From The Wellness Panel: Incidental Exercise and Stretching

Sala Studio, Auckland

Exercise isn’t always about intense, intentional activity, sweating, and getting your heart rate up. That just doesn’t work for everyone, all the time.

‘Exercise’ can be interpreted in so many different ways; whether that’s a walk to the shops, a relaxing Yin yoga class, a run, a HIIT class, a walk on the beach with your coffee, your friends or your dog, or doing a backyard workout.

Samantha Charlton, from our Wellness Panel, says that “whilst regularly engaging in intentional, moderate-intensity exercise is still an important part of a balanced lifestyle, don’t discredit the role of ‘incidental’ exercise!”

Incidental exercise is the steps we take during the day to complete our normal daily tasks. These strategies are particularly useful when life gets busy and trips to the gym are out of the question! The good news is that increasing incidental exercise has been shown to improve your cardiovascular, muscular & bone health. 

Using a fitness tracker or watch is a really great way to keep on top of this! 10,000 steps is the recommended number of daily steps per day, so setting yourself a little challenge and having this as your goal is a great way to measure where you’re at.

Ways to increase incidental exercise with Samantha Charlton

Think about the times in your day you could increase your steps to compete your normal daily tasks – what can you do to increase your steps where you would otherwise be sitting still?

Whether it’s walking short distances instead of using the car, strolling around the block while taking a phone call, walking the dog, or the stock standard “take the stairs instead of the lift”.

Stretching With Our Fitness Ambassador, Kobi Bracken

Whether it’s before or after work, or your workout, or you want to take a moment for yourself to stretch out that body of yours, our Fitness Ambassador, Kobi, is here to guide you through!

Follow her tips below. All you need is a small space and a wall!

Hamstring stretch 

Keeping your body and spine nice and long, straighten your leg and point your toes up to the sky. Slowly make your way down until you feel a nice stretch through the back of the leg. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side 

Shoulder stretch 

Bend the arm at the elbow. Hook the left forearm under the right arm, making sure the right arm is supporting the elbow. Use the left forearm to pull the right arm further in and across the body, stretching the back of the right shoulder. Hold this for 20 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other side.

Overhead stretch 

Place the right hand down the center of the back, using the left hand reach for your right elbow and gently push. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side. 

 Standing quad stretch

Stand beside a wall, countertop or chair to assist with balance. Bend your knee back as far as possible and grab your ankle, keep the knees together as much as possible and tuck your hips to feel the stretch a little deeper. Hold the stretch for 30 – 45 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

Don’t forget to join the Restart here for delicious recipes and more tips and tricks from our Wellness Panel!

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