The following exercise program is easy to do for most people. Finding the time to do it can be challenging. Once you know the poses, the stretching session takes less than 10 minutes out of your day. Just 10 minutes ! The core strength program also takes less than 10 minutes and you only need to do it 3 times per week.
I’ve broken this program into 4 sections
The stretching should be done everyday. I recommend starting your day with the practice. This ensures you get them done and out of the way. It also warns you if there are any tight or weakened areas of your body that are vulnerable to injury. People often injure themselves first thing in the morning. Warming up the muscles before work also decreases the chances of you hurting yourself during the day.
All the stretches should be done gently without producing pain or discomfort. Don’t attempt to stretch as far as I can. We are all unique. The goal is to put a little tension on the muscles to get some blood flowing in them and warm them up. You can injure yourself by pushing or pulling too hard. So easy does it. The greatest benefit comes from stretching gently everyday. If you have any problems or questions, ask me during an office visit.
Hold each pose for 5 to 30 seconds. If a stretch feels tighter then hold for the full 30 seconds. As you become familiar with your normal muscle tone, you can hold a pose for only 5 seconds for those muscles that feel fine.
Some of the moves aren’t technically stretches but repetitive movements. See the torso rotation and side bending. You don’t hold these but gently swing from side to side 10 times, without holding the position. Think of it like gently opening and closing a door with a rusty hinge. This will free it up without breaking anything.
I always finish my stretches with a sun salutation which is a series of yoga moves. Look this one up on the internet. There are a lot of YouTube video’s out there with slightly different moves for different age groups and fitness levels.
The trick with this exercise is breathing out when you flex your body forward and breathing in when you extend your body backwards.
If you want to wrap up your session with a nice little practice that is relaxing, good for your lungs and lymphatic system, do this.
You can get away with doing the core strength program once per week and still benefit but 3 times a week is better. This is an amazing routine that almost anyone can do. This routine works all the muscle groups around your waist, creating a natural internal girdle that better supports your spine.
Remember to keep breathing while you do the moves. Remember, you don't need to lift your shoulders off the ground more than and inch.
Each move is repeated 20 times but to start, do only 2 or 3 repetitions of each move until you gradually tighten everything up. Then you can build up to 20 repetitions.
People often complain of neck pain while doing the core strength exercises. This is because the neck muscles are weak and need to be strengthened as well. To build them up, do only the number of repetitions that do not cause neck pain. If you can only do 2 then do 2 reps for a couple of weeks then try 3 and so on until the neck muscles get stronger.
Again, any problems, talk to me.
Do each of the poses in the order that they are shown. I designed the program to be efficient so you move from standing to sitting and so on.
It may seems complicated and overwhelming to start but keep chipping away at it and eventually you will see the simplicity of the program. Start by putting aside a half hour each session and do what you can in that time. When you become familiar with the program you will be surprised how little time it actually takes to do.
Cardiovascular exercise is anything you do that causes your heart rate to go up and your body temperature to rise. No exercise program is complete without some kind of cardiovascular exercise. If you really want to feel your best, you need to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing throughout your entire body about 3 or 4 times a week. A brisk, non stop , 30 minute walk 3 or 4 times a week gives you more bang for the buck than any exercise out there. Machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines and similar devices all work as well.
7 Minute Scientific Workout. This series of floor exercises has been shown to be as effective as the usual 40 minute cardiovascular workout. The key is getting your heart rate up to 90% of your maximum recommended heart rate and holding it for 1 minute. There are plenty of examples on YouTube. If you have a pre existing heart problem, check with your medical doctor before doing this kind of workout. If you do the 7 minute workout, I wouldn't be too concerned what your heart rate gets up to. Just do it and pat yourself on the back.
Weight loss is an issue that most of us struggle with and all I want to share is this -
DON’T USE EXERCISE FOR WEIGHT LOSS.
I’ve probably treated thousands of people who have injured themselves trying to lose weight through exercise. You might be able to do it for awhile, but it is not sustainable. Exercise to increase flexibility, strength and get blood flowing to all parts of your body.
LOSE WEIGHT BY BEING MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK
If you are one of my regular clients, you can always ask me to help you tweak the moves if you are having trouble with any of the exercises.