Easy Exercises You Should Be Doing
Major chronic illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are the cause of 65% of all deaths in Canada. Never mind Canada, that number remains the same globally.
Exercise not only keeps your bones healthy and strong but also decreases your chances of developing chronic illnesses. Yet, despite this, plenty of people struggle with adopting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Whether you’re battling because you don’t know where to start or are struggling with pain, we’re here to help. Keep reading for some real advice on how to have a healthy body and actually keep it going, long term.
When we move, we strengthen our muscles, which improves our overall balance, stability, and coordination. There are a few fundamental patterns of movement that the human body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. They’re simple:
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- Hip hinges
- Pushing and pulling movements
- Loaded carrying
Everyone should attempt to master and implement these into their daily routines.
How do we even move?
When you walk, jump, or run, you’re not actively thinking about what you’re doing. The brain and the body work in conjunction to accomplish these coordinated actions.
This happens through a process of subconscious communication, where your brain is telling your muscles what to do. Every aspect of this means we need to be strong on a mental and physical front. It should be as natural as breathing, which is just as subconscious an effort. So where did we go wrong?
When did the trouble start?
As a society, we used to be much more mobile. If we didn’t have active, hands-on jobs, we’d be walking everywhere and spending significantly less time behind a screen.
That’s not the case for the modern world, and it isn’t our fault. It’s the way things have evolved. These days, most people spend their days seated at a desk, on a couch, or in the car.
How to fix it?
We can combat a sedentary lifestyle with a little intentional effort and a daily exercise routine. Sometimes, in order to get to that point, we need a little external help, whether it’s a personal trainer, a workout buddy, or a medical professional.
How can a chiropractor help?
If you’re dealing with body aches and pains you may need to first address the root cause of this. A chiropractor is a great option, as they treat the whole musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors work with a range of medical issues, from neck pain and headaches to overall spinal mobility and joint issues. Seeing a chiropractor before you embark on a new fitness regime is always advised, especially if you experience pain when you exercise.
Which exercises are simple and good for me?
We want to focus on movements for health that promote stability and mobility, which means we need to look at different types of exercises for core strength. We’ve got two great options for simple movements to get you started.
The dead bug
The dead bug exercise may sound a little strange, but it’s actually a great exercise for building core strength and promoting stability.
The steps are simple:
- Lie on an exercise mat with your arms straight above your chest so they are perpendicular to your torso. Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle, lifting your feet off the ground.
- Engage your core, ensuring you are maintaining contact between your lower back and the mat.
- Keep your right arm and left leg as is, then slowly reach your left arm back as you extend your right knee and hip forward. Stop just before your arm and leg touch the ground.
- Reverse the motion and return to your starting position, then swap your arms and legs. Repeat on either side, staying as steady as possible.
When you’ve finished a full set, make sure you return to your starting position, then simply place your feet on the ground and sit up.
The bird-dog is a bodyweight exercise that strengthens the abs, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. You can easily incorporate it into any core and strength training routine.
To start, you’ll need to find a spot where you can fully extend an arm and leg.
- First, kneel with your knees hip-width apart and plant your hands firmly on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath and engage your core.
- Extend your right arm out in front of you and move the opposite leg out to match. You want to form a straight line from your fingers to your toes.
- Hold for a few seconds before returning to your hands and knees. Keep your abs engaged throughout the whole exercise as you swap arms and legs.
With the bird dog, you want to minimize any major swaying motions and ensure your legs and arms remain straight and tight.
How to take care of your body
Being physically healthy improves every aspect of your life, from your health to your relationships. Luckily, there are some simple things we can do to take care of ourselves and our bodies.
A balanced diet involves making sure you’re consuming the right amount of calories, proteins, minerals, and vitamins to maintain healthy bodily function. Healthy eating is about more than weight loss, and a balanced diet implies it is something you can maintain long term.
Get enough sleep
We know not getting enough sleep can make us irritable and less focused, but did you know that not getting enough sleep also has serious effects on your physical health?
Poor sleep puts you at risk for major medical problems such as obesity, coronary heart disease, and diabetes – and it has the potential to even shorten your life expectancy.
Find a fitness routine that works for you
When we want to make a healthy change but don’t know where to start, we often look at what other people are doing and assume that if it worked for them, it will work for us as well.
However, what works for one person may not work for you, and if you’re struggling, ask yourself two questions:
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- Do I enjoy this?
- Does it make my body feel good?
If the answer is yes to both, then it’s an exercise regime you can maintain long-term. Why? Because you like doing it. There’s nothing else to it.
Own your emotions
When you’re stressed, anxious, or unhappy, your body sends you signals that something isn’t quite right.
Stress can induce high blood pressure and ulcers. Anxiety impacts our nervous systems, and anger has been associated with insomnia, digestive problems, and even heart attacks and strokes.
The bottom line is, feel your emotions but work through them and own them. Letting your emotions run rampant is only going to impede your health.
Working with Elysian Wellness Centre for Better Health
We know how difficult it can be when you don’t know how to have a healthy body. It’s intimidating when you start your journey to better health. We’re all human and we’re all different. Our therapists know this and are here for you.
Contact us today and let us help you become the best version of yourself that you can be.
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