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An active lifestyle is beneficial for people of all ages and body types. It improves not only your physical health but also your mental and emotional health. That being said, aging comes with numerous changes and challenges for most people and incorporating a proper fitness routine may not seem enticing or even favourable. The best way to go about being active, then, is to practice daily an incredibly simple routine that consists of the most basic exercises that are helpful.
Here are 8 easy exercise ideas that are sure to keep your health in check without straining you out. If you are not used to exercising, start with doing 5 times per exercise, and gradually increase. Many of these can be done sitting down or even laying down.
1. Air Walking
This is an easy exercise that one can do whilst they remain seated. Start by stretching your legs out in front of you to hold them up in the air. If you are unable to do so, you can stretch them out on the floor or on a footstool. Then, pretend to walk in the air by flexing your feet from heel to toe, foot to foot. What this will do is trigger circulation in your legs, thereby preventing any potential blood clots in the legs. The best part about this exercise is that it can be practiced while working, watching TV, or even reading.
Scrunches can be done while being seated or even laying down. Simply make a fist with your hands and then spread your fingers out wide, going back to making a fist and spreading them out again. Do this several times. Apply the same for your toes and scrunch or curl the toes in and out. This will keep them strong, flexible and even improve balance.
3. Bicycling on Your Back
Again, this is an exercise that one can practice while laying down on the bed or the couch, although the floor offers the best back support for it. First, raise your legs in the air above you ensuring that they’re straight. It helps to make a fist using your hands and sliding them under your lower back or thighs for support. You may also place them under your head; it’s all about comfort really. Then, move your legs in the air as if you were bicycling. This is a really simple yet effective exercise to produce circulation and tone muscle.
4. Reach for the stars
This is an exercise that one can go about doing multiple times a day at random intervals. While sitting or standing, take a deep breath and stretch one arm up high above your head as if reaching a distant star. It will cause your body to slightly tilt and lift the weight off your opposite foot too. Then, go back to your resting position and do the same with the other arm. Doing this regularly, multiple times a day will help your body to stretch out ideally, keeping muscles flexible and preventing any sudden cramps.
5. Air Swimming
The next best thing to real swimming is possibly this— air swimming. As the title suggests, this exercise requires you to make swimming motions in the air using your arms. You can choose to stand for this exercise or sit on the edge of a chair. Incorporate deep breathing into this exercise, inhaling as you pull and exhaling as you push. This exercise is great for circulation in the arms.
6. Stair Stepping
For this exercise, you will need to be able to step up and down on a single stair. It’s advisable to hold on to a wall or banisters on either side of the stairs for a good grip and balance. Starting out with your left foot leading, go forward one step up, and then bring your right foot up. Repeat this several times. Then repeat the exercise with your right foot leading. Do a minimal amount of this exercise when beginning, eventually increasing the amount of stepping as you get more used to it.
7. Body Rotations
Body rotations incorporate the rotation of wrists, shoulders, neck, and hips.
For wrist rotations, simply rotate your hands in circles in the air clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do the same with your thumbs.
For shoulder rotations, make fists with your hands and then make circles by moving your shoulders. Push them up, forward, down, and back gently. You can choose to do both arms together or one at a time. Repeat several times and change the direction.
For neck rotations, sit with your body straight forward and spine straight. Using your neck, draw circles in the air, either in complete circles or semi-circles. Also move your neck up and down and side to side with extreme gentleness.
For hip rotations, place both your hands on the sides of your waist and rotate your hips in a slow, gentle motion; first clockwise and then anti-clockwise,
Lifting, again, is an exercise that can be randomly practiced multiple times in a day while going about various activities. Start by sitting in an upright position and taking a deep breath. Then stand up and lift yourself up on your toes, while slowly placing your heels and feet back flat on the floor after a few moments. Repeat least six times. You can also use a wall for balance as required. This exercise can also be done in a chair.
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