By Max Greenberg
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About this blog: I developed a special interest in helping seniors with their challenges and transitions when my dad had a stroke and I helped him through all the various stages of downsizing, packing, moving and finding an assisted living communi... (More)
About this blog: I developed a special interest in helping seniors with their challenges and transitions when my dad had a stroke and I helped him through all the various stages of downsizing, packing, moving and finding an assisted living community. I live in Palo Alto with my wife and we have three grown children, one still in college. I have been in the Bay Area since 1977 (except for seven years in Newton MA — just missed all that snow too much.) I've worked in sales and marketing in retirement communities for seven years, and have hired and managed home care workers for family members, and have a pretty good idea of how aging in place, or shopping for and selecting the right retirement community works. I now run my own business, Palo Alto Senior Living, providing real estate and senior transition services. This blog is designed to share my experiences, insight and knowledge with seniors and their baby boomer kids and provide useful information to help develop a roadmap for smooth transitions or aging in place. I welcome readers to share their experiences, both good and not-so-good, in the hope that we all can benefit from each other. (Hide)
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From Wikipedia: A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 13.7 inches), and is often used for rehabilitation and strength training. The medicine ball also serves an important role in the field of sports medicine. However, it should not be confused with the larger, inflated exercise ball. Medicine balls are usually sold as 2?25 lb (0.91?11 kg) balls and are used effectively in weight training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports. Some medicine balls are in the form of weighted basketballs.
History of the Medicine Ball
The earliest documented use of the medicine ball dates back almost 3,000 years ago, when Persian wrestlers trained with bladders that were filled with sand. Later on, in the time of ancient Greece, famous physician Hippocrates stuffed animal skins with sand to create medicine balls. As part of his injury rehabilitation therapy, his patients were ordered to throw the balls back and forth. In the late 19th century, the words "medicine" and "health" became synonymous, and the medicine ball was used for promoting health. It became one of the "4 Horsemen of Fitness," which also included the dumbbell, the wand and the Indian club. This marked the origin of the modern medicine ball. (www.Fitday.com)
I love the medicine ball. The Ross Rd YMCA has four, from 2 lbs to 12 lbs. I started watching youtube videos (Jeff Cavaliere has a good one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwtaEAr8qI0 to see how to best use them and got hooked, so I just bought one at Big5 for $34 (a 10 pounder.) They are a very effective, easy to use, relatively inexpensive piece of exercise equipment that can help you in many areas of body health and fitness. Just be careful not to drop it on your foot. I think they are a lot safer than using weights and even weight machines, and can be very effective. More or less the size of a basketball or volleyball, depending on the weight. They take up little space in your house. I keep it in the living room. If I'm watching TV I can do a little work out with the ball.
Start with a light weight, maybe 4 or 6 lbs. You can even make your own: if you have an old basketball, you can slice it and fill it with sand, then duct-tape it closed. Some med balls are rubbery, heavy dodgeball type of balls, others can be somewhat soft, others have built in handles. There are some great exercises couples can do with it, back to back, where they twist and hand the ball back and forth to each other. Great abs workout. Love that medicine ball?