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RECREATION AND EXERCISE

Means being active, which is generally good for overall body strength, flexibility and movement, provided it is undertaken regularly.

 

As records show a dismal drop-off rate for most people in whatever recreation they have chosen over time.

And remember, whatever you choose to undertake to do, it is not only good for the body - but wonderful for your mind and great for your spirit!.

 

2 Rules for you

1  Get active.

2  Just do it!

12 EASY TO DO BODYWEIGHT BEARING EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN AND BRING THE BACK AND FRONT MUSCLES OF THE TORSO INTO ALIGNMENT FOR A MORE RELAXED AND FULLY FUNCTIONING POSTURE

 

A simple 20 minute non-aerobic exercise routine to be done 2-3 times a week to strengthen and tone your muscles. 

The idea here is to get started and to set a target for yourself for improvement week by week, by raising repetitions to a level of discomfort or even failure, and doing so again when that level becomes comfortable.

If you are starting from scratch, your muscles will ache a little the following day – but the good thing is, the next time you exercise, your muscles will ache less and in a few weeks should not ache at all, as you reach your threshold. 

Intersperse this routine by doing a joint stretching or flexibility routine on the following day.

NB These exercises are designed for the general maintenance of the muscular physiology and postural alignment. 

If you are under the supervision of your doctor or health care adviser, please consult with them, prior to undertaking this routine.

Relaxation exercise

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms at 45º or 90º to the shoulders and relax with lower abdominal conscious breathing, tuck the chin in gently - just close your eyes and relax, maintaining a slow breathing rhythm. A good guide would be to inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 5  seconds. 

Your levels of oxygen will rise which will induce deeper muscular relaxation - and you will feel calmer as your levels of serotonin - the daytime calming hormone also rise.

 

3 minutes should be enough.

 

Extending the Psoas muscle

The Psoas muscle is a reflex muscle - 16 inches long - and extends from the lower lumbar to the top of the femur - it directly links the ribcage and trunk to both legs. Whilst still lying on your back, with you head resting on the floor, with your legs out straight, raise and bend your right leg and with both hands clasped around your right knee, slowlypull the knee towards your chest and hold for 30 secs. Repeat with the left leg.

5 reps each leg.

 

You will feel the whole of your lower back flattening out while you do this - its a nice feeling.

 

Abdominals 1

 

Still lying on your back, lift both legs so that they are at right angles to your body. Staying in that position, with legs remaining reasonably straight, try and touch your knees, and progressivley your shins, ankles or toes as many times as you can. 

Breathe in, hold your breath, touch, lie back and breathe out. 

Repeat to level of discomfort  - or to failure - and then relax.

 

Your back needs to have a strong set of muscles in your abdominal area - this is a good one to do.

 

Leg Raising

Sit on the floor in an upright position, with your legs straight out in front of you - leaning back slightly and resting on your hands. Keeping the leg straight pull the toe of the left leg towards you until the foot is facing upwards, tense the knee and thighs and then raise the leg 6" off the floor and hold for 10 secs. 

 

Repeat with the right leg.

Work up from 5- 10-20 times each leg

 

Benefits the muscles of your thighs - strengthens the ligaments of your knees and of course, your lower abdominals too.

 

Pelvic lift

 

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms down by your sides, tighten the pelvic floor muscle first and then raise your pelvis off the floor as high as you can and hold for 10 seconds - revert to lying position and relax the pelvic floor muscles - repeat up to10 - 20 times - 

 

Really good for tight arse (the buttocks )

and a six pack (the abdominals).

 

 

Abdominals 2 

 

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent. Now raise the legs into a vertical position and begin the large cycling action - after 10 repetitions, drop the legs by 10 degrees and continue cycling. After a further 10 reps drop the legs by another 10º and keep cycling, until you are doing so horizontally - with your feet just off the floor.

 

30 to 50 cycling reps should do nicely.

 

Benefits abdominals, lower back and thigh muscles too!

 

 

Leg Raising to the front in the crab position

 

Get into a balanced position with both feet and both hands in place, before you begin.

 

Then raise one leg at a time - stretch it out as far as you can - and hold for 10 seconds.

 

Then change over to the other leg and do the same.

 

A great all round exercise for the upper arms, abs and quads.

Hamstrings stretch

 

Sit in an upright L shape on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.

Gently lean forward with a reasonably stright back and touch your knees and hold for 10 seconds - then return to the upright position

Repeat 5 times.

As you are able do more - move on to the shins and then the ankles. Gradually, as you do more you will be able to get to your toes eventually.

Breathe in whilst moving back to the upright position. Gently and slowly out as you stretch forward, assisting the stretch in a relaxed manner.

 

So good for the lower back. as it gengly "opens up" the lower lumbar which does become stiff and compressed with as the day goes by.

 

Abdominals 3

 

The Butterfly sit-up - not for the faint-hearted!

 

Sit in an upright L shape on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you

Lean back as far as you can - but don't lie down on the flooor - with your legs raised off the floor a couple of nches at the feet.

Now pull the torso and knees up as far as you can towards each other - hold for a couple of seconds - and then go back to the leaning back as foar as you can with your feet off the floor position and hold for a couple seconds.

This is not easy - so just do a few of these and then progress to say, 5 and then 10 and so on.



If you can do up to 30 or even 50 of these you have exceptionally strong abs - which is great for your back

Press ups



Roll over onto your stomach, place your hands flat on the carpet, directly under your shoulders and from your knees, not your feet, do as many press-up as you can up to 20. Increase repetitions each day. When you can do 30-40 from your knees, progress to doing press-ups from your feet - you will probably halve your repetitions but keep adding a few each day. The limit is your comfort threshold. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. You can vary the effect on the muscles of the upper arms and body, by moving your hands into different positions.

By going a little wider each time or by changing the angle of your hands - try it.

 

Definitely assists the posture and makes you want to stand up straight.

 

Advanced Abdominals

Don't do this exercise if you have any backache!

 

The Plank

Go down onto your knees on a carpet and place both elbows on the carpet in front of you.

Stretch your feet out behind you and lift your whole body off the floor and hold this position for 2-3 minutes.

 

Once you have done that try for 5 minutes or longer.

 

STOP IF THERE IS ANY PAIN IN THE LOWER BACK.

 

Great for building and strengthening your core muscles - your abs, your obliques and your lower back.

 

Leg Raising to the Rear

 

 

On your hands and knees, keeping your head up but not stiffly so - begin to pull up one knee at a time to your chest and then extend the leg backwards to a full rear extension, holdiing the fully extended leg as high as you can for around 10 seconds each time - until you feel the "burn".

 

 

Good for toning and strengthening your gluteus maximus or your bottom and really good for your lower back.



 

 

Relaxation exercise

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms at 45º or 90º to the shoulders and relax with lower abdominal conscious breathing, tuck the chin in gently - just close your eyes and relax, maintaining a slow breathing rhythm.

A good guide would be to inhale for 5/6 seconds and exhale for 5/6  seconds. 

Your levels of oxygen will rise again which will induce deeper muscular relaxation - and you will feel calmer as your levels of serotonin - the daytime calming hormone also rise.

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