Winter weather can make sticking to an exercise routine more challenging. With colder, shorter days, the urge to curl up on the couch can be irresistible. But don’t let the season demotivate you. As we come out of the food-focused holidays, maintaining a fitness routine is more important than ever.
Stretching before you exercise, called dynamic stretching, increases body temperature and blood flow to the working muscles, helping loosen joints and muscles so they can move better. It also helps prevent injury.
The bountiful benefits of stretching after exercising! Feel your best! Static stretching plays a vital role in fitness and overall wellness. It increases flexibility, improves balance,...
Stability balls are very effective exercise tools that offer unique benefits. Most notably, using them helps develop core strength, spinal stability and balance. The ball’s soft, unstable surface makes you “wobbly” or unbalanced. As your body fights to maintain control, the deep core musculature of your abdominal and back muscles is activated and strengthened. Development of these trunk muscles helps support and stabilize the spine and maintain its neutral alignment, reducing back strain and promoting spine health.
Exercising with resistance bands is an excellent way to promote bone health and to increase muscular strength and endurance. Bands are an easy, inexpensive and effective tool to achieve a whole-body workout in a short amount of time. They are literally total body training, ideal for those with celiac disease and others at risk for developing osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Millions of Americans resolve to get fit every year but over half who begin an exercise program quit within six months. Why? People have many reasons for not exercising but the biggest is lack of social support. New research confirms that friendships are very important to making sustainable lifestyle changes.
Try one style of stair climbing or a combination of all three. For example, climb up the stairs single stepping and walk down. Next, climb up the stairs double stepping and walk down. The third time, turn to the side so that your shoulder faces the stairs and step up with the leg closest to the staircase. Keep your foot flat on the stair and pull yourself to a standing position. Continue up the stairs and then walk down. The fourth time, side-step up the stairs on the opposite side and walk down.
Walking is an easy, fun and safe way to exercise. It’s also inexpensive and perfectly natural—it can be done almost anywhere without any special equipment or training. Performed regularly, walking can help reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. But can walking strengthen your bones?
Your three gluteal muscles (the powerful group that form the buttocks—gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius) and your hip flexors attach to your pelvis and keep it in a neutral position. A tendency to be sedentary in the workplace prevents the gluteal muscles from working properly. When one or more of these muscles is weakened, there is greater difficulty maintaining an upright position.
These exercises are manageable ways to fit fitness into your day. Don’t get hung up on the number of repetitions or sets completed. Just aim for consistency and perform some exercise every day.
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