Are you thinking that you don’t have time to fit exercise into your busy lifestyle? Well, think again! Here are 8 simple routines that are easy to do and – best of all – they don’t take much time. Just spend 10 minutes or less on these easy activities and a new, healthier lifestyle will be yours!
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Surely you can fit these fun, healthy activities into your busy life:
Jump rope. If you haven’t tried jumping rope lately, now is the time to give this fun and invigorating exercise a try. Purchase a jump rope or fashion your own from any sturdy piece of rope. Start slowly and gradually increase both your speed and intensity. This heart-healthy exercise can be performed a few times a day for maximum exercise benefits.
Climb stairs. Did you know that staircase in your home or workplace is actually a mini-gym in disguise? Take advantage of this exercise opportunity whenever you have a few extra minutes to spare. Climbing stairs builds strength and gets your heart pumping.
LOWERS THE ENERGY COST OF GETTING SOLAR PANELS BY 85%!!!
Listen to music or an audiobook while going up and down the stairs. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your climbing sessions!
Dance to the music. Don’t be shy! Turn up your favorite music and dance with abandon! Dancing is not only fun, but it’s also a terrific form of exercise. Professional dancers are more fit than many professional athletes!
Bounce on a mini-trampoline. No doubt about it. Trampolines are just plain fun! Mini-trampolines can be purchased at many chain stores, sporting goods stores, or online. Pull out your trampoline and spend just five minutes jumping away. You may enjoy this exercise so much that you’ll increase the amount of time you have available for your exercise routine.
Many mini trampolines such as this one are available on Amazon. Always observe caution however, make sure the trampoline is secure. You don’t want to end up on the floor with a sprain or at worst, a broken bone!
Quick calisthenics. Everyone has, at one time or another, practiced calisthenics. Now is the time to remember those lunges, knee bends, and jumping jacks of days gone by! Finding just five minutes in your hectic day to practice one or more of these calisthenics exercise routines can make a big difference in your health.
Lift weights. Many exercise routines neglect that all-important need to increase upper body strength. Lifting weights solves that problem. Depending on your size and fitness level, choose the amount of weight appropriate for you. Start with lighter weights, and as you spend time on a daily routine, gradually increase the amount of weight you can handle.
Walk faster. Will you be walking the dog later today? Or perhaps walking from your car into the shopping mall? Picking up your walking speed will also increase your fitness level. Walking of any kind is always a good thing, but walking faster enhances the exercise benefits you receive from it.
Practice balance. Part of any healthy lifestyle is having a good balance. The more you practice, the easier it is to maintain balance not only in your exercise routine but also in your daily life. Practicing balance requires only a few minutes a day and best of all can be practiced anywhere with no special equipment.
Stand a few feet from a wall, kitchen counter, or other supporting structure and raise one foot off the ground. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Maintain balance as long as you can. Repeat with the other foot.
As seen in this picture, place one foot forward, the other foot in the back. Raise your arms as seen here and hold the pose for 5 seconds or more, maintaining your balance. Alternate with the left and right foot to strengthen both legs.
There are many more exercises you can do to improve balance. for the purpose of this short article, let’s keep it simple. But you get the idea. Tai Chi is a great exercise to improve balance. I have always recommended this exercise that is great for wellness. Yoga is an excellent exercise for promoting balance as well.
With daily practice, you’ll notice a gradual increase in the amount of time you can keep your balance.
By following just a few of these simple and quick exercise routines, you’ll be on your way to a healthier and happy lifestyle. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start now!
If you’ve hurt yourself while exercising, then you know that overuse injuries are a serious issue. However, using these techniques will help you avoid them, so you can exercise without worrying about getting hurt.
·A small strain or sprain can quickly become a bigger issue if you continue to exercise. It’s important to relax and give your body the chance to recover.
3.Do strengthening exercises.Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights can do more than give you bigger muscles.
·Strengthening exercises can help you prevent overuse injuries by giving you stronger muscles and joints that don’t injure as easily. Include them in your regular routines.
4.Do cross-train. It’s dangerous to only do one type of exercise. Cross-training allows you to do several different types of exercises on the same day, so your body gets a more effective workout.
