Take a Moment to Tone-Up!
I’d like to share with you my, I thought I would start with what may be the slowest area of the body to show results, but the area I get the most inquires about from women over 30. More than any other area, even abs, many women want to know how to improve the upper arm with stronger muscle tone and look better in sleeveless shirts in the summer. For the type A highly motivated people, I usually suggest they seek a professional trainer. I’m not a health professional and I avoid gyms.
This seems a bit silly and I only shared it because friends asked me several times. They also wanted to know how long it would take to see results. When I answered that it would take a minimum of 6 months to a year, I was often met with ridicule. One person told me that it was ridiculous to wait 6 months to see results. I politely asked if she still planned to have her arms in 6 months. A funny look crossed her face. She said, “I think I love you, show me again”.
That is my premise. I just want to feel good and have adequate muscle tone without the gym. I hope to live in my body up to 100 health-filled years. Jim Rohn said, “Take care of your body, it’s where you live.” I take the all-in-one Youngevity supplements and that controls the urge to overindulge in ‘descendant’ foods, which helps keep my weight down. Plus as Dr. Wallach says, “Your body requires all 90 essential nutrients to build and repair on a daily basis.” I keep my ORAC count up high with diet and add a few high ORAC antioxidants from Youngevity when I can’t manage to eat as healthy as I plan. (ORAC is a way of counting the antioxidant effect of a food or supplement. See earlier BMS articles.) Between the high ORAC diet and Youngevity supplements, I believe my body is rebuilding correctly at the cellular level and as Edgar Cayce said, it takes 7 years.
My friend Bob taught exercise classes. This man practices what he teaches and is the fittest senior citizen I know and I hope to interview him for future articles. This is what I learned from Bob to keep my upper arms toned, but still avoid the gym: Every time you pick up something small and easy to lift, do a few arm curls with it. When I pick up cans of food, or other lightweight objects, I slowly lift it straight out in front of me and then straight-up over my head. Then if it is not too unwieldy or going to spill, I bend my arm at the elbow bringing the object behind my head. Bob explained this would exercise the muscles at the back of the upper arm. It is very important to make sure you are working the correct muscle groups in the arm. Most people only exercise the biceps in front. He told me by keeping the arm straight up and bringing the hand down and up slowly, I am flexing and using those muscles that are so difficult for women to exercise well.
“Mom, what on earth are you doing raising that can of coffee above your head” was a common refrain, but now my son ignores my exercise with food moments and tells his friends, “My mom thinks she can work out one minute at a time.” I usually do the arm flexing a couple of times before I set objects down. Use caution with liquid and/or heavy items. I always lift the glass milk container at least 3 or 4 times up and down before I set it down — but I don’t lift that one over my head! .
I am in my car quite a bit, so I do more arm flexing there. When I stop at red lights I put my hand over my head, behind the headrest, and tense and flex those muscles. It’s as if I am going to pull forward on the headrest, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on the actual headrest. I try to hold the tension at least 10 seconds. I usually manage to do a few repetitions before the light changes. If I am driving in the city and am stopped by several lights, I will exercise both arms, but usually focus on my non-dominate arm that was showing signs of losing muscle tone before I started the no exercising, exercises. It probably looks silly, but I am practicing being in the moment and ignoring the others.
Start now, See how your arms feel by next summer. If you have tips on arm exercises, please send them my way. Thank you, I enjoy reading comments and suggestions. Have a healthy, fun and fit life.