What are the benefits of exercise?

We all know the benefits of exercising. Exercising is important for everyone. Exercises can improve strength, posture and flexibility, relieve muscle tension and stress, and energize you for the day. Exercising is also a great way to lower your risk of repetitive strain, pain and injuries. It helps lower blood pressure, improves your mood and makes you feel better about yourself. It also strengthens your heart and lungs and helps to control weight. It’s never too late to start a healthy exercise routine!

Research shows that people who exercise tend to live healthier, happier, longer lives. Studies have also shown how beneficial it is for us to maintain healthy bodies through regular movement.

Why is exercising important, especially in colder months?

When the weather outside gets colder, you’re bound to feel cozier and more inclined to relax. You can stay fit and active right at home even when it’s cold outside. Home exercise is a wise and easy way to make your fitness goals more attainable and keep you active during those colder months.

Take small, simple steps for a healthier body and mind in the comfort of your own home. We have provided some easy exercises and stretches that you can do at home to get stronger, to keep your body loose, improve your posture and increase flexibility. These exercises are a combination of strength, core and stretches:

  1. Chair Squats:

Preparation:

  • Stand in front of a chair or bench, feet shoulder width apart

Execution:

  • Perform a squat by bending at the hips

  • Stop when your bum touches the chair or bench

  • Rise up slowly by straightening at the hip

  • Can use a looped theraband above your knees to add some resistance

  • 10-15 repetitions, 2/day

  1. One Leg Balance:

Preparation:

  • Stand beside a countertop or a table

  • Keep your standing leg slightly bent at the knee

  • Start with fingertips on countertop

Execution:

  • Lift one leg off the ground

  • Lift hand off the countertop

  • Balance in this position

  • Hold 5 seconds, 10-15 repetitions, 2/day

  1. Glute Bridge:

Preparation:

  • Lie flat on your back with your arms straight beside you

  • Bend knees up so that your feet are flat

Execution:

  • Lift your hips up in the air to make a bridge using your arms to stabilize

  • Lower down in a controlled manner

  1. Hamstring stretch:

Preparation:

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground

  • Straighten one leg

Execution:

  • Grab the back of your thigh and tug your leg towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch

  • Lower leg back down to the ground in a controlled manner

  • Repeat

  • Alternate legs

  • Hold 25-30 seconds, 2-3 repetitions, 1-2/day

Note:

  • Avoid kicking violently

  • Avoid arching through you lower back

  1. Piriformis stretch:

Preparation:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent. Cross the leg you want to stretch over the other knee

  • Grab the back of your thigh with your hands

Execution:

  • Pull your knees towards your chest

  • Feel a stretch in buttock

  • Hold 25-30 seconds, 2-3 repetitions, 1-2/day

  1. Cat- Cow Pose:

Preparation:

  • Start on hands and knees

Execution:

  • Arch your back up to the ceiling as high as you comfortably can. Hold.

  • Arch your back the opposite direction as low as you comfortably can. Hold.

  • Hold 5 seconds, 10-15 repetitions, 2/day

  1. Front Plank:

Preparation:

  • Position yourself on knees and forearms

Execution:

  • Make your body flat as a plank from head to feet

  • Keep trunk engaged, do not let lower back arch

  • Hold position for 15-30 sec, 3-5 repetitions, 1/day

  1. Bird-dog exercise:

Preparation:

  • Start on hands and knees, hips and shoulders at 90°

Execution:

  • Lift one arm straight out in front

  • At the same time, lift opposite leg straight back

  • Hold 5 seconds, 2-3 sets of 5 repetitions, 1/day

  1. Bilateral Shoulder External Rotation:

Preparation:

  • Sit with good posture

  • Hold resistance bands in both hands

  • Tuck elbows against sides

Execution:

  • Rotate your arms outward, pulling against the band

  • Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions, 1/day

  1. Seated or Standing Rows:

Preparation:

  • Sit or stand on a chair with good posture.

Execution:

  • Row against the resistance, pulling your hands to your sides.

  • Pull your shoulder blades back and down.

  • Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions, 1/day

  1. Active Chest Stretch:

Preparation:

  • Lock hands behind head

Execution:

  • Push elbows wide

  • Keep hands locked

  • You should feel a stretch in your chest

  • Hold 20-25 seconds, 2-3 repetitions, 1-2/day

  1. Levator Scapulae Stretch:

Preparation:

  • Hand of the side being stretch tucked gently behind the back

Execution:

  • Bring your nose into the armpit

  • Hold 20-25 seconds, 2-3 repetitions, 1-2/day

If you suffer from any pain or injury or any of the exercises mentioned above are painful or uncomfortable, stop doing that exercise immediately and please visit one of our team members at Encompass Sports Therapy to get assessed and treated. Our Calgary Physiotherapists and Chiropractors are trained in class 4 laser therapy, manual therapy techniques, and rehabilitation exercises. Our Physiotherapists and Chiropractors have experience treating various injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.

Please book an appointment today with Encompass Sports Therapy to help you with your pain. Call us on +1 (403) 257-6992 or book an appointment online at https://encompasscalgary.com/.