Fitness has been a focus of mine this year. Other than the obvious reasons for staying fit such as staying healthy, having more energy, and to look good, I have a couple of goals that are motivating me in my quest to be fit. I hope to test for a First Degree Black Belt In ATA TaeKwonDo before March of next year and I need to be in great shape to pass that test, and to keep up when we spar and grapple. I also plan on doing my first sprint Triathlon this summer which will require endurance. There are a couple of things I have been doing lately to stay in shape: cycling, swimming, running, and going to TaeKwonDo class really have helped, but I have found a new form of exercise I am really excited about: Kettlebells.
Kettlebells are cast iron balls with handles. They have been used by the Russians for hundreds of years to stay in shape and they have been gaining popularity here in the US in the last couple of years. Kettlebell workouts are total-body workouts that increase strength, endurance, while challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system. Here is a video that shows some of the many exercises that can be done with kettlebells. Kettlebells come in many diferent sizes. The sizes are measured in an old russian unit of measure called a pood. One pood is equal to 36 pounds or 16kg. That is the kettlebell weight that most people start with. As they increase their skill and depending on the exercise, you can use other weights anywhere from 8 pounds to 97 pounds.