Maybe it’s New Year’s Day or the first day of spring. Perhaps it’s your birthday or maybe, just maybe, you’re tired of feeling, well, tired. You want to get moving, but the question is where to begin? Sure, you could hop aboard any trendy exercise routine out there. Or you could keep it simple, at your own pace – and best of all – do it right at home.
Have you noticed workout videos seem to always feature the fittest (and youngest!) hosts guiding the routine? Those watching at home may feel discouraged due to some personal reasons or limitations— or some may think exercise just isn’t in the cards for them. Don’t let those overly enthusiastic instructors make you lose hope. You can still stay within your abilities with simple modifications and perform easy moves to get your heart pumping. If one move doesn’t work for you, give the next one a shot. You’ve heard the saying work with what you have, well, that goes for exercise, too. The key is to use a smaller range of motion and keep at it. Continue doing what you love with the help of a complete joint support routine.* With Osteo Bi-Flex® Triple Strength, you can begin feeling the difference in 7 days, drug-free — just two tablets a day can deliver long-term joint support and improved joint comfort.*◊
We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to stretch before exercising to avoid injury, but that routine can be taken a step further. Simple static stretches — stretching and holding for a breath — certainly help with joint and muscle flexibility, but to incorporate a little movement while you stretch helps your body also warm up. This is called dynamic stretching, and it’s a great way to integrate movement to get your heart pumping. Increasing your heart rate gets blood flowing through your body bringing nutrients to your organs and, you guessed it, your joints. Those joints love the synovial fluid that exercise and movement brings. When you move your body, that fluid helps the joints move past your bones with greater ease. Dynamic stretching, plus cardio and some lightweight training will help improve not only your mobility and flexibility, but your overall health, too!
Daily Workout Plan At Home
Supporting and maintaining joint health throughout our lives is key to staying active and mobile as we age. But age ain’t nothing but a number, friends, so let’s get off the couch and tap into our energy. We were Made to Move, but first, you know the drill: Consult your doctor before starting a new routine.
Remember: Do what you can. If any of these moves feel like too much, try starting with fewer repetitions and work your way up as you gain your strength. The goal here is to move at your own pace.
Day 1: Light Resistance Training
Resistance training forces your muscles to contract helping them to increase in strength and endurance. Typically, lightweight barbells are a great tool to perform these moves, but you can substitute with weighty items around the house such as bottles of water, a container of laundry detergent, bricks or even a heavy book. Give your place a quick scan and see if there’s any object that can be used as a weight.
For day one, start with these three moves using a lightweight dumbbell, or as mentioned above, a heavy household object. Weight training is a great way to begin: Strengthening your muscles supports your joints.
10 Bicep Curls
Holding a lightweight dumbbell in your hand, place your arm straight against your side with your palm facing forward. Keep your elbow close to your body as you slowly bringing the dumbbell toward your chest bending at the elbow. Then, slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. To avoid injury, never lock your elbows when they are in the starting position.
Repeat 10 times and switch arms.
10 Shoulder Raises
Stand up straight with a light barbell in each hand. If you only have one, that’s fine, you can simply work out one arm at a time. Rest your arms flat against your body with your knuckles facing out to the side. Then, keeping your arms straight, but not locked, slowly raise them until they are in line with your shoulders. Lower them back down and repeat as though you are flapping your wings. This should be a slow and controlled motion.
Repeat 10 times.
10 Chair Stands
Sit down in a normal height chair such as dining room or office chair — a couch or recliner is too low. Then, slowly stand up and then sit back down in a controlled motion. Hone in on your leg muscles to do all the work here. If you need your arms for a slight push or a little extra balance, go for it, but the goal is to work the muscles in your thighs, rear and calf muscle.
Repeat 10 times.
Day 2: Rocky Training
Climbing stairs is a great way to incorporate cardio while working your legs, hips, rear and abs all by using the natural resistance of your body weight. If you have a basement, second story or stairs in your apartment or condo building, great! If not, try using a low sturdy stool to step up on. Attempt to climb the stairs up and down for 10 – 15 minutes. Taking slow controlled steps while tucking in your stomach and using your hamstrings to do the work will help tone those parts of the body that may not get enough attention.
Don’t feel disheartened if you need a break — we all need to start somewhere. Keep at it and you’ll work up to your goal in no time.
Day 3: Yoga Poses and Stretches
In the world of yoga, the expression “no pain, no gain” does not apply. Yoga is meant to incorporate calm movements, creating space and quiet in the mind and stretching the body to bring ease. Some poses can feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s important to try breathing through that discomfort to open your body to greater flexibility. But, please, be mindful and know what works for you and what doesn’t. Only you know what feels like a good healthy stretch, so tailor your movements to your abilities.
Today, spend 30 minutes doing several rounds of the Sun Salutation yoga sequence. Get comfy with your mat, a towel or blanket and remember to smile as you breathe, you’re doing an amazing job here.
