Today my friend Julie de Lagarde from Real Fit Mama is back to share a simple, nourishing body movement routine to get your body moving, promoting strength and good health. I did this routine this morning and it’s a surprisingly refreshing way to start the day, and can be easily modified depending on your fitness level. Enjoy! ~ Elizabeth
P.S. You can read more about Julie’s inpsiring perspective on healthy fitness in her first guest post for me HERE.
Welcome back for part 2 of my nourished workout series. This week we are going to dive into the shallow end of the pool and gently get our bodies moving.
This morning I remembered yet again how important it is to move. Our bodies are meant to MOVE – and historically, our bodies were designed to have to move for our very survival. There was no way to be sedentary the way were are today a thousand or more years ago. To go anywhere we would now go by car, bus or subway would have required at least a moderate amount of walking.
This is why for today’s nourished workout we are going to start with walking. Though gentle on the body and all of the joints, walking is a powerful form of exercise which increases blood flow, oxygenates the organs, joints, muscles and skin, and promotes optimal health for every system in the body.
Since I do not know you or your particular circumstances personally, it is challenging for me to know exactly where you are coming from, and what you can and cannot physically do. Please keep this in mind and be gentle on yourself if you are currently unable to do the entire recommended workout.
The US government recommends 10,000 steps per day, 5 days per week, for adults. This comes to about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of walking. For some of us that is going to be very tough – time wise and energy wise. Let’s set that as a future goal and work our way there.
STEP 1: 3000 steps
Today, start with 30 minutes of walking. Outside or on the treadmill is fine. My 94 year old Grandma walks laps around her back yard. Set yourself on flat ground if possible, unless you want to make it more challenging. 30 minutes of walking should get you to approximately 3000 steps.
STEP 2: Partial Squats
Lets start with 20 total, 10 if that seems too many given your unique body today. Another great way to increase blood flow is partial squats. Without straining any area of the body, these improve balance and coordination, as well as improving lower body strength. Over time, your muscles will develop to stabilize your lower body, and you will be able to deepen your squats and add more reps. For now, 20 is perfect.
STEP 3: Partial Side-Lunges
Let’s also do 20 of these, again – 10 if that is too many. 20 will mean 20 total – so 10 to each side. Side lunges help build muscles of stability while gently increasing flexibility in the ankles and inner leg. Be sure to take your time shifting from side to side – do not rush this exercise. *Shifting the weight from foot to foot, see if you can feel your energy pressing down through the leg and foot into the floor or ground, and down beyond it. This may take some practice, but it is a powerful tool in developing strong energy through the legs.
STEP 4: Arm Circles
Holding the arms straight out to your sides without locking your elbows, move the arms in circles – 20 forward, then 20 back. The circles for this exercise should be in the range between the size of a basketball and a hula-hoop. Do whichever one you prefer. You may notice tension building in your arms, shoulders and neck. This is normal – it should not include any pain. Some people may even feel discomfort in their mid-to-low back. If this occurs, you can try doing these circles seated, with your feet flat on the floor about shoulder’s width apart. If in the seated position you still feel pain, please refrain from doing this exercise. Instead, you can let your arms hang by your sides and do gentle shoulder rolls – 20 forward, then 20 back.
STEP 5 : Swinging Ropes
Swinging ropes is a common martial arts warm up exercise, as well as a therapeutic chi gong exercise given to everyone – ill, injured, and well. To perform this exercise, you need to stand with your legs shoulder width or slightly wider apart, knees slightly bent. Let your arms hang by your sides easily. Twist your weight and pivot on the heel you are now facing, allowing your arms to naturally swing around your body. Then twist, pivot and swing to the other side. 20 repetitions of this total is plenty – if 20 is too much, 10 should work. The key is to not be too forceful or take your body too far if you are feeling any discomfort with it. It should feel really good – like you want to go on and on. This gently regulates the kidneys and adrenals, lengthens the spine, and promotes outstanding balance.
Well, you have completed today’s nourished workout. Give yourself a huge hug – you ROCKED it! If you are willing to meet this challenge, try repeating this workout 3-5 days this week. I promise you will feel better and better each day that you do it, and the peace of mind you experience just from putting aside the time each day to give to your body will make the discomfort of diving into new activities SO worth it!
Next week I will be posting another article about what it means to have a nourished workout.
If you want to read more, please check out my book Real Fit at Every Age, where I talk about the different kinds of exercise for each age and stage of life, including times of illness, injury, conception, pregnancy, and post-partum. Real Fit at Every Age is on sale for 30% the list price through May 1st, using code SPRING30 at checkout.
Thank you for joining me here again this week. I hope you get something valuable out of this gentle workout. Do you want to share your story with me? I would love to read it. Please leave your story or personal questions in the comments below!