If you’re like me (and if you are reading this then you must be like me), you find your self wanting to exercise but there’s never enough time, money or whatever, to make it possible. Classes are inconvenient. Exercising at home is impossible. Joining a gym is far too expensive. We all have our excuses.
I know because I am the queen of them. When I was a stay at home mom out in the country, I planned to walk to the post office every day. It wasn’t all that far and there was this huge hill from there to my aunt’s house (I would take her mail to her). It was perfect except I always found a reason to drive. I needed to pick something up. There wasn’t enough time for me to walk. It’s too cold, too wet, too hot, too dry.
Life changes and so do my excuses. Now I work full-time as a phone operator. I share my space with another operator but we have a tall divider separating our desks so it’s a lot like being alone. I spend my lunch hour with my mom and sometime last fall we decided that we could use part of our lunch hour to walk. We don’t walk very fast but we try to be consistent. We’ve even got alternate walking areas so that when the weather is poor or something comes up in one area we have somewhere else to walk. That was a nice start – I do recommend it but it only works because I get a full hour for lunch and I have a partner to walk with me.
That’s nice but walking does not make a full routine. It wasn’t until I helped a friend develop a home routine that I realized I could easily create a routine for myself. A routine of this nature is not for weight-loss. Weight-loss occurs when one burns more calories than they intake. Aerobic exercise burns the most calories. I won’t say that this sort of routine doesn’t burn calories but I will say it’s not designed for weight-loss.
For me, I have a few health goals. I’m getting older and already have some joint problems due to injuries I have sustained over the years. My joint health is important. I want to have healthy joints as I age. I want to relieve stress but I, also, want to keep from becoming a lump – I sit all day and exercising breaks up my time in the chair.
I have three target areas – my core, my hips and my shoulders. The core area is basically the part of your body that isn’t head, arms or legs. It’s made up of the muscles of the back and abdomen.
Most of my exercises fall into the isometric category – which means I use gravity and my own body’s resistance to strength train. I have two elastic bands that I use from my physical therapist but you can purchase some at most sports departments.
This post is getting long so I’ll just share a few ideas/exercises and promise more in another post.
Core Stabilizing – this is my favorite because I can do it anywhere and everywhere. I do it in the car, at my desk, while waiting in line (I also do Kegels but there’s now a debate as to whether or not they really help). The first thing you do is imagine there is a pole that runs through the center of your body from the ground to the ceiling. The pole makes you have very good posture – your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed and back. Now, without holding your breath, squeeze the pole (picture holding the pole of a merry-go-round horse). Hold for ten seconds and release but don’t slouch.
Leg lifts at the sink – While washing your hands at the sink (or whatever else), lift your left leg to the side ten times and then repeat with your right. This should equal the time to properly wash your hands. While drying, lift your legs to the back or front for 10 times each. Make sure to get one set in each direction.
Funny walks – I blame Monty Python for this exercise. Funny walks are a great way to give your muscles some variety. Currently, my favorite is to walk as if on a tight rope – this helps with the hips. Other walks can be walking sideways, lifting the knee up high when walking (like marching), taking really small or large steps. Be creative and don’t do it if it hurts.
Like all exercise plans, make sure you are healthy enough to perform the exercises. If it hurts, don’t do it. If it’s slightly uncomfortable, be cautious. A little discomfort can happen because you are working the muscles. Start off with a few repetitions and work your way up to more slowly. I started at 10 and am now up to 15. I’ll share more exercises but in the meantime – check out Sit and Be Fit or ask your doctor for exercises.
*I do have some education in Sports Training but I never completely went on to pursue a certification. I have enough knowledge to probably be dangerous.