Karen’s life has become more and more hectic over the years. In another life, she found time for random physical activity that kept her in moderate shape (taking the stairs, walking to work, etc.). These days, however, kids are starting to leave the nest, and her knowledge of how to work out is sadly dated. Too many ads and social media influencers to count, and less time each day for a well-balanced program makes for the perfect storm of de-motivation. There is a quick workout for everyone, and we at Healthwell ask you to pause, imagine your best self, and start with your breathing. Let’s dive in.
Karen’s first task is jogging in place. She keeps her elbows at a 90° angle, and concentrates on leaving space between both feet and the ground on each step. Thirty seconds on, thirty seconds off, Karen’s body shock slowly wears off as it challenges her spirit. She smiles as she realizes her abilities.
Her second task is body planking. She lowers herself, chest to the ground and then raises her head and shoulders without putting weight in her hands (cobra pose). On an exhale she pushes back up into a plank with the back of her body as flat as possible. Her knees keep her grounded as she lowers and raises – until weeks later, when she doesn’t need them. This exercise that she repeats five times while breathing deeply gives her a nice stretch in the legs and core, which she’ll need for her last two exercises.
Her next task is step-ups. She finds a flat chair or surface in her house, about level with her knees. She steps up with both feet, then returns to the ground. Karen repeats these for 10 reps, then repeats for a second and third set, focusing on her posture and form.
Karen’s last task is body weight squats. Keeping her hands clasped in front of her to harness her energy and assist in balancing, she bends at the knees and lowers her glutes until her thighs are as close as she can get to parallel to the ground without lifting her heels. This must be done with a straight back, and supreme balance. It takes her a few tries, but slowly and surely, she performs her first squat. She completes nine more, then pauses, then repeats the ten squats a second time, then a third. Pushing her body through these exercises is key, and keeping her head straight ahead improves performance and confirms her hardworking spirit to the world around her.
Knowing that stretching after a workout will help her feel better later, Karen takes time for some stretches before jumping in the shower and continuing with her day.
Thirty three percent of adults are affected by musculoskeletal pain, and ignore the solution of regular physical exercise. Working out, even in small doses, decreases your likelihood of diabetes, arthritis and many other health issues. Karen’s workout left her sore and tired, but with a feeling of happiness for the physical achievement she hadn’t experienced in years.
Follow our posts in April to learn how to make your new workout into a habit.