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No gym, no equipment, NO excuses! There are many ways to stay physically active without making an investment in a gym or purchasing expensive equipment. Below are four (4) ways to help you get moving without spending a dollar.

1. Pushups

Pushups are one of the best exercises to strengthen the arm muscles without using equipment. You can do them in a more traditional more on the floor, on the wall, or with bent knees. Modifications are great to slowly build strength and cause less strain on the shoulders and back.

Traditional Technique: While on the floor, position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Lift onto your toes so you can balance on your hands and toes. Maintain a straight line from head to toe without sagging in the middle or arching your back. The feet can be close together or wider, depending upon what is comfortable for your body. Engage and contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Don’t forget to keep an engaged core the entire time you push up and down. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower your body bringing the elbows at a 90 degree angle. Exhale as you push up to the starting position. Don’t lock out the elbows. Repeat for as many repetitions as you can. Start out slow and don’t over do it.

Bent Knee Push Ups: This version is performed on the knees rather than on the toes. Be sure to keep the knees, hips and shoulders all in a straight line. There is a tendency to bend at the hips as though you are bowing, but this is incorrect technique.

 

2. Core Exercises

Ab Crunches:  Start out by lying on your back.  Place your hands crossed on your chest and lie flat on the floor with your knees bent.  Always bend your knees because it provides support for your lower back. You can also place your hands behind your head but this is not the ideal position because you can strain your neck.  What happens is when you get tired you have a tendency to pull on your neck (rather than your abs) to complete the exercise. Slowly raise yourself up using your abs while pressing your lower back to the floor.  Slowly exhale as you reach the top of the crunch.  Slowly lower your back down to the floor as you inhale. Repeat 20 to 25 times and rest for about 90 seconds.  Feel free to perform 2-3 more sets of crunches with 90 second rests between each set.

Reverse Crunches: Start by lying on your back.  Bend your knees slightly with your legs in the air and cross your ankles. Place your arms on the floor along side you, or if you have you have lower back issues, place your hand under your hips. Rest your head on the floor while keeping your back straight. Slowly lift your hips about 2 inches off the floor.  Try to keep your hips steady without rolling then backwards. Hold this position for about 2-3 seconds and squeeze/crunch your abdominal muscles while keeping your head and shoulders on the floor. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat the process. Repeat 20 to 25 times and rest for about 90 seconds.  Feel free to perform 2-3 more sets of crunches with 90 second rests between each set.

 

3. Dancing

Dancing is a wonderful exercise and great for heart health. Turn on your favorite music and get moving. Not only is it a great cardio workout, dancing lifts your spirits and gives you an overall feeling of joy. Dance with your kids and make it a party.

 

4. Walking

Walking can be done anytime and can feel less like exercise. Try walking to work or walking your children to school. Take the flight of stairs at work instead of the elevator.  Park your car further away from the mall or shopping center door. You can also take a short walk at the end of the day with your children. Perfect time to exercise and connect with your kids

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