By: Rebekah Marcano
“No pain no gain” was a popular workout slogan in the 80’s. The idea was that to achieve results workouts have to be painful and you should feel the burn! Does working out have to be PAINFUL to achieve results? Absolutely not!
Trainers and physical therapists are moving in the direction of mindful movement over “hard core workouts” for increased energy, range of motion and improved posture! If we learn to listen to our bodies, move every day and incrementally progress-workouts can actually feel good and give you energy! Here are some daily movement tips that will give your body energy!
Stillness with Movement
First thing in the morning spend five minutes surveying the body from the ground up!
- Stand with the feet hip width apart. Slowly lift one heel up until only the toes are on the ground. Hold for two counts and lower heel back to ground. Switch feet and continue for 2 minutes.
- Next move up to the hips. Place hands on hips and move hips in circular motion to the right and then to the left for 1 minute.
- Place hands on shoulders and elbows close to the side of body. Keeping hands on shoulders lift elbows up towards ceiling and all the way round for 30 seconds and reverse direction for 30 seconds.
- Open the mouth as wide as possible and notice how the jaw feels, hold for 2 counts and slowly close mouth. Repeat ten times.
- Tuck chin into neck for two counts and slowly extend chin forward like a turtle for two counts. Repeat ten times.
- Bring right ear to shoulder hold for two counts and return to start point for 2 counts. Repeat five times and switch to left side.
- Clench fists in tight ball and hold for ten seconds. Slowly release for ten seconds spreading fingers apart. Repeat ten times.
- Repeat the stillness with movement exercise in the middle of the day and before bed!
Take mini breaks throughout the day and work on balance!
- Holding on to a chair or pressing hands into wall lift one leg up bent behind the body. Before letting go -be aware of how the foot feels. Make sure toes are spread and you are pressing through the inside and outside of foot as well as the heel.
- Be sure hips are even and that one hip is not dipping down.
- Be aware of posture keeping the spine as straight as possible.
- Focus eyes straight and forward on one spot. Stretch arms forward in front of you shoulder height.
- If you are ready, let go of the chair or wall and balance for up to one minute.
Breath Following the Body
Often times we hold our breath or force our breath. Taking time to listen to your breath will help our bodies move in a more fluid way throughout the day.
- In a seated position, take a moment and close your eyes and listen to your natural breath flow. When you can hear the rhythm of your inhalation and exhalation start to move your body with your breath. Your breath is in charge of your body and will dictate the speed. Think of the game Simon Says - your breath is in charge and says when to start and stop.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes. Keep your eyes closed and connect with the breath cycle.
- Stretch both arms overhead on the inhale and start to lower when your breath is exhaling. It doesn't matter how high your arms get just listen to your breath!
- Repeat the breath following the body exercise with lifting on leg at a time. Try the exercise moving the ribcage right and left and any other movement that you would like!
Take time every day to listen to your body, your breath and move with awareness and mindfulness! Your body will thank you!!
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Rebekah Marcano - Fitness
Rebekah Marcano, owner of Deﬁne Personal Fitness, studied dance at Columbia College Chicago. She has been a personal trainer in the Chicago area for 16 years teaching group workout classes and personal training at corporations including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Navteq ,Nokia.
Combining her dance, gymnastics and yoga background with her expertise in weight training focusing on form and alignment, Rebekah has designed a unique style of training all her own constantly evolving to ﬁt various clients needs and goals.