No matter what level of exercising you are able to do and I am talking starting from level “I haven’t moved off the couch except to go to the refrigerator, the bathroom, or bed”, to “I exercise 3-5 hours a day”, and everywhere in between, or before any type of strenuous activity.; and that is STRETCH! Here are 10 simple stretching exercises for beginners that I started with. Many fitness experts suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise to maintain current weight and level of health, and up to 1 1/2 hours, if you want to make changes in those areas. When I started, I couldn’t exercise consecutively for even 30 minutes, so I broke 45 minutes into 3 different segments three times a day. Do what works for you and increase the number in a set, number of sets, and the intensity of each set as you become stronger and healthier.
Find a Comfortable Place with Space to Move
Have a chair and/or something to hold on to close by in case you need it, and wear comfortable clothing that you can move in. When I first started to do this I often found myself holding my breath but that isn’t right. You are to breathe deeply, from your belly, and evenly throughout every stretch.
1. Sit in your chair, lift your right foot. Turn it in a clock wise way for 10 revolutions seconds and then turn it counters clock-wise ( the opposite direction) and repeat. Repeat with your left foot. Do a set of 12
2. While sitting, march your legs up and down. Do this for 10-30 seconds. Remember the faster you do the continuous moves he more cardio you will achieve.
3. Sit in chair. Stand up and then sit down. Do a set of 12. Don’t worry if you can’t do this very fast or use something stationary to help if you need it. It will take time for your leg muscles to strengthen and your endurance to increase.
NOTE: The faster you do this stretch, the more cardio you will achieve but don’t push it too hard, give yourself time.
4. Sit against the back of a chair. Clasp your hands together with your fingers in between each other, it will look like you are about to help someone up onto a horse. Place your right foot into the “stirrup” and stretch your leg out straight and hold 10-30 seconds. Stretch your leg as straight as you can so you can feel the muscle stretching and you feel a pull but not to the point you feel pain. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with left leg. Start with a set of 12.
5. You can do this sitting down or standing up. Put your arms up, face your palms to each other, and clasp your fingers. From your waist and still facing forward, bend to the right as far as you can and hold 10-30 seconds. Stand back up straight and now repeat on the left side. Do a set of 12.
6. While either sitting or standing, raise right hand above your head and reach as far up as you can to grab the imaginary rope hanging over your head without moving your hips or behind and hold 10-30 seconds and then pull it down. Repeat with left hand. Do a set of 12.
7. You have to stand for this one, if your not able at the present, again, don’t be discouraged. Do what you can and the rest will follow as your body gets stronger. Put both of your arms behind you and clasp your hands together. Bend your body forward as far as you can go and hold 10-30 seconds. As you are coming back up to the upright position, keep your chin tucked to your chest and lift your head last. Do a set of 12.
8. With your hands clasped above your head bend backward from the waist as far as you can without pain hold 10-30 seconds. Do a set of 12.
9. Standing, spread your legs apart as far as you can without losing your balance. Bend your arms in front of you like you are a genie and bend forward touching ( or trying to touch) your right elbow to your left knee, keep legs straight and hold 10-30 seconds. Stand up and repeat with the other side. Start with a set of 12
10. This one is the hardest one, at least for me. Lie on your stomach, place your hands beside you. As you move your torso up, try to look at the ceiling above you. Hold 10-30 seconds. Return to starting position and rest a second or two, then repeat. Start with a set that you can do, even if it is only two.
NOTE: As your back and neck muscles become stronger, this exercise can be adjusted to make it more challenging. You can do it with your hands clasped behind you and continue to bend your head as far back as you can to see the ceiling.
This is a Great Way to Start Your Day
That is after you have given God thanks for another one! It is extremely important to get those muscles moving, warmed up and your chemicals going. You are now ready to take a walk, swim, do some aerobic exercises, or any other physical activity you want. If you feel like I did when I first started stretching, this may be enough for today and that is okay. The key here is to stay consistent and continue adding a couple more a day to push your body without over doing it.
I feel much better when I start my day with these exercises, and not just physically. Not only does this movement help work out all the aches and pains and get my bodily chemicals started, but it helps my thinking to be more positive because I feel better about myself as I become healthier.
I challenge you to do this every day for 30 days and see how different you feel. I would like to know, drop me a message.