I frequently have people contact me and say “I want to begin exercising but I haven’t done anything in decades and I’m afraid you’ll yell at me like I see trainers do on tv.” My response is that yelling makes a good tv show, but often doesn’t work in real life.
So what can you do if it’s been a long time since you exercised? A good basic checkup with your doctor will give you a baseline on things like blood pressure and once you get clearance, then try the following:
Julia’s Less than 10 minutes Workout
10 pushups — if it’s been forever since you exercised, start standing feet away from a wall, hands at shoulder height and push. When or if that is easy then move to on your knees on the floor…keeping your butt squeezed and hips in-line from knees to shoulders. When you bend your arms your chin should touch the ground, and it should be in front of your hands (chin & hands make a triangle, and arms are bent at 90 degree angle). Only when you can do 25 of these easily should you move to 10 with only toes on the ground. Your low back should not be arched; your ribs should be pulled in and “pushed thru” your back.
Hollow hold for a count of 60. Sit on the ground with legs out in front of you. Put your fingertips at the top of your knees (closest to your trunk). Flip arms over so your palms are up. This forces your shoulders to round. Lean back until arms are straight, keeping chest hollowed and shoulders rounded. You likely will not be able to hold for a minute…just keep building up your time until you can hold it for a minute. Have contests with your children or grandchildren…do this during a commercial while watching tv.
Here’s a video showing you how to do these hollow holds correctly.
20 Squats. It’s important to do these correctly or you can hurt your knees. Stand with legs shoulder width apart and feet about eight inches in front of a hard backed chair. Lower your butt down and back as if you are sitting in the chair but stop just before sitting down. Stand back up. Your knees should never extend past your toes. Your chest stays up. If you can’t do it properly then actually sit down and stand up. Doing these over the toilet is helpful to get the right angle — I usually tell women “it’s like peeing in the woods or over a gas station toilet — you’ve got to push the butt back…” If you can’t do the full squat then start by sitting in the chair with legs at 90 degrees and then stand up. Don’t pull your feet back. Keep the knees at 90 degrees. Have someone watch your knees until you know how to do it properly.
And here is another video showing you how to do a squat correctly.
15 Triceps – find a step or a stair. Sit down on the ground with the step at your back. Reach back and put your hands on the step (either fingers forward or fingers “sideways”). Keeping your back to the stair and your weight on your hands, push yourself up and extend your hips into a straight line from shoulders to toes. keeping your weight on your hands, lower down.
Calf Raises – stand shoulder width apart. Go up on your toes as if you are in high heels. Hold for a second or two at the top. Lower down. Do 10 like that. Then put your feet together. Keeping your heels and toes together, do the same thing. Do 10 like that.
Do those every day for 3 weeks and you will see a big difference. If you do them and need more advanced ones, let me know. Oh, and if you are mildly sore the next day, then you need to make sure to do the exercises because that will make you feel better.