Close your eyes, take slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to imagine a warm, comforting bright light filling you – starting in your toes and making its way up your legs into your stomach, through your chest and finally spilling from the top of your head and out of your finger tips. As the warm, comforting light leaves you it takes all your stress, all your negative emotion and leaves you feeling cleansed and joyful.
Now that you’re feeling relaxed, we continue our morning workout, adding of course to the exercises we’ve already been doing. Building on the “plank”, which we worked on last month, (see video at the below address), we are ready to go into the side plank after lying face downward toward the ground for one minute.
From the plank position, roll onto your side, balancing on the one foot and arm still on the ground. Extend your free arm straight above you as if reaching for the sky; hold for three minutes.
Re-centre (back in the plank position) and hold for one minute, then switch to your other side for three minutes, returning to the plank position. This will continue the strength-building of your core and start to visibly define your muscles more clearly.
Once we’ve completed the series of planks we will move into crunches, or situps.
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what a proper crunch is. In my opinion a proper crunch is one that offers no chance of injury. Lie on your back, knees bent and toes pressed firmly against a wall if possible, or even under a couch. This will stop your legs from extending.
Here is the part that gets confusing: To do a crunch and ensure you have no injuries, your back must be completely straight. Lift your upper body off the ground using only your abdominal muscles. Stop well before your head reaches your knees and hold for the count of five. Lower your body back down but not allowing your back complete contact with the floor. This will keep your core (abdominal) muscles tensed and supportive. Repeat this
motion 15 to 30 times, depending on your stamina.
Your long term goal for crunches should be to do 100 in a row. It may be some time before you can accomplish this. However, that will be time well spent.
Jumping Jacks was our cardio workout previously, and truly a whole lot of fun! This month we will become even more in tune with the inner child that’s just bursting to get out.
We have all skipped rope at one point or another. I don’t expect everyone to have a jump rope lying around, so we will make do with an ordinary piece of rope. Again, please only push your body as much as it will allow. If you have bad knees or any injuries, please adjust to a pace and height that is comfortable for you. Fun fact: five minutes of skipping is the equivalent of a mile-long jog.
I’ve talked about the importance of the morning routine; our night routine is equally important. Finishing off your day in the same manner as you started it, with a healthy meal, can make all the difference in the world to your well-being.
One of my personal favorite meals is either boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast. Combine extra virgin olive oil and spices of your choice, lightly baste the poultry and roast in the oven. When it’s about half-way cooked, lightly baste one more time.
Serve the cooked poultry with some delicious fresh vegetables, and enjoy your meal.
Do you have a question about fitness matters? Whether it’s about the safety or appropriateness of the exercise you’re doing, about a safe, effective exercise to meet your personal body needs, or perhaps about a food and its nutritional value, ask Ceder Finnie.
Ceder is Western Canada female champion in light-weight mixed martial arts and has a rich knowledge in matters related to body fitness. She invites you to email your queries. She will answer the questions in future columns.
(Ceder will take you through the exercises in the March to May issues on our website. The columns are at: https://lifestyles55.net/category/fitness-plus.)