Hello friends, and welcome! I hope this finds you all in good health and happiness after the Thanksgiving holiday! My blog this week comes at a good time. The holidays are officially in full swing, and treats sweet and savory are abound! You can’t avoid it, someone at your office is going to bring in a basket of delicious baked goods that you only see once a year; another person will bring in their favorite buffalo chicken dip to tempt you with…and then there are the parties and pot lucks! Oy vey!
I believe that everything in moderation is always a good rule to abide by, especially at times like these. Everyone is in good spirits, and we are naturally inspired to include food as part of the festivities! Telling yourself to abstain from these seasonal delights altogether is a bad idea. This will only make you want to do it more! As part of my short series on exercising, this week I would like to focus on some basic exercises that just about anyone can do to help combat all of the extra temptations that will be coming our way.
Below are a few that I like to do myself, and the lowdown on how to accomplish them!
For this exercise, you will need to find anything that you can step up onto. Doing this one outside would be ideal. A bench, maybe a large flat rock or some nearby steps would work. You will choose either leg and place it onto the step and lift yourself up with that leg until it’s straightened out, putting your other leg out to the side or back just a bit. Repeat this with each leg as many times as you like. I would say 10-15 reps would be good. Also, make sure your back and chest are straight.
Upper Body Push-up –
This is another exercise where you will need to find a bench or a step or something that you can lean on. Assume the standard pushup position with your hands and arms shoulder width apart, placed on the step you intend to use, and your feet just a few inches apart. Make sure not to lock your elbows, or allow your midsection to sink. Begin by slowly lowering yourself down until your chest almost touches the step, hold for a few seconds and then push yourself back up to a normal position. Do this for 3 sets at about 10-12 reps each time. That’s it! Simple and effective!
Jumping Jacks –
These are pretty self explanatory, and likely something we all did in gym class growing up! You begin with your legs and feet together, and your hands at your side. Next, you will simply jump while spreading your legs apart, and raising your hands above your head at the same time. We breathe more heavily when we jump, so even though this seems like a simple exercise, it’s a great way to burn a lot of calories, workout your entire body and get your heart rate going! Another bonus is that these are easily modified to intensify your workout. Instead of going back to a standing point, you can move into a deep squat to further target other areas of your body. I would recommend doing 3 sets with 25-30 reps each.
Triceps Extension –
This one is pretty easy and low impact. First you will want to get yourself into a lunge position with one leg forward and your back heel planted firmly. Next, you’ll lean over that front knee, and begin to lift a small weight (2-3 lbs works best) back and forth about 30 times for each side.
Mountain Climber –
Another of my favorites, and very easy to do! Assume the standard push-up position that I spoke of before, making sure to be conscious of your core muscles and keeping your body straight. Begin by raising a bended knee up towards your chest in one fluid and balanced motion, bringing your leg as far as you can, comfortably. Hold this for a few moments and bring you leg back to push-up position. Repeat with the other leg for several minutes or until you are tired. You can even modify this by bending your leg/knee inwards if this is easy enough for you, or by speeding up this motion for maximum benefits.
Thank you so much for joining me this week! I hope this series has helped you learn how to start this physical and mental journey, and can lead you to doing greater things, feeling better and exercising to your fullest potential! Come back next week, when I will have a whole new topic to discuss!
Don’t forget to stay positive and LOVE YOUR LIFE!!
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Written by: Heather