In these uncertain times, when what’s happening in the outside world often seems to be spiraling out of control, we can retake control of our own worlds in a matter of five minutes to a half-hour.
It all begins with moving our bodies, which is how we get our blood flowing. Full body moves increase your heart rate and can stimulate the production of endorphins in the bloodstream. As soon as the heart starts pumping, these feel-good chemicals rush in to reduce the brain’s perception of pain and anxiety, and clear the head.
Here are a few moves that can be done anywhere, no equipment required. These are beginner moves, but can be intensified by adding weights and eliminating breaks between moves. If you are just starting, remember to listen to your body and stop when necessary.
There are eight moves in each round. Practice all of them or pick a few, depending on your time constraints. Take a one-minute break between each one. Make sure to warm up for five minutes before starting, and always check with your physician if you have an physical restrictions.
1. Squat with arms overhead or on hips
2. Jumping jacks
3. Push-ups — on knees or toes
4. Plank — straight arms, keeping your shoulders over your wrists. This can be modified by coming down to your knees and keeping your back straight like a surfboard.
5. Walk up and down the stairs
6. Run or walk around the outside of your house (forget what the neighbors think; this is for you!)
7. Lateral shuffles (or side steps) 30 seconds each side
8. Jump rope (or pretend you have one if you don’t)
Practicing some or all of these moves three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes would be ideal, but do what feels right for you.
The only requirement is to get up and get moving. And once you start, your mind and body will thank you, and you’ll get back to what your daily lives with less stress, less anxiety, and a clearer head.
You are stronger than you think.
Jodi Harrison Bauer, owner of the award-winning JodiFit, 1208 Main St., Branford, entered the Sports Illustrated 2019 swimsuit competition at 58, placing in the top 60 out of over 5,000 women less than half her age. She’s also a two-time consecutive World Bikini Champion as well as radio/podcast host of Fearlessly Authentic, airs Thursdays at 3 p.m. EST, noon PST. You can also listen to her podcast of the same name anywhere you listen to podcasts.