Home exercise

Due to the long rainy season and frequent typhoon attacks this year, many of our members are compelled to think of a backup plan instead of outdoor brisk walking.  During sports consultation, they are usually advised that marching can be an alternative for home exercise.  As long as the two criteria for aerobic exercise are fulfilled, fat-burning could still be effective.  These include:

1) continuous exercise for at least 30 minutes; and

2) exercise level maintained at moderate intensity, characterized by difficulty in singing but still able to talk.

Some members may not perceive marching as an exercise.  Indeed, increasing the marching tempo without excessively raising the legs can fulfill the two criteria for aerobic exercise.  Moreover, marching is also a time-saving exercise as it can be done along with other leisure activities, such as watching television programs.

Recently, some of our studious members come across with a Korean aerobic dance which has been widely spread to Japan.  This aerobic dance series includes many different types of exercise, with some having better fat-burning effect, some improving body figure by training muscles and doing stretching.  Among all, more members choose to follow the set with the instructor in red cap and pants as it has stronger rhythm and includes more leg movements.  Thus, it is easier to achieve the fat-burning effect since the exercise intensity of this set of aerobics is not low.  Some key points on doing aerobics will be indicated using the aerobics set mentioned above.

Before doing aerobics at home, it is suggested that a pair of home-use sports shoes be prepared since carpets and soft mats cannot provide sufficient shock absorption and protection.  Special attention should also be paid if members have injury history, such as discomfort or pain in the back, hip, knee or ankle joints when increasing activity level.  If yes, members should perform certain movements according to their fitness level by limiting the movements to a more comfortable range.  For the warm-up part never swirl the head.  Instead, one should tilt the head forward, backward, and sideward or turn the head left and right gently.  For the 2nd exercise part (i.e. bending the upper body to left and tight), the abdominal core muscles should be activated so as to protect the spine.  For those with poor muscle strength or with back pain, the degree of bending should be reduced to a manageable level.  For the 5th & 6th parts (I.e. bending the upper body forward), the back should be kept straight with eyes looking forward, and never round you back.  For the 8th part, the distance between the feet should be wide enough when doing the squat so the knees do not bend beyond the toes.  Also, the hips should be moved backward but not down so to reduce unnecessary stress on the knee joint.  Similarly, for the 11th to 15th parts, the back should be kept straight and move hips backwards to avoid bending beyond the toes.  For the 15th to 17th (i.e. leg raised sideward), movements should be smooth and controlled instead performing sidekick.  Same as all other movements, focus on the muscle being contracted to move the limbs around instead of letting the limbs lead the motion.  Therefore, each movement should be performed with conscious exertion.

In order to achieve better exercise benefit, keeping up with the tempo and familiarizing each movement are very important.  Indeed, there are a wide variety of these aerobic dances available in the market.  However, the fat-burning effect of doing traditional aerobic exercise is better because aerobic dance consists of more muscle training exercise.  Nevertheless, aerobic dance is still a good alternative.

Date: 2014-10-01