By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” (www.TheHealthyMotivator.com)
CAN DO TIP Week #21: Keep ya’ head up as you keep it moving!
“Ooh-oo child, things are gonna get easier” – Five Stairsteps,1970
Over the past couple of decades scientists have increasingly correlated exercise with reductions in stress, anxiety and depression and boosts in mood, self-esteem and even brain power!
Below is my “Thank Heaven its only 7” minute workouts! Here’s how it works: (Round 1) Do each exercise for 60 seconds with 20 seconds of jumping jacks or running in place after each. Begin (Round 2). Do each exercise for 45 sec. with 15 seconds of jumping jacks. STRETCH AND REST, you’re done –for now! Repeat entire sequence 2 – 3 times per day.
Wall squats (“wall sits”)
Benefits: Wall squats are excellent for strengthening the upper thigh muscles and core (your body’s center of gravity). Instructions:
- Stand with your back against a wall, feet hip-distance apart.
- Place your feet at a comfortable distance away from the edge of the wall (about 1 – 2 feet).
- Extend your arms forward as you bend your knees to slide your back down the wall until your legs are at a right angle (90 degrees), upper thighs parallel to the floor. Contract (squeeze) your abdominal muscles in toward your lower back.
- Your knees should be in directly over your ankle joints. Careful that your knees do not extend over or behind your toes, which means you might have to adjust your foot distance away from or back toward the wall.
Want to strengthen your chest muscles, shoulders and arms without placing stress on your back? Try wall push-ups!
- Stand about 2 – 3 feet away from a bare wall. (Hint: the further you are away from the wall, the more intense this exercise).
- Place your hands firmly on the wall, about shoulder width apart.
- Raise up on the balls of both feet. If this is too intense, simply keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Tuck your hips forward as you contract (squeeze) your abdominal muscles in toward your lower back.
- Slowly lean in toward the wall, bending your elbows.
- Lift yourself away from the wall, straightening your arms back to their original position. (Note: Try not to arch your back or stick out your backside. Keep your body in a straight, firm line and your hands glued to the wall.
Kick-Butt Arm Press
I love this exercise not only because it works your hamstrings like nobody’s business but has full body cardio-strength components making it an ideal stress buster.
- Extend your arms out to both sides and bend your elbows so that your palms are facing out; make a fist.
- Slowly kick your left heel back toward your butt.
- As you place your left foot back down on the floor, press your arms closed so that your elbows and forearms are touching (or as close to touching as is possible for you).
- Now kick the right heel back toward your butt as you open your arms. Press your arms closed as you lower your right foot down. Keep alternating and speed up butt kicks as you press your arms open and closed.
Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” is a certified fitness expert, nutrition activist and creator of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow®, a faith-based, therapeutic fitness system for chronically ill and mobility challenged individuals. Email: Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com.