Put the Spring Back in your Step

Do not let cabin fever get the best of you.  If you do not ski, snow shoe or skate, the snowy month of March in Maine is an important time to think about indoor exercise and conditioning.  There are ways to keep in shape at home without a great deal of equipment or exercise expertise. If you are not already doing so, put the spring back in your step with the following exercises:

Warm up cardio:  Walk or jog up and down stairs at home or work.

Mat/floor exercise:

  • Heel Touches: Lying on your back, pull in your lower abdominal muscles as if you are zipping up a tight pair of jeans. Hold this position. Then, lift both legs so your hips and knees are flexed to 90 degrees. Slowly touch one heel down to the floor and bring it back up. Repeat with the other leg. Alternate, bringing heels down for 10-30 reps, 1-3 sets, depending on your tolerance. You should feel your abdominals working!
  • Spinal Balance:  On your hands and knees, slowly lift opposite arm and leg, extending with straight knee and elbow. Be sure to keep lower abdominals pulled in and do not arch your back. 10-20 reps, 1-2 sets, as tolerated.

Leg strengtheners:

  • Walking Lunge: Walk forward in a moderate lunge.  Be sure that your knee does not collapse in or get ahead of your ankle.  20-40 walking lunge steps, 1-2 sets
  • Wall Squats: Sitting against a wall as if you are sitting in a chair, bend knees to almost 90 degrees. Hold for 60 seconds or longer. 5 repetitions.
  • Single Leg Calf Raise: Standing on 1 leg, rise up onto your toes. 20-40 reps, 1-2 sets

Arm strength:

  • In a plank position, walk hands forward and back.  If this is too difficult, shift your weight slowly from one hand to the other instead of moving forward and back.  10-15 “steps”, 1-2 sets

Before starting, please consider which exercises are most appropriate for you and do not perform any exercise that causes pain.