Swedish Exercise System to KO Your Beer Belly

                                             Jim Attacap

While drinking beer doesn’t directly cause a “beer belly” there is a reason why the two
always seem to tag along with each other.  Beer has a sneaky way to open the door to
increased appetite while adding its own sometimes substantial calorie count.   So, what
to do about it?  The answer is definitely not to stop drinking beer.  In fact you can
continue to drink all the beer you want and more.  The answer can be found in a small,
modest, form of exercise that anyone can do regardless of age or beer belly size.  I
used it along with a bit of judicious eating to lose nearly 20 pounds in two months while
taking over 2 inches off my waist.  It’s called “Ga-Kora”.

“Ga-Kora" is the easiest exercise to help you to weight loss, stronger bones, lower
blood pressure, and a new level of fitness that will invigorate your everyday life.    This
fun new way to enjoy the benefits of gentle exercise without the stress and dangers of
physically taxing workouts might just be what you are looking for.  

Ga-Kora was inspired by a something called “Fartiek”.  That should sound a bit strange
unless you’re from Sweden.  In that most healthy Nordic nation, fitness for every age is a
national passion.  Since Sweden has a temperate climate boasting mild temperatures
for most of the year thanks to the Gulf Stream, its citizens have embraced walking,
jogging, and running as a lifelong health regimen. One of the techniques Swedish
runners use, especially beginning ones, is called “Fartiek” which means speed play.  It
involves varying your pace throughout the workout, alternating slow segments with faster
ones.   It is totally unstructured thereby allowing the practitioner to change speeds
based on how the body feels.

“Fartiek” however is in the domain of the running world and still brings with it the
downside of possible harmful stress on the body.  The aching muscles, foot and leg
issues, and an assortment of injuries come with the territory.  So, despite its popularity
Fartiek might not be the best choice many individuals, who are searching for a safer
way to lose that beer belly and gain the benefits of exercise.  Enter Ga-Kora, something
anyone can do from 7 to 70 years old.  Try it for only a short time and you’ll be amazed
at the tangible results.

The Ga-Kora system is vastly superior to simply walking.  When you go for that pleasant
walk, albeit for exercise, that leisurely stroll will not promote the type of fitness that will
bring you the health improvements and weight loss you want.   Walkers tend to simply
move at one casual pace for the entire distance of their stroll.  Not only can that become
boring it will probably not significantly improve one’s health.  Of course there is nothing
bad about walking especially since it does burn calories.  When you burn calories you
force the body to use up stored fat which means weight loss.  However, don’t expect big
results.  For example a one hour walk at an average person’s pace, 3 MPH, burns 240
calories or the content of about two large chocolate chip cookies. If you use Ga-Kora
instead you'll burn nearly 70% more calories, use up more fat, and become healthier by
the minute.  

In simple terms Ga-Kora is a system that combines steady paced walking (Kora) and
slow jogging (Ga) over varying distances.  While more advanced Ga-Kora users add
bursts of running to their workouts, all of the health benefits of Ga-Kora accrue at the
basic level which is appropriate for all regardless of current fitness.  So if you haven’t
even thought about exercise for years or are currently athletically active this is program
is suited for you!

How to Start
First remember that Ga-Kora is fun and ultimately designed by you.  Just listen to your
body and the segments will come to you without much thinking  
While you can use this system in just about any footwear it is recommended that a
quality training shoe be used since it will provide extra stability and cushioning.
As the slogan says, just do it.  Step out the door and begin.  In the Ga-Kora system
there is no need to stretch your muscles at the beginning of your workout.  The
stretching will come at the end when it’s more valuable and easier to do.  Your warm-up
is inherently built into the opening stage of Ga-Kora.

The Sequence
Begin walking.  Yes, it’s that simple.  Start slowly and allow your mind to clear as you
enjoy a leisurely pace (the Kora).  After two to four minutes (or until you simply feel a
comfortable warmth coming to your legs) begin to focus on your pace, concentrating on
making it smooth and rhythmic.  Next begin using a slightly exaggerated arm swing.  
Make the swing more than normal but not enough to break an egg if it was on at the
edge of your elbow.  

While maintaining the same Kora (rate of leg turnover and arm swinging) look down the
road you are on and pick out a landmark.  It could be a tree, a telephone pole, a traffic
light, or even a manhole cover.  The first landmark should be at least 20 yards away but
no more than 50 yards.  Next, increase your walking pace and arm swing.  This faster
pace is the “Ga”.  Go as fast as you are comfortable doing while being sure that your
pace is faster than the one you started with.  When you reach your landmark go back to
your starting pace or Kora.

Quickly locate another landmark farther down the road.  This one should be 50 to 75
yards away.  Once you make your choice do NOT change you pace.  This is the key
tenant of Ga-Kora.  You only change your pace to reach a goal point (or landmark) when
you feel you can make it there at a quicker pace than your base one.   Some people
might start the new pace immediately while others will wait until they are as close as 10
or 15 yards to the goal point.  It’s all based on your personal reading of your body.
Your new pace must be quicker than the base one but it need not be faster than your
prior Ga.   

Key Point - GaKora system is based on distance NOT speed or the time it takes
you to complete your workout route.

As you return to your base pace you once again select a landmark.  This time the
landmark can be as close as 20 yards or as far as 100 yards.  You make the choice
based on how you are feeling.  As before, you move at a faster pace toward your goal
whenever you feel comfortable enough to do so.  

Key Point – You do not need to maintain a constant “Ga” toward your goal.  You
can slow down or speed up and slow down again.  You must however be
moving at a speed faster than your beginning one for the entire distance to the
goal while also using the exaggerated arm swing.

Continue the process of locating a point down the road and then reaching it at a speed
(s) above your Kora for the rest of your workout.  Eventually you will find yourself naturally
increasing the distance and tempo of the Ga segment as your fitness level increases.  
Key Point - The last section of your workout should always be the Kora.  It will serve as a
warm-down and help in muscle recovery. At the end of your workout a few minutes of
light stretching is all that is needed.

Total Distance
The total distance you cover should be relative to your current level of fitness.  If
your exercise is limited to walking down Main Street to do window shopping you still s
hould be able to easily cover a distance of ½ to a mile. If you have been walking
regularly for exercise you might be able to cover up to 2 mile
s or more the very first time
you use the Ga-Kora program.

Key Point – listen to your body.  Adjust your segments to how you are feeling.

Route Selection
Ga-Kora can be used in any setting.  It’s adaptable to the streets of a city, the paths at
the local park, or simply in the area around your neighborhood.  As long as there are
identifiable landmarks you can create a route.  If you prefer an out-and-back course,ie,
retracing your steps, be sure to change the landmarks on your return segment.  It will
keep your mind focused on pacing and help keep the activity interesting and fresh.  
If you prefer a circular route be careful to keep the total distance one that is comfortable
for you to finish.  It is easy to add on to Ga-Kora as your fitness improves so be
conservative in beginning the program.

Advanced Ga-Kora
To intensify Ga-Kora  there are three basic things that can be done.  First, increase the
overall distance being covered by 5% to 10% a week.  Increasing distance should
always be done gradually so as to allow your body to adapt.  Second, increase the Ga
segment to 75% of the workout – remember the Ga itself can contain varying pace
levels.  Third, increase the overall speed of the Ga which will of course, as usual, be
governed by what your body is telling you.

Ga-Kora is an exciting, fun, and productive way to gain the benefits of exercise.  Best of
all you control all the aspects of the workout.  You will intuitively know how adjust its
elements to suit your ever improving physical condition.   
As they say in Sweden, “god hälsa för dig” – good health to you!    

Note - as with any exercise program, be sure consult your physician before starting.   
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Lose that beer belly the Swedish way