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Exercise as Medicine
December 11, 2017
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Unwise, Better, Best: Oats
December 19, 2017

1. Minute Planking (plank)

First, lie prone (on your stomach) on an exercise mat or floor with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down and hands facing forward. Contract your core and abdominal muscles to stiffen your torso. Then, slowly lift your entire torso off the floor or mat, maintaining a stiff torso and legs. Avoid any arching or sagging in your low back, lifting in your hips or bending in your knees. Avoid shrugging your shoulder and keep your shoulders positioned directly over your elbows with your palms facing down. Continue to breathe while holding this position for more than 5 seconds. Gently lower your body back towards the mat or floor before relaxing.



2. Inchworms Inching (inchworms)

Stand tall with your legs straight. Bend forward and touch the floor with both hands. This is your starting position. Walk your hands forward while keeping your legs straight so you almost end up in a pushup position. Then, walk your feet forward in small steps keeping your hands on the ground so you end in the starting position.



3. Skaters Skating (side-to-side skiers)

Stand tall with your hands by your sides and your feet hip-width apart. Jump with both feet to the right and then to the left, in a quick, repetitive move.



4. Burpees Burping (burpees)

Bend over and squat down. Place hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. While holding your upper body in place, kick legs back. Land on forefeet with body in straight, plank position. Keeping upper body in place, pull legs forward under your body returning feet in original position. Rise up to original standing posture.



5. Silver Bells Swing (kettlebell swings)

Stand behind kettlebell with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend over at hip with knees bent and back straight. Extend arms downward and grasp kettlebell handle with overhand grip. Lift kettlebell off of the floor and pull forearm against inner thighs while keeping hips and knees bent with low back taut. Drive hips forward, torso upright, and knees straight so kettlebell is pushed forward and upward. Allow kettlebell to swing back down. As kettlebell approaches lower position, fold at hips while bending knees. Forearm makes contact with inner thigh permitting kettlebell to swing back under hips. Immediately repeat movement and continue to swing the kettlebell. Maintain shoulder to eye level height swings. Swing kettlebell back down between legs.



6. Stars-a-Jumping (jumping jacks)

Jump while raising arms and separating legs to sides. Land on forefoot with legs apart and arms overhead. Jump again while lower arms and returning legs to the midline. Land on forefoot with arms and legs in original position and repeat.



7. Reindeer Dipping (triceps dips)

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.



8. Bikers Biking (bicycle crunches)

Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck. Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows. Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.



9. Hammers Curling (hammer curls)

Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arm’s length. Your elbows should be close to your torso. While holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Focus on keeping the elbow stationary and only moving your forearm. After the brief pause, inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.



10. Donkeys Kicking (heel kicks)

Start on your hands and knees. Kick your heel straight back. Make sure that your back stays flat and that your hips don’t rotate outwards. Fully extend your leg and squeeze your glutes at the full extension. Pull your leg back into the starting position and repeat.



11. Santa’s Squatting (squats)

Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. Sit back and down like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels. Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.



12. Slammers Sleighing (ball slams)

With feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, reach the heavy ball above your head and stand on your toes to create a stretch. Drop the hips down and back (this creates the energy) and force the heavy ball into the floor. Drop into your deep squat to retrieve the ball and return to the starting position.