Fit to Fly
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults exercise for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. With busy work and home schedules this can prove to be difficult but the benefits from a regular workout routine include improved strength and flexibility, improved cardiovascular health and much more.
In the coming issues, Fit to Fly will focus on exercise and nutrition tips to help you stay healthy and flying. In this issue, we’re going to focus on the Squat. The squat is a total lower-body strength exercise. The squat not only uses your quadriceps, but your glutes, hamstrings, calves, lower back and abs. Squats help to build muscular strength, improve flexibility in the hips and stability in the knees.
Set Up: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward and your chest up. Interlace your fingers and hold your arms straight out in front of your body.
Action: Now, think as though you were going to sit in a chair, don’t bend your knees; bend at your hips by pointing your tailbone to the wall behind you. If you’re doing it correctly, your buttocks will be moving out and down. Keep your chin forward, your back straight and your knees behind your toes. Pause when your thighs are parallel to the ground then push up through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes as you rise. Be careful that you do not lock your knees at the top of the move; keep them soft and slightly bent.
Throughout the move, remember to keep everything tight including your abdominal muscles and make sure that you inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. If you are a beginner, complete 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions with just your body weight. As you become stronger and more comfortable with the move you can add dumbbells, a barbell, or medicine ball to increase the intensity.
Please consult your physician before beginning any diet and exercise program.
September 9, 2010