Guide to Alternative Exercises

What is alternative exercise?

Alternative exercise, as to what the title says, is an alternative way to basic exercise. There are many exercises aside from the basic execise we know. But they are still an exercise. Examples of an alternative exercise is Yoga, Martial Arts, like TaeKwonDo and many other. Let us talk about it one by one.

Yoga

The word yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.

What is commonly referred to as "yoga" can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses.

Asana is only one of the eight "limbs" of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity. In the West, however, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably.

Source and more information: http://yoga.about.com/od/beginningyoga/a/whatisyoga.htm

http://www.healthology.com/fitness/fitness-alternative-exercise/focusareasub.htm

Tai Chi

The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Force'. The notion of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. 'Force' (or, more literally, 'fist') can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or 'supreme-ultimate' discipline.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called 'sets') which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

For many practicioners the focus in doing them is not, first and foremost, martial, but as a meditative exercise for the body. For others the combat aspects of Tai Chi are of considerable interest. In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of 'chi', a vital force that animates the body. One of the avowed aims of Tai Chi is to foster the circulation of this 'chi' within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced. This 'chi' circulates in patterns that are close related to the nervous and vascular system and thus the notion is closely connected with that of the practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.

The practical exercises of Tai Chi are also situated in a wider philosophical context of Taoism. This is a reflective, mystical Chinese tradition first associated with the scholar and mystic Lao Tsu, an older contemporary of Confucius. He wrote and taught in the province of Honan in the 6th century B.C. and authored the seminal work of Taoism, the Tao The Ching. As a philosophy, Taoism has many elements but fundamentally it espouses a calm, reflective and mystic view of the world steeped in the beauty and tranquillity of nature.

Source and more information: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Taichi/what.html

http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Taichi/

Martial Arts

More and more people are looking to lose weight, get in shape and improve their appearance. Group exercise classes can range from high impact boot camp type training to yoga, from step aerobics to water aerobics, and everything in between.

With all these options, the martial arts are often overlooked by people who are primarily concerned with fitness. What makes martial arts training a better choice for getting in shape than a traditional exercise class?

Training in the martial arts is about more than just learning to fight. The physical benefits are amazing. Anyone looking to get in shape, get healthy and improve their overall physical condition will be very happy with martial arts training.

Martial arts training provides a true total body workout. You improve both upper and lower body strength. You also will strengthen your core. Developing the abs, back and chest are an important part of most martial arts, as much of the power generated in kicking and punching techniques is generated from your core.

You will also develop a level of strength and fitness that is hard to achieve in other classes. Kicking and punching, stance training, throwing and other martial arts movements are all exercises that involve almost every muscle in your body.

Finally, martial arts training provides other benefits that are simply not found in an exercise class. First and foremost, you learn valuable skills that can help you defend yourself if a dangerous situation ever arose. Also, the improved confidence and self discipline can be life changing for some people. Finally, the martial arts world can open many doors for people. The friendships you form in training can last a lifetime. The people you meet and experiences you have are simply not available by just showing up at a gym, working out and then leaving. Martial arts can be a method of getting shape, but it can also be something much more. It can be wonderful. memorable experience.

Source and more information: http://martialarts.about.com/od/martialartsfaqs/f/martialexercise.htm

Swimming

Swimming is often touted as the best form of exercise for weight loss. And when you think about it, it seems to make sense.

After all, swimming uses almost all of your major muscle groups. It places a vigorous demand on your heart and lungs. Swimming is also popular with people who are extremely overweight, pregnant, or suffering from some kind of injury.

When you swim breastroke or backstroke, you're burning about the same number of calories as a fast walk or a slow jog. However, for some reason, swimming appears to be less effective than other forms of exercise at promoting weight loss.

Source and more information: http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/swimming.htm

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