5 Daily Get Fit Tips… No Gym Required (Part 2.)
Do you really need the danish, chocolate chip cookie, or bite-size candy bar someone brought into the office today? The favorite retort is, “No, but I want it!” Ask yourself, in that moment, what do you want for your health? Will this help you meet your personal goals? I’m not saying never eat sweets, I’m saying practice self-control.
- Standing heel lifts are easy do almost anywhere. Washing dishes at the sink: before you begin the chore, hold the edge of the sink, (not the soapy area), keep your feet at least hip distance apart and rise up onto your toes as high as you can. Do 10. Do the dishes and do 10 more. Waiting in a line: do some heel lifts while holding onto your shopping cart or only lift halfway up onto your toes and do as many as you can while waiting. It also helps to make the line move faster.
- Posture… Do you work standing all day? Try this. Imagine you have two hard cover books on your head if you draw your navel toward your spine and draw your shoulder blades toward the floor, and look forward as you walk you will begin improving posture right away. Or do you sit all day in a chair? Try this. Sit all the way back into your chair so your back is touching the chair back, feet flat on the floor, draw your navel in toward your spine and sit tall. Now place your hands on the bottom of the back of the chair seat (if your arms are a bit short to reach then grab the bottom of the back of the chair) and stretch the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Count to 10 by saying 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand and so on. Reach everything upward while your hands hold firm to stretch you in opposite directions.
- Head tilts are great to pass the time and get fit while you are waiting for that download or defrag to finish. Maybe you are watching a movie or at a sporting event for your child. Sit or stand up straight, like when you worked on posture. Tilt your head toward your shoulder with your ear lining up with your shoulder reach your finger tips to the floor on both sides. Use only the strength of your neck muscles to press the ear to the shoulder (Caution: Do Not Pull on Your Head). For a bit more intensity tilt your chin toward your chest and back to your shoulder, slowly. Did you feel that?! Repeat 3 on each side holding for a count of 10 seconds. Alternate sides one a time in case the download finishes sooner than expected you will get a stretch on both sides.
- Arm Stretches can be done almost anywhere by bringing your R arm straight up over your head then reaching to your spine with the palm of your R hand. With your L hand, grab the R elbow and gently pull it toward your head. Gaze to the floor while active in the stretch. Do not look up, but do not tuck your chin to your chest either, let it drop naturally. Hold for a count of ten seconds while maintaining the pull and keeping your hand as straight onto your spine as you can. If this stretch feels difficult don’t give up, just do the best you can taking a deep breath in and exhaling slowly while you count. It will get better. Repeat this on the Left.Do 3 sets counting to 10 until you can hold for a full 30 seconds on each side without letting go.
- Spinal rotation stretches can be done while you wait in line, at home, at work, or at play. Stand with your feet just hip distance apart (do not over exaggerate the stance). Place your R hand at your R hip and your L hand on top of the R. Keeping your chin level with your shoulder begin to look over your L shoulder while you hold your hips firmly so they do not move. Take in a deep breath and as you begin to exhale it slowly keep your chin chasing your shoulder as the shoulder keeps rotating behind you.Remember your Pilates posture and reach upward through the crown of your head. Draw your navel in and up as you stretch and enjoy the release of tension in your spine. Repeat on the Left.
These are a few of the take away’s from class exercises I give my students. It’s so important to create and maintain good habits in our lives because often life will get in our way. It’s up to you to be proactive in your own health, so that you may give all to family, friends, & yes, your career too!
Budda said: “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again” Begin Today!
Stacy Price-Darkis, CPI, BCES.. Studio 59 Pilate Fitness, LLC