Ellen Dolgen: Are you struggling with simple things, like putting on your Spanx®? Then stay tuned for three easy exercises that you can do at home.
Hi, I’mEllenDolgen from MENOPAUSE MONDAYS® at EllenDolgen.com. Are you inflexible? No, I’m not talking about being stubborn. We all know that flexibility and mobility decrease with age, so I’m here with my trainer Daniel who is going to share with you my three favorite exercises to help with this. Thanks, Daniel, for being here today to talk to us. Most importantly, thank you for keeping my body healthy in perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Daniel: Thanks, Ellen. I do my best.
Ellen Dolgen: Yes, and through all my bitching. Anyway, let’s get down to business. Why is it important to take care and work on our mobility and flexibility?
Daniel: Well, Ellen, as you know we spend about ten minutes at every workout warming the body up doing mobility exercises. This is important for several reasons. One, it’s important to have range of motion around your joints and your muscles to help keep you limber and loose. Number two, increasing your mobility helps with posture, flexibility, and reducing those daily aches and pains that are associated with our lifestyle.
Ellen Dolgen: Tell me, how many times a week should we be doing these exercises?
Daniel: If you’re working out, I would recommend doing at least ten minutes of mobility, flexibility every time you exercise. If you’re not exercising on a regular basis, I’d recommend at least three to four times a week, again, of about ten minutes, and focusing on the areas where you have a lack of mobility: shoulders, lower back, hips, knees.
Ellen Dolgen: My first favorite exercise is called the Halo. What I love about this is I get to use a book. One of my favorite books now is called The Belly Art Project by Sara Blakely. It’s pregnant moms using their bellies as art to help other moms, so all the sales go to The Belly Art Project: Moms Helping Moms.
Daniel: To start the Halo, Ellen is going to hold her favorite book in front of her about three to four inches. She’s going to take her right hand bring it over her head. She’s going to bring the book behind her head and all the way around. She’s going to do this five times in each direction clockwise and counterclockwise. This exercise is great for loosening up the shoulders. Make sure that your head stays back, and don’t let your neck come forward.
Ellen Dolgen: The second exercise for flexibility and mobility is the Single Leg Reach, which is really doable. That’s what I like about all of Daniel’s exercises, you don’t have to be a jock.
Daniel: Not at all. For the Single Leg Reach, Ellen is going to stand on her left leg. She’s going to reach her right arm and her right leg back. Reach her right arm forward, extends her right arm back, making sure that her left leg has a slight bend in the knee. If you need to, you can hold onto a wall or a table for balance.
Ellen Dolgen: Which I do.
Daniel: This exercise is great for activating your hips and stretching your hamstrings. She’ll do five to ten on the right leg and five to ten on the left side.
Ellen Dolgen: The third exercise is the Half Squat, and all you need is a chair. Everybody has one; no excuses.
Daniel: The Half Squat is great for stretching the hip flexors. Ellen is going to start off by putting her hands on the chair. She’s going to step back, keeping her legs here behind her. With her right leg, she is going to step forward. From here, she’s going to drop her hips straight down. You should feel a stretch along the back leg.
Ellen Dolgen: Oh, yes.
Daniel: Step back. Then switch, bring your left leg forward. Drop her hips. Relax the shoulders, again, stretching from the bottom of your ribcage to the top of the thigh.
Ellen Dolgen: Oh, this feels so good.
Daniel: Ellen is going to do five reps per second.
Ellen Dolgen: For more great tips on how to deal with menopause, go to EllenDolgen.com and get my free ebook, Menopause Mondays: The Girlfriend’s Guide To Surviving And Thriving During Perimenopause And Menopause.