· Cross-training also helps you avoid overuse injuries because you’re putting less stress on one part of your body. For example, you can spend time running on the treadmill to g
et a good leg workout and later lift weights for your arms. This will help you prevent injuries.
5.Be careful with pain medications.Pain medications can help you relieve the symptoms after you get an overuse injury. However, they’re also dangerous if used too often.
·Pain medications can mask the severity of your injuries and put you at risk of getting even more injured. They can encourage you to keep exercising because you’ve lessened the pain and feel like you can continue.
·It’s important to discuss your pain medication use with your doctor and trainer.
·Avoid using the medication as an excuse to keep exercising and hurting yourself.
6.Be mindful of a healthy diet. Your injuries need the right nutrition to heal. Your body supplies the nutrients to your cells, so they can recover.
·Ensure your diet includes the vitamins, minerals, and other components necessary to heal. Avoid junk food such as sugary or salty snacks and focus on vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.
7.Seek help from professionals.If you notice a minor strain or sprain that won’t go away, it may be time to get help. Speak to your trainer, doctor, or physical therapist about the pain you feel.
·You don’t want to hide the pain and pretend you’re fine because this can lead to more injuries.
Exercise shouldn’t leave you in pain and unable to walk for weeks. You can avoid overuse injuries by following these tips.
Nurse Sore Muscles Back to Health With These Home Remedies
Seems like I am on the roll here with sore muscles. I played tennis last night with friends and it seemed to be the topic among the players. This prompted me to do articles, quick and simple steps to nurse these sore muscles back to health!
Sore muscles have plagued us all. Regardless of our age, a stressed muscle can become sore when we start an exercise regimen, perform excessive manual labor, or even stay seated in the same position for too long! These aches and pains can make performing necessary tasks unbearable.
Soothe your aching muscles and nurse them back to health with these natural remedies:
1.Take a break. If your sore muscles are a consequence of overexertion or exercise, continuing the strenuous activity won’t help ease the soreness. Therefore, you should take a break from the routine so your muscles get a chance to recover.
·Muscle soreness from overexertion is the result of microscopic tears in the muscle tissue caused by the stress of the activity. Your body needs time to repair itself.
·If you start to experience soreness or stiffness during an activity, give it a rest. Pace yourself. Stretch sore area gently.
2.Soak in Epsom salt or vinegar. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate and can replace lost magnesium in the body, thus helping to keep the muscles pliable and loose. I especially love the scented ones, lavender. Vinegar is very effective at pulling out lactic acid from the muscles, which contributes to soreness.
3.Use an ice pack. Ice packs are super helpful with sore muscles. If possible, apply an ice pack immediately as soon as you feel the soreness. Keep the ice pack on the sore area for about 20 minutes and then remove it for another 20 minutes. Repeat the process two to three times. This process works great for muscle soreness due to injury too. It can keep bruising to a minimum. Ice helps reduce inflammation and allows your body to repair itself.
4.Get a massage. Usually, muscle stiffness and soreness are also accompanied by restricted blood flow. Get a professional massage. You deserve it. Find deals in your local area. Groupon, Facebook pages, etc. A massage can help stimulate the flow of blood around the sore areas. Here are some helpful tips:
·You don’t need to pay for a professional massage; all you need to do is gently rub the area yourself. Use mechanical massagers of choice. Percussors are also great for deeper tissue massage. Use exercise rollers under the hamstrings, ITB /ITband/Iliotibial band, or the quads/thigh muscles. You can also use a tennis ball over the sore spot.
·Apply this technique right before or after you applied the ice pack and you can get better results.
5.Boost your potassium levels.If you’re susceptible to muscle soreness or stiffness, it’s very possible that your potassium levels are low. You can quickly raise those levels by eating more bananas, which are rich in potassium. Coconut water is a favorite of mine and uses it instead of Gatorade during tennis games. cantaloupes, oranges, apricots, honeydew, grapefruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, peas are just examples of potassium-rich foods. Some dried fruits (dates, prunes, and raisins) also are good sources.
