Elliptical Machines – A Cardiovascular Solution For The Older Generation?

The thought of aging can be quite daunting, not only for natural reason that we wish to stay young forever but also because we know that aging will creep up on our health and fitness.

Over time, the body begins to slow down. All the hardcore fitness activity we performed when we are younger begins to suffer as the body changes. Reaction times are slower and the body’s muscle mass, balance, suppleness and flexibility all become reduced. High Impact cardiovascular work is too much for the body to constantly cope with. Wear and tear over time on the likes of the knee, hip and ankle joints make the body more susceptible to injury and breakage.

However, all is not lost! The good news is that there is equipment that offers a full body cardiovascular workout with a low impact, which an aging body will welcome with open arms. Elliptical Machines imitate the motion of walking, jogging and running. The smooth oscillating motion not only provides a cardiovascular workout with use of both arms and legs, but is also extremely forgiving on the joints and muscles.

Elliptical Machines have risen in popularity over the past five years with many recreational and commercial gyms using them as part of their aerobic equipment range. The other great thing about Elliptical equipment is that they can are readily available to be bought online for the ever more popular use in the home.

It is a common trend that the older people get, the more time they spend in the home. Many will be retired, some just prefer the piece and quiet of home but some may be housebound because they have lost all the self confidence they had and ultimately their health and fitness suffer. The joy of an Elliptical Machine in the home is that it plays advantage on all these situations. Whether it is morning, noon or night, or simply whenever you have the energy, the Elliptical can be in your next room ready for you to start using and enjoying. Just set to your favorite workout program or adjust the intensity and you can glide on quietly to your hearts content. It can even be in front of the TV while watching your favorite show.

It must be noted that before taking part in any aerobic activity, that you should consult your doctor, especially if you have suffered injury or have a history of heart or respiratory problems.

All the benefits mentioned with an Elliptical Machine make it extremely easy for keeping your body and mind fit and healthy without the stress and injury. Not only are they being used by the older generation all over the world, but it proves that Elliptical Machines really are an effective piece of equipment for keeping us fit, the older we get.

Top 10 Calf Exercises

Calf exercises play a significant role in the proper functioning of your calf muscles. Placed on the legs? lower back area ? calf muscles are regarded as indispensable to enhance your overall physical health, and involve two prime muscle groups such as the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles, both of which are responsible for any kind of movement pertaining to your lower leg as well as feet. However, calf muscles could function effectively only if they are healthy and strong. Here comes the importance of calf exercises. Some of the incredible benefits of calf exercises are enhanced aerobic movements, improved speed and agility, reduced impact during jumping or running, reduction of discomforts that occur during periods, and reduced stress. Further discussed in this article are the top calf exercises.

Standing Calf Raises

This exercise is effective for the functioning of both the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. Standing calf raises can be performed anywhere on a step. However, for best results, it would be better if you could do it on a gym machine.

Seated Calf Raises

Seated calf raises are especially designed to improve the performance of the soleus muscles, which is made up of type I slow twitch muscle fibers. The movements involved in this exercise are considered excellent to tone and shape your calf muscles. Prior to starting this exercise, it is important to ensure that you use the right machine and appropriate weight in order to carry out the preferred amount of reps.

Exercise Ball Calf Raises

Exercise Ball Calf Raises is one of the most comfortable as well as the easiest ways to strengthen and develop your calves. It can be done at home, and all you require to perform this exercise is an exercise ball.

Calf Exercise with Weights

This exercise promotes for a strong, healthy calf muscles. First of all, sit on a chair or a bench while keeping your feet straight on the floor. Hold the weight in such a way that it should be placed across your thighs. Raise your toes a little off the floor. Maintain this for one to two seconds.

Single Leg Swiss Ball Calf Raises

This is yet another exercise to strengthen your calf muscles. It can be done using a Swiss ball and two dumbbells. Place the Swiss Ball on the wall, and then keep your chest against it. As the next step, keep a dumbbell in each hand. Then slowly lift your one feet and lower down.


A great exercise to build calf muscles as well as develop explosive strength, plyometric work-outs are on the basis of muscle elasticity principle. However, this work-out program is not recommended for beginners.


All sports with sprinting as well as changing movements are considered excellent for building the calves. Among the exercises that are effective to build and strengthen calf muscles are weight lifting, football, tennis, soccer, and track and field.

Vertical Activities

Undertaking vertical activities such as hiking, climbing up stairs, and running atop the hill are regarded highly effective to build and strengthen your calf muscles. Both gastrocnemius and soleus are contracted with greater tension during vertical activities, which in turn is equivalent to several times your body?s weight.


Cycling is also a perfect way to develop your calf muscles, as it allows the gastrocnemius and the soleus to work for longer periods.

Forward Bent Lunge

This calf exercise should be done using weights. First of all, hold weights and bring it up towards the shoulders. Then, step towards the front in a lunge posture while slightly bending your waist. Come back to the starting position in order to continue the same process with another leg.

Massage And Your Exercise Program

While massage has been most commonly regarded as simply a service to help you relax, there are actually numerous benefits that your body experiences. For those who are seeking to achieve a healthy body and overall wellness, massages can play an essential role in your fitness agenda.

As we exercise, our bodies expend energy. Our muscles can become sore or even strained, especially during the first few fitness sessions we undergo. And like a car, we sometimes need a tune-up in order to continue functioning at 100%.

Helping body functions

The most commonly renowned benefit of a massage is to loosen and relax the muscles. During a workout, lactic acid can form in the muscles, which is what causes the “muscle burn” we feel the day after. This happens when these bodily chemicals accumulate in the muscle tissue, causing a burning feeling, but it can also leave you with little desire to get moving again. Lactic acid is commonly the result of lack of oxygen in the muscle tissue and forms as a result of muscle activity. This irritation commonly dissipates within a few days, but not before lactic acid has hindered the tissue’s ability to metabolize minerals and nutrients properly.

By massaging the muscles, you can recover from soreness or injury and even prevent it in the future. This is because the massage provides more oxygen and nutrients to the surrounding tissues. Blood flow is increased to the areas, specifically the muscles. Because the muscles are responsible for movement and ultimately play a key role in converting food into fuel, their proper function is essential to any fitness agenda.

In addition to increasing blood flow, massages increase the body’s ability to detoxify itself by pushing chemicals out of the muscles. Toxins, including lactic acid, are able to be transferred out of their stored status and back into circulation. Because the toxins are being removed from the body, be sure to drink plenty of water to help eliminate them properly.

At the physical level, massage therapy will chemically help return wellness and increase your natural healing ability. Without the harmful toxins that could hinder your fitness agenda, your body will be less susceptible to injury and far more efficient. Even though the lymph system and liver are primarily responsible for eliminating toxins, the toxins can still accumulate and are normally stored in fatty and muscular tissues, making it difficult to properly process them. Sources of the toxins can vary anywhere between unhealthy diets to contaminants in the air we breathe. They can even be by-products of the body’s natural processes, such as lactic acid. By incorporating regular massages into your fitness agenda, you can help your body eliminate these toxins

A mental boost

While the muscles are often regarded as receiving the most benefit, there is also a psychological advantage to massages. The mental affects can come in the two different types of both chemical and emotional healing. Together, these benefits help the mind respond and function properly to ensure wellness in its entirety.

Chemically, your brain is apt to boost serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones within the body that make you feel good. During the process of the massage, you are able to relax and enjoy the experience, allowing for these naturally secreted chemicals to boost your mood. This is a natural and healthy way to increase confidence and initiative. But that’s not all it does, since it is also known to lower the stress hormone cortisol. Both of these effects combined will not only affect your mood, but also increase your body’s resistance to negativity.

As your body experiences these positive effects, you will also find yourself in a better emotional state. A body that feels great along with a mind that functions clearly provide you with the exact tools you need to remain positive. Emotionally, you are also put in a far better state of mind that will allow you to focus and achieve your goals. It isn’t just because you experience the internal changes secreted in your brain, it comes from a conglomeration of effects that result from the body’s relaxation and increased healing that causes your muscles and mind to respond well to during and after massages.

For the active person, regular massages can prove to be a beneficial asset to any fitness program. You can increase the body’s healing abilities and overall function, while at the same time positively affecting your mind. Throughout the body, the massage provides a great number of advantages that will help you achieve overall well-being.

Choosing The Right Running Shoes

If you are having difficulty with your running, or your legs seem to be aching more than usual, it could be your shoes. Proper footwear can really make a difference to your running enjoyment. Here are some pointers to follow the next time you are shopping for a new pair of running shoes:

* If you are serious about running, invest in the best pair of brand-name shoes that you can afford. Not only will you have peace of mind, they will also last longer.

* Don’t be in a hurry to select your running shoes. Do some research, and ask your running friends. Make sure you try on both pairs while you are in the store.

* There should be air outlet points around the shoe, so that the air can move in and out of your feet. Even in cold weather you need some air circulation.

* Choose a light shoe that is still sturdy enough to provide the right support. All other things being equal, I usually pick the pair that weighs the least.

* Don?t buy really lightweight racing shoes unless you plan on participating in a lot of road races. This type of running shoe has less cushioning and support. You will still need a different pair for most of your everyday training runs.

* If you plan on doing a marathon, or a lot of running, you may need a heavier shoe with good cushioning. Your weight is a factor here as well.

* Shape is as important as size and weight. Get professional help at the store to match your foot shape to the shoes they have. There are plenty of choices on the market these days, often with narrow to wide versions of the same model available.

* Try on the shoes while wearing a pair of running socks. There should be just about an inch of space between your largest toe and the front of the shoe. The heel should be a snug fit.

* If you over-pronate you will need a stability shoe. Check with your running shoe store assistant about the right type for your stride.

* Finally it all comes down to how comfortable you feel in your running shoes. Make sure you walk around the store or wear them at home. Most stores will not accept returns after you have worn the shoes outside.

* You need to change your running shoes every six months or so. Write the date when you bought your shoes in your running log so you will know how long you have been using them.