes. Lower your body and repeat

Lying face down with your arms at your sides, point your toes and raise your legs, keeping them straight After five seconds, slowly lower your legs. With regular practice, you will find yourself raising yo ur legs higher and higher.

Lie on the floor, legs bent arms at your sides. Then bring yourself to a sitting position and feel the old (or young) tummy muscles tighten.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:illustration
Date:May 1, 1989
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