·Drinking lots of water can also help to relieve and prevent stiff, painful muscles.
6.Apply apple cider vinegar.Who knew? Depending on the source of the soreness, you can do either a warm compress or a cold compress. Soaking the compress tool in apple cider vinegar is a great way to extract the lactic acid that contributes to sore muscles.
These simple home remedies are excellent for nursing your sore muscles back to health. Ignoring soreness or disregarding muscle discomfort as something that will eventually fix itself may not be the best idea!
VIDEO ABOVE: A Quick Way to Relieve Sore Muscles Stretching with an Exercise Ball
Make every effort to heal the muscles before getting back into your usual routine. Love your muscles. They serve you!
C. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
D. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
The enormity of the problem has prompted diverse programs involving over 70 national organizations engaged in Fall prevention, The Falls Free National Action Plan by the NCOA.
It is no surprise that initiatives have been in place focused on Fall Prevention in the elderly. Fall screens are being implemented to assess a patient’s risk for falls. Examples for these balance and fall risk assessments are the TUG (Timed Get Up and Go Test), The Berg Balance Test, The Tinetti Balance Assessment, Functional Reach, Dynamic Gait Index, and many more.
The John Hopkins medicine organization has come up with their assessment tool for the assessment and identification of fall risk patients in the acute setting.
This article, however, will discuss more prevention and will provide helpful exercise tips to improve balance. There are many exercise equipment and tools available for use in the physical therapy/rehab setting. Will be sharing more of them in the future. The focus of this article, however, is the Airex Foam Balance Pad. It is easily available in stores and Amazon. They come in different sizes, and lately, in different colors.
These are now available in different brand names available in the market. They are widespread in gyms, in gymnastics and dance schools, in elite sports performance facilities.
They come in different shapes nowadays: Square, rectangular, oval, and long/balance beam type shape. The square ones are the most popular. It is easily available in stores and Amazon. Lately, in different colors too.
Why Airex Foam? Airex is a specialty cross-linked polymer foam core. It contains millions of air bubbles trapped inside the material; This air is displaced once subjected to force or pressure or loading; Once the force shifts, however, it can return to its original form (Memory).
Unlike memory foam, the Airex foam is more rigid and condensed and can withstand constant use.
Many brands are currently in use at therapy clinics. Moreover, this is a personal assessment: Not all Airex Foams are created equal. They have gotten better over the years. However, some models are still easily worn out and torn.
Airex Foam balance pads have been an excellent adjunct to balance exercise I prescribe to patients I see. It has proved useful in different cases.
APPLICATIONS IN THE CLINICAL SETTING:
1. POST SURGICAL CONDITIONS – In our outpatient setting, we see patients as early as Day 1 Post-op: Knee Replacements, Hip Replacements, Arthroscopic procedures for meniscus tears, ACL tears. (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear)/PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament tears)
The Airex Foam in these stated conditions allows exercise that is less irritating and painful in recovering soft tissue and joints while still getting the benefit of the high amplitude of muscle contractions supporting or traversing these joints.
2. ARTHRITIC CONDITIONS – For patients plagued by joint pains, especially on the hips and knees, weight-bearing exercises or high-impact exercises can cause significant misery. These activities create too much friction inside a joint that is already inflamed, irritated, and structurally damaged.
Working on lower extremity strengthening using an Airex Foam Pad promotes tolerance to exercises in the standing posture. While weight-shifting and doing exercises on the foam, one can get significant muscle contractions.
The quality muscle contractions triggered is due to the instability that the Airex Foam provides challenging the user to always orient the trunk towards the center of gravity so as not to lose balance.
Since these exercise forms are usually maintained or sustained for a prolonged number of seconds ( 5 – 10 seconds often, and I let the patient count ), there is an increase in the recruitment of muscle fibers necessary for regaining strength, motor control, stability, and proprioception. Proprioception is described as one’s ability to perceive body parts positioning in space while performing specific tasks.
3. PARKINSON’S DISEASE PATIENTS – Parkinson’s patients have incoordination problems and movement disturbance. Tremors are typical in hands, the rigidity of the trunk, and shuffling gait.
