Around 1900, Tasmanian-born Australian professional reciter and theatrical producer Frederick Alexander developed a novel methodology to harmonize full-body functional movements. As a child, Alexander suffered respiratory ailments, leading to the initial purpose of developing the method – to normalize his personal voice function in order to materialize a stage performance dream. In 1902, Alexander established the Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium and in 1904, moved to London to spread his teaching method. During the first years, Alexander focused on teaching ‘full chest breathing’ techniques mainly to stage artists and people with breathing pathologies.19 Staring J. Frederick Matthias Alexander 1869-1955. The Origins and History of the Alexander Technique. A medical historical analysis of F.M. Alexander’s life, work, technique, and writings. Nijmegen: Radboud Universiteit; 2005. [Google Scholar] However, he soon discovered that retrieving the natural ‘conscious control’ via mindful postures and movements resulted in benefits not only for the vocal health and performance but also the health and performance of the whole body and mind.20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar] This holistic evolvement transformed the newly formed ‘Alexander Technique’ into a general remedy and preventative tool suitable for all populations. Alexander explained in his 1910 book ‘Man’s Supreme Inheritance:’20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar]
Remember Billy Blanks, the guy behind the Tae Bo craze? Now his son, Billy Blanks, Jr. is getting in on the family business too. Along with his wife, Sharon Catherine Blanks, Billy Jr. will help you learn various types of dance styles in this fun-packed DVD. The duo takes you through six 5-minute cardio workouts utilizing dance styles from all over the world: hip-hop, Bollywood, African, disco, country, and "old-school" cardio. It's designed for the whole family so kids can join in too!
Before beginning any workout program, it’s always a good idea to consult your physician. Individuals with pre-existing injuries or medical conditions or those who don’t have an accurate knowledge of their current physical fitness level should always begin cautiously. It’s also extremely important to perform all workouts, no matter what fitness method you’re doing, under the supervision of a certified instructor. Their guidance and knowledge of proper form and technique will help you to achieve maximum results while avoiding injuries. They can also help you to safely modify workout activities to match your current fitness levels and goals. Whether you attend classes in a studio or at home through DVDs or streamed videos, the presence of a trained instructor is imperative.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.
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