Warm Up

Before moving -warm up. For us oldies, I warm up before getting out of bed these days. Now if you have back problems, have done nothing for ten years, overweight, just eaten a curry, then you might want to talk to a doctor to make sure that this won't kill you. However as long as you take this gently and slowly this is very unlikely to do you any harm. Did I mention that my 35 year of asthma (moderately bad) has been nearly eliminated by Taekwondo training?

The most important part of this is too take it slowly, don't rush, don't make this a challenge and push yourself, this is neither training nor exercise, this is to warm up your body, and get your heart and lungs working. Problems with the warm up? Just take it easy, go back to the slow walk and then when till you feel okay and they pick up where you left off, just don't quit! Do not be put off, at 43 and fifteen kilos overweight and not having trained for two years I could not do the class warm up either, let alone the stretches, but after a month I'm getting there although I am weighing more. A good martial art instructor will get anyone fit and what they really like is commitment and hard work. Last year in Britain there was a programme getting some lesser known celebrities slim and fit. There was a large man of colour fitness instructor (of the boot camp flavour). Boy did he put the stars through it; but that the end he was nearly moved to tears by one celebrity who had put heart, soul, and effort into the training. It was 60 year old Ian McCaskill the ex-BBC weather presenter who the fitness instructor thought was -da man, not because he was good, fast, or fit, but because be kept trying and made truly excellent progress. Remember: Self control, Courtesy, Perseverance, Integrity, and Indomitable spirit.

The warm up programme:

Start with a little movement. Often this is a slow walk around the room, followed by a slow jog. Pacing on the spot if you are limited to space works quite well. Do this for around two minutes and take it really easy.

Start to exaggerate your movements, move a little faster, move your arms about, breath in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Again spend a few minutes on this, by now your heart rate should be moving, typically around 100.

Okay time to walk the dog. Staying in one spot take a walking position, right leg out - left leg back. Now swap position with a slight jump. Right now do this continually at a rate a bit above 1 a second; and add in some arm movement pivoting at the elbow. Breath deeply. Do this for around 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of slow walking. Do this twice.

Time for star jumps. Feet together, now jump them out sideways so they are a bit more out than your shoulders, at the same time raise your hands to the roof (your body making and X-shape). Again a little faster than one a second. Keep this up for around a minute. Follow this by 30 seconds walking again.

That dog wants more walkies. Bigger movements, more breathing. Keep going do this for around 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of slow walking. Do this twice.

Right now you should be warm, slightly sweaty, and with a pulse rate around 120. Next would normally be a stretch of all the major muscle groups but I can tell that you really want to get started and work on that Taekwondo stuff.

Lets go.