Daily exercise routines

How do some people get in shape and stay in shape? I was just talking with a friend who is a lifeguard.  At nearly 60 years old, he can’t take for granted that he’ll be super strong when he has to save someone from drowning in big waves.  He has a weekly routine: 1) Run in soft sand 2 miles on the first day of the weekly routine. On day 3 he swims a couple of miles (you can start with 5 laps in a pool).  Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do.  Then on day 5 he might ride a bike 10 miles.  He also works out with weights weekly.  This doesn’t mean you have to workout every day.  The secret is in the routine, and it doesn’t really matter whether you can swim just a few laps at first or only ride your bike a couple of miles.  What matters most is that you get into the routine and stick with it.  If you start tomorrow, and challenge yourself a little bit each time, you’ll be surprised what you’ll be able to do after a few months of regular exercise.

Also, you don’t need to live near a pool or belong to a gym. Certainly it helps, getting a trainer helps, but you can do a good workout in your living room.  Its the motivation, discipline, and routine that makes it work for you.  In your living room you can stretch out, maybe do a little yoga, then do pushups – as many as you can, rest 3 minutes then do another set.  Sit-ups, jumping jacks, deep knee bends, marching in place, standing up on your tippy toes and down, up and down until you really feel it in your calves. Take a brisk walk. If you get too tired, try a little bit more then stop, rest a day, then get back to it. 

Modern occupations have us sitting at a desk all day, hunched over our computer keyboards and such. You have to take a break and get some exercise !!  Once an hour is recommended if you can. A good friend of mine walks every day, sometimes twice a day.  And when we go climb a local mountain, guess who gets to the top first…?  She does and she isn’t a jogger.  She walks and rides her bike every day.  If you can’t walk, figure out what you can do and make a schedule, right now:

Day 1:  Tomorrow for 20 minutes I will __________________ at __(time) AM / PM

Now set your alarm or calendar / smart phone alert and hit ‘Repeat Weekly’ forever.

Day 3:  Starting at ___________________AM / PM I will _________________ for 30 minutes.

Day 5:  Starting at ___________________AM / PM I will _________________ for 30 minutes.

Get into a routine and then, when you feel better and stronger, you’ll get used to it and you’ll have a great habit thats really good for you.  You’ve got to get  your blood moving through your veins for optimum health.  It cleans your system, helps you think better and gets everything in your body moving and working better. 

When you grow older (past 40, 50, 60 ?) you have two choices and unfortunately most people end up with the second one. 

1. You can get into a regular exercise routine, stay energized, healthy, strong, enjoy sports, travel, hiking and feel younger, or… 

2. Like too many others, you can get lazy and slowly watch your body fall apart – hunching over more, slowing down, eventually using a cane, feeling weaker and on and on until you can barely walk.

Important exercises:

1. Stretch your legs and back.  This can be as simple as bending over and touching your toes. There was a time when I could not touch my toes!  I thought: “Oh boy. I must be getting old!”. The I simply started to stretch my leg muscles the best I could and started doing yoga. Little by little my muscles loosened up and a year later I could touch the floor. Now I can curl my fingers under my toes. It took some time, but that is the power of a weekly stretch and exercise routine.  Its sooooo important!  You have to make it a priority in your life.

2.  Deep knee bends for strong legs and knees (if you are physically able) A Tai Chi master once told me that you will never need a cane no matter how old you are if you do Tai Chi everyday.  In Tai Chi they do leg exercises.  Deep knee bends are great for building strength for walking and keeping your balance.  Stand up straight, then hold your arms out in front of you at a 45 degree angle from your body.  Squat down slowly as far as its comfortable, then stand up.  Repeat until tired.  These are great.. and you can do them anywhere… for a short break from your desk.

3.  Neck rolls – keeps arthritis at bay and keeps your neck flexible.

4.  Arm and shoulder exercises to strengthen the shoulder and upper arm muscles.

5.  Sit-ups and abdomen exercises if you are able.

6.  Plank – great for strengthening the lower back.

Here’s a great 10 minute good morning workout video you can follow any time of the day:  

10 minute Tai Chi:

Some people use their smart-phone apps or Apple watch or Fitbit to track their daily exercise… a great tool and reminder – that its important each day to get out and move around.