I don’t know about y’all, but my midsection is my ‘trouble” area. No matter what I do I have an unsightly belly bulge that seems to double in size during the Fall and Winter. Well this year I have come up with a plan…I like to call it my version of ” Battle of the Bulge”. I am going to start working my midsection out like there is no tomorrow! I am going to get it as toned as possible before Thanksgiving, Christmas and cold. That way when the inevitable bathing suit season rolls around my bulge will just be the size that it normally is, and not double. I think this is a pretty genius plan.
Here are a few great ab exercises that I found on the interweb for those of you that want to jump on to my ” Battle of the Bulge” plan. These exercises were brought to you by: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1366183/four_great_exercises_to_tone_your_midsection_pg2.html?cat=50
1. Lower Leg Raises with two variations:
Lay flat on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Place your arms with your palms face-down. Keeping your back pressed flat into the floor, lift both of your legs about six inches off of the ground. For beginners, simply do two sets of twenty leg raises. If you feel you are a bit more advanced, when you raise your legs, spread them about two feet apart then bring them back together before setting them back on the floor and do two sets of twenty of these. These exercise target the lower abdominal and also, as the advanced variations increase in difficulty, your middle abdominal area.
This one is my personal favorite. Lay on the floor on your back with your hands behind your head. Now, spread your legs slightly and press the bottoms of your feet together; it should look as if you are doing a
plié while lying down, yet your feet are together “frog style.” Then carefully lift both your upper body and lower body about 6 inches off the floor using your abdominal muscles to support you, hold for two seconds and then lower your upper and lower body back to the floor. This will be a bit uncomfortable at first, but start off with three sets of fifteen of these. It may sound like an awkward number, but this is a great exercise and starting off at fifteen yields the most results and is much easier to handle than it appears. This exercise targets the middle and lower abdominals, and, if you feel you can advance, target your upper abdominals by alternating lifting your lower body, then your upper body, lifting each a bit higher than you would have when lifting both simultaneously; make sure you lift each part in two sets of fifteen.
3. Side Lifts
I love this exercise because of what an easy exercise it is. Stand upright with your feet separated about should-width apart. Hold a 10 pound weight in your left hand letting it rest at your side and place your right hand on your right hip; this helps stabilize your position, making your stance sturdier. Very slowly, still holding the weight in your left hand, bend to your left side (without bending your knees). Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and then, using your abdominal muscles by tightening them, pull your body upright again. Repeat this between ten and fifteen times for beginners; for more advanced exercises, fifteen and twenty times. Switch the weight to your right hand, put your left hand on your left hip and repeat on your right side. This targets your oblique muscles.
This is a fairly well-known exercise that targets your upper and mid abdominals as well as your obliques. Lay flat on the floor with your legs bent very slightly at the knee and your hands resting behind your head as if you were doing sit ups. Now, lift and twist your upper body, bringing your left elbow forward as if you were doing a sideways sit-up. At the same time, draw your right knee up and in towards your chest until it meets your left elbow and extend your left leg out, hovering between 6 inches and 2 feet off the ground (depending upon your advancement level and flexibility). Switch sides and repeat in a fluid motion between twenty and thirty times. If you can, do two sets of these per exercise session. Spreading them out is fine, and it occasionally helps if you place a pillow beneath your lower back.
It’s nearing the end of the week, and the end of summer for that matter. Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to get us through our day. Here is an inspirational quote that should serve as some food for thought for you guys to enjoy
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
— Charles Dickens
I started off today a little sluggish, and to be honest thinking that today was Thursday. I checked my e-mail and saw that a friend had forwarded me ANOTHER e-mail. Reluctantly, I opened it up and began reading. Within the 1st sentence I was glad that I did. This is one of those inspirational stories that you read and they put a little pep in your step, and make you remember that there is still good in the world. I know that this is the perfect blog for tomorrow on “Thoughtful Thursday”, but seeing as how I already thought it was Thursday, I am posting it for “Wellness Wednesday”. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did!
The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget
by: Kent Nerburn
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers.”
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.