I am not a doctor or a trainer! I am only sharing with you, stretching exercises that I found on the internet. Most will be from YouTube, where you can do your own search, to find activities that best suit your needs and levels. Exercise is not a one size fits all, but I will try my best to include something for everyone.
PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR before starting any kind of exercise.
The Importance of Warming Up
Until I researched this article, I did not know the importance of warming up, before any stretching, or physical exercise. I just knew it was something that teachers had us do before we did any sports/gymnastics. Now we all know. =)
The number one reason for warming up is to prevent injury. And lessen muscle soreness. Warming up gets your cardiovascular system going. Which raises your body temperature, and that warms up your muscles. Which then prepares your muscles for exercise.
I have included a few videos below. Whether you’re disabled, a beginner, or a bit more advanced, these should start you off very well.
Keep in mind that cooling-down is just as important as warming up. I’ve covered cooling down below.
If you have other kinds of warm-up/cool-down information or videos, please let me know in the comments below, so that I can then add them to this article.
Whether you’re new to this or not, you will always want to warm up first! It gets your blood pumping, therefore getting your muscles, and your joints ready, by lubricating them.
Walking, for about 10 minutes is an excellent way to wake up those muscles. There is no need to run or jog. If it’s too cold outside, walk in place. Walk around your home. Or use a treadmill, if you have one. And remember to let your arms swing down at your sides.
Here are a few YouTube videos I found for warming up. If you’re like me, I do better with visual. Being able to see the correct way, is what’s important here.
You can do seated warm-ups. These exercises can be a perfect way to warm-up for genuine newbies, as well as those that aren’t very flexible or have issues with their balance or health.
For more information regarding warming up before you exercise, check out the Reference Guide to Warming Up.
As I stated above, cooling down is just as important as warming up. One could continue with the exercise that they’re doing, but slowing down the pace for around 5 minutes. I usually walk to cool down. But at a slower pace of course.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. If you’re starting on getting fit, and you haven’t done so in months, possibly years, walking is the best way to start. It’s how I began. I’d walk outside. And if it weren’t too cold, I’d take Mojo for a walk. Our furbabies need exercise also. If it were cold, I’d go up to the mall, and mall walk.
I got myself a Fitbit, and I use it to reach my step goal. The Fitbit community has challenges you can do. With friends, or other members of the Fitbit community. They also offer preset challenges that are there for motivation. You can become a mall walker; LOL Check out a museum. If you don’t mind the cold, walk around your neighborhood. Find hiking trails or just trails in general. Parks are great for walking. Even jogging or running, if that’s what you’re used to doing. Get creative. And remember you don’t have to walk for long. Work up to it.
Love Your Body
Just because we’re no longer spring chickens, doesn’t mean we can’t work out anymore. In fact to be strong, limber, and have stamina, it is more important that we do some form of activity. It helps us to remain healthy and independent. Without some sort of exercise/activity, it makes getting around safely, much more difficult. As well as limiting what we can and can’t do. Even the smallest amount of activity has benefits when compared to being sedentary.
For many, finding the time is a challenge. If it is something you want to do, you can usually find 15 minutes somewhere. Skip the news. I remember I would lift 5 lbs dumbbells during commercials. Make time for yourself. Remember it is time, to put us first! And you are worth it!
And if you’re retired, find the best time of day for you. I read where you don’t want to exercise before bedtime. And that you’ll usually want to wait 30 to 60 minutes after waking up. Again, whatever works best for you. I tend to do stretching exercises before sitting down to work on my laptop. And when I get up to go to the restroom, I’ll do some more stretching, or go outside to check the mail.
Don’t push yourself. If it hurts, stop! Go slow, and work your way up!
And please, leave me some love below in the comments!