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General fitness - Week 6

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Mindful Strength

If you find yourself distracted while working out, constantly checking the clock or running through your to-do list, then you could benefit from a little mindfulness.

Not only will it help you calm that overactive chatter in your head, being mindful can also help you get a better workout.

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ListCat: Moving mindfully tips - General
ID: 4779

Mindful movement is exercise performed with awareness. Mindful Movement may be an effective way for you to reduce stress, induce relaxation and promote mental clarity.

Build a routine that involves strength, stretching, yoga, or other activities that best supports you.

Examples of activities: (check the weekly workouts for more ideas)

  • Chair pose
  • Extended Triangle pose
  • Warrior 1 pose
  • Bent over row

Focus on each item below to start moving mindfully:

  1. Breathe:
    • Match movements with the flow of your natural breath.
    • Focus on your breath for 2-3 minutes in the morning and 2-3 minutes at night.
    • Slow your breath and hold each stretch for 5-7 breathes.
  2. Meditation:
    • Focus on your breath for 2-3 minutes in the morning and 2-3 minutes throughout your day.
    • Begin walking slowly in a place about 10 feet in length. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing, moving and the subtle actions that keep your balance.
  3. Muscle Activation:
    • Focus on the muscle(s) that are working during an exercise or movement.
    • Try to activate the muscle by creating a greater contraction. Build a great mind-body connection to understand how your muscles feel during movement.
  4. Pay attention to your body:
    • Listen to your body through the movements.
    • Ask yourself: How does it feel? Does one side feel different than the other?
    • Thinking about and listening to our bodies may give us an indication of our imbalances, strengths and areas that we need to improve on.
    • Complete a body scan by laying on the floor with arms to the side. Focus your attention on each part of your body, moving slowly and purposefully from head to toe.
    • Be aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations.
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There is risk of injury when participating in exercise, physical fitness and physical training programs. If you have any concerns or questions about whether or not you should participate in exercise activities demonstrated on this website or videos offered on this website, you should consult with a physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercises.

The purpose of this NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY is to inform you that this website offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

BY PARTICIPATING IN EXERCISE ACTIVITIES FEATURED OR VIDEOS OFFERED ON THIS WEBSITE, YOU DO SO FREELY AND VOLUNATARILY AND ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS AND HAZARDS OF PARTICIPATION, INCLUDING THE LEGAL RISK. THE CITY OF CALGARY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, PERSONAL INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH) OR DAMAGE (INCLUDING PROPERTY DAMAGE) SUFFERED BY ANY PERSON AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY INFORMATION, THIS WEBSITE AND VIDEOS MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE.

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Abdominal breathing

1. Abdominal breathing

Hold: 7-10 breaths

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ListCat: Abdominal Breathing
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Lie on your back with your knees bent.

Breathe. Sounds easy, right? If you find yourself rushing or your mind wandering to a long list of "to do" items you need to tackle, bring yourself back to the moment by taking a deep another deep breath. Remember, this is your time to exercise - now it is more important than ever.

Breathe out completely through pursed lips and contract your abdominals.

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Side plank

2. Side Plank

2-3 sets, 8-15 reps

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ListCat: Side Plank
ID: 4782

Lie on your side with your knees bent and prop yourself on the elbow. Feel the shoulder blade retract toward the spine. Your head, shoulders, hips and knees should be in a straight line.

Push up through your bottom oblique and feel the contraction.

To add challenge move the top leg up and down.

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Laundry basket squat

3. Laundry Basket Squat

2-3 sets, 8-12 reps

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ListCat: Laundry Basket Squat
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Make your purpose achievable and measurable and then focus! Add clothing, books or other items to create weight in your basket. Aim for a weight that you can do 10-12 reps before failure.

Push your hips back and flex the knees to lower the body down until the thighs are parallel to the ground and grasp your laundry basket. Your heels should always be in contact with the ground.

Stand up pressing through your feet.

Keep your back straight, chest out and shoulders back and down.​

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Laundry jug lunge

4. Laundry Jug Lunge

2-3 sets, 8-12 reps

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ListCat: Laundry Jug Lunge
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Stand with both feet hip width apart.

Lunge forward, making sure you land with the heel and your knee stays over the foot, with your knee cap in line with the second toe.

Lower straight down, creating a 90 degree angle at both knees and at the hip. Push through the heel and return to the standing position.

Repeat all reps on one side then repeat on opposite leg.

Skip this exercise if it causing strain in your knees. You can just walk around carrying the jug on one side, and then the other to work your core and balance.​

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Laundry jug row

5. Laundry Jug Row

2-3 sets, 10-12 reps

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Row Count: 1
ListCat: Laundry Jug Row
ID: 4785

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Mindfulness leaves you feeling satisfied. If you focus more on your workout, moment by moment, you'll have a sense of pride and accomplishment when you're done.

With feet hip width apart, hinge from your hips so you have a straight back. Slightly retract your shoulder blades over your spine.

Pull the jug without rotating the trunk. Keep the shoulder back and chest up. Keep the head still during the movement.

Complete all reps on one side before completing the exercise on the other side.

Other items that can be used are camping water jug, distilled water, vinegar jug, kitty litter container. Look around the house before you start your workout for items that can work for you.

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Laundry jug press

6. Laundry Jug Press

2-3 sets, 8-12 reps

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ListCat: Laundry Jug Press
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Start with feet shoulder width apart and laundry jug in one hand.

Press the jug overhead, using leg drive to assist the movement.

Lower the jug and repeat.

Perform all reps one side then repeat on other arm. Start with your non dominant arm.​

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Front plank on wall or floor

7. Front Plank on the Wall or Floor

2-3 sets, Hold: 20-40 sec.

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ListCat: Front Plank on the Wall or Floor
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The more focus and tension you can put on that muscle the stronger you will become and the faster your results.

Stand facing a wall at an appropriate distance so when your forearms will be on the wall, you will be in a slight angle to work your abdominals.

Put your forearms on the wall at about shoulders height and hold the position with your body in a straight line.

The further you are from the wall, the more difficult the exercise will be.

Progress to the floor when you are ready.

Start with 20 - 40 seconds then add 5 seconds a week as it becomes easier.​

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