GET GOOD POSTURE THROUGH EXERCISE

By Eronie Kamukama

Are there times when you cannot sit straight because you feel some sort of discomfort?

Correct sitting posture

Correct sitting posture

According to Daniel Kabali, a fitness instructor and national coach of Uganda Athletics Federation, this is because you have a weak lower back.

He says such people’s lower abdomen is stronger than the lower back. This means one tends to use his lower abdomen inflicting pain on the lower back due to imbalance in the two muscles.

Kabali also says some people cannot stand well because of lack of proper exercise.

Some people do not do any vigorous activities because they drive to office, use the lift and sit on office chairs all day. The body weakens yet this can be avoided if one spares at least one hour to exercise

Daniel Kabali, fitness instructor

He says it is important to have good posture to prevent the pain and discomfort that results from bad body posture.

Kabali recommends exercises that can help one to strengthen his/her back, thigh, knees, shoulder and leg muscles which support the whole body.

 

EXERCISES TO IMPROVE ONE’S BODY POSTURE

BACK RAISES

Woman does back raises

Woman does back raises

Lie on your stomach with your face down and your toes touching the floor.

Put your hands directly below your shoulders with your palms flat and your elbows squeezed in towards your body.

 

Raise your head and chest so your forehead is three to six inches off the floor.

Keep your face down and your feet on the floor. Your hand will remain on the floor. Stay in this position.

Once you feel strong in the second step, work your upper back at the same time.

Clasp your hands at your finger tips and place your hands on the back of your head.

Lift your head and chest while keeping your elbows behind your head. Stay in this position until you feel strong.

 

SIDE BENDS

Woman does side bends with dumbbell

Woman does side bends with dumbbell

Stand up straight with your feet apart. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing in.

With your back straight, bend to the left side as much as you can. Make sure you bend only at the waist.

Return to the first position. Repeat as many times and the change to the right side.

 

 

BACK EXTENSION EXERCISES

woman does back extension exercise

woman does back extension exercise

Lie down and put your legs apart.

Place your arms at the sides of your body,with palms facing down. Ensure your head and neck are in a straight position.

Lift the upper body off the ground. Slowly lower your upper body to complete one round.Repeat as many times as possible. There should be no movement from your hips to your toes.

 

WALL SQUATS

Stand upright and put your back against the wall.

Place your feet 12 inches in front of your body and ensure your toes are pointing forward. You can work with or without dumbbells.

woman does back extension exercise

woman does back extension exercise

Lean against the wall and slowly lower your body until your knees are at an angle of 90 degrees.

Stay in this position and keep looking straight ahead.

Raise your body to go back to standing position.

Repeat as many times as you can.

 

 

Advertisements

Physical exercises are important

By Eronie Kamukama

They make you feel good about yourself although they can sometimes be one of those things you hate to do.

Physical exercises are very important yet they come at a cost. This is because one has to dedicate their resources like time and money sometimes to stay physically fit.

Different people have various reasons as to why they exercise. For some people, the goal is to lose body fat, release fatigue or stress or to simply stay healthy.

Man exercising his body by running at the stadium

According to Daniel Kabali, a fitness trainer at University Community Fellowship Gym, daily exercise reduces the risks of developing health conditions like obesity.

According to Mayo Clinic, exercise changes your entire life from improving your mood to improving your sex life.

  • It controls weight
  • It boosts energy
  • It fights health conditions and diseases
  • It promotes sleep

As much as most people would want to exercise, it is very crucial to manage one’s diet and watch eating habits that might interfere with the goal one intends to achieve through exercises.

The amount and types of food consumed when on an exercise routine varies from person to person depending on the intended goals

According to National Health Service Choices, a person with healthy weight without intentions of losing any body fat needs to eat more in order to maintain their weight.

In this case a balanced diet is paramount and should include carbohydrate rich foods like potatoes, fats from seeds and protein rich foods like repair and build muscles.

Do not ever forget to start your exercise session when you are well dehydrated by drinking water regularly during the day.

Watch video for full story…

 

Listen for full story…

How to strengthen your leg muscles

By Eronie Kamukama

For some women, it can be very hard to wear high heeled shoes because they easily lose stamina and fall or feel pain every time they wear such shoes.

A woman strengthens her legs by running

A woman strengthens her legs by running

One physiotherapist who prefers anonymity says people need to have strong legs because they help support the whole body especially when standing or walking. He adds that someone is more likely to develop pain in the knee joints if they have weak leg muscles.

According to Derrick Kalanzi, a fitness instructor, someone who has a weak hamstring is likely to develop a muscle pull which can be a bit painful.

The physiotherapist explains that a muscle pull develops when someone does an activity especially exercise without prior preparation or warm up exercises like jogging.

How to strengthen your legs

According to Abdul Segi, a fitness trainer at Club 5 Gym in Makerere University, it is easy to have strong legs.

  • Stretch the legs after putting off the high heeled shoes. This works on the calf muscle.
  • Skipping a rope
  • Walk routinely
  • Jog around
  • Do calf raises

Kalanzi says calf raises can be done in the gym using the calf machine.

