Use these 4 exercises to increase your strength and flexibility!
Many of us spend a portion of our day sitting in our favorite spot on the couch or recliner watching TV catching up on the news of the day or relaxing enjoying a favorite show. During a normal 30-minute block of TV programming, there are approximately 8 minutes of commercials. Use those 8 minutes to maximize your well being by incorporating exercise into the commercial breaks. Adding exercise to an activity (such as watching TV) that you do on a daily basis can be a good way to start incorporating more healthy habits into your daily routine. Plus it’s a free and easy addition to something you’re probably already doing! Use these exercises during commercial breaks to increase your activity level and go from couch potato to couch enabled!
Sit to Stand
Activity: Sit forward at the edge of your seat with feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and stand fully upright without using your arms to push off your seated surface. Return to a seated position in a controlled manner and REPEAT.
Duration: Complete as many repetitions as you can during one full commercial making sure you keep your back straight and avoid “plopping” down.
Progression: Increase difficulty level by holding arms across the chest as shown in the picture, holding arms above hands, sitting further back on the surface, sitting in a lower seat, doing for 2+ commercials.
Activity: Sit forward at the edge of your seat with one foot flat on the ground and the other leg fully extended. Make sure the spine is straight and our head is up as shown in the picture. Place one hand over the other and reach towards the toes of your extended leg (you should feel a stretch above your knee on the underside of your leg).
Duration: Hold for approx. 1 min on each side or about 2 “normal” commercials.
Activity: Stand in front of your seat. In a controlled manner shift your weight towards your toes and lift your heels off the ground. Return to starting position and REPEAT. Use a chair or wall to help with balance as needed.
Duration: Complete as many repetitions as you can during one full commercial. Minimum 30 repetitions.
Progression: Increase difficulty by doing for 2+ commercials, maintaining a slight bend in knees throughout the activity, try one leg at a time (recommend using balance aid when beginning), do on stairs with heels hanging off the edge, add weights around your ankles as seen in the picture.
Activity: Sit upright at the edge of your seat with feet flat on the floor: squeeze your shoulder blades together, extending your chest, keeping shoulders down, and chin tucked. Sit up as tall as able rotating your pelvis forward each repetition. Hold for a count of 5.
Duration: 2+ commercials/10 repetitions
Progression: Increase difficulty by wrapping a resistance band around your feet and grab a hold of the ends. Pull until your shoulder blades are squeezed together as shown in the picture.
Wishing You Great Health!
Andrew holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota (2009) and a Master of Organizational Leadership Certificate from St. Catherine University (2016). He is accredited through the American College of Sports Medicine as a Certified Exercise Physiologist (2011).
Andrew has worked in the adaptive fitness world of neurological rehabilitation since 2009. He helped foster program growth and expansion of adaptive fitness opportunities for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury and other neurological diagnoses through Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise (ABLE) program, part of Allina Health, establishing Minnesota’s first and only Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network Community Fitness and Wellness Facility. He also works as a contract installer of FES products for Restorative Therapies, Inc. providing installation, education, and training for FES home users throughout the Upper Midwest.
Additionally, Andrew serves as a Board Member of Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation (gusu2cure.org) a nonprofit organization in Minnesota working to unite, educate and support those dealing with Spinal Cord Injuries and to advocate for research and the restoration of function. GUSU’s initiatives include advocating for SCI Research; community involvement through peer group and one-on-one peer mentoring and promoting adaptive fitness.
He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters living an active and healthy lifestyle, enjoying the outdoors through cycling, running, hiking, and gardening. When he’s not outside Andy enjoys following University of Minnesota athletics, Vikings, Twins, MNUFC, Wild, Timberwolves, and Liverpool FC; listening to music, and reading.