Begin standing tall on your mat with your feet together and your palms pressed together at the heart. Breathe and try to quiet your mind.
Next, the Mountain Pose. Standing with your feet slightly apart, arms to your side palms facing out in front of you, fingers spread wide. Open your shoulders by releasing them back. You will feel a gentle stretch in your chest and upper back here.
Then, inhale deeply and open your arms wide sweeping them back bringing your palms together directly over your head. Drop your head gently back and focus on your hands. Breathe again.
Exhale and fold forward bending at the waist. Reach and press your hands into the floor or hold your calves if you need. Take several deep breaths here. (If this move creates too much pressure on your lower back or hamstrings, bend the knees or hold a position that feels comfortable for you.) Relax your neck and let your head hang from your upper spine. You should feel a release of tension here.
Next, the Tabletop. Slowly lift your torso with your arms straightened pressing the floor or your shins for support. Lengthen your spine to create the effect of a tabletop with your body. And yep, breathe.
If you’re confident in your balance proceed with the next pose, otherwise continue pressing your palms into the floor. Okay, let’s try this: Exhale and step your right foot back into a lunge pose. Steady yourself and hold this pose while reaching your hands straight up toward the sky, arms by your ears. Lengthen your torso as you reach and breath. Lower into the lunge until your left thigh is about parallel with the floor. Look straight ahead and smile, you’re half-way through the sequence.
Move onto the Plank pose by leaning your torso forward, and lowering both hands onto the floor in front of you. Then, step your left foot back to meet your right foot. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Hold in place as though you’re about to do a push-up. This works the arms and more importantly, your core. Stay here for a few breaths, or move onto the next pose if you need a break. If this causes too much exertion, modify it to make it work for you. Not unlike a modified push-up, you can rest your knees on the floor for extra support. Feel free to place a rolled-up towel under your knees for cushioning.
Next, the Cobra Pose. Slowly bend your elbows lowering your entire body to the floor. Keep your fingertips spread wide and hands firmly pressed into the floor as you slowly lift your chest up arching your lower back like a cobra. Breathe and feel the gentle stretch in your back.
Now, Downward Facing Dog. You may have heard of this pose; it lengthens the calf muscles with a gentle stretch while strengthening your arms and shoulders. To do it, exhale and push your hips and body up and back creating an inverted V shape with your body. You’re doing great.
Almost there! Keeping your hands on the floor, try to step your right foot forward planting it between your hands or slightly behind them. Then, bring your left foot forward in the same fluid movement until you are back at the forward bend position.
And last, ever so slowly, curl your body back to a standing position. Envision each vertebrae stacking on top of the next straightening out your body. Breathe deeply as you do this.
Simple deep breathing improves the expansion of the chest helping to improve posture as your body takes in air. Excellent practice here, friends. We think you’ll appreciate tomorrow’s plan.
Day 4: Rest
Believe it or not, taking a break actually helps your muscles grow stronger. Exercise and lifting weights creates tiny tears in the muscle. Not to worry, this is natural. It sounds counterproductive, but a rest day allows those microscopic tears to heal and grow stronger. Enjoy today and be proud of the work you’ve put forth so far.
Day 5: Cleaning Dance Party
Incorporating movement doesn’t need to always be about counting your reps and lugging around a barbell or old textbook to build muscle. Consider the cleaning dance party a creative way to get your exercise in. Today, flip on your favorite upbeat tunes and spend 30 minutes dancing and tidying up your home. Scrub that kitchen floor to the beat, use your broom as a dance partner, unleash your inner ballerina and dust every nook and cranny while twirling around — whatever you do, know you’re working double duty freshening up your space and burning calories, too. You were Made to Move, why not make it a little fun?
Day 6: Dynamic Stretches
As we mentioned above, dynamic stretches bring warmth to your muscles while stretching them simultaneously.
First try Arm Swings. It’s just as it sounds: Stand with your arms out parallel to the floor. Walk while swinging your arms in unison to the right and then to the left. Keep your head and torso straight and move only the shoulders.
Next, Heel-to-Toe Rolls. Your feet can use a little TLC, too. With your feet hip-width apart, step forward with your right foot placing your right heel onto the ground and rolling forward until you’re almost on your tiptoe. Lower and do the same for the left foot.
Now, High Steps. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with the right foot and raise your left knee toward your chest. Then grasp your knee with both hands. Lower it and raise the right knee in the same motion. For balance, you can modify this move and use one arm to hug the knee while using a wall or countertop for stability.
Day 7: Rest
And on the seventh day, take a break from it all and congratulate yourself for all the hard work. If you want to throw in one extra move, try laugh yoga. Truly! Laughing burns calories and releases endorphins, the hormone that produces a feeling of euphoria. Call a good friend and have a laugh. Great job, friends.