He adds that one can also do squats. These can be done in the gym using weights or at home.

Exercises to help strengthen those legs

Standing Calf Raises: In the gym

  • Place toes and heels on calf block of calf machine. Ensure your feet and toes are comfortably separated. Your toes should be pointing forward. Place your hands on support for balance.
  • Raise heels by extending ankles as high as possible. Lower heels by bending ankles until calves are stretched. Repeat. Your knees should remain straight throughout the exercise or bend knees slightly only when you are stretching.

    Standing calf raises at home

    Standing calf raises at home

 At home

  • Standing at the edge of the verandah, make sure your heels are in space and toes on verandah. Keep moving the legs up and down and work out until you feel a burning sensation on your calf.

Squats

  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  • Position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and maintain a straight back.
squats

squats

  • Begin to slowly lower your upper body by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your upper body as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.

 

 

 

Stretches for leg muscles

  • On your back, grasp your thigh behind the knee and gently pull towards your chest, keeping the leg straight.
  • Standing on one leg, grasp the other ankle and gently pull up and back towards the buttocks. Keep the pelvis from tilting and upper body upright.

    A woman stretches her legs

    A woman stretches her legs

  • Sit on the floor with one leg bent, knee to the chest, the other leg straight. Lean forward reaching out toward the toes.
  • On your back, grasp below the knees and pull the thighs toward the chest while your back remains flat.
  • Standing with one leg forward, knee bent and the other leg behind and straight. Keep heel and foot of the back leg flat against the floor during stretching.

How to tone lower back fat

By Eronie Kamukama

Lower back fat

Lower back fat

 

Do you sometimes question why some people have muscles bulging out of their blouses or shirts? This is mainly around the lower back.

According to a nutritionist who prefers anonymity, it is a result of accumulation of excess fat.

 

“Our bodies tend to deposit excess fat around the lower back sides. People who take in excess calories without exercising are likely to develop these muscles,” he says.

According to Dr. James Kimbowa, it is a result of poor feeding especially on junk foods. He adds that some cases involve people who have inherited such genes from their parents or relatives.

He advises these people to concentrate on eating vegetables and vitamin rich foods like fruits.

He asserts that this can be rectified through exercises because once one works out, they sweat and the fat is converted into energy that is then used by the body.

When to start the exercises

Alfred Okwar, a Personal Fitness Trainer says for one to start exercising their body, they should have a well planned program. He cautions them to warm up before anything else.

A man takes on running

A man takes on running

“You need to warm up first by running because it helps to increase your muscle temperature. You should then stretch to make the muscles free,” he says.

 

He advises on having a purpose for exercising and says it is important to consult a doctor to find out whether one is in good health. He notes that people should let their fitness instructors to handle all the exercises basing on what he/she thinks is best for them.

He also gives advice on diet.

“A good diet is of great importance as one exercises. You can eat something light one hour before exercising. Do not skip meals because the body needs food for energy and to repair body tissues,”Alfred Okwar

Exercises for toning lower back fat

Abdominal and lower back stretch

  1. Lie on your front body, press your upper body on your fore arms, with your elbows below your shoulders
  2. Allow your lower back not to sag and move inwards as you lift your shoulders up and down.
  3. Make sure the front of your hips remain on the floor.
  4. Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat.

Lying hamstring stretch

Lying Hamstring Stretch

Lying Hamstring Stretch

 

  1. Lie on your back with both legs bent and your feet pressed on the floor
  2. Lift one leg into air and support it with a towel placed under the heel of your foot.
  3. Pull the leg towards yourself keeping your knee bent and head relaxed on the floor
  4. Hold it for 30 or more seconds and repeat on the other side.

 

 

Standing dumb bell side bend

Standing dumbbell side Bend

Standing dumbbell side Bend

  1. Stand upright with your feet, shoulders apart with knee slightly bent and hold a dumb bell at your side. Your palm should be facing inwards.
  2. Bend at the waist to one side allowing the dumb bell to pull the torso down.
  3. Be sure that all your hips are stable as you bend
  4. Slowly move back upright and then drop back to the opposite side.

Hanging leg raises

Hanging leg raises

Hanging leg raises

  1. Do this hanging up from the chin-up bar with your hands moderately wide and using an overhead arms grip
  2. Standing with your legs almost straight and feet lifted off the floor, raise your knees upwards until thighs are parallel with the floor and knees bent
  3. Pose briefly and slowly lower back to the starting position
  4. Do not swing your legs, this exercise contacts lower abdomen?? Do as many as you can

 

Twisting leg raisestwisting

  1. Start with same position as with hanging leg raises
  2. Pull your knees upwards, twisting your legs as you do to isolate your oblique muscles
  3. Lift until your thighs are parallel to your knees
  4. Bent to one side, pose briefly and slowly lower the back to start position
  5. Avoid any swinging. Repeat to opposite side as many times as you can