By: Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach
Do you have trouble getting out of your chair, going up or down steps, taking grocery bags out of the trunk or any other basic daily movements? Are you as active as you should be? Are you asking the question “How can I move and feel better?” To feel better there are some simple steps you can take to make basic daily movements easier. If you are not in the best shape and are having trouble just moving everyday then you need to get moving. The more you sit and don’t move, the harder it will get until you are unable to get up. The idea here is “move it or lose it”. This really
is a simple concept. If you don’t use your muscles, they will begin to weaken and start to become smaller. This is because your body is trying to conserve energy where ever it can. You have to remember that your body is like a machine and it needs to be used to keep it working in top condition. So how do we make this happen? Again the answer is simple. You have to get up and get active. Here are a few simple ideas for you to try. These can be done at home and you don’t need any weights or a gym to do them.
1. Get moving: Let’s start by just getting out. A simple walk around the neighborhood everyday can do wonders for an inactive body. Do this for 30 minutes a day. Start slow and eventually quicken your pace. Before long you’ll see that you can jog it. This is a good start.
2. Get up and down: Have trouble getting in and out of a chair? Let’s do it more often. This is how to do it. Grab
a solid chair like from the kitchen table. Maybe even one that is higher than normal. All you are going to do is sit in the chair and stand up. You will do this repeatedly, 12 or more times in a row every day. If you have a lot of trouble, find somewhere you can do this where you can use something to pull yourself up with. Once you become strong
enough to do this with ease, switch to a lower and lower chair.
3. Steps: Well, if you had trouble with the chair, chances are you don’t do steps well either. As you do the chair exercise you will begin to get stronger in your legs so steps will become easier. But let’s look at using the steps to help this along. Use the hand rails to help support you and step one foot on the bottom step. Now step the other foot up to the bottom step. Do this 12 or more times for each foot. Keep the first foot in place for all the reps then switch to the other foot being the fixed foot on the step. As you begin to get stronger then skip a step making the range of motion grater.
4. Bending and picking up: Bending over to pick things up is the best way to hurt your back. Even more so if you are bending over while seated in a chair to pick something off the floor. You need to strengthen your hip extensors to help prevent injury. This exercise is called stand and reach. It is what it sounds like. To do this find an object that with challenge your range of motion. Set it out in front of you and then bend at the hips and reach down to the object. Don’t bend your knees a lot when doing this but they can and should be slightly bent. Try to focus on keeping your back flat. Start with the object elevated and lower it until it’s only a spot on the floor. Do this slowly on the way down to touch and move faster on the way up. Again 12 or more reps.
5. Lifting: For having trouble lifting grocery bags and such. Take 2 grocery bags (double or triple them up if needed). Grab some cans of food from the pantry and fill each bag to your ability of lifting comfortably. Now, with
one in each hand and palms facing up, you can do some simple arm curls. Also picking them up off the table and
setting them back down will help you to gain more strength in this movement.
As you can see even your most basic everyday movements are able to be strengthened by simply doing them more. When you push yourself to use your muscles more you begin to adapt and become stronger. So, the answer to “How can I move and feel better?”is Move More. Get up, get out, get moving, and get stronger.
Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
Certified Nutrition Coach
Graduated from the National Personal Training Institute
Owner of GetReal Training, LLC
GetReal, Get Results