We all know that the festive season can be a somewhat hectic time of the year; socialising; buying gifts; family meals; travelling and looking after loved ones. Who has time for exercise?
So, to help you look after your body we’ve put together three simple exercises you can do as part of your everyday routine:
Going on your tiptoes will improve your balance and the mobility of your feet, to prevent falls and twisted ankles.
- Strengthens your core, calves, thighs and glutes.
- Improves your posture
How to do it:
Go on your tiptoes when washing your teeth, washing up dishes, using a printer, travelling on the tube, while you are walking or at any given opportunity!
You could even start a “tiptoe challenge” with your kids. For example, whoever is able to tiptoe longest when washing their teeth could get a prize. Or set them individual goals to achieve.
Ideally, you should do this at least 2 times a day for 3 minutes each time, but with no resting!
Fancy challenging yourself a bit more? Then consider Pilates, dancing, barre classes, martial arts or yoga.
Squats – preps
We already unconsciously squat many times a day without even realising it, for example when we sit down or stand up. We just need to apply some rules to make it look as if we are gym pros.
̶ Strengthens thighs, glutes, calves and abdominal muscles.
̶ Improves your posture.
How to do it:
To stand up, plant your feet firmly on the floor, incline your upper body forwards and lift your buttocks off the chair, again hold the position for three seconds and then stand upright.
As with the tiptoes you can also challenge your kids! Who can hold the squatted position the longest?
Repeat every time you sit down. If you want to take your squats to the next level, check out this article https://garagegymplanner.com/benefits-of-squats/
Touching your toes
Joseph Pilates used to say that “you are as young as your spine”. Retaining flexibility in your spine is paramount to getting a functional body. Spine flexion is a fundamental movement that becomes more difficult with age. Furthermore, sitting for long periods stiffens the back, and lack of mobility could lead to other health complications.
Exercising, especially moving our spine keeps it healthy, so do find ways to achieve this. For example, bending over to touch your toes is an excellent way to articulate your spine. But not everyone can make it that far. So, where there is excessive stiffness, we recommend starting gently by touching your toes when you are sitting.
̶ Improves spine flexibility, upper body mobility and posture
̶ Stretches lower back muscles.
How to do it:
Sit with your back straight and supported by the back of the chair.
Then bring your chin towards your chest. Slowly start peeling your back away from the chair rounding your back as you do so.
Go as far down as you feel comfortable and have reached your limit start to roll up at the same pace.
Repeat as often as you wish, we suggest about 5 times, but do hold the last repetition for about 10 seconds but do remember to breathe You may find that by the end you can reach further down.
While some children can do this from standing and even get their hands flat on the floor, kudos to that child, not all kids are flexible. So, they could try this seated movement with you.
If you want to increase your spine flexibility practise Pilates or yoga.
We recommend doing these exercises as many times as possible, don’t wait until your holidays finish, your body will thank you.