Let’s Get Energized!
Back from the Holidays now, Here are 5 short, simple moves you can perform at any time of the day to give you more energy and a better mental/emotional outlook.
So go ahead and give it a try right now and see the difference it can make!
Grab a watch or timer, and here we go!!
Minute One: Run in Place:
Yes, it’s just like the warm up exercise you learned in grade school PE class. Except do it more as Jogging or at the pace of a Trot. We don’t want to work up a sweat, just a warm-up to get limber.
This can even be done in the seated position. While in a chair, move your legs and arms like you are running while seated upright in the chair.
Do this for 1 minute then proceed to the next.
Minute Two: Crunches:
A strong core is essential to providing support to your entire body and to every movement. It maintains mobility and eliminates many instances of back pain.
Lay on your back with your spine flat on the floor, bend at the knees and lift your head and shoulders up with your abs — it is not necessary to sit all the way up.
There is an easier, modified version you can do if this is difficult. Rest your lower legs on the calves upon a chair or bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Doing crunches in this position eases pressure on the spine.
Again, do this for 1 minute then proceed to the next.
Minute Three: Plank or (Static Push-Ups)
A “Plank” is merely holding your body in the top position of doing a push-up and simply holding that for one minute. Try it! It is more difficult and effective than it seems. Remember to keep your back straight, pull in your abs to keep them activated and align the hands directly below the shoulders with arms straight.
If you find it hard to maintain the position for the full minute take a rest for a moment and then continue. You can even fudge if needed and lower your knees to the ground making it a mini-plank, until you gain the strength after doing these exercises daily for awhile.
Once more, 1 minute then proceed to the next.
Minute Four: Squats
Standing with your feet a distance apart a little wider than your hips and parallel to one another, arms extended to the front, engage your abs and slowly bend your knees lowering towards the floor. Lean slightly forward as you lower to maintain balance. I would recommend no more that a 90 degree angle of your knees so your thighs are even with the floor. To bend deeper can compromise the knees, especially if they have sustained previous injury.
As you raise up engage your glutes as you slowly rise. Do this exercise slowly and keep a perfect form to best work the muscles you are engaging. Be aware of the muscles on the front and back of legs being engaged throughout this entire movement as the most benefit is realized from an eccentric contraction (lengthening) of a muscle. As you lower you feel the effort in your quads (front-shortening) but focus on feeling the control of the motion in the hamstrings (back-lengthening). The opposite is true in the reverse direction.
Remember, doing this slowly is key.
Minute Five: Meditation
And now for the cool down.
A moment of non-movement is effective in increasing the effects of this exercise. It brings your heart rate down and integrates your mind with your freshly tuned body. Sit in a straight backed chair, or lay flat on the floor. breathe rhythmically in and out as you clear away clutter of your busy mind.
Imagine sitting by a stream and any thoughts that enter in visualize as drifting pieces of wood floating by. Let them go by, release them and focus only on your breathing, gently in and out.
The beauty of this exercise is you can do it daily, or even more than once per day without overworking your body or any specific muscle group and the benefits are very noticeable.