Actively Speaking: The New Year’s Day Workout

by Aimee Hodges, CI-CPT


January is here!. Coming off a holiday smorgasbord, it’s time to face the facts – our bodies need to get moving but our minds wonder where to begin. Where can we find the balance of a beginner’s workout and not injure ourselves by overdoing it? The answer is exactly that, balance. Each person’s definition is different, depending on your weight, size and strength but there’s one commonality – the balance we’re seeking always changes but it begins with the first step. Most of the time, the hardest part of getting started is knowing where to begin. Let’s start a healthy 2017 together!

  1. Warm Up – I can not stress it enough, get those muscles warm before diving in! Walk briskly for at least 5 minutes. Briskly where you can chat the whole time but find yourself a bit breathless. Follow with stretching for 3-5 minutes: toe touches, sky reaches, your body will guide you to where you’re tight. Even this is a good start, ending your workout here then means you still accomplished a good dose of daily activity. Moving on, let’s do ten repetitions of the following strength exercises.
  2. Body Weight Squats – After warm up, body weight squats are a perfect compound exercise to work our quadriceps and glutes! Focus on your knees not extending beyond your toes.
  3. Body Weight Calf Raises – With feet pointing out, (If you took ballet, it would be known as first position) raise up on your toes without allowing your heels to touch the ground. Focus your mind to your core, slowly controlling while pulling your belly button to your spine.
  4. Modified Push-ups – On your hands and knees with ankles crossed behind you, palms facing out, focus on bringing your hips and nose down to the floor – to avoid looking like a chicken pecking for their food. Slowly, lifting and lowering your weight.
  5. Abdominal Crunches – Lay on your back with legs straight in the air – I emphasize the word straight. This serves as an additional hamstring stretch. Hands behind your head and crunch, lifting your shoulder blades off the floor. When you come down, don’t allow your head to touch the ground, keeping your core engaged.
  6. Hip Thrusts – With your back flat on the ground and knees bent, shift your hips to the ceiling while focusing to contract your glutes and abdominals. Contract those muscles to engage the core while lifting and lowering.
  7. Ankle Reaches – Remaining on the floor with knees bent, place one arm behind your head and one arm straight down pointing to your ankle, press the arm to touch the ankle, bending and engage the obliques abdominal. Repeat on each side.Three sets of each and you’ve completed a nice beginner’s workout that should’ve been a bit out of your comfort zone. Finish up with 10 minutes of cardio: walking briskly or jogging but don’t overdo it! As a trainer, it is gratifying to see “I DID IT” on the face of a beginner! Small achievable goals lead to big gratifying accomplishments. Get moving and if you need someone to help, I’m here to help you find balance. Visit me at Fit N Wise in Decatur or call me at Opposite Way Training, 940-389-1229. Drop the excuses this year, your body is a temple – are you treating it like one?