How to incorporate More Exercise into your life To add more exercise to your daily routine, you will need to make a change in your lifestyle and the way that you think and act regarding exercise. Exercise should be fun and easy to do. You don’t need a membership at a fitness center, although that is a great way to get exposure to a wide variety of exercises and be protected from bad weather. However, a lot of exercises can be done at home (see below: 50 exercises you can do at home) or outdoors for free: walking around the block, walking your dog, hiking, biking, swimming, running, climbing up and down steps, and many others. To make this change in your lifestyle, you need to make exercise fun, rewarding, and easy to do. Visual imagery can be very helpful when you are trying to make a change in your normal habits (see Visual Imagery page). Even if you can only exercise for 10 minutes – DO IT! Just go outside and do it (inside if there is bad weather). That extra 10 minutes of exercise each day will make a positive difference in your life. Obviously the more you do the better, but start small and make it reasonable and easy to do. Exercising with others is a great way to connect with old friends and to make new friends with common interests and goals. Simple ideas to help you get More Exercise each day Collapse PLEASE NOTE: If you are not currently exercising on a regular basis, please check with your physician before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you have had a recent injury, have a physical impairment, recent surgery, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, or other medical disease. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker to measure how many steps you take on an average day. Depending on your job and current lifestyle, you may be taking 4,000 a day or as many as 12,000 a day. Whatever the number, try to add 500 additional steps to your daily average. After one to three weeks, add an additional 500 steps to your daily average. If you do not increase the number of calories you are consuming each day, then you will lose weight. Park far away from the front door of your work place, grocery store, shopping mall, or other final destination. Those extra steps each day really can make a difference. Parking will be much easier when you stop trying to park as close as possible everytime you go out. Use your lunch break to exercise: walk, bike, run or visit your local fitness center. Start a home exercise program: walking around the house or yard, walking up/down stairs repeatedly, lunges, squats, planks, repetitive arm movements, add resistive bands - JUST MOVE! Spend more time gardening or landscaping around your house. Walk every time you talk on your phone. Walk, jog or bike before or after work—even if it's just for 10 minutes. Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do yoga or Tai Chi at home, in a park or at a studio. Join the YMCA, local gym or fitness center. Group classes are a great way to get started and make new friends. Click here to download tips 50 Excercises You Can Do At Home Expand (adapted from SELF magazine: October 3, 2017 by Bari Lieberman, C.P.T. and Alexa Tucker) CAUTION: Always consult your physician or physical therapist prior to starting a new exercise program. 1 Squats Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out with your weight in your heels. Hinge your hips to sit your butt back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Drive through your heels to stand back up straight. Squeeze your butt and keep your core tight as you stand. 2 Reverse Lunges Start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of your foot and bending your knees to create two 90-degree angles. Push through your right heel to return to standing. Repeat on the other side. 3 Lateral Leg Raises Lie on your side, legs extended. Lift your top leg 45 degrees, then lower slowly. Do 5 lifts with your toe flexed, 5 with your toe pointed, and 5 with your toe pointed toward the ceiling. Repeat on the other side. 4 Marching Glute Bridge Lie faceup on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the mat into a bridge. Keeping your right knee bent, lift your right foot off the floor. Try to keep your hips still. Hold for five seconds. Slowly lower your right foot to the ground but keep your hips lifted. Lift your left foot off the ground to repeat on the other side. 5 Spider-Man Mountain Climbers Start in a high plank. Drive your right knee out and up toward your right tricep. As you do, turn your head to watch your knee meet your arm. Alternate sides as fast as you can while still maintaining a sturdy plank and keeping your torso in place. 6 Skater Hops Starting at the left of your space, squat slightly then jump to the right as far as you can. Land on your right foot and try not to touch your left foot down. Jump back across to land on your left foot. 7 Donkey Kicks Start on all fours. Pull your right knee toward your chest, keeping your foot flexed. Then, kick your right leg up behind you and toward the sky, then back down, keeping your knee bent and foot flexed. Repeat on the other side. 8 Standing Oblique Crunches Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands behind your head and elbows wide. Lift your left knee toward your left elbow while you bend your torso up and over to the left. Repeat on the other side. 9 Single-Leg Glute Bridges Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your left leg straight up above you, toes pointing at the ceiling. Your left knee should be directly over your left hip. Raise your hips and lower them back to the ground, keeping your leg in the air. Repeat on the other side. 10 Donkey Whips Start on all fours. Lift your right leg, extending it behind you. Swing your right leg to the right side and then back to center. Repeat on the other side. 11 Wide-Grip Push-Ups Start in a high plank position with your hands flat on the floor a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart, wrists under shoulders. Keeping your body in one long line, bend your arms and lower yourself as close to the floor as you can. Push back up to start. 12 Froggers Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body hinged slightly forward. