Westchester Happening welcomes you to our feature, the Westchester Wellness Corner! Our guest writer and fitness expert is certified personal trainer, Norma LaVecchia. Check in once or twice a month, as Norma gives us fitness tips, tidbits on healthy eating, and offers ways in which we can cut back on all the stress in our lives!
Hey Baby Its WARM outside! Well…getting warmer. March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Let’s get out and exercise in the fresh air! We’ve been stuck inside long enough. There are the traditional outdoor workouts like hiking, running, and cycling, but what else can you do? There are lots of ways to get fit by using what we have in our own backyard or local park! Remember to always warm up before you begin a workout. On a side note, pre- exercise warm- up stretching decreases strength and power. Many fitness experts discourage static stretching as part of the warm-up. (from the Journal of Strength Conditioning: 25: 2170-2176, 2011.) Go for a walk, run or cycle and find a bench or a short sturdy flat wall about knee high. Here are some exercises you can do outside at your local park or even in your own backyard: · Legs: Put right foot on the bench/wall with your knee bent. Push your right heel of the foot to lift your body. The left leg should be dead weight. Squeeze your glutes. Try 3 sets of 10 on each side. A progression would be bringing your knee up when you are on the bench. · Single leg lunges: Stand a few feet away from the bench. The further you are away the more your work your glutes. Bring your right leg back and place your foot on the bench. Bend both knees. Don’t let your front knee go past your toes. Try 3 sets of 10. Then switch legs. · Triceps: the part of the arm that jiggles when you wave. Sit at the long edge of a bench. Feet flat on the floor. With your palms down, hold the end of the bench. Move your glutes a few inches away from the bench and lower yourself until your elbows from a 90 degree angle, no more. Then come up. Repeat. Try 3 sets of 10. · Pushup: Hands on the bench and arms extended. Shoulders and wrist aligned. Legs extended back. Toes on the ground. Feet together. Bend your elbows and extend. Body stays aligned. Try 3 sets of 10. Advanced moves:
· Pike push-up: In push up position. Toes on the bench and hands on the ground. Your hips up to a 90 degree angle. (Tushy in the air.) Beginners can keep their knees bent. Otherwise, keep your legs straight. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your head is a few inches from the floor. Elbows pointing out. Stop as soon as you lose form. A progression would be bringing one foot off the bench while doing the pike push-up. Try 3 sets of 8 · Tuck Jumps: Feet close together but not touching. From this ready position jump up as high as you can bring your knees up to your chest. Land softly. Be kind to your joints. Aim for 5 good jumps. At the end of your workout, stretch it out. Go for a walk and cool it down. These exercises are a great way to get you going. Do them in the morning before going to work. If you need motivation to start, give me call. I am always here to help anyone who wants to get fit!