Day 10 of “The 12 Days of a Sanctuary Functional Christmas”
“Ten Creative Exercise Ideas to Get You Moving”
On the 10th day of “The 12 Days of a Sanctuary Christmas,” we not only encourage you to do at least 10 minutes of exercise per day but provide 10 exercise ideas to fit into your weekly routine. Finding the time or energy often hinders many from even starting. For our patients who are chronically fatigued or suffering from chronic pain, these can be huge hurdles. These may be some ideas that you can begin with and build up intensity over weeks and months. And remember, if you have not been exercising for a while, you should discuss these ideas with your doctor first. There may be reasons that these would be a problem for you.
Just in case you need some science motivation to get you started, there is a great reference on the benefits of exercise at the end.
Walking – This is a great place to start. Cardio and balance work can coincide if walking over trails.
Weight lifting – This does not have to include grunting, large metal plates, or smelly gyms. Simple hand weight exercises guided by a fitness coach can get you started.
Baby presses – something for new moms. Often, women experience a lot of post-partum blues and frustration about not being able to get to exercise. Once your little one is old enough to control their head without support, baby playtime can double as a good arm or leg workout. Our babies have always been chunky making them a good workout “weight.”
Hiking – The great outdoors can serve a double benefit. Hiking can provide a good cardio and balance workout while giving us a little mental rest from the daily grind. Fresh air and beauty can do wonders for our bodies and spirits. There are various levels of hiking trails from flat and paved to steep and rough making this an activity which can offer continual challenge for a number of muscle groups.
Balance exercises – Between nutritional issues, toxicities, and a general lack of physical exercise in society, the balance centers in our brains can use some exercising. Balance exercise also strengthens those support muscles which stabilize joints, often lessening arthritis pain, as an added benefit. It also works to coordinate pathways in the brain. Who couldn’t use more brain power and muscle coordination? Try things like walking on uneven terrain (hiking trails) or dancing to get you started.
Chasing your grandkids – Studies have indicated that grandparents who play with their grandkids more often tend to experience better health and longer life. Sometimes, we just need to play whether you are 5, 45, or 65 years old.
Cleaning your house – Okay, this may not make anyone’s top 10 favorite forms of exercise, but if it is all you have time for, it does double duty. Speed cleaning can not only boost your heart rate, but potentially leave time for other more exciting activities.
Pilates – Without needing a gym membership, a set of weights, or even shoes, you can tone and tighten quite a bit using basic Pilates moves. It can also be a relaxing and calming exercise focusing on breathing and quiet control of body positioning.
Pool Time – This includes basic swimming or a water exercise class at your local recreational center. For those with arthritis obstacles or for those needing something gentler on the entire body, these are excellent options
Krav Maga– A new favorite of mine, this Israeli self-defense martial arts blends the elements of self-defense, strength training, and cardio. It also lowers stress. There’s nothing like punching and kicking a large defenseless bag to release frustration. Just avoid my mistake. Don’t punch with your pinky finger. It can lead to months of frustrated typing.
Review of Benefits of Exercise
Silverman, Marni N and Patricia A Deuster. “Biological mechanisms underlying the role of physical fitness in health and resilience” Interface focus vol. 4,5 (2014): 20140040.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.