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, then jump your straight legs back into a high plank. Jump your feet to the outsides of your hands and bring your hands toward your chest to return to the starting position. 13 High Knees Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Run in place, bringing your knees up toward your chest as high as possible while pumping your arms. Keep your chest lifted, core engaged, and land lightly on the balls of your feet. 14 Plank Jacks Start in high plank. Keeping your core engaged, jump your feet out and in (like jumping jacks). 15 Side Lunges Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step out to your right. Bend your knee and push your butt back to do a side lunge. Keep your chest lifted and core tight. Repeat on the other side. 16 Side Step Squats Stand tall with your feet together and hands on your hips. Step your right foot to the right, so your feet are just wider than shoulder-width apart. Drop your butt back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Straighten your knees and bring your foot back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. 17 Lateral Plank Walks Start in a high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and abs tight. Step your right foot and right hand to the right, immediately following with your left foot and left hand. Take a few "steps" in one direction, then walk in the opposite direction. 18 Forward to Reverse Lunges Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your left foot into a forward lunge, with both knees bent so that your knees so that the front thigh is parallel to the floor and the back knee is about two inches from the floor. Push off your front foot, hover your foot as you stand straight up, and immediately step back into a reverse lunge. Drive through your front foot to stand back up. 19 Push-Ups Start in a high plank position with your hands flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart, wrists under shoulders. Keeping your body in one long line, bend your arms and lower yourself as close to the floor as you can. Your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your torso. Push back up to start. 20 Jump Squats Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Sit your butt back and bend your knees to drop into a squat, keeping your chest upright. Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs. Land back on the floor with soft knees. 21 Forward Lunges Stand with your feet together. Take a big step forward with your right foot. Bend your right leg until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is just barely touching the floor. Push up through your back front heel to return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. 22 Plank Ups Start in a high plank. Bend one arm to bring the elbow and forearm to the floor. Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank. Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were. Repeat this pattern, alternating which side you lower first with each rep. 23 Squat Jacks Start standing with your feet together, hands at your chest. Jump your feet out and sit back into a small squat. Jump your feet back together to return to standing. 24 Burpees Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your sides. Bend your knees and reach forward to place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs straight out behind you and immediately lower your entire body down to the ground, bending at the elbows. Use your arms to quickly push your body back up and hop your legs back under your body. Jump straight up into the air, reaching your arms overhead. End with your knees slightly bent. 25 Single-Leg Reach and Jumps Stand with feet hip width apart, hands at your sides. Hinge at your hips and bend your knees to extend your left leg behind you (no higher than your hips) as you reach your left arm to ground about a foot ahead of where your left foot was. Drive your left knee up to return to an upright position, and hop on your right foot. Repeat on the other side. 26 Hip Bridges Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your heels a few inches away from your butt. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart. Lift your hips up, then lower them back to the ground. 27 Fire Hydrants Start on all fours. Lift your right leg to the side, keeping your knee bent, until your knee reaches hip height. Lower to start, hovering your knee above the ground. Repeat on the other side. 28 Power Lunges Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lunge back with your right foot, bending both knees 90 degrees. Straighten your left leg and jump into the air while driving your right knee up in front of your body. Immediately lower your right foot back into a lunge. Repeat on the other side. 29 One-Legged Balance Taps Stand with your feet together, arms straight at your sides. Slowly hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat as you lift your right leg out straight behind you and reach your right arm down toward the floor. At the bottom of the movement, your torso and right leg should be almost parallel to the floor. Keeping your core tight, stand up straight, keeping the right leg straight (and keeping the weight in your left foot). Repeat on the other side. 30 Trunk Rotations Start in a high plank with your core engaged. Bring your left knee underneath your body toward your right elbow by twisting your torso slightly. Repeat the movement alternating sides. 31 Single-Leg Kickbacks Start on all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Lift your left leg and flex your foot as you kick it back behind you and straighten your leg. Return to start. Repeat on the other side. 32 Bicycle Crunches Sit on floor with your knees bent, feet lifted, and your hands behind head. Keep your chest up and back straight as you lean back to engage your abs. Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, straightening your right leg. Alternate sides with control. 33 Plank Taps Start in a high plank with your feet hip-width apart. Tap each hand to the opposite shoulder while engaging your core to keep the hips as still as possible. 34 Side Kicks Stand next to a wall, far enough away so that you can bend your torso forward and press your palms against it, elbows bent. Place both hands on the wall. Lift your right leg off the ground, parallel to the floor. Bring your right knee in toward your right elbow. Then, flex your foot and kick the leg back out straight to the parallel position. Repeat on the other side. 35 Bear Planks Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists above your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Lift your knees just a few inches off the ground. Use your core to balance and keep your back flat. Slowly tap your hand to your opposite knee. Repeat, alternating sides. Keep your torso still and try not to twist your body. 36 Forearm Side Plank Twists Start in a forearm side plank on your left side with your left elbow on the floor below your shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. Rotate your torso toward the floor, bringing your right elbow to meet your left hand. Repeat on the other side. 37 Alternating Knee-To-Chests Lie on your back and extend one leg out a few inches off the ground. Hold the opposite knee into your chest. Switch legs, bringing your nose to the knee that is in toward your chest each time. Keep your lower back down, head lifted off the ground, and abs engaged. 38 Single-Leg Walkout to Push-Ups Start with your feet hip-width apart, hands at sides. Lift your left leg slightly off the ground. Bend at your hips to reach hands to floor and crawl out to a high plank, keeping your left leg hovering off the ground. With shoulders over wrists and abs engaged, do a push-up. Crawl your hands back to your feet and stand. Repeat on the other side. 39 Diamond Push-Ups Start in a high plank. Walk your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle. Bend your elbows to lower your chest and torso toward the floor and then push back up. 40 Plank With Trunk Rotations Start in a high plank with your feet hip-distance apart. Now rotate your entire body to the right into a side plank with your shoulder above your wrists. Extend your right arm to the ceiling and continue to drive your hips up. Return to center position, then repeat on the opposite side. 41 Bird Dog Crunches Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists above your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Inhale and extend your right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a flat back and keeping your hips in line with the floor. Squeeze your abs and exhale as you draw your right elbow to your left knee. Extend back out to start. 42 Down Dog Abs Start in down dog and lift your right leg into the air. This is your down dog split position (also known as three-legged down dog). Bring your right knee under your torso. Pause then extend your right leg back to down dog split. Now bring your right knee to meet your right elbow. Pause then extend your right leg back to down dog split. Finally, bring your right knee across your torso to meet your left elbow. Pause then extend right leg back to down dog split. Repeat the same sequence on the other side. 43 Side Plank Dips Start in a side plank, with your left foot stacked on top of your right and your body in a straight line. Drop your hips toward the floor and raise back to starting position (or a little higher, if you can). Repeat on the other side. 44 Mountain Climbers Start in a high plank and draw your right knee under your torso, keeping your toes off the ground. Return your right foot to the starting position. Switch legs and bring your left knee under your chest. Keep switching legs as if you're running in place. 45 Plank Hops Begin in a high plank with your feet together. Tighten your abs and jump your feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Jump your feet back to plank and repeat on the other side. 46 Side Plank Rotation With Kicks Start in a high plank with your shoulders over wrists, abs engaged, and glutes tight. Lift your left foot and kick it under your torso toward the right side of your body. At the same time, reach your right hand to touch your left foot, balancing on your left arm and right leg. Repeat on the other side. 47 V-Ups Lie faceup with your arms and legs extended and resting on the floor. Keep your abs tight and lift your hands and feet to meet over your torso, rolling your core as you sit up. Lower your arms and legs back to the floor. 48 Dead Bugs Lie on your back with your arms at shoulder level raised toward the ceiling. Bring your legs up into tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips). Slowly extend your right leg out straight, while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep both a few inches from the ground. Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and your right arm. 49 Sit-Ups To Twists Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, engage your core and do a full sit-up. At the top of the sit-up, bring your right elbow to your left knee and twist your body toward that side. Lower back down to start. Repeat this movement alternating sides each time. 50 Jumping Lunges Start in a lunge with your left leg forward, hands at your sides. Bend both knees to 90 degrees, keeping your abs tight and back straight. Swing arms to propel your body up, straightening your legs. Land back in a lunge and continue jumping. Repeat on the other side. Click Here to Download Exercises Fun ways to burn 500 calories Expand Aerobics class – intense (1 hr) Basketball – full court (1 hr) Beach volleyball (1 hr) Bike riding – moderate intensity (1 hr) Bowling (2 hrs) Circuit training (1 hr) Golf – walking (2 hrs) Ice skate (1 hr) Kayak (1 hr) Martial arts class (45 min) Racquetball (1 hr) Rock climbing – indoor (45 min) Run 6 mph - a ten minute mile (45 min) Run stairs (45 min) Snorkeling (1.5 hrs) Surf (1 hr) Swimming (1 hr) Tennis (1 hr) Walk 4 mph (1.5 hrs) Water aerobics (1.5 hrs) Waterskiing (1 hr) Weight lifting (1.5 hrs) Zumba (1 hr) Please note: You may find it easier to cut the times above in half (burn 250 calories) and combine with eating 250 less calories per day. The figures above are based on estimations for a 150-pound woman. These are rough estimations, as the exact number of calories that a person burns depends on their build, gender, muscle content, physical fitness level, and many other variables (adapted from Fitness Blender at www.FitnessBlender.com). Click here to download tips Exercises for seniors and beginners Expand PLEASE NOTE: If you are not currently exercising on a regular basis, please check with your physician before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you have had a recent injury, have a physical impairment, recent surgery, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, or other medical disease. Chair exercises: sitting in a chair lift your feet off the floor one-at-a-time, alternating up and down. Alternate raising your arms over your head. Stationary bike: start with light resistance for 5 minutes. As your endurance improves continue to increase your time on the bike. Walk around your house, yard or neighborhood. Start with 5 minutes several times a day and increase as your endurance improves. Walk in a swimming pool to take the load off your lower body. Do Tai Chi at home, in a park or at a studio. Do beginners yoga at home, in a park or at a studio. Join a water aerobics class. Spend more time with gardening or light landscaping around your house. Walk up/down stairs and steps around your home. Start with a few steps a couple of times a day and increase the steps as you get stronger. Join a Seniors or Arthritis exercise class at the YMCA or fitness center. Click here to download tips How to motivate yourself to More Exercise Expand PLEASE NOTE: If you are not currently exercising on a regular basis, please check with your physician before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you have had a recent injury, have a physical impairment, recent surgery, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, or other medical disease. Think of the immediate benefits of exercise: improved mood and joy, increase in quality sleep, more energy overall, more confidence. Think of the long-term benefits of exercise: better health, decreased risk of illness and disease, lose fat, gain strength and endurance, and increase your ability to enjoy hobbies, travel and sports. Make it a fun experience: listen to music, do it with friends, dance, join a class, learn a new sport. Change your perspective on who you are. You are an athlete, not a couch potato. Keep the image of an athlete in your mind as your new identity. Recognize exercise as a priority and schedule regular workout times during the week. Make exercise a non-negotiable habit, like brushing your teeth, and don’t allow yourself to make excuses. Meet a friend on a regular basis and hold each other accountable for showing up. Use a fitness tracker to monitor your progress and set realistic goals. The “I have no time” excuse doesn’t work here. All you need is 10 minutes to get a legit workout in on a truly busy day - simply increase the intensity. Click here to download tips Muscle and joint pain following exercise Expand Consult your physician or physical therapist if you are concerned about pain following a new exercise routine. It is normal to feel mild pain and discomfort after starting a new exercise program, however, you should consult with your physician if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheaded, significant pain, swelling, arm pain, leg pain or any other symptoms that concern you. Below are tips on how to manage mild post-exercise soreness and are not meant to replace the advice of your physician or physical therapist. Post-exercise muscle pain Moderate to severe pain, swelling or bruising: consult with your physician or physical therapist, use cold packs on the area for maximum of 15 minutes (avoid extremely cold packs as this can cause a frostbite injury to your skin), rest, don’t stretch the injured area. Mild pain, soreness or discomfort: rest followed by light and easy exercise of the affected muscle, heat and/or massage (to increase blood flow). Post-exercise joint pain Moderate to severe pain or swelling: consult with your physician or physical therapist, use cold packs on the area for maximum of 15 minutes (avoid extremely cold packs as this can cause a frostbite injury to your skin), rest, don’t stretch the injured area. Mild pain, soreness or discomfort: cold pack as needed for pain (maximum of 15 minutes - avoid extremely cold packs as this can cause a frostbite injury to your skin), rest and return to normal workouts when pain disappears. Nutrition for post-exercise pain A protein shake within 30 minutes following your workout is a good way to help your body recover faster and build muscle. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, you need to consume between 0.5 to 0.8 gms of protein per day per pound of body weight. Please note that your body cannot absorb more than 30 gms of protein in one meal. Glucosamine sulfate, along with chondroitin sulfate, has been shown to decrease pain and increase mobility in joints when taken daily for at least three months (please consult your physician if you have diabetes or are allergic to sulfur drugs). During the acute stage of an injury when swelling and inflammation are present, consider the following diet recommendations: Anti-inflammatory foods to CONSUME Ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin Fruits (bright colors best) Vegetables (dark colors best) Fish (ex: salmon, halibut, trout) Legumes (plants with pods) Seaweed (sea vegetables) Olive and canola oil Green tea Lean meats Low-fat dairy Inflammatory foods to AVOID Soda and sugary juices Trans fats High glycemic index carbohydrates (ex: white bread, white rice, sugar) Excessive alcohol Processed meats and foods Most desserts Animal fat Most cheeses Fried foods Milk Chocolate Click here to download tips Exercising when you have pain or an injury Expand Always consult your physician or physical therapist before exercising when you are in pain or have an injury. Once cleared by your healthcare practitioner, you will often find that you can exercise with minor pain or a minor injury by: Decreasing the frequency and intensity of your normal workouts. Walking/exercising in a pool when you have back or leg pain. Exercising your arms when you have leg pain. Exercising your legs when you have arm pain.