To exercise is to make up for the lack of physical activity in your life. To exercise is to care about the health of your body. To exercise is to be selfish for just a brief moment in the day. Yes, it is okay to selfishly carve out time in your life, put everything else on hold and just go for a run or a walk or go to the gym. These are the exercises you and I cannot live without.
Some may already be wondering why I did not list running as a favored form of aerobic exercise. Realistically, some people, me included, cannot run because of physical limitations. Riding on a stationary bike and spinning for an hour is much easier on an old frame of a body than pounding the pavement. Aerobic exercise is not only good for the heart but also good for the mind. The meditative qualities of this repetitive activity help to combat depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins are released while exercising and bathe the brain for the rest of the day. Aerobic activities can help you recover from whatever life throws your way.
- Reverse Push-Ups
Most people know what a push-up is and what it accomplishes. Do you know what a reverse push-up is and why you cannot live without it? Instead of pushing up your body weight against gravity, you also need to pull weight up to you against gravity as well. Similar to rowing, reverse push-ups exercise key shoulder girdle muscles called the rhomboids that help to support the shoulder blade during activities that require reaching which means just about everything you do that requires your hands. The rhomboids also keep the shoulder blades in the correct position instead of drifting too far apart. When that happens, the entire spine posture starts to fall apart.
- Dead-Bug Marching
Oh my, planking and dead bugs; what the heck?? If these don’t sound like typical exercises, you’ve probably been living without out them too. But maybe it is time to go beyond the sit-up in order to keep your abdominal wall strong. Sit-ups are old school exercises for keeping some abdominal muscles strong. Unfortunately, deeper layers of abdominal wall muscles are missed with just a simple sit-up. Planking is an exercise that can activate the entire wall especially if used with a wobble board to challenge your balance. Additionally, physical therapists know teach people “dead-bug” exercises that activate all the layers of your abdominal wall. During these exercises, you are lying on your back like a dead bug. If you want a stronger wall, you need to do more than just sit-ups.
- Single-leg Stance
At the beginning of this list is walking, but in order to walk you must be able to stand on one leg. Right? Right, walking is an activity that requires you to be on one leg at a time. Go ahead and try it. Feel a little wobbly? If you are, you need these three exercises. If you are not, you still need these exercises in order to maintain your ability to walk. These exercises keep the buttock, hip and leg muscles strong. A single-leg stance (standing on one leg) can be done in front of a mirror or in a pool for beginners. As your ability improves, advance to standing on one leg with foot planted on a pillow or better yet on a wobble board. Another exercise that will improve your hip strength and walking ability is bridging. Beginner level bridging is done on the floor before advancing to a Swiss Ball. Even the basic squat can be modified according to your fitness level. All of these exercises allow you to walk, lift, and balance better; therefore, prevent injuries too.
Living without any of these exercises puts you at risk for developing failing physical and mental health. So that is why is its okay selfishly push back the rest of the world while you take care of your body, your entire body with these exercises that you and I cannot live without.
Published On: July 15, 2014