Three safe and achievable exercises to try over Christmas!

Happy December everyone! Christmas is fast approaching so get out your to-do lists. With a million and one things to do between present shopping, preparing for family get-togethers, work and countless kids parties, we often forget to look after number one: OURSELVES! Here at TM Physio we believe making time for some safe and achievable exercises at this time of year is very important. December can be a heavy month, taking on extra calories from lots of party food, so we’ve put together some suggestions of exercises that you can easily fit in to your day amid all the chaos. Give them a try to keep yourself moving and staying fit and healthy over the festive period.

Walking

This is a nice easy one to begin with. Walking… Seems so simple doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many people struggle to get in their steps every day. From sitting at the breakfast table, driving to work, sitting in the car, sitting at work and then doing the reverse at the end of the day, you can see how easy it is to just not move. But we are human, and we are designed to move!

The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) recommends 2.5-5 hours of moderate exercise a week. You can achieve the minimum by walking for 20 minutes a day. That’s walking away from home for 10 minutes, turning around and walking back. Or parking further from work and walking. See what you can achieve in a week. Even if you can’t do it every single day, doing more than nothing is a very good start!

Push-ups

Don’t be afraid with this one. We’re not expecting everyone to get straight down on the floor and give us 50 of their best. Push-ups are a great way of doing some resistance exercise and nearly everyone can do them in some form. The DoH recommends taking part in muscle strengthening exercises at least two days per week.

If your fitness levels are low and you’re looking to start small, then stand facing a wall with your arms straight and hands flat against the wall at shoulder height. Keeping your elbows tucked in by your sides, shift your nose towards the wall keeping your feet on the ground. Go as far as you are comfortable and then push out to the start position. Try 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

If your fitness levels are higher and you’re feeling confident, then you can make this harder by performing on the edge of a table or lounge, or with hands on the ground. If you’re looking for a real challenge, then you can do it with your feet up on a lounge with hands on the floor. You can also try adding push-ups to your routine, for example, try doing ten after brushing your teeth!

Chair squats

Squats are a great way of doing some lower body strengthening and will keep those hips, knees and ankles moving well. All you need for this one is yourself and a chair. Seeing as though Christmas is full of parties and get-togethers, you’ve got no excuse not to bust some of these out as you’re passing a dining chair on your way to handing out the appetisers!

Stand in front of a chair facing outwards with your feet hip-width apart. With your arms held straight out in front, squat down slowly until your bottom touches the chair. As it does, stand straight back up to return to the start position. As you squat, keep your knees pushing gently outwards to avoid them falling inside your feet. Try 3 sets of 10 squats as a starting point. You can make this easier by squatting to a shallower depth… Try starting with a quarter or half depth squat before trying a full squat if you want to warm into it.

Have fun with these safe and achievable exercises , but always remember to work within your limits. If you are ever unsure on an exercise, just ask your physio for their expert advice. Call us on 6282 5898 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.