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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Session Three, Walking a Straight Line

     It is important to perform core strength and balance exercises in positions other than an upright stance.  Positions such as kneeling alter your center of gravity.  This challenges your brain to adapt to a different pattern of weight distribution.  Practicing the exercises below will help you to participate in physical activities that require a kneeling position, such as gardening.

Pushup Plank/Two Point Balance - works glutes, shoulders, upper arms, and lower and upper back muscles; engages core stabilizers
Step One:  Keeping your back straight and your head in line with your spine, assume the pushup position on the disc.  Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
Step Two:  Tighten your abdominal muscles and extend one leg behind you.  Concentrate on contracting your glutes as you lift your leg.  Your lower back should not be arched.  Hold for a count of two.  Slowly bring your leg back to the starting position.  Repeat.  Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions per leg.

Kneeling on all Fours - works glutes, back extensors, and shoulder extensors; engages core stabilizers
Step One:  Kneel on the disc with your knees shoulder width apart and placed at its center.  Your hands should be flat on the floor in front of you.
Step Two:  While tightening  your abdominal muscles and contracting  your glutes, extend one leg behind you.  Hold for a count of two.  Slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat.  Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions per leg.
Alternate/Challenge:  Follow the instructions for Step Two, but extend your opposite arm as you extend your leg.  Hold for a count of two.  Repeat.  Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions per arm/leg combination.

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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