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Exercise, Does a Body Good

For your reading convenients below you will find all the Exercise, Does a Body Good published in 2019

January 2019

Welcome to Januaryís issue of Exercise Does A Body Good! I hope everyone's holiday was a good one, and now time to get back to working out. In this issue I discuss Pilates, and include five exercises.

What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, Flexibility, and awareness to support efficient, graceful movements.

The health benefits of Pilates include improved flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks.

Who created Pilates?
Pilates was created in the twenties by the physical trainer Joseph Pilates, for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers.
Joseph Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany, and migrated to America in the twenties. He and his wife opened up an exercise studio in New York City.

I believe Pilates is a great form of exercise to do at home. You do not need a lot of equipment to perform Pilates. All you need is some space on the floor, on a mat or carpet. You can use ankle weights or resistant bands, or no weights at all.

Exercise 1: Double Legged Bridges.
Starting Position: Lie flat on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor, and arms at your sides. Tuck in your stomach to contract your stomach muscles to allow your lower back to flatten to the floor.
Movement: Lift buttocks off the floor, while keeping stomach muscles engage throughout the movement. Lift buttocks off the floor about a foot or more and hold the top position for a count of 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly lower buttocks to the floor and repeat.
Repetitions: Do 25 reps.

Exercise 2: One Legged Bridging.
Starting Position: Same position as double legged bridging, with the following exceptions. Right leg should be off the floor about 2 to 3 inches with the knee and hip straight and toes pointing to promote elongation of the leg. Remember left foot is flat on the floor and knee is bent at 90 degrees.
Movement: Lift buttocks off the floor to the elevated position while keeping right leg straight and hold for a count of 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly lower buttocks to the starting position, and repeat. This is a more advanced form of bridging.
Repetitions: Do 25 reps of 1 legged bridging, and repeat the exercise to the other leg.
Muscles: These 2 exercises involve strengthening the hamstrings, buttocks, and abdomen.

Exercise 3: Straight leg raise.
Starting Position: Lie flat on your back, stomach tucked in, arms at your sides, and legs hip width apart and straight.
Movement: Starting with right leg, point toes down to promote elongation, and lift leg straight up to about 90 degrees or less, depending on your flexibility of hips and hamstrings. Slowly lower leg back to starting position, and repeat.
Repetitions: Do 25 reps and switch to the left leg.
Muscles: The straight leg exercise involves strengthening the quadraceps and abdomen and increases the flexibility of the hamstrings.

Exercise 4: I called this the Helicopter, or Whirly Bird.
Starting Position: Lie flat on your back, feet hip width apart, legs straight, engage stomach muscles, and arms at your sides.
Movement: Depending on your flexibility, raise right leg to about 75 to 90 degrees with toes pointing to the ceiling. With right toes and leg, I want you to draw a big and exaggerated letter o (circle) in mid air.
Repetitions: Do 15 reps for both clockwise and counter clockwise, then switch to the left leg and do the same.
Muscles: This helicopter ride works the legs, hips and core muscles. This also helps flexibility of the hamstrings and range of motion of the hips.

Exercise 5: Side Lying Hip Abduction.
Starting Position: Lie on your right side, keeping your lower and upper body in straight alignment. Right arm straight on the floor, aligned with the rest of your body, and head resting on your right upper arm. If you have a stiff neck, lets modify this position with right elbow bent at 90 degrees and head resting in the palm of your hand.
Movement: Starting with the top leg, which is your left leg, toes pointing down, raise left leg up to your end of range of motion and hold for a count of 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly lower leg to starting position, and repeat.
Repetitions: 15 reps for both legs.
Muscles: This works your hip abductors muscles, and remember to engage your stomach muscles throughout the movement.

Exercise 6: Drawing Oís.
Starting Position: Lie on your right side as in the hip abduction exercise.
Movement: While engaging stomach muscles, raise left leg about 6 inches away from the right leg. Keeping toes pointed downward and leg and knee straight, draw the small letter O both clockwise and counter clockwise 15 times. Be sure to rest for 30 seconds before switching to the other way. Then draw the big letter O both clockwise and counter clockwise 15 times. Be sure to rest for 30 seconds before switching to the other way.
Repetitions: Do 15 reps for both clockwise and counter clockwise, then switch to the left leg and do the same.
Muscles: Again, this works your legs, hips, and core muscles. In addition, it works your range of motion in your hips.

In the February edition, I will continue with four more Pilates exercises. Pilates is a great exercise program for the home, so enjoy, be creative, move and do it!

Health tip:
With winter here in the northern hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere, it is time to protect your skin by moisturizing. Winter can cause dry skin and cracking. Summer weather can cause sunburns and premature wrinkles. So we need to protect our skin from the weather elements.
Benefits for applying moisturizer to the skin:
prevents dullness and dryness, and flaking of the skin.
Improves hydration of the skin.
creates a protective layer of moisture to the skin.

Application:
The best time to apply moisturizer is after you have showered or washed your face. So, when the skin is moist, thatís the time to apply the moisturizer.

That is it for this monthís issue, and remember Exercise Does A Body Good!

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