|Annie in Lake Huron!|
Day 17 Body Weight ExercisesOne of the routines that I am aspiring to reintroduce into my life is more weight training. Many of us think that we have to have a gym, equipment and/or a trainer to help us with strength training. I am certified as a strength training instructor and have a strong knowledge base and experience working with others to improve their muscular strength and at the same time I have let my own habit of strength training wander away.
The benefits of strength training can't be over stated especially for women. We need to stay strong so that we can stay balanced and on our feet ... there is a real danger in losing muscle mass. We need our muscle to keep us involved in life to the fullest and the statistics around falls and broken hips are a real warning to stay strong and active. Walking 30 minutes every day will reap huge health benefits and will help you maintain your core strength among many other rewards.
Why do we find it so challenging to do what we know is good for us? One of my answers to this question lies in the challenges we may have accessing information and finding the opportunity to fit these healthy routines into our lives. I have found that a time saver for strength training is found in Body Weight Exercises ... I have blogged about this before and directed you to this amazing collection of exercises that has been put together by the Greatist.com website ... check them out 50 Body Weight Exercises.
If you have a little bit of time choose any of these exercises and without going to a special place or using any kind of equipment you can, with a little determination, be healthier and a stronger.
I have a list of 4 exercises that I recommend to our walking group to keep them strong. I will share that with you here.
No matter what you do the most important thing is to get out for that walk ... but if you can add some simple strength training routines that will take you a long way toward a better quality future!
Here are my favorite 4 body weight exercises!
Strength Training for WalkersA simple workout that can be done every other day to improve strength and muscle mass. No equipment is required and it takes less than 20 minutes
BENT KNEE PUSH UPS Start with your hands and knees on a mat. Your hands should be shoulders-width apart and your head, neck, hips and legs should be in a straight line. Do not let your back arch and cave in. Maintain a slight bend in the elbows. Lower your upper body by bending your elbows outward, stopping before your chest touches the floor. Contracting the chest muscles, slowly return to the starting position. Inhale while lowering your body. Exhale while returning to the starting position. After mastering this exercise, you may wish to try the full push-up.
LUNGE (with or without weights) Stand straight with your feet together. Hold your arms down at your sides. Step forward with the right leg and lower the left leg until the knee almost touches the floor. Contracting the quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh), push off your right foot, slowly returning to the starting position. Alternate the motion with the left leg to complete the set. Inhale while stepping forward. Exhale while returning to the starting position. The step should be long enough that your left leg is nearly straight. Do not let your knee touch the floor. Make sure your head is up and your back is straight. Your chest should be lifted and your front leg should form a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the movement. Your right knee should not pass your right foot, and you should be able to see your toes at all times. If you have one leg that is more dominant than the other, start out with the less dominant leg first. Discontinue this exercise if you feel any discomfort in your knees.
WALKING LUNGE This move is similar to the lunge but instead of bringing your leg back from the forward lunge position you will bring the back leg forward to lunge with the opposite leg. You will be talking giant lunge steps using the same technique as above. 10 lunge steps at a time and repeat 2 or 3 times
PLANK for a strong core The plank exercise is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as stabilizer muscles. To do it right: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.
Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
Walk On Strong!