Let’s get active!

Each day it is recommended that you participate in both cardiovascular and resistance exercise – and it does not have to be difficult or strenuous!

Remember this exercise should be gentle and pain-free. If exercise is causing you any discomfort, stop and rest. If pain or discomfort persists, please seek the advice of a health care professional and always seek advice first if you have an injury.

1. Cardiovascular exercise can include the following:

  • Half hour walk or jog
  • Half hour swim
  • Half hour aqua aerobics
  • Half hour aerobics class
  • Half hour dancing
  • Half hour cycling

2. Resistance exercise

Start with 20 repetitions for each movement every day. When this becomes too easy, increase to 30, then 40 and so forth until you reach 100 repetitions. Always stop if there is any pain or discomfort. If pain persists, seek medical advice.

Muscles Worked: Biceps and Triceps

Body Position

Stand with your feet slightly apart, your knees slightly bent and brace your stomach so it is tight. This posture protects your back. If you are using hand weights, hold them in each hand with an underhand grip. Now lock your elbows into your sides and rest your hands on the front of your thighs.

Action

INHALE: Curl your arms by bending your elbows and bringing your wrists up towards your shoulder. Keep your elbows pressed into your sides so your biceps are doing the work.
EXHALE: Lower your arms to the starting position.
One curl equals one rep.

Notes
If you find your body leans backward as your curl up the weight, you are using your back for the movement, not your biceps, the weight is probably too heavy for you. This exercise can also be done in a seated position.

3. Resistance exercise

Start with 20 repetitions for each movement every day. When this becomes too easy, increase to 30, then 40 and so forth until you reach 100 repetitions. Always stop if there is any pain or discomfort. If pain persists, seek medical advice.

Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Body Position

Start by facing a wall about arm’s length away, with your feet slightly apart and legs straight (but knees not locked). Now place the palms of both hands onto the wall, slightly further apart than the width of your shoulders.

Action

INHALE: Keep your head facing forward and bend your elbows to lower your forehead and chest towards the wall. Come as close to the wall as you can without touching it.
EXHALE: Straighten your arms, without locking your elbows, and return to the starting position. This will be one rep.

Notes
Check your posture to ensure you are not locking your knees or elbows at any time throughout the movement. For an added degree of difficulty you can try moving your feet starting position further away from the wall.

4. Resistance exercise

Start with 20 repetitions for each movement every day. When this becomes too easy, increase to 30, then 40 and so forth until you reach 100 repetitions. Always stop if there is any pain or discomfort. If pain persists, seek medical advice.

Muscles Worked: Abdominals

Body Position

Sit on the edge of sturdy chair with your back straight, knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Use your hands to grasp the sides of the chair and lean back slightly.

Action

INHALE: Slowly and in a controlled movement, pull your knees up toward your chest as you crunch your upper body forward. The action involves using your abdominal muscles, not your arms or your back.
EXHALE: Slowly lower your feet almost to floor without letting them touch. This will be one rep.

Notes
Ensure the momentum of your legs is not doing the movement for you; isolate your abdominal muscles throughout the rep. The slower you perform this exercise the better.

5. Resistance exercise

Start with 20 repetitions for each movement every day. When this becomes too easy, increase to 30, then 40 and so forth until you reach 100 repetitions. Always stop if there is any pain or discomfort. If pain persists, seek medical advice.

Muscles Worked: Oblique abdominals

Body Position

Stand with your legs hip-width apart and you knees slightly bent. Holding the ends of a rolled-up towel, extend arms over your head in a V shape.

Action

INHALE: Keeping your lower body still, lift up and bend slowly to one side. Concentrate on bending the side of your waist and just letting your arms and torso follow.
EXHALE: Return to your neutral starting position.
Bend to your opposite side and back to your neutral starting position to complete one rep.

6. Resistance exercise

Start with 20 repetitions for each movement every day. When this becomes too easy, increase to 30, then 40 and so forth until you reach 100 repetitions. Always stop if there is any pain or discomfort. If pain persists, seek medical advice.

Muscles Worked: Quadriceps (thighs) and Gluteal (buttocks)

Body Position

Start by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed forward. Keep your back straight and upright and place your hands on your hips.

Action

INHALE: Slowly lower your body into a squat and bend slightly at your hips as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your body weight back on your heels and your back as straight as possible. As you dip down, lift your hands out in front of your body. Make sure your knees do not go beyond a 90 degree angle and that they do not go over your toes – check you can still see your toes when you are in the lowest squat position.
EXHALE: Slowly straighten your legs and come up to the starting position. Focus on squeezing your inner thighs and buttocks on the way back up. Down and up is one rep.

Notes
If you any feel pain in your knees, just go down as far as is comfortable and come back up. If you have difficulty balancing during this exercise you can hold on to the back of a chair for extra support.