52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for each week of the year

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By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” (www.TheHealthyMotivator.com)

CAN DO TIP Week #21: Make Exercise Your Spiritual Coffee! (Part I)

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 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness”…Psalm 41:3 NIV

For many people, coffee is associated with 3 things: morning, ritual and energy!  Although the health benefits are debatable, there’s no doubt for many, drinking coffee every day is habitual. Why not develop a healthier morning ritual?

Listed below are two of my favorite strength building exercises from Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow® that I do upon waking in the morning before my feet hit the floor which helps condition my body. The affirmations I recite during the exercise I call “pillow quotes”, helps me condition my mind and spirit.

“Hip Flap”

Pillow Quote: “In every instance, despite resistance, I’ll go the distance for transcendence!”

Muscles targeted: hips, glutes, and core

Setup: Lie down on your left side, angle your body on the diagonal of the bed where your head is angled at the top corner of bed and your feet in the opposite corner at the bottom end of the bed. Prop your head up with your left hand but keep your right hand directly in front of you stabilized on the bed for balance and to prevent your upper body from shifting back and forth during the exercise.

  1. Bend your right knee to fold over your bottom left leg. Rest your knee on the bed. Anchor your big toe and second toe on top of your left ankle bone and keep them there.
  2. Lift your right knee up toward the ceiling as high as you can, then lower knee gently back to the bed. Continue to lift (flap) your knee up and down at a moderately fast pace for 8 repetitions. (Complete 2 – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each side).
  3. For a more intense workout, press your toes behind your calf and lift. 

“Temple” 

Pillow Quote: “Victory is simple when I first seek the temple!”

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, arms, upper back, and obliques

Setup: For this exercise you can either sit upright on the side of the bed, or kneel, whichever is most comfortable.

  1. Raise both of your hands up to the ceiling as high as you are able, palms facing out.
  2. Press the palms of your hands together above your head while keeping your arms as straight as possible.
  3. Lower your palms to the crown (top) of your head and raise them again, up and down for 8 repetitions. (Complete 2 – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions).

Important note: Relax and breathe abundantly throughout these exercises. Resist the temptation to hike your shoulders up during the lift in the “Temple” as this will cause unnecessary tension that could limit your range of motion. As always, speak with your doctor before engaging in any new exercise activity, particularly if you suffer from high blood pressure or joint pain.

Throughout this series, I’ll share more of my exercises and my personal story about how Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow® came to be.

Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” is a certified fitness expert, community health advocate, author and creator of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow®, a faith-based, therapeutic bed exercise system designed to benefit everyone, from the chronically ill and mobility challenged to the athlete. Email: Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com.

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