Standing on an Airex Foam promotes protective righting reactions during exercises requiring weight shifting. Activities that let the patient do reaching tasks away from the midline also improves the trunk stability needed for fall prevention.
4. VERTIGO & DIZZINESS– Conflicting input to the vestibular pathways cause vertigo. Caused either by problems in the brain or the inner ear, it creates anxiety for fear of falling.
Falls are frequent in dizzy patients due to the diminished ability to regain control of the body during motions that occur with daily tasks. Vestibular exercises using the Airex Foam, in conjunction with Vestibular Rehabilitation in Physical Therapy, can improve the patient’s ability to compensate for balance deficits.
5. PATIENTS WITH WALKING DIFFICULTIES – Gait difficulty and gait abnormality are typical. Often seen in patients with musculoskeletal or neuromuscular conditions.
Those, as mentioned earlier, can be attributed to a generalized weakness or muscle imbalance in the left or right side of the body. A patient or user standing on an Airex Foam while doing balance exercises forces the antigravity muscles to activate.
These muscles are responsible for opposing the effects of gravity. Hence the name. These are the gastrocsoleus, the quadriceps, the gluteus maximus, and the muscles of the back.
6. POST STROKE PATIENTS – The residual deficits from a stroke are very evident. One-sided weakness or paralysis, asymmetry in the facial muscles, slurred speech, and gait abnormality. Often, many sufferers sustain unilateral neglect or inattention. A person is missing the seat or running into one side of the door as they do not perceive objects on the affected hand.
Using the Airex Foam to encourage weight-bearing on the affected side. With the support, of course, this activity improves proprioception. It forces the weak hemiplegic side to participate in the effort.
One might say the residual deficits are too involved, but personally and as to experience, the brain’s neuro-plasticity fascinating. Such is the brain’s ability to re-wire and re-route around the damaged areas of the brain. It also allows for the compensatory ability to restore function using other components not primarily wired for such original use.
Constant reinforcement and subjection to balance and movement challenges will force the brain to find a way to deal with such a problem. Restoration of movement and function can be re-established. Although not as distinct as the original motion, it allows the person to perform self-care and basic mobility tasks necessary for functional independence.
7. BACK PAIN AND SPINE PATHOLOGIES – Back pain sufferers have one thing in common: altered posture. Altered posture is due to compensatory movements adopted by the body to avoid pain triggers. However, as this becomes a habit, it also marks the commencement of the pain cycle.
Doing core exercises in different postures using an Airex Foam strengthens the core, providing destabilization due to its unstable surface. Muscle recruitment is enhanced due to the body’s compensatory reaction to maintain control and center of gravity during these exercises.
There are more conditions where the use of Airex Foam optimizes results and benefits. The Airex Foam is also being used by elite and high-performing athletes to bring about more strength, flexibility, agility, and power.
Consult with a physical therapist for therapeutic exercises using the Airex Foam that is appropriate for your specific condition or issues.
Learning how to walk better can make a difference for your health. It improves your posture and prevents aches and pains. It can also strengthen your legs, as you are using the right muscles. It also helps the joints function better during walking. There are many components that comprise walking.
BAD WALKING PATTERN IS VERY COMMON
Sitting at the mall, at a park we can watch people walk around browsing, shopping, and just strolling leisurely. One can’t help but notice that people have individual walking patterns. You would be surprised how many people are not aware of how to walk properly.
Some slouched, some straight-backed, some shuffle, and some use assistive devices such as a cane or walker. Gait deviations can be readily observed mostly in the older adult population.
Changes in the walking pattern can be the result of surgical procedures. This can include hip or knee replacements, fractures, or simple arthroscopic procedures. It is also common that pain from arthritis or degenerative joint diseases can cause compensatory movements that result in gait abnormality.
Neurological conditions such as a stroke causing paralysis or weakness on one side of the body can significantly alter one’s gait symmetry. Neuropathy from diabetes resulting in reduced or loss of sensation in the lower extremities can also impact gait. Nerve injuries to the leg can also cause conditions such as drop foot losing the foot’s ability to lift when the heel strikes the ground to walk. Impaired coordination, as in the case of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),Cerebral Palsyare just a few examples of movement altering conditions.
Walking seems to be an effortless and insignificant movement for us, bipedal beings. However, it is incredible to realize that we are superbly designed to meet the demands of this simplest mode of ambulation.
THE VARIOUS STAGES OR PHASES OF WALKING
Events occur every moment we walk. There are various stages of walking. These are:
1. Stance Phase – This is that period where the foot is rooted to the ground.
2. Swing Phase – This is that phase of the leg where it gets off the ground, swings forward, and passes the stance leg.
Walking seems to be an effortless and insignificant movement for us, bipedal beings. However, it is impressive to realize that we are superbly designed to meet the demands of this simplest mode of ambulation.
Swing Phase occurs once that same foot leaves the ground alternately for the other foot to be in a stance, and the swing leg ready to get back to the Heel Strike position again. This is the gait cycle, the process with which we bring our body to a specific direction at a certain speed.
Deviations from this typical walking pattern can cause abnormalities in a movement that, if left uncorrected, can result in pain syndromes from muscular imbalance and abnormal loading on specific joints. Problems could arise, including back pain, hip, knee pain, and foot pain. In the weaker older adults, it can cause severe falls from poor balance.
A considerable amount of information is available about the complexities of walking. In this topic, however, I just want to share tips on how to walk effectively with less energy expenditure by efficiently utilizing the muscles of the legs.
Also relevant is injury prevention by ensuring the proper body and joint alignment towards our center of gravity to avoid unnecessary loading and stress to these structures.
1. Heel-Toe Walking.
Try this exercise: In standing, consciously step forward with the heel first, making sure the knee is entirely straight, before lowering the forefoot in contact with the ground surface. Do so with the other foot. If unsteady on your feet, hold on to the kitchen counter or wall to steady yourself.
Doing this will make your quads muscles contract to stabilize the knee joint, while the anterior tibialis muscle (muscle on the front of the lower leg) pulls the foot up towards the shin. This pattern ensures stability and prevents knee buckling.
2. Reverse this pattern when walking backward. It then becomes Toe – Heel walking. That is, the toes touch the floor first upon stepping back, followed by the heel. This helps with effective weight transference and less up and down motion making the gait pattern smooth and level and less tiring.
Walking sideways in a Toe – Heel pattern with about shoulder-width distance between each foot helps with lateral stability. It activates muscles of the hips, the buttocks, and inner thighs, as well as the usual muscles of the legs during walking. You can hold on to again, a wall or counter, for stability if unstable on your feet.
(Image credited to Hep2Go.com, an exercise prescription program for Rehab Professionals)
OTHER HELPFUL EXERCISES THAT HELP WITH WALKING BETTER:
1. Heel and Toe Raise
– Holding onto a counter, table, or wall for support, go up on your toes (tiptoe) and hold this for 5 seconds. Holding this position for at least 5 seconds, ensure more muscle recruitment necessary for strength and stability. Repeat for about 10- 20 times as many times as able during the day.
In reverse, rock back on your heels, lifting the toes up, holding it again for 5 seconds, holding on for support to prevent falling backward. Again, repeat this about 10 – 20 times as able.
Stronger muscles on the legs provide ankle stability and rigidity that help with shock absorption as each foot hits the ground. This is important as the foot is subjected to the load of the bodyweight itself up to threefold as it is the first structure that hits the ground during bipedal ambulation.
2. Mini Squats / Wall Slides
A simple exercise that strengthens the legs, promotes the recruitment of all muscles necessary for bearing body weight and joint stabilization.
With your back against a wall, feet planted at about shoulder-width apart, bend knees slowly as tolerated, only halfway down for better tolerance. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and straighten up, go back to the initial position. Repeat this about 10 times or as able.
These simple tips are especially helpful for older adults who are weaker and unsteady on their feet. It is a good start towards improving the walking patterns, promoting ease of ambulation, and even fall prevention.
One can always consult with a doctor or a physical therapist for an evaluation and assessment of any gait or walking difficulties.
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