When I first tried to exercise, I could do very many of them and the ones I could do I couldn’t do them for very long. During my college studies, we studied a book titled “The Health Seekers Handbook,” by Victoria Bidwell. It explained that if a person has been basically sedentary, stretching would be the best place to start. It helps a person become stronger, more flexible, and have better balance. The following exercises are found in that book.
- Begin with this exercise immediately when you wake up. Stand with your feet together, extend you arms over your head with your hands clasped together. Bend to the right and hold, return upright and then bend to the left and hold. Repeat 10 times. I smile and say “Good Morning God, it’s a beautiful day.” This sets my mind on a positive note first thing in the morning and helps get my endorphins started.
- Pull-Ups: Stand with your feet a few inches apart, arms extended overhead, and pull on an imaginary rope that is hanging above your head. First pull the imaginary rope down with your right hand, let it go and then pull on it with your left hand. Do NOT stand on your toes, keep your feet flat. You should feel the stretching in your abdomen. Repeat 10 times. You can do this throughout your day as you walk around doing whatever.
- Arms Up: Improves chest and upper back muscles. Hold your head up and back with your arms at your sides. Extend your arms forward and backward as far behind your head as possible, elbows straight, palms facing each other. As you move your arms back to the forward position, take air into your lungs and expand them as much as you can. Hold for several seconds and while you return your arms to the starting position, exhale. Repeat 10 times.
- Swinging: Stand up with your arms extended out in front of you. Swing both arms backward as far and with as much force possible. Inhale deeply and hold this position for a few seconds and then return them to their original position as you exhale. Do a set of 10.
- Bend Over, Arms up. Stand straight, arms at sides, and bend forward at your waist while inhaling. Move your arms backwards and then upwards behind you as much as you can, clinch your hands together, and while exhaling hold for a few seconds. From this bent down position with hands still together stand up while inhaling. Return to starting position, relax, and exhale again. Do 10 more.
- The Arch: Place one foot in front of the other about 2 foots length, with toes turned out, arms straight out from shoulders. Keep your waist straight, do not bend from there but bend your upper body backward, meaning only your upper spine. As you come back up, keep your chin tucked to your chest and lift it last as you puff out your chest to its fullest. Repeat 10 times.
- Bend Back: Put your left food forward and your left foot on your hip. Extend your right arm while bending backward. Do this with the other side in the same position. Repeat 10 times.
- The Cobra: Lie flat down, palms facing down, arms even with your shoulders. Raise your head, chest, and shoulders as high off the floor as they will go but keep your stomach flat on the floor, extending your neck so you are looking at the ceiling and hold. Do this 10 more times.
- Leg Super Stretches: Sit on the floor, clasp your hands in front of you and place one foot into the clasp. Straighten out your leg as much as you can without causing any pain. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 more times. Then do this with the other leg.
- Super Squats: Standing against a wall, keeping your back against it, and feet flat, go down as far as you can. In the beginning your feet may not stay flat but don’t worry, in time as your muscles become stretched and stronger you will be able to lower yourself and keep your feet flat. As always, repeat 10 times.
It won’t be easy at first, but if you do this daily you will find yourself getting stronger and more flexible. In time, this will be your warm up to the other types of exercises we will be talking about. Have faith this is good for you and in a couple of months, maybe sooner, you may find that you look forward to your exercise time and that you feel much better.