52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for Each Week of the Year

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By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator”

CAN DO TIP Week #32 Put Fitness on your Dessert Menu – Part 2 of 2

Let’s keep it real. If you happen to be African American and reading this article then you’re familiar with “the itis” a good natured slang term coined for the desire to sleep immediately after eating. You should also know of course this phenomena is not restricted to Black people; the technical term being postprandial somnolence and affects almost everyone regardless of color or gender. 

For years in order to avoid “the itis”, instead of relaxing on the sofa waiting for my digestive system to make the long 6-8 hour journey on its own, I helped it along by engaging in light calisthenics, stretching and breathing exercises. You know what? Not only did “the itis” fade, I gained more energy than I had before the start of the meal and trimmed my waistline in the process.

Let’s be clear: generally speaking it’s not a good idea to engage in high or even moderate intensity exercises too soon before or after eating as it can lead to problems such as nausea, stomach cramps, and of course, diminished exercise performance. However, light calisthenics and gentle stretching has been proven to lower triglyceride levels in the body and improve digestion according to health sources.

Bottom line, you don’t have to sprint like Usain Bolt or do cartwheels like the great Simone Biles to get your work out on!

This week, I feature the “Tri-Prone”, Step #10 of the Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow® therapeutic bed exercise system I created to help condition the body, mind and spirit within the convenience and privacy of one’s bed.  Tri-Prone strengthens the arms, back and core muscles including abs, glutes and hamstrings.

Pillow Quote: “I am prone to try and never give up”

Setup: Clear away any pillows or bulky bedding to give your arms room to stretch forward toward the headboard. Lie down on your stomach. Rest your chin lightly (barely touching) on the bed. Keep your head forward, and gaze down so as not to strain your neck. 

Step 1: Bring your arms down to both sides of your torso. Make a fist, palms facing up. 

Step 2: Contract (squeeze) both your abdominal muscles and your glutes simultaneously as you gently pump your arms up and down at a steady, moderate pace without resting them on the bed. 8-12 reps. Keep arms firm.

Step 3: Immediately slide your arms out to both sides, fists face down now. Gently pump arms in the same fashion. 8-12 reps. 

Step 4: Immediately slide arms forward toward the headboard, fists down. Gently pump arms. 8-12 Reps.

Repeat entire sequence should you desire.

Bed Notes: Remember to contract your abs and glutes simultaneously throughout the entire exercise, to stabilize your back. For less intensity, lower the number of repetitions and/or rest arms on the bed for 8 seconds in between each step.

Speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. 

Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” is a Community Health Advocate, Fitness Therapist, Artist, Author/Creator of “Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow: Easy Bed Exercises for the Body, Mind & Spirit. Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com  https://www.southbridgefitnesscenter.com/