How to Stay Active At Home When the Days Get Shorter

 

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During this time of year, days are getting progressively shorter and we may start to feel a little more pressed for time. Most of us already struggle finding time to stay active, which can take a toll on our overall health and the health of our spines. Staying active and mobile is important to keeping our spine healthy, and decreasing overall tension and stress which can also help prevent MSK conditions. As little as fifteen minutes to a half hour of activity a day can help prevent MSK conditions.

When you feel short on time as the daylight shortens, here are some ways you can stay active at home.

Fit-in-15!

This is one of our favourite ways to stay active. The Fit-in-15 program was developed by Canada’s Doctors of Chiropractic, recognizing the difficulty in scheduling physical activity in your daily routine. It allows you to quickly build a 15-minute workout plan to target muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Designed for simple, practical use, Fit-in-15 will help you stay motivated and active from home!

Schedule Your Workout

Sometimes even the perception of shorter days can leave us feeling anxious and stressed about missing out on activities you enjoy – like your workout. If you constantly feel like you are too pressed for time for physical activity, try scheduling it into your day as though it were a meeting you can’t miss. Use theStraighten Up Canada app and set reminders to complete your exercises.

Working out at Home

If you don’t feel like heading out into the cold or darkness to get your workout, try some resistance training at home  or follow along to a workout video. Introduce simple, scalable and easy to do activities to your day, such as push-ups, sit-ups and lunges1. These exercises are easy to do since they rely on your own body weight and do not require the use of equipment. You may also find a variety of workout videos on YouTube or popular fitness sites if you do not have the means to purchase a program at home.

Weekly Chores

Being indoors makes it easier for us to fall complacent to sedentary activities such as watching TV or using the computer. A great way to stay regularly active at home is to commit to a schedule of daily chores broken down in 15-30 minute segments. Instead of investing hours during the weekend, consider breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable routines that could also provide you the opportunity for daily exercise. These could include any chores or duties around the home like vacuuming, doing laundry, or mopping2. Committing to your chores on a consistent basis will keep you physically active even when the weather discourages us to venture outside.

Staying active can become a challenge as the days get shorter and the lack of exposure to daylight drains our energy. Yet, daily activity can be an important factor to re-energizing the body and the mind, while preventing MSK conditions.

For more tips on how to stay active at home during the fall and winter months, visit your local chiropractor.

1. https://d1tpfj3hind0fx.cloudfront.net/Media/Documents/Wellness/2015WinterHealthyLiving.pdf
2. https://www.fdl.wi.gov/cofuploads/Winter_Physical_Activity_Tips.pdf

3 BODY-CHANGING PLANKS

Make this move a total-body tool with Master Trainer Josh Stolz’s multi-planar routine.

Gone are the days when we used to force ourselves into a position and then hold it for an indefinite amount of time (one one-thousand, two one-thousand…), especially right before a workout. We now know that it’s better to ease your way into exercise with more dynamic movements, like the ones in this 3-plank core-strengthening series, which will help warm all of your muscles up safely in just a few minutes. “These are like planks on steroids. They have you working in three different directions, or planes of motion, so that you automatically get more muscle activation than you do with a normal plank,” says master trainer Josh Stolz, a Tier 4 coach in New York City. “Plus, adding in a resistance band helps activate your rotator cuff, lats, serratus anterior and pecs, making this a much more difficult upper body workout as well.”

These amped-up planks not only target your shoulders and work as entire abdominal exercises—internal/external obliques, rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis and back—but they also improve your posture and teach your body to move together more functionally, as you do in everyday life. “Your shoulder blades, hips and pelvis are working in synergy with each other throughout this workout routine. The key is to let your hips drive the movement and keep your spine aligned,” says Stolz. So you’re really getting a true full-body workout every time you hit the floor.

Perform two sets of these moves, in the order listed, as a pre-workout routine to your normal cardio and/or strength sessions. As you progress, work your way up to four sets, and then drop back down to two, but increase your total number of reps for each exercise by one.

(1) Sagittal Plane Plank

Wrap a super-light resistance band loop* around your wrists, and get into modified plank position (elbows under shoulders, legs extended behind you, toes tucked under, back flat), with palms facing up and thumbs out to sides. Drive hips up, toward the ceiling, so your head points downwards and hands move out to sides a couple of inches, forming an upside down V (Downward Dog) with your body, pressing back with heels. Lower hips and move hands back to start. Do 5 reps.

 

(2) Frontal Plane Plank

In modified plank position with resistance band looped around your wrists (palms up, thumbs out to sides), keep your head stationary and back flat as you drive hips from left to right, moving opposite hand a couple of inches out to the side with each push. Do 10 total reps (5 each side).

 

(3) Transverse Plane Plank

In modified plank position with resistance band looped around your wrists (palms up, thumbs out to sides) and feet about shoulder-width apart, rotate your shoulders and torso to the right, rolling from your toes onto the sides of your feet, in order to bring right hip down toward floor, moving right hand a couple of inches out to the side as you do. Immediately switch sides and repeat. Continue rotating from left to right for 10 total reps (5 each side).

*Start with the lightest resistance band possible. If you don’t have a loop, use a regular band: Grip band with hands about shoulder-width apart (there should be a little tension), thumbs out to sides. Beginners: Perform moves without the band until you become more comfortable, and then add it in.

 

For full article by Lindsey Emery please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2014/04/planks?emmcid=emm-newsletter&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=1109&emmcid=EMM-1109QWeekly1192015