Daily exercise combined with healthy habits can do a lot for your stress levels, immune system, and whole-body health. Some of my favorite exercise options are diminishing with the cold weather and pandemic limitations. Most of us have not been able to go to the gym or attend fitness and yoga classes. Indoor exercise is a good way to stay on track with your health and fitness goals through the winter. Long walks and hikes are few and far in the cold weather so I have put together an indoor workout routine to help get the body moving.
Keeping up with an exercise routine sounds simple however all the time indoors may have you feeling cramped up and frankly unmotivated. Exercising on days you are stuck inside can help your mental and physical health. A daily dose of CBD inconjunct with exercise may provide extra comfort to joints and muscles and harmonize the body and mind.
Maintaining a workout routine has many benefits on a cellular level and can lessen pain, tension, and stress built up in the body. As we age, our cells do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor, and number. Studies on exercise and cell metabolism suggest certain workouts for aging adults may undo what the years can do to our mitochondria. The National Institutes of Health, suggests that daily strengthening exercises reduce symptoms of chronic disease, depression, and pain while building muscle and improving mobility and body functions.
Here is a simple stretching routine you can practice at home for balance and mental health support. Turn on your favorite playlist and relax, taking your time with each stretch to get the most out of your routine:
1. On your mat, lay on your belly and stretch your legs back. Lift your chest up maintaining a connection between pubis and legs. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Position elbows to face inward towards your body. Lift yourself stretching as far as you can. Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor. Breathe into a slight backbend. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
2. Drop back down on the mat. Get on all fours make sure your knees are directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in line underneath you. Your back should be straight and eyes looking down at the floor. As you breathe in, lift your chest and buttocks toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward. Exhale, coming back to a flat back position on your hands and knees. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
3. Stand up straight and reach your arms directly out in front of your body, drop your head between your arms. Looking down slowly, bend over and place your hands right under your knees. Now straighten your back pushing your shoulders back slightly and breathing in stretching your legs, back and shoulders. Keep your eyes on the floor. Hold for 15- 20 seconds and then release dropping your arms and slowly pulling yourself back to a stand straight position.
4. Lie flat on your belly with your arms stretched in front of you and legs stretch behind you. Breathe in and push yourself off the ground from your pelvis extending your arms and legs out. Feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold for 15 seconds. Release and repeat 5 times.
5. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet pressed flat against the floor. Flatten your back against the floor, squeeze your butt muscle and slowly lift your hips into the air. When you lift your hips, push your weight into your feet like you are pushing your toes to the front of your shoes. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower slowly. Do this 10 or more times to open your hips and work your glutes.
6. Get on your hands and knees and glance down toward the floor with your back straight. Make sure your knees are below your hips and your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are in line. Round your spine pulling your belly in. Bring your back to a full arch. Let your head sink and relax. Inhale coming back to a flat back and repeat 10 times. Focus on your breath as you stretch.
7. Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Slide your left toes back along the ground until the leg is fully extended, then lift the leg so that it’s parallel to the ground. Now extend your right arm forward fully so that your fingertips point forward and your arm is parallel to the ground. Press into the floor with your left palm, and engage your core for stability. Release and switch sides. Repeat 5 times on each side.
8. Bend your right knee out in front of you at a 90-degree angle with your left knee bent and left toes pushing your left knee up off the ground into a lunge position. Straighten your back and extend your arms out to your sides for balance. Turn your upper body to the right completely and hold your balance for a few seconds. Relax and repeat 5 times.
At the end of your exercise routine, lay on your back and roll your body side to side. Breathe deep expanding your body stretching all your limbs out. Continue with any stretches that feel good for your body. These simple effective in-home stretches can help you get through the stagnation of winter, give you a mood boost and invigorate your natural energy.