It is resolution time following a holiday season of overeating (me too) as we try to “right the ship” and return to a healthier lifestyle. Internet pop-ups, magazines, radio and TV ads use words like: quick, simple and easy trying to convince us to buy their diet and exercise programs. One word not often mentioned is consistency. A consistent approach to our health is not considered hip or sexy but it is essential to bringing us the greatest results improving our strength, mobility and flexibility. Consistency helps us create and maintain short and long term gains.
In my practice I emphasize exercises that can be done anywhere at anytime using your body weight or simple gym equipment. Improving your overall strength, mobility and flexibility can be achieved doing exercises from each of the following five categories. A good first step would be to challenge yourself to do 5-10 reps of one exercise from each category for the next 30 days (40 days if you are really motivated).
- Squat: simply stick your butt back while you squat until your reach the seat level of an imaginary chair before returning to a standing position. Keep your arms extended out in front of you for balance and keep your knees over top of (not in front of) your feet.
- Pull: any movement pulling your body up (a pull up) or a weight toward your body (bent over row).
- Push: any movement pushing your body or a weight away from you (push-up, dips or overhead press).
- Hinge: a movement done while your are standing with your hips and knees slightly flexed while keeping your core muscles engaged, especially your gluteal muscles. A basic kettle bell swing which can be done with a kettle bell, single weight held by both hands or a standing bent over row.
- Carry: walking while carrying a weight in both hands as if you were carrying a suitcase in each hand. The key is to keep the weights down by your side, shoulders down, body erect (engaging your core muscles), moving without swinging the weights and trying to keep your body as still as possible.
Do 5-10 reps of a single exercise in all five categories. It should take 15-20 minutes each day. You do not need to increase the reps beyond 10 per exercise, concentrate instead on doing it consistently for 30-40 days. Always be aware of your form and stop if you have pain until you can determine why you have it. You will not achieve super hero status after 30-40 days but I do think you will be pleasantly surprised by your gains and creating a healthy habit that you can build on in the future.
As always if you have any questions or comments please let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. William Madosky