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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Healthy Living: Shut Up and Squat.

Healthy Living: Shut Up and Squat.

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a choreYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

From the outset, it may seem strange that I am choosing to write an entire article solely on squats.  After all, you may be thinking, it is just one exercise. The squat is not just one exercise; it is the exercise of all exercises. If you want to see impressive results in a short space of time then you cannot afford to miss squats out of your exercise routine.

Squats help to build muscle all over your body; they actually create an anabolic environment which means that they contribute to a person’s ability to build muscle everywhere and not just in your lower half. Although they have a tremendous amount of impact on leg muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, they also help to firm the bum and stomach when done correctly. Surprisingly enough, when performing a squat, the movement is so intense that your body releases the testosterone hormone and a growth hormone, both of which are vital when it comes to muscle growth. This also results in an increase in muscle mass all over the body.

It is no secret that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, (even at rest), so why wouldn’t you want to perform exercises that increase your muscle? No other exercises require as much effort as a squat does; you are moving your entire body weight across a great distance, (this is because your legs are longer than your arms, so this distance is vast in comparison to other exercises).  This results in maximum toning with an element of cardio because, let’s face it, squats are not easy.  The human form is made up of the top and the bottom, whilst the top half makes up 40% of the body’s musculature, the bottom half makes up the remaining 60%. Therefore, the quickest way to get into shape, (by gaining muscle), is by training the bottom half of your body. And the quickest, and arguably the best, way to do this is by doing squats.

Squats are one of the few exercises that are actually practical and benefit us in our day to day lives. Strong legs are useful as we need to use them every day, a lot more than we use our arms- just think about how often you get up and walk into the kitchen at home; you need to use your legs for that rather than your arms. Strong legs are crucial for staying mobile with age and helping with balance and therefore preventing you from falling. Athletic injuries are also reduced as squats help to strengthen ligaments and the stabilizer muscles in your ankles.

Squats are also practical in the sense that they can be done anywhere, anytime and with no equipment. You can do them whilst brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil. You can do them holding a tin of beans or a kettlebell whilst watching television. You can do them in your local gym using dumbbells or holding a bar across your shoulders. Squats can be easy or challenging as you can alter the speed of your squats or add weights to make them more difficult. 

So the next time you are moaning about how wobbly your thighs and bottom are just shut up and squat.

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a choreYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

You should of course undertake no exercise program without ascertaining first that you are fit to do so, taking medical advice if necessary