No time? No gym? No problem! - Retirement Net by Li Wang

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No time? No gym? No problem!

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Find out how the Russian kettlebell can be your new best friend.

Posted March 17, 2010

During the current recession, many of us were forced to reconsider what’s important in life. Certainly staying healthy is key. Quality exercise fends off bulging waistlines as well as depression and helps give us energy to stay focused at work and enjoy physical activities.

So you’re fighting to keep your job or advance and you don’t have time, or maybe even the money, to hit the gym. I love my gym, but don’t let anyone ever tell you that a gym is necessary for a really productive workout.

Imagine a single piece of equipment that lets you finish a heart-pounding workout in 12 minutes, anywhere, costs less than $100, and takes care of strength training and aerobic exercises at the same time.

I’m talking about the Russian kettlebell, which looks like a cannonball with a handle. Some cutting edge gyms have them, but fortunately they are also available at any good sporting goods store. The unique ball and handle configuration allows you to do multiple exercises in a continuous flow, switching from different exercises like swings, squats, and presses.

To learn these exercises start with the bible of kettlebells, Enter the Kettlebell by Pavel Tsatsouline. The author is the number one proponent of kettlebells and his book humorously explains the fundamentals of exercising with kettlebells. Most of the movements activate the core—meaning our backs, abdominals, glutes and upper legs.

Don’t worry. Kettlebells won’t make you bulky. They are also not difficult to master if you learn the basic movements and gradually work towards more complex movements. The fundamental move is the swing, where you hike the kettlebell between the legs and thrust the kettlebell towards the chest using power generated from the hips. This exercise can be done for high repetitions or for a set time period. It’s said to blast fat and really force the heart and lungs to work.

Joining different movements makes working out with a kettlebell a rhythmic dance-like movement that is suitable for a man or woman no matter what physical condition they are currently in. Best of all, a really comprehensive workout can take as little as 12 minutes.

So if you’re tired of making excuses and hate weight training or hopping on the treadmill, this old-fashioned exercise might just be your solution.

Li Wang is a journalist, communicator and digital media enthusiast who wants more people to enjoy living a healthy life without having to think too much about it. His blog Wiser Health promotes simple and low-cost ways to stay healthy.


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