A recent article in the health section of the Washington Post by Howard Schneider titled "Figuring Out How Fit You Really Are" has been generating some buzz. I gave some tips for the column. You can click here to read the Post column Here is a little more details on the two tests that were featured in the column.
Continuous exhale through your nose for at least 30 seconds
How to Do It: Take a deep belly breath by breathing not just into your chest but into your belly (belly will rise) and then for 30 seconds see if you can slowly and continuously exhale completely through your nose and expel all the air out of your lungs
Importance: Life and all movement requires optimum lung function. There is really no way to increase the size of one's lungs but this does not mean you cannot increase or improve lung function. Breathing deeply and slowly exhaling all the air out for 30 seconds is a great indication of superior lung function. It means you are maximizing the efficiency of your lungs.
What To Do: Cardio exercises will help but practice the deep breathing and the slow continuous exhale and notice the remarkable improvement. Soon you will notice how easily you go up the stairs without shortage of breath. Another side effect is that it has a tremendous calming effect.
Wall Squat for 60 seconds
How To Do It: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back against a smooth wall. Your feet should be comfortably a couple of feet away from the wall. Then bend at the knees and slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees bend to at a 90° angle and hold that position for 90 seconds.
Importance: One of my favorites very effective for improving strength, functionality and proper body alignment of quads, glutes, hamstring and lower back. The wall squat imitates a lot of movements involved with daily activities such as sitting down and getting up and being able to hold this position for about a minute is a great sign that you have good body alignment and muscle balance. A strong indication that you will not suffer from what I call sudden movement injuries (when someone perfectly is okay 1-minute and then suddenly pulls their back when bending over or reaching out to grab something from a cabinet)
What To Do: Practice and more practice. Beauty about this you can do it at home, workplace or anywhere you have a wall!
Health and Happiness
Published On: January 16, 2009