Now that we are two months into 2020, how are you doing on your resolutions to exercise more regularly? Most people have great intentions but lack the stamina, strategies, and systems to implement and maintain an effective exercise and fitness routine. Unfortunately, most people’s enthusiasm for going to a gym falls way behind family commitments, social activities, time restraints, and work. What if you could exercise at your home and use a program that involved bands and bodyweight exercises? The goal of this post is to share simple strategies and suggestions to help you build a better body with bands and bodyweight exercises to be stronger and live longer.
Like many people, I have joined gyms and lifted barbell and dumbbell weights at home to stay fit and healthy. Driving to the gym was not the best use of my time and it took a lot of space in my garage and home for equipment and weights. After decades of fitness machines and pumping iron, I can look back and identify some injuries, strains and a lot of wasted effort and money. After a fall in 2018 that resulted in a fractured tibia, I had an epiphany regarding the money and time invested for gym memberships and exercise machines. During physical therapy with exercise bands and bodyweight exercises, I learned that they are more efficient and effective than most machine-based and weight workouts.
Exercise and Fitness Problems
Some of the many lessons learned from decades of working out with machines and weights include:
- Many people hurt themselves using exercise machines and weights incorrectly and put excessive strain and stress on their backs and joints. They often engage in using exercise equipment without proper education, information and training for safe and smart use. When you get bored or distracted with equipment and weights it is easy to get injured.
- Most exercise machines are done as an isolated and repetitive motion and often done in a limited range of motion with a strong and weak position resulting in an unnatural movement. Ellipticals and treadmills are examples of machines that look good but do not accurately represent real-life situations and give a false sense of benefits. Many people are injured every year from incorrectly doing or overdoing a repetitive machine workout beyond their normal ability. A famous man made the news when he fell off of a treadmill, hit his head, and died.
- Most weight lifting is done as an isolated and repetitive motion and often done in a weak position or unnatural movement. Many people are injured every year lifting excessive weights or using an incorrect form and end up hurting their backs, hips, knees, necks, or shoulders. A friend of mine tore his bicep muscle lifting excessive weight and required surgery to fix it.
- Even running or walking incorrectly with improper form or poorly designed shoes can result in excessive wear and tear of your bones, cartilage, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Many people fall, trip, or twist an ankle when they walk without agility and awareness. That is why we can benefit from more balancing, bands and bodyweight exercise and fitness training to improve our core competencies and skills.
Exercise and Fitness Solutions
- With different sizes and types of bands, you can do simple exercise and fitness routines at home or while traveling. Listening to or watching educational and informational programs while using bands or bodyweight exercise offers easy ways to help you be balanced, fit, and strong.
- Bands allow you to do exercises, physical therapy, and resistance training without lifting weights or using machines and risking injury. They save you money and time versus a gym membership. Bands like the OsteoStrong X3 Bar system by John Jaquish allow you to build more muscle faster without going to a gym to lift weights and risk injury. Rogue Monster Bands are another good choice for bands.
- Bodyweight activities like bear crawls, crab crawls, and side crawls are fun ways to play with our kids and grandkids while improving our fitness and health. Almost anyone can lean against a wall and do leaning push-ups. Leg lunges and squats build stronger leg muscles and improve our balance and stabilizing muscles. Pete Egoscue and MovNat are great resources for foundational and natural movement videos and training. When you want to add some additional variety try TRX suspension training.
- Four Minute nitric oxide brain boost and health routine by Zach Bush MD is a great way for re-energizing your body and brain.
- Rebounding with or without small hand weights is a great way to exercise at home or work.
- Sit less and stand up more. Stand while you watch something on a computer, smartphone, or TV. Stand up desks and stand up meetings are smart. Sitting on a Swiss ball instead of a chair or sofa is a fantastic way to keep your body leaner, limber, and stronger.
- Take the stairs and stop taking an elevator or escalator whenever practical. Avoid mechanical walkways and walk more.
- Walk with water bottles or weights (Heavyhands) for a full-body workout in the same amount of time. Wearing a backpack while carrying the water bottles gives you an even better benefit.
- Yoga is a great bodyweight exercise. Cats and dogs, planks, tree pose, and warrior pose can all be done throughout the day.
We all feel more compelled to exercise when we have a personal motivation that either pushes us or pulls us to exercise. Most people find that a longer and stronger motivation comes from something that energizes, inspires, motivates, and pulls us towards fitness.
What special adventure, bucket list goal, or family travel would inspire you to be more fit, lean, strong, and toned with band and bodyweight exercise programs?
Passion for People & Planet
The passion and purpose of Morningstar NEWS is to condense hours of research down to two minutes of education, information and inspiration for a healthy lifestyle and mindset. Remember… we can choose band and bodyweight exercise or we can tell ourselves we don’t have time until we die prematurely of a painful and preventable chronic disease that robs of us of our time and quality of life and wellbeing… choose wisely. What will you do to make your self-care a higher priority in 2020 and beyond?
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