Plus, Simple Exercises for When We Sit Too Much
Winter is upon us, and depending on what climate you’re lucky enough to be living in, Mother Nature may have different plans for those looking to exercise outside. Even if you’re not located in a cold-weather climate, inclement weather can reign disaster on your daily jog. In some extreme situations, even getting to the gym can become unrealistic.
It’s important to your health to stay active, so try not to use weather as an excuse to go dormant. Here, we’ll offer a number of exercises you can do right at home.
And for those who find themselves in a professional gig where sitting is the norm for the majority of the day, we’ll follow that up with some tips on how to stay moving, even when you’re stuck in a chair.
An oldie, but a goodie. Lie flat on your stomach on the floor. Place hands on floor in a position slightly wider than your shoulders. Maintain a straight line with your body as you push yourself off the floor for one rep.
For those who struggle with proper push-up form. Maintain a push-up position, except bring your knees to the floor. Think of your body as a straight line from your knees through the top of your head.
Helps strengthen the entire core. Lie flat on your stomach on the floor. Place yourself in a push-up position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your elbows and your shoulders should align. Tighten your core and hold for given time. Be sure to keep breathing.
Same benefits as a front plank, with more emphasis on the external obliques. Turn to your side and place the appropriate forearm on the floor, directly underneath your shoulder. Maintain a straight line with your body and tighten your core. Maintain deep breaths.
Get ready to work those glutes! Stand with your legs spread slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and bring your backside down to the floor while keeping your weight on your legs and ensuring you’re not rounding your back. Tighten your core and jump up explosively, landing back in the squat position.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Tighten your core and take a step forward while bending your knee to lower your body. Your knees will tell you how low is safe to go. Don’t push it. Keep your back and upper body straight.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take one foot and take a large step to that side, lunging to the floor. Make sure the foot you’re lunging with does not extend past your toes and keep the opposite leg as straight as possible.
Oftentimes people don’t perform these with proper form. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross arms and place hands on opposite shoulders. Tighten abdominals and raise upper body, head first and then shoulder blades, without rounding your back. Carefully lower body back to the starting position.
Single leg stand
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips for balance. Raise one leg, bending at the knee until your knee is equal with your hip. Return to the starting position and alternate legs.
Standing calf raises
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Roll your weight from your heels to the balls of your feet, while elevating yourself using the front of your feet. Your feet should never leave the ground. Return to the starting position.
Exercises You Can Do from Your Chair
Do you find yourself sitting more in your day than standing and walking? When you do get up and move around, are you stiff and tight? Do you transition from sitting at your desk at work, to sitting in your car to get home, then sitting to eat dinner? Or you may be retired from work and you get up in the morning to find yourself sitting all day watching TV, playing cards and eating your meals.
If you find yourself sitting too much and you want to get moving, try incorporating some basic range of motion movements into your day. You don`t even have to get up out of the chair to do this. It takes only a few minutes and will get your blood flowing and your muscles, ligaments, and tendons more pliable so when you do get up, you`re not so stiff.
Is exercise important to you, or do you find yourself making excuses as to why you’re unable to make fitness a priority? Do you find yourself saying you’re too tired, too busy, unable to find a fitness regimen that works for you? These simple exercises you can do from your chair can help you overcome your fitness phobias. Need inspiration? Read how Fran Creasy, an Acts Retirement Community resident, lost 75lbs with daily exercise and a healthy diet.
Feel inspired? It’s time to begin your fitness journey.
Let`s start with our hands, work up to the shoulders and neck, then down the body to the ankles. We’re not giving a repetition number to follow because everyone is different and some people may like a certain movement more than others. Don`t make this too complicated, just move. If there`s a pain with a movement, then stop that movement and go to another movement. We’re not proponents of “no pain, no gain.”
So, here we go:
- Sit up straight and tall with a good posture.
- Roll your thumb joints.
- Touch your thumb to each finger on the same hand (thumb to pointer, middle, ring, and pinky).
- Roll your wrist joints.
- Bend and extend your elbows.
- Roll your shoulders backwards and forwards.
- With your right arm, reach up in the air, then scratch your right hand behind your head, then scratch behind your back, then scratch your left shoulder. Now do the same movements with your left arm.
- Raise and lower your shoulders.
- Turn your head side to side, move your right ear towards your right shoulder and left ear towards your left shoulder. Look up and look down.
- Trunk twist to the left and to the right.
- Lean your trunk to the left and to the right.
- Tighten up both buttock muscles and relax.
- Raise your right knee up and then raise your left knee up.
- Straighten out your right leg then your left leg.
- Open and close your legs with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Raise your heels up then toes up with your feet on the floor.
- Raise your right foot off the floor and roll your right ankle joint, then your left ankle joint.
These basic exercises are good for all of us. Once you begin to incorporate these simple exercises into your daily routine, you may find some surprising positive results – many people experience an increased good mood, youthful glow, and improved physical and mental health.
We can’t promise that these simple exercises will solve all your problems, cure all your aliments, or make your friends think you have been bathing in the fountain of youth. What we can say is that we commonly see that once people start a daily exercise regimen, they become hungry for more. This is because exercise helps your body create natural endorphins. If you experience benefits from these simple exercises and find yourself looking for more ways to challenge and strengthen your body, check out our 7 must-do exercises for seniors.
Finally, if you are looking for a full body experience that will nourish your mind, body and spirit – try yoga! It provides many health benefits that go beyond toned muscles and increased balance. Read why yoga is becoming popular among older adults.
No matter how you choose to exercise, make fitness a priority! Set goals, track your progress and take pride in your results. Simple exercises can make a big difference. Ask yourself, what will I do today to improve my overall health for tomorrow? Make the decision to be an active participant in your everyday health.