Keep moving; regardless
Many of us have now started working from home, as a result of the crazy time we are currently living in. Does that mean we have to stop our exercise-routine? Or our good habits? Definitely not! Sticking to our routines, where we have a time-slot for exercising, for example, doesn’t have to fall by the wayside. Luckily, in many countries, gyms have re-opened. However, if there are some of my readers who don’t want to go to gym yet, or decided it is cheaper to exercise outside of gym, then you have come to the right blog-post. I am going to share some easy-to-do exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home; or outdoors, if the weather allows it.
Sitting on the edge of a chair, place your hands on your shoulders and breathe in. As you exhale, pull your tummy in and bend forward (imagining that your elbows are pushing your tummy in). Come up on your next inhale, then, as you exhale, bend over to one leg (elbow to leg; opposite arm / opposite leg). You can lift your legs when you do the latter. Do remember not to shrug your shoulders.
Using cans (if you don’t have hand weights), are another easy way to add some weight when you are doing tummy and/or arm-exercises. A small ball and even a cushion, can also come in handy! For example, you can use the cans to do your bicep- and triceps-curls and you can add it when you do tummy-exercises.
A cushion can be used as above, but you can also place it in-between your legs when you do leg- and/or glute-exercises. A cushion is a lovely apparatus, if I can call it that, to use, as it won’t hurt your knees and it is easy to manage. Pilates balls and small balls (the soft ones) are also lovely to work with.
Then, of course, there is a “cheap” option and that is to walk or run. Whether it is in the street or in the estate where you live, walking or running is fantastic to get the blood and oxygen flowing, as well as clearing the mind. If you have a back and/or knee problems, rather walk. Less strain on the joints and a lovely way to enjoy nature and get some fresh air!
It doesn’t matter what you do, but it is important to move, to get the blood and oxygen flowing, and the heart pumping. We are not made to sit the whole day; not only is it bad for posture, but it also puts a lot of unnecessary strain and stress on the skeletal-system, not to mention on the heart and lungs (due to not enough oxygen flowing into the body). Most people (not just those who smoke), don’t breathe properly and don’t use their whole lung capacity when breathing. When you sit for long periods, you tend to slouch. Your back starts to curve, your deltoid muscles (the muscles around your shoulder blade-area, which are supposed to keep you upright), starts to pull / develop forward, in a curved-position, and this then compresses the lungs and you struggle to breathe.
Many, many years ago, the Alexander-technique was developed to reteach people how to sit, stand and walk. It is a wonderful technique to follow and easy-to-learn. Try the following: When you stand or sit, take a deep breath in and roll your shoulders back. Automatically, this will open up your chest area, your lungs and the shoulder blades will move into their “natural” position, due to the deltoid muscles pulling them gently back. Become aware of your head. Is your chin pulled in too far or is your chin poking forward? Next, become aware of the bottom half of your body. Is your tummy sticking out? Are your buttocks pushed back and your pelvis tilted down? If so, gently pull your tummy and buttocks in, feel your pelvis tilting up (in line with the hips) and think of your coccyx (tailbone) being tilted down. Careful not to overdo this, as this can cause your upper back-area to curve. Your hips must face forward (almost like a car’s headlights). What you want, is your body weight to be balanced in-between your toes and heels. When you look at yourself in a mirror, draw an imaginary line from the side of your head, over your ear, shoulder, and all the way down to your foot. If you are able to draw a straight line, then you know you are standing correctly. This, by the way, also implies when you are sitting.
Lastly, if you do have to sit for long hours, sit on a Pilates ball (you do get chairs with a ball in instead of the normal cushion). This is an easy way to work on your core stabilizers as well as abdominal muscles. You will also find that your back doesn’t get so tired. Some people have a stand, that they put on their desks, when they work on their computers by standing. However, make sure, if you are one of them, that you don’t put your weight on one leg / foot and again, don’t stand with your buttocks sticking out or your tummy pushed forward.
For those who enjoy exercising at home, pop over to my YouTube-channel https://youtube.com/channel/UCRmlb8ZrUkFXhZgeqSOr1QQ, where I do Pilates- and Yoga sequences twice per week; you will also find many videos of exercising in a chair. Some things are out of your control, but when it comes to your health and wellbeing, you are still in control. So, dust off the weights, the Pilates ball, your sneakers (tekkies) and keep moving!
PS: Please like, share and subscribe to my YouTube channel! I do different levels of exercise-routines 🙂