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Healthy exercises to start the year

Tracy Lee, OMS II
A.T. Still University-SOMA
Wellness Coordinator
AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

As promised in my last post, I will give a variety of easy exercises to start off your day and your year on the right foot. First, I will give some yoga exercises to start off breathing right and then some tips on how to get some cardio in.

Yoga

1. Child’s pose (Balasana): Start with kneeling on the floor. Spread your knees and touch your toes together. Then reach as far forward and with your stomach as flat on the floor as you can. This a good resting and starting pose. Try to concentrate on your breath and focus on what you want to gain from this practice of yoga today.

2. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana): Start with tabletop position, which is having your hands and knees on your floor and everything in 90° angle. To go into cat pose, hunch your back as how cats stretch (convex). Then to go into cow pose, move your back in the opposite direction (concave). This will help start your stretch. It feels really good in the morning when you wake up.

3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukah Svanasana): Moving into downward dog requires you to move onto your feet and move your hips back. The goal of this pose is to stretch your calves. Further practice of this pose will eventually allow you to have your feet flat on the floor.

* Pictures can be found on these poses and additional poses here.

Cardio

1. Running: If this is your thing, go for it. It is great for keeping up endurance. If you want to make it your thing, you can start off slowly. Run 2-3 times a week for as long as you can. If you can only run 0.5 mi, that’s a great start. The next week, you can increase by another 0.25 mi or 0.5 mi and you can increase the number of times a week you run. In no time, you will be running 5-10 mi 5-7 times a week!

2. Dancing: Dancing is a great workout for people who love dancing and music. There are many videos on YouTube that show you simple dances that really give you a workout. Also, just dancing hard (dance like no one is watching) for 5-10 minutes straight will make you sweat and burn a ton of calories!

3. Gym: There are so many options for cardio workouts at the gym. For example, you can run on the treadmill or the elliptical. You can do a version of those workouts called “HIT.” This is where you do a high intensity segment for 30 seconds and then do a low intensity segment for 30 seconds. Then you increase to 60 seconds of high intensity and then low intensity. Then you increase it again to 90 seconds of high intensity and then low intensity. Afterwards, you can repeat the cycle again.

If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments about these exercises, other exercises, or other parts of wellness that you feel I should talk about, you are welcome to comment!

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