“Anyone can utilize shadowboxing for overall strength, balance, and agility,” says Kristy Rose Follmar, head coach at Indianapolis-based Rock Steady Boxing, a boxing-style program to benefit people with Parkinson’s.
1 Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and dominant foot forward. Bend knees slightly and hold fists between
2 Punch slowly for 30 seconds, alternating arms and breathing out with every punch. Switch lead leg and repeat. When feeling confident that you are ready to speed up, continue to Step 3.
3 Punch faster, alternating arms and keeping your body tight and steady. You can use a mirror to make sure you’re keeping your body still while you punch. Work up to punching for 1 minute. Switch lead leg and repeat. Ready for more? Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat Step 3 for 2 rounds or more! Too hard? Do Steps 1-3 while seated.
Strengthen your spine with the following move: “The pelvic curl is an amazing exercise for improving spinal mobility and movement: The goal is to feel the articulation rolling through your spine one vertebra at a time,” says Robin Long, certified Pilates instructor and founder and CEO of The Balanced Life.
- Lie on mat with knees bent and feet flat on floor hip-distance apart
- Inhale. Exhale, tucking pelvis and curling spine one vertebra at a time into bridge position as shown.
- Inhale at top of bridge and stretch until your knees reach over toes.
- Exhale, softening chest and slowly curling spine to the ground.
Gradually work up to 10 repetitions daily.
This article is featured in the September/October 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
Featured image: Courtesy The Balanced Life
Many of us dropped our resolve during the COVID-19 outbreak. Stuck inside, isolated from friends and family, we ate too much, drank too much, “forgot” to exercise, and let many other good habits slide. What will it take to shed a few pounds, restart your fitness routine, and drop your newly acquired bad habits? Here are tips for getting back on track from clinical psychologist Vaile Wright, Ph.D., of the American Psychological Association:
- Reflect on past victories. Build resolve by recalling ways that you overcame difficult situations in the past. Drawing on those experiences can serve you well in an uncertain future.
- Write it down. Make a list of personal goals and five things that motivate you to achieve each one. Put the list where you will see it.
- Take baby steps. Don’t try to return to your former fitness level overnight, for example. Instead, start small. Focus on exercising
a little the first week. Start working on diet changes the week after.
- Overcome resistance. Feel that you’ve lost your motivation? Sleep in workout clothes and, in the morning, roll out of bed and go for a walk. Or join up with a workout buddy or walking partner — a tried and true motivation tactic.
- Deny temptation. This tip is so obvious, it shouldn’t need to be stated, but it’s incredibly effective: Keep trigger foods and drinks out of the house. Toss out the candy; give away that extra case of beer. Then, set rules around when and where to eat and drink.
- Acknowledge the problem. Make a note of the ways that your worries lead you into bad habits, and craft coping skills to help ease anxiety. Hobbies like knitting, baking, or assembling jigsaw puzzles are pleasurable and help regulate runaway emotions.
- Get help if you need it. Seemingly minor bad habits can get worse. It’s absolutely time to see a trained mental health provider when we are unable to care for ourselves because of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. “We, as humans, are resilient and adaptable. While these adverse times will likely have long-lasting effects, life on the other side can be good: having closer personal relationships, having a better sense of what’s important to you and the world, finding some meaning in what you do. I do think that’s all possible,” adds the expert.
This is adapted from an article featured in the July/August 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
Featured image: Shutterstock