The Start to Better Health is at Home!

Courtesy of Henry Ford Macomb Hospital
 
Getting fit doesn't require signing up for the local yoga or spinning classes. Instead, getting adequate exercise can be found right in your living room. Try out these simple, targeted exercises to stay in shape.
 
Reduce your stress - using your couch. Gentle, restorative poses lengthen your muscles and relive tension. For the modified downward dog, place your hands on the edge of the sofa and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet backward, pushing your hips back while lowering your upper body until your torso stretches parallel to the floor. Then try the supine pigeon: lie on the floor with your head on a pillow. Cross your leg over your right ankle at your knee and place your right foot on the couch. Hold each pose for one to three minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable. 
 
The Push-Up Is a Classic, But Effective. Modifications make this classic strengthening move fit for any exerciser. For the traditional version, place your hands shoulder-width apart in a plank position. Then bend your elbows and lower until your chest or chin touches the floor before pushing back up. To make is easier, stand up and push against a wall or counter. Or bump up the difficulty by bending on knee and crossing it to the opposite shoulder as you lower. Start by seeing how many you can do in 30 seconds, then work up to a minute. 
 
Keep Your Balance with the Infinity Walk. Moves that boost balance gain importance during your golden years. Do a short warm-up of walking in place. Then stride briskly in a six-foot circle to your right, then to your left so that eventually you forge a path that resembles a figure eight. Once you've got the hang of it, try variations like: increasing your speed; walking heel-to-toe with no space between your feet or walking backward.
 
When Pressed for Time, try the Squat Thrust. This tough total-body exercise works your arms, legs and core while getting your heart pumping hard. Start standing up. Squat down and place both hands on the floor. Jump your legs back into a plan position, then back up to your hands before standing up again. Boost the intenisty with a single jump between repetitions or a push-up from plank pose. 
 
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