Healthy Movement | Craft x Stew
Category name:Healthy Movement

How To Exercise When Exercise Hurts

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how-to-exercise-when-exercise-hurtssource: Gioconda Beekman

My doctor is always telling me to walk more. He says I should be doing 10,000 steps, spread out through the day.

Easier said than done.

What he fails to understand, is that even short walks hurt. After just a few minutes my back burns, my hips flare up and my feet start to ache. Even the slightest exercise is quite difficult for me.

This used to make me very depressed. I felt like I could never get healthy.

However, I have come up with an effective solution that really fits my needs. It isn’t a long term exercise plan, but it works great as a way to ease into exercise.

What makes my method so useful?

  • I can do it indoors. There is no need to leave the house in bad weather.
  • I can walk when it’s convenient for me.
  • I can start off very slowly and gradually increase the length of time I work out.

If this sounds good, read on, because this may be the perfect exercise plan for you too.

Here’s What I Do:

1) I don’t schedule a specific time to exercise. Instead, every time I get up for any reason, that action “triggers” a walking session. In that way, I wind up with many irregularly timed walks, spread out throughout the day.

For instance, when I get up to get a drink of water, I immediately walk in place before resuming my seat.

Since I get up often (bathroom break, snack break, door bell, phone call, etc) I automatically get at least 10-15 mini walks daily without any planning involved.

If on occasion, I find I’m not getting up enough naturally, I do things to purposely increase my walking sessions. I may only eat half a snack at a time so hunger forces me up again in another hour. Or, I might make sure that tools I’ll need later in the day are in another room, instead of sitting on my desk.

2) To make it easy to get motivated, I only require myself to do 10 steps. That is such a quick and easy amount of exercise, that I am rarely reluctant to go through with it. However, I find that once I get started I’m usually willing to do a lot more.

I generally do between 100 and 300 steps. This is about 1-3 minutes worth of walking, which is the perfect amount to stretch out my back and hip muscles and refresh me.

However, as long as I do even the minimum 10 steps, I thank myself and congratulate myself for doing a good job.

3) My usual choice of activity is to walk in place. I don’t try to power walk or to race. I just do a simple, leisurely walk.

However, to avoid boredom, I sometimes vary my routine.

  • Every four steps do a small kick
  • Every four steps do a short grapevine routine
  • Incorporate some salsa steps
  • Every ten steps add four quick claps
  • Every ten steps add a right side step and then a left side step

4) When the walk is over, I then go back to my original activity and wait for the next naturally occurring break to arise. I continue to do this until I have done at least ten walking sessions throughout the course of the day.

Using this method I can do as many as 3,000 steps in a day.

This isn’t as much as my doctor is requesting, but through practice, I hope to get to the point that I can do a full walk around the neighborhood.

Already, I can walk from my apartment to the bus stop without much difficulty. This is a massive improvement for me.

Disclaimer: It’s important to check with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise routine.

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The “Two Left Feet” Salsa Dancing Exercise Routine

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Salsa Dancing Exercise

source: Maria

I am not a professional Salsa dancer. In fact, I only took lessons for a couple of months. What I found, though, was that Salsa dancing makes for a great, low impact aerobic routine.

Salsa Dancing is a fun way to use up calories, raise your heartbeat and enjoy some funky, upbeat Latin music. Salsa is usually done as a couples dance, but I’ve adapted it so you can dance solo.

To get you started, I’ve charted nine very easy beginner steps.  Use these steps to design your own exercise routine.

Disclaimer: These steps are just for fun and exercise, not to teach professional level dancing.

General Information

1. To locate music, do a search on YouTube.com for “salsa music.” Salsa is done to a four count beat and tends to be rather fast. If you need to start with something slower, just change the search to “slow salsa music.”  You’ll find plenty of options for each.

Beginners frequently find it hard to “catch” the beat. If it doesn’t come easily to you, start anywhere and don’t worry about it.

2. Arm motions in salsa are similar to those in hula or belly dancing. View a salsa dancing video if you are interested in doing authentic arm motions. Otherwise, just clap to the music, like I do.

3. I find that I generally don’t need a separate warm up when doing salsa. I usually just go through the entire routine several times at a medium pace. That tends to be enough to get my heart rate up slightly and my muscles limber.

4. Watch out for the Forward Back Step. It’s confusing because you actually take the back step first, and then the forward step, instead of vice versa.

5. While using the charts, keep in mind that the red foot is always the one in motion.

6. Salsa dancing is generally more fun if you make up your own routines, but here is a simple one to get you started. Start with IN PLACE (x4) and alternate it with each step.

So that would be: IN PLACE (x4), BACK STEP (x4), IN PLACE (x4), FORWARD STEP (x4), IN PLACE (x4), FORWARD BACK (x4), etc.

Basic Steps

in place

In Place (pdf)

Beat 1: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 8: Pause.

back step

Back Step (pdf)

Beat 1: Step backward with right foot.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Return right foot to starting position.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step backward with left foot.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Return left foot to starting position.

Beat 8: Pause.

forward step

Forward Step  (pdf)

Beat 1: Step forward with right foot.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Return right foot to starting position.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step forward with left foot.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Return left foot to starting position.

Beat 8: Pause.

forward back step

Forward Back  (pdf)

Beat 1: Step backward with right foot.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Return right foot to starting position.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step forward with left foot.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Return left foot to starting position.

Beat 8: Pause.

side step

Side Step  (pdf)

Beat 1: Step right foot several inches to right side.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Return right foot to starting position.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step left foot several inches to right side.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Return left foot to starting position.

Beat 8: Pause.

full side step

Full Side Step  (pdf)

Beat 1: Make a quarter turn right with right foot.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Return right foot to starting position.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Make a quarter turn left with left foot.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Return left foot to starting position.

Beat 8: Pause.

back, across, together

Back Across Together  (pdf)

Beat 1: Step backward with right foot.

Beat 2: Left foot crosses front slightly towards right side.

Beat 3: Right foot steps forward to join left foot.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step backward with left foot.

Beat 6: Right foot crosses front slightly towards left side.

Beat 7: Left foot steps forward to join right foot.

Beat 8: Pause.

cross, tap, together

Cross Tap Together  (pdf)

Beat 1: Right foot crosses front slightly towards left side.

Beat 2: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 3: Right foot steps backward to join left foot.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Left foot crosses front slightly towards right side.

Beat 6: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 7: Left foot steps backward to joint right foot.

Beat 8: Pause.

cross, travel, together

Cross Travel Together  (pdf)

Beat 1: Right foot crosses front slightly toward left side.

Beat 2: Left foot steps forward and to the left.

Beat 3: Right foot steps next to left foot.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Left foot crosses front slightly toward right side.

Beat 6: Right foot steps forward and to the right.

Beat 7: Left foot steps next to right foot.

Beat 8: Pause.

side, together, tap

Side Together Tap  (pdf)

Beat 1: Step right foot several inches to right side.

Beat 2: Left foot steps several inches to the right to join right foot.

Beat 3: Lift the right foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 4: Pause.

Beat 5: Step left foot several inches to left side.

Beat 6: Right foot steps several inches to the left to join left foot.

Beat 7: Lift the left foot several inches and lower it in place.

Beat 8: Pause.

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