Keep It Simple Sweetie!

Keep It Simple Sweetie Fitness Routine

Keep It Simple Sweetie Fitness Routine

I once heard the saying, “Only in America do we get in our car and drive five miles to the gym to walk a mile on the treadmill.” That’s a funny example of how we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be! I used to see this happen a lot when I was a personal trainer at the health club. The new year would bring throngs of strangers to the club who puffed and panted everyday until they suddenly disappeared a month later.

Well, it’s now a month later in 2017 and I’m wondering how your fitness routine is going. If it has fizzled or has not yet even begun, may I suggest it’s time to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie!). And, I thought I’d help you by giving just one very effective exercise for the different aspects of fitness you may want to improve such as: strength, balance, flexibility and endurance. How’s that for keeping it simple, Sweetie?

No excuses!!! :-)

K. I. S. S. Fitness Routine

When it comes to cardiovascular fitness, walking is truly the simplest way to reap the benefits…after all, you already have your legs with you! Plus, I must say as a walker and a runner, walking is much easier on your feet & joints. The American Heart Association recommends a 30-minute brisk walk at least 5 days a week. Enjoy your walk and then choose one (or all, if your really gung ho!) of the following exercises.

Push Ups for Improving Strength

There’s a reason why they still do push ups in the military and it’s not for punishment! It’s because push ups are an efficient exercise that stimulates & strengthens the whole body (and like walking, there’s no equipment needed).

Modified Push-Up

  1. Kneel on all fours (hopefully on a padded floor), hands about shoulder-width apart, and your knees directly beneath your hips. Keep back straight and belly button pulling in toward spine and shoulder blades pulled flat down back.
  1. Walk your hands forward until you can drop your hips and form a straight line from your knees to the crown of your head. Remember, belly button stays pulled in toward spine (no slouching in the middle!).
  1. Keep body in a straight line by reaching through crown (chin slightly tucked), pulling shoulder blades down, keeping abs pulled in, pressing hips down, and tightening your glutes and the front of your thighs.
  1. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body as a unit, chest and chin moving down to nearly touch the floor. Then push back up into starting position.

When you think you’re ready for some more resistance, you can do a standard push-up.

Standard Push-Up

  1. Kneel on all fours (hopefully on a padded floor), hands about shoulder-width apart, and your knees directly beneath your hips. Keep back straight and belly button pulling in toward spine and shoulder blades pulled flat down back.
  1. Extend right leg back, keeping toes pressing into floor and then extend your left leg to come up in the plank position. Your weight is supported by the balls of your hands and feet. Be sure to keep belly button pulled in toward spine (no slouching in the middle!).
  1. Keep body in a straight line by reaching through crown (chin slightly tucked), pulling shoulder blades down, keeping abs pulled in, pressing hips down, and tightening your glutes and the front of your thighs.
  1. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body as a unit, chest and chin moving down to nearly touch the floor. Then push back up into starting position.

Tree Pose for Improving Balance

Of course, I’m partial to this balance exercise because of my Plant a Tree Pose Movement, but also because I can do it while brushing me teeth!

  1. Stand up straight with belly button pulled in toward spine, shoulders relaxed and ears over shoulders (reach through crown of head).
  1. Keeping hips facing forward and even, place the bottom of your right foot onto the side of your lower left leg (right knee will be pointing out to the side). Hold on to the counter or sink if you feel unsteady (the goal is to improve your balance so you don’t need to hold onto anything).
  1. Press weight evenly through the ball of your left foot and tighten your left buttocks, standing as straight as possible. If you want more of a challenge, slide your right foot higher up your left leg.
  1. Settle into pose and when ready bring hands to chest with palms together and fingertips pointing upward. Keep pressing weight evenly into ball and heel of foot as you root yourself to the ground.
  1. If you want more of a challenge, raise your arms (keeping palms pressed together) over your head. Be sure to keep your shoulder blades anchored down your back. Hold pose for several deep breaths, then switch legs and follow steps with your other side.

Standing Spine Stretch for Improving Flexibility

Keeping your spine long and aligned will help prevent the disc and nerve damage that can result from wear and tear or just the passing of time. The following stretch targets your vertebral column and the deep spinal muscles that attach to it. You will also feel a stretch in your lower limbs as they help stabilize you through the movements.

  1. Stand up straight with legs hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and even weight pressing through balls and heels of your feet. Your toes are gently gripping the floor.
  1. Your belly button is pulled in and you are reaching your spine long through the crown of your head. Chin is gently tucked into your neck. Shoulders are pulled down and away from each other. Go ahead and place your hands on the fronts of your thighs.
  1. Squeeze your buns together—this should tuck your tailbone beneath you and help you keep your belly button pulled in. I want you to imagine that your tailbone actually has a tail attached to it and this tail is tied straight down in the ground. It should stay pointing straight down for the whole exercise.
  1. Okay, take a breath and slowly exhale, as you slide your hands down your legs. You’re tucking your chin and head toward your chest as you lengthen and round your back forward, one vertebra at a time. Be sure to keep your tail pointing straight down—this means your hip bones do not move. Now, your body should be forming an upside down ‘J’.
  1. Take another breath and slowly start sliding back up as you exhale, pulling your belly button toward your spine. Stack that spine back up one vertebra at a time from your hips to your shoulders. Keep your tailbone down and your weight pressing evenly into the floor. Go ahead and stand up straight reaching through the crown of your head.

Wall Sit for Improving Endurance

It won’t take long for you to feel your thighs get warm when you do this exercise. It’s a great one to keep your legs conditioned for squatting over public toilets.

  1. Start by standing one and a half to two feet from the wall with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing straight ahead.
  1. Lower yourself into a sitting position, with your back, knees, and feet forming the angle you are capable of holding (30, 45, or 90 degrees), as if you are sitting on an invisible chair.
  1. Stay in this position as long as possible without shifting your weight or moving your feet. Return to standing after 30-90 seconds.
About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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