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and think your way to better health.
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Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year
Just think about it... we need to move daily, constantly, to maintain our bodies functionality. And yes, we all get a bit miffed with it. Yet certain exercises can be part of our daily routine, just by adding a few repeats every time you perform a daily task will help get and keep your body in shape.
One of my personal health motivations is avoiding the need to one day be helped in and out of a chair or on/off the toilet. Squatting is a primal human movement (along with pushing, pulling, walking, bending, twisting, turning and lunging) that is the underpinning for all of our activities. As babies, we learn these movements and patterns in a set order so that our nervous system embeds the message pathways and we have stability as we grow and move. These patterns help us learn throughout our lives and it is important that we go through each one in turn. No cheating allowed (throw away those baby walkers and let our babies crawl before walking!).
As we move through life, injuries or inactivity may cause movements to decrease or the strength associated with the muscles needed to perform these tasks diminishes. It is therefore really important to get up and move our bodies on a regular basis. This means throughout each day, not just going out for a walk one a week or visiting the gym on occasion.
Starting with the squat, performing this simple exercise every day will help you maintain strength and improve balance, improve your daily performance (or sports performances) and prevent injuries, and can even help you with bodily waste disposal (we poop better in a squat position!). If you have problems with your mobility or balance I suggest doing this exercise holding on to a doorframe or the back of a chair for added balance to begin with. As your strength and function improves you can let go and eventually add some weight in while you do the exercise.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing forward.
Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (if you can't quite get that far yet it's your goal to get there eventually).
Straighten back up again and repeat 10-12 times.
Do this exercise in a slow and controlled way. It's not a race.
And remember, this 2 minute exercise routine can be done as you fold your clothes, empty the dishwasher, plant some flowers...