By Dr. Levi Harrison
Therabands are an effective tool for a weight training program because it give the joints a respit from weight bearing activities while continuing to improve flexibility and range of motion. These bands also assist in maintaining the appropriate contractility of muscle fibers, ligaments and tendons. These resistance bands allow you to to strengthen and stretch muscles well. As a surgeon/ fitness expert, I have implored these bands universally in personalized exercise regimes designed for patients. Therabands used weekly to simply give joints a break from the cartilage grinding effects of excessive or even moderate weight training. It is imperative to use Therabands of various and increased resistances as use progress in strength and flexibility. The benefits of Theraband use will be quickly demonstrated by your physical changes and development. Your joints will be appreciative. Therabands are also inexpensive and easy to store when traveling. It is imperative to find latex-free therabands if you have a latex allergy which can cause dangerous consequences (depending on the person’s reaction if one has this form of hypersensitivity).
Use of a home exercise DVD is a great alternative to going to the gym for multiple reasons. You are able to workout in the comfort, privacy and cleanliness of your home. Home exercise takes out any factors such as competition, comparison, envy or judgement. As a physician/ surgeon, I constantly remind my patients that, “The gym is where your body is!” A home exercise DVD gives you the added benefit of having your spouse, partner or children join in for some exercise.
That is the way to get the entire household more fit! I recommend having your water bottle, towel and mat nearby when you begin the DVD. Other benefits of the home exercise DVD are the diversification and freshness that it will add to your exercise program. The body is a resilient and amazing machine which thrives from change. Adding an exercise DVD will take away the boredom of going to the gym and getting on the treadmill or same old cardio equipment. Diversify your cardio routine every week or two. Your body will thank you! Change it up and make the workout more fun and different! Keep on exercising! Exercise is life!
Exercise balls are a good investment to improve your fitness. They are inexpensive and easy to pack for travel like Therabands. Exercise balls can be used to strengthen your core, sculpt your body and improve your posture and balance. There are infinite types of exercises and variations on exercises that can be done with an exercise ball. As an Orthopedic surgeon, I have found exercise balls to also be an added value in most rehab programs also. Abdominal exercise such as basic sit-ups or more advanced core exercises like abdominal jack-knives/ V-ups can be done. One can also do biceps curls or overhead presses while simply sitting on the ball in a stable manner to improve basic core and posture. Challenge yourself by adding exercise ball skills to your workout to expand your profile of exercises.
Gliding discs are good tools for improving abdominal core muscle strength, toning abs, glutes and legs. “Mountain Climbers” with the discs are great way to get your full body involved in an exercise. I caution that with any exercise equipment that you consult with your healthcare provider before use. A patient or client with any previous musculoskeletal injury should be cautious and consult with their doctor before using this or any other type of innovative exercise equipment.
A heart monitor is good and cost-effective investment for all exercise enthusiasts. Use the Karvonen method to calculate your training heart rate. Monitoring your heart rate during your exercise regimen allows you to set higher goals as you become more fit. Most monitors will keep track of your progress which you can download into an electronic exercise journal to asses your progress. A healthy heart is a fit heart!
This info will benefit all people who exercise as well as those who are thinking about beginning incorporating exercise into their lifestyle.
Exercise is an elixir of life. Taste and enjoy it!!