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    Comfort and Confidence

    By Cinder Ernst

    Adequate physical strength is the foundation to achieving your goals and dreams with comfort and confidence! To fulfill your desires with more ease, you might want to implement a simple strengthening program. For instance, if activism is important to you, you’ve probably noticed that it takes stamina to be effective. Being stronger increases stamina and energy. Having adequate physical stamina also goes a long way in preventing burnout. (Making sure you are taking good care of yourself is the first step in helping anyone else. Think of putting your oxygen mask on first.)

    The good news is that having dreams and desires is the perfect breeding ground for the “juice” that can fuel your exercise/strength training practice. Here’s what I mean: If activism is important to you, why is that so? Is the juice to put more love in the world? Is it to make the world easier for future generations? Is it to honor our Earth? What is it about this desire that makes your heart sing? Keeping your attention on the “juice” or the “why” of your dreams and desires can be a great way to smooth out the path to a regular exercise practice of strength training.

    Find the “why” behind your dreams, goals or desires and use that to inspire your exercise program. I know some of you already have a regular exercise practice, but you might want to sweeten it with your “why.” If you are wanting to begin an exercise practice, start with finding your “why.”

    My juice comes from a personal and selfish desire. I use selfish in a positive way. We are all, as humans, selfishly focused. There’s nothing wrong with that. From that place of caring about yourself and being happy (selfish), you have more ability and opportunity to uplift others. I have scheduled a vacation in September to ride the Alps on a motorcycle tour. My “juice” is that I love feeling adventurous, well-traveled and being outdoors. I have many clients who use an upcoming trip as a way to inspire an effective strengthening program.

    In order for me to ride my motorcycle with comfort and confidence, I have to maintain my strength, stability and flexibility. I have an exercise routine that I can do anywhere and that I do on most days. This routine takes into account my knee, hip and back arthritis. My daily routine revolves mostly around Get Ups (squats), Push Ups and some rehab and stretching. All of these exercises can be made easier or more challenging, depending on how I am feeling on any given day. These exercises keep me strong enough to do the things I want to do.

    I start with one set of 30 high chair Get Ups. I stand up and sit down 30 times from a height that feels safe and comfortable on my knees. I usually do this from the arm of my couch, or the edge of the bed; any surface that’s higher than a standard chair. My knees will not sit down or get up comfortably from a chair first thing in the morning. Once I do this warm up set, I can move to a regular height chair.

    Next, I do one set of 15 Get Ups from a kitchen chair. Then I do one set of Push Ups from the kitchen counter, and then another set of 15 Get Ups with my arms overhead (more challenging). Then I do one set of Push Ups from the coffee table. The lower the surface is, the harder the Push Up will be. This is followed by 15 more Get ups and as many standard floor Push Ups as I can handle. While on the floor I do bridges, clam shells, core strengthening and then leg, hip and back stretches.

    This simple strengthening routine keeps me moving and living my life with comfort and confidence! Why not give it